Sabah wants speedy deployment of attack helicopters to fight crime

Sabah wants speedy deployment of attack helicopters to fight crime
A generic photo of a helicopter.

SANDAKAN, Malaysia - Sabah wants the speedy deployment of six attack helicopters to counter abductions and other cross border crimes in the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said he spoke to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak immediately after the latest abduction of two Malaysians by at least four Filipino gunmen on Thursday night.

"Enough is enough. The abductions have to stop. Sabah cannot be repeatedly held at ransom by these kidnappers," he said after huddling with top security agencies at his Sri Libaran home here.

Musa, who is also state security council chairman, said the authorities must do whatever was needed to put an end to the kidnappings.

He said the beefing up of more military assets for Sabah should be fast tracked.

"There is a need for immediate deployment of attack helicopters to counter these cross border criminals.

"We can no longer just depend on speedboats. We need attack helicopters," he added.

Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri was quoted as saying in December that the army planned to buy six attack helicopters to reinforce operations in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) under the 11th Malaysia Plan.

He also said the Cabinet had approved the buying of Gatling Guns to complement the helicopters as assets for the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom).

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said yesterday that senior officials would brainstorm ways to improve the ongoing curfew and its effectiveness, particularly, along the coast.

He said many businessmen were reluctant for the curfew to be enforced fully at the shore on the mainland as it affected their businesses.

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