Published on: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: Plantations and Commodities Minister, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said workers in more than 16,000 acres of oil palm plantations in Lahad Datu district have temporarily stopped reporting for work following the armed intrusion by a band of Filipino militants three weeks ago.
He did not disclose the impact to the economy from the forced shutdown in operations but was optimistic that the Prime Minister's decision to set up a Special Security Area from Kudat to Tawau would soon see these threats to the State's long coastline being nipped in the bud.
"The setting up of the Special Security Area headquartered in Lahad Datu, will enhance the protection of their investments, especially the development of the Lahad Datu Palm Oil Cluster (POIC)," he said, in his Ministry's media night function, Friday.
He said it had been the hope of many Sabahans for the Government to address the issue, especially against those who had the intention of claiming Sabah as theirs, despite Malaysia having been formed five decades ago.
"They may say what they are asking is not much, but it is one third of the country," Dompok said.
"As a member of the Cabinet who had pushed to bring about better security of the State and assure the continuity of investments into the State," said Dompok, adding that it is time for the country to take the "bull by the horns".