Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the declaration was in line with the decision of the Cabinet and the Sabah State Security Special Working Committee to take all measures necessary to improve security control along the waters of the state’s east coast to ensure that such incidents would not recur.
He said six ports had been identified as entry points – Kudat, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Tawau which were within the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone), and Kota Kinabalu port.
A route standard operating procedure (SOP) to monitor foreign boats entering or leaving Malaysian waters would also be enforced or implemented by the state government, he said.
“The declaration of the designated routes is to monitor the movement of foreign boats in Sabah waters, prevent violation of Malaysian laws by focusing on security aspects, and monitoring of trade activities and safety of navigation. “The designated routes would also help the security forces and the country’s maritime enforcement agencies control the movement of foreign boats in Sabah waters, and ensure better movement of boats and their involvement in legitimate socio-economic activities only,” he said in a statement issued here today.
Musa, who is also Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) chairman, said among the objectives of the route SOP was to ensure uniform enforcement as well as integrated and systematic monitoring of the designated routes.
“The encroachment by Sulu terrorists in Tanduo, Lahad Datu on Feb 12, last year and the three kidnappings in the last six months demand tightening of patrols along Sabah’s coastlines, so as to prevent them from happening again,” he said. — BERNAMA