SEMPORNA, (April 17) — The Federal Government will increase the asset strength of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) by the end of this month, to further upgrade and strengthen security in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the additional assets include speed boats and increase in security personnel to ensure the safety level in the ESSZone was under control.
“It also indirectly shows the government’s determination to ensure that ESSCom continues to improve its control level, especially in the Sabah’s east coast areas. We don’t want any more cross border crimes such as kidnapping and smuggling to happen again, ” he said during a working visit to the Singamata Adventures and Reef Resort here today.
He said the ministry had increased the security level at all the resort islands including the ones in Semporna to ensure the safety of tourists.
“Security forces are at these places 24 hours a day and there are also forces which patrol the waters all the time, according to the schedule that has been fixed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shahidan said local authorities should get the summary of the security status from ESScom if they wanted to build new structures like resorts in the ESSzone.
He said this should be done to facilitate security planning by ESScom in its effort to strengthen the security level in the east coast of Sabah.
“I have discussed this matter with the Director-General of ESScom and the local authority should look at this aspect so that the security in the ESSzone is boosted,” he said.
In the meantime, he said it was unreasonable for certain parties to say that ESSCom should be closed down as it was needed to coordinate operations conducted by the army, police, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), and the public to prevent any redundancy of duties from occurring.
“If not for ESScom, there would still be over-lapping of duties and we would also find it difficult to operate because each agency would be acting within their jurisdiction. The people of Sabah also need ESSCom to look after the security in the ESSZone,” he said. — BERNAMA