Published on: Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: City folks are advised not to believe in rumours that the city will also be invaded following the incidents in the East Coast of Sabah.
The advice came from Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir after many residents were seen going on a panic spree of buying essential goods at sundry shops and supermarkets lately.
"Based on information from the police, we learn that the situation here is safe, peaceful with no untoward incidents and this has been explained by our very own city police chief," said Madingkir during a media conference after chairing a City Development and Security Committee Meeting here.
Also present were City Police Chief ACP Jauteh Dikun, City Hall Director-General Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, City Hall Deputy Director-General (Operations) Joannes Solidau and City Traffic and Public Order Chief DSP Peter Umbuas.
"We are aware of residents buying rice and instant noodlesÉthere is no reason to panic by rushing to buy essentials," he said.
"Police have investigated the validity of these allegations and they found that these rumours spread through Short Messaging System (SMS) are baseless."
Jauteh assured that the city is safe. "When they hear something, they start spreading it on the Internet and SMS, which is an unethical thing to do because people are now worried after receiving so many rumours.
He said those with any information can verify the facts with the police by contacting their hotline at 999, 088-221191, 088-318843 or to go to the nearest police station.
On the alleged invasion by armed men in Sepanggar, he said Inspector General Tan Sri Ismail Omar had explained it was not true.
"It is being made a big issue but we will investigate and follow up with whatever information received," he said, adding that they have beefed up security and preventive measures such as conducting roadblocks in locations such as Telipok and Alam Mesra.
He also brushed aside questions as to whether the people should be worried about the presence of the Filipino community in the city.
"I believe the Filipino community here also do not support the intrusion in Lahad Datu because it would only jeopardise their livelihood here.
In fact many of them are unhappy with what had happened.
"Many of the Filipino community as well as local residents residing in the city have assisted us by providing information, thus, it shows there are no such thing as 'musuh dalam selimut' (enemy among us), so please don't take advantage of the situation by creating anti racial sentiments," he said.
On another development, he said, based on their discussion with the Mayor, they have agreed that all Development and Security Committees here are to be back up to the security forces personnel with the aim of stopping rumours from being spread.
"They should advise the people against spreading rumours and they are also responsible to inform us of any strange elements happening in their respective areas," he said.
Checks around the city showed that the situation was peaceful and calm, with many including tourists seen going about the city as usual.