Published on: Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Eight security personnel staying at the Singgamata resort that was targeted by kidnappers last Wednesday were out on regular patrol when the 29-year-old Chinese tourist and a Filipina resort staff were taken hostage.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said although it was "unfortunate" that the personnel were not around at the time of incident, their presence was proof that the resort complied with security recommendations.
Pang noted this was why the authorities believed the episode may have been an "inside job", while refuting the claim made by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar that resort operators were not cooperating with the authorities. "There was no lack of cooperationÉthere were eight security personnel staying at the resort.
They (resort) were cooperating," he stressed.
Pang noted that not only were Wan Junaidi's comments inaccurate, they were also insensitive, for not having a "total comprehension of the situation." "He also did not know that the Singgamata Resort was only 1.5km away from Semporna town.
"I was on there on Thursday, a day after the incident, it only took me about five minutes boat ride," he said.
He said Wan Junaidi's statement was unnecessary, especially coming from someone supposedly overseeing security and that his statement enraged Sabahans and those affected by the abduction.
Pang said Wan Junaidi should be making "less productive comments and spend more time on ensuring the country's borders are safe."
He noted due to the incident and the disappearance of MH370, Sabah had to put on hold most of the chartered flights, adding that it will be very insensitive to talk about tourism, especially when it concerns the Chinese market.
"We need to give it some time to cool down and for us to resolve matters in SabahÉ then we will look into the future and try to overcome the challenges.
"Most importantly, Malaysians should refrain from making insensitive statements," he said.