Census on Palau folk in Semporna

KOTA KINABALU - A four-day census on the estimated 1,800 families of the Palau people or sea gypsies in Semporna will start today.

The census is aimed at finding out their numbers and learning about their culture and socio-economic background, among others.

Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) chief executive officer Ruji Ubi said the information would be vital in helping the authorities come up with long-term solutions for issues relating to the community.

"This will facilitate welfare officials and non-governmental organisations or anyone wanting to help the Palauans," he said.

Earlier, Esscom commander Da­­tuk Abdul Rashid Harun urged Palauans to be cautious about being used by cross-border criminals following allegations that they acted as the eyes and ears of cross-border kidnappers.