Malaysia gives go-ahead to shoot intruders

MALAYSIA - Malaysia's Home Ministry has given security forces the go-ahead to shoot when faced with intruders encroaching into Malaysian waters and deemed a threat to national security, overriding a statement by Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail earlier.

Minister of Home Affairs Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that shooting was justified if it could stop intruders.

"The government has no problem with the shooting order if intruders try to enter the country," he said when commenting on a request by Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar.

Admiral Abdul Aziz had urged the government to issue the order following an intrusion at a resort on Mabul island, off Semporna, in the east coast of Sabah.

Earlier, Mr Abdul Gani had rejected the Navy chief's suggestion, saying that Malaysia is not a military state.

Dr Ahmad Zahid also promised more changes to the Sabah Eastern Security Command, the security force in charge of eastern Sabah, once police take over its operations.

He said that resort operators on Mabul island would be asked to install closed-circuit television to record the movement of traffic in their areas and to avoid similar intrusions.