Security in Esszone should not be compromised: Azis
Published on: Thursday, September 13, 2018

Semporna: The latest abduction incident in the East Coast on Tuesday is a clear signal that the security aspect in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) needs to be improved. In this regard, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman hoped the Federal Government would increase the allocation for the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) and enforcement agencies to ensure timely preparedness.

"The additional provisions included the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the police for the necessary equipment to be sufficient as the kidnappers would not tell when they will strike he said during his working visit with Acting Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah at Semporna District Police Headquarters Wednesday.

Azis agreed with the government's saving measures for mega projects, but he stressed the security aspect at Esszone was not something to be compromised because Sabah was the area often receiving a kidnapping threat.

He assured that the security control in the waters of Semporna was still under control and There was no reason to panic because the Esscom enforcement team and Police will increase the security.

"I have asked the police and Esscom to intensify and tighten the security of the state waters (especially Semporna to ensure the presence and confidence of foreign tourist are not affected by the abduction" he said.

Azis said discussions will be carried out with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Afdal and the authorities in reviewing the banning of the pump boat which is often use as kidnapping transportation.

Meanwhile, Fishermen and boat operators have again been urged to install the Automatic Identification System (AIS) or Intruder Intervention Vessel Monitoring System (IIVMS) to allow immediate action by security forces in the event of any incident.

Commander of Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), DCP Datuk Hazani Ghazali said these recommendations have been made repeatedly but there are still boat operators and fishermen who still failed to comply.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the fishermen's boat was not equipped with the AIS or IIVMS.

Hazani said the boat's crew often inform their employers first during emergency. Hence, their actions provide room for the perpetrator to escape and the security forces could not take immediate action.

"The installation of the devices is a strategic approach that could assist the security forces to monitor any activities at the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) areas," he said.

According to Hazani, Esscom has also reminded all the boat operators to list the Esscom Operation Centre's hotline number in their respective boats to facilitate crew members to contact Esscom in the event of any incident.

He said the boat operators should also inform their current location or movement to Esscom while they were in the Esszone areas.

"We want the boat operators and fishermen to take serious consideration on this matter to assist the security forces to monitor and communicate with crew members while at they were in the Esszone areas," he added.


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