Deputy minister sorry for comments on diving resorts

Deputy minister sorry for comments on diving resorts
Resorts must contribute to security of their own premises, says Minister.

KUALA LUMPUR - Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has apologised to Sabahans who were offended by reported remarks by him that diving resorts at remote islands off the state's coast be closed.

He had purportedly said this in the light of the abductions of two foreign women at the Singamata Reef Resort on April 2.

Dr Wan Junaidi said his statement on the issue was not produced in its entirety, adding that a reporter had called to seek his comments on the incident.

He was quoted as saying in the news reports: "If it were up to me, I would say these resorts on small, isolated islands should be closed. No one can guarantee the safety of these places when they are situated far off the coast. The police and military can't be there all the time."

"The other part of what I said was not published," he told the House, adding that the unreported parts were that he said resort operators must contribute to the security of their own premises.

"If I had offended those who had misinterpreted it, I openly apologise," he said during question time.

Wan Junaidi said he has also no ill feelings against those who had misinterpreted his statement and Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh (BN-Kalabakan) and other MPs from Sabah, who had wanted him to apologise or resign over the purported remarks.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim defended the effectiveness of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), saying that it had successfully prevented incursions from recurring following the Sulu invasion in February.

"What happened at Singamata was not a border incursion but a trans-border crime," he said.


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