Malaysia, KOTA KINABALU: Two men abducted in an armed raid at a seaweed farm off Semporna three weeks ago may still be alive but their whereabouts remain a mystery. Sabah police commissioner Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said yesterday there had been little development in their probe into the abduction by a group of men armed with guns and parang at the farm off Pulau Sebangkat, about 15km from Semporna on Feb 8.
"But we have reason to believe they are still alive and now it's a matter of detecting them," he said, after witnessing the handing over of duties between outgoing Sabah Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner II Zainal Abidin Kasim and Assistant Commissioner Mohd Shariff Abd Wahid, who will be acting CID chief.
On security in the east coast, he said police have boosted their manpower to enhance surveillance from forward bases.
"There is also the MMEA (Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency) and navy among others, keeping watch on our borders.
"All these are in place and it remains difficult for people from outside our borders to come in. But to go out, that's another story because they can see us from within.
"We will also make it a routine to stop by at houses out at sea or settlements on remote islands and make our presence felt by the residents."
He noted that Semporna in particular was unique because many houses were built on stilts at sea, especially in areas where the water was shallow.