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Yong: Nowhere to hide for Abu Sayyaf, terrorists

Kota Kinabalu, Wednesday, 19 May, 2021

The success of government security forces at Beaufort shows that Abu Sayyaf bandits and other intruders have nowhere to hide even if they managed to sneak into Sabah. This latest, high profile success of the police in killing five terrorists, after having apprehending eight terrorists earlier, also at Beaufort, goes a long way in deterring potential intruders from trying to enter Sabah.

I am sure Malaysians are grateful that our security forces, such as the police and ESSCOM, have nipped in the bud a terrorist cell at Beaufort. It came as a surprise that the terrorists were hiding at Beaufort because Beaufort, situated at the South West of Sabah, is far away from the ESSZONE in the East coast of Sabah which is covered by ESSCOM (Eastern Command).

Nevertheless, as acknowledged by the police, it is also likely that there are still members and supporters of terrorist group Abu Sayyaf who are lying low in Sabah. Therefore, local people, especially at or near squatter colonies, must play a more active role in detecting the presence of terrorists and their supporters so that the security forces can wipe out these terrorists once and for all.

Maritime Enforcement base at Lahad Datu

To further strengthen Sabah’s security and to enhance the confidence of the people, I call on the government to implement the promises made in 2013 after the infamous Tanduo incursion. Among the key promises were the basing of seven battalions of security personnel in Sabah, the acquisition of advanced sea patrol boats and other security assets in ESSZONE.

Among the key assets that Sabah requires is a full-fledged Maritime Enforcement base that is also long overdue at Lahad Datu, the home base of ESSCOM.

This new Maritime Enforcement base, under the jurisdiction of the MMEA (Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency or APMM Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia), can add to the efforts in combating cross border crimes and putting a stop to any dreams of Abu Sayyaf and other criminals from causing trouble in Sabah.

Datuk Yong Teck Lee
Ex-Chief Minister, Assemblyman (Nominated)