Published on: Thursday, June 19, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: The Malaysian and Philippines governments should consider putting an agreement in place to allow enforcement officers to cross borders in pursuit of international criminals.
Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang said it is crucial for both governments to have an even closer working relationship especially after recurring kidnappings in Sabah's east coast.
"It is very disheartening to hear of another abduction.
In the past three months, we have one abduction case in each month starting from April.
"The Government through the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) and the Defence Ministry as well as the Home Ministry has put in a lot of efforts like increasing assets and tightening up the security at our borders but it seems that such efforts are not sufficient," he said.
Teo called for the relevant authorities to find ways together with the Philippines authorities in order to curb the problem from recurring.
He said it is very important that the local authorities here work closely with their counterparts in the provincial government in the Philippines because the borders separating both countries are too near.
"Once abduction happens, it is very easy for the kidnappers to bring the victims out of the country and once they enter the Philippines waters, there's nothing we can do," he said.
The latest abduction case involved a fish breeder Chan Sai Chiun, 32, from Ipoh, Perak and his worker, known only as Mazlan, who were taken by two gunmen in the wee hours on Monday in Kunak. Mazlan was subsequently reported to have escaped his kidnappers by jumping off the boat they were in.
The first abduction case this year was on May 6 when five gunmen took the manager of a fish breeding company, a Chinese national in Lahad Datu and a month later, a Chinese national tourist was abducted at a resort in Semporna.