LAHAD DATU, (May 7) — Foreign vessels intending to enter the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) must ply a gazetted route with immediate effect while local ship and boat owners must be registered, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said this would enable ships and boats plying ESSZone waters to be monitored by the authorities to combat cross-border criminal activities.
“This is not meant to burden anyone, including foreign ship owners seeking to enter our waters, but this step is necessary for security reason to avoid recurrence of abduction and intrusion,” he told reporters after visiting the scene of an abduction at a fish farm in Pulau Baik off Silam near here tonight.
Five gunmen abducted a Chinese national manager of a fish farm in Pulau Baik, Lahad Datu early Tuesday, just over a month after a female Chinese national was kidnapped from a resort off Semporna, highlighting the security challenges Sabah faces.
Present were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) director-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek.