SEMPORNA, (July 25) — National security was the top priority of the authorities when it issued the curfew order in several districts on the East Coast of Sabah, said Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
He said the government was aware the curfew order announced last Saturday on six districts under the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) had affected the daily activities of the community, especially fishermen, but the move was imperative to curb the entry of intruders who could threaten national security.
“We understand the curfew order has inconvenienced the people but that was the best measure to defend the country’s peace and sovereignty,” he told reporters after visiting security personnel on duty at the General Operations Force posts in Pulau Mabul, Kapalai and Singamate near here today.
He said the security forces should be firm and should not compromise with anyone who did not comply with the curfew order from 6pm to 6am.
“We know it is not easy to explain to the people on the order but I am confident the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) will find the best approach to overcome the problem,” he said.
Last Saturday, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman declared a curfew order in the waters off eastern Sabah from Tanjung Pundaras, Sandakan to the jetty in Tawau.
The curfew was also enforced three nautical miles from the shores of Sandakan to Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Semporna to Tawau jetty covering a distance of 362 nautical miles and over an area of 121,270 sq nautical miles.
Earlier, Mohd Shafie, who is also Semporna member of parliament, presented kuih raya packages to members of the security forces on duty during Aidilfitri on the islands.
Also present was ESSCom commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun and Sulabayan state assemblyman Datuk Jaujan Sambakong– BERNAMA