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Security: MPs 'not wasting time but directly involved'

Published on: Sunday, June 22, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Sepanggar Member of Parliament Datuk Jumat Idris said it was disappointing that Region Two Naval Commander, Rear Admiral Dato Pahlawan Mohammad Rosland Omar, had taken lightly the efforts of politicians from Sabah in addressing security issues and kidnapping cases.

He said Rosland should know that Sabah MPs had been vocal in the Parliament seeking extra funding to the tune of RM70 million to boost the security system and to purchase assets especially for the navy.

Out of the RM70 million, only RM2.7 million went to the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), he said here Saturday.

"It is understood that these assets have yet to arrive in Sabah.

We have requested the Government to improve the surveillance posts and provide a bigger allocation to buy a radar in order to improve the defence system since the existing eight radars are not effective," he said.

Jumat said he had personally raised Sabah's security issue in the last two Parliament sessions and most recently, last Thursday. Other Sabah MPs who debated on the issue were Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (Kinabatangan), Datuk Seri Ghapur Salleh (Kalabakan), Datuk Nasrun Datu Harun (Silam), Datuk Madius Tangau (Tuaran) as well as opposition MPs.

"Rosland's accusation that MPs are not doing anything to address Sabah's security issues is like trying to sway attention from his weaknesses as the navy commander in Sabah," said Jumat.

In fact, he said, Sabah MPs were given a special briefing by Esscom Director-General Datuk Mohamad Mentek on June 12, just a few days before another kidnapping case happened in Kunak.

During the briefing, Mohamad had admitted that Esscom was facing problems in coordinating the security forces comprising the navy as the front line, maritime and police (General Operations Force) as well as army.

The duty of Esscom was only to coordinate while each security agency still received command from its respective commander, he said.

Jumat said the MPs were also informed the difficulties faced by Esscom just to get permission to use the Nuri helicopters from the army each time it wanted to do an operation.

The Chief Minister who is also Sabah Security Committee Chairman, in a meeting with the Sabah Barisan Nasional Back Bencher Club (BNBBC) in Kuala Lumpur last week, had also informed them about the appointment of the a new operation director in Esscom.

"We have asked for assurance that the rotation of the new operation director of Esscom will be able to produce the best result," he said.

"Therefore, we are in the know and directly involved in helping.

We are not wasting time by talking without substance.

"I was also informed personally by Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Rahim Bakri on the suspected militant involvement of a navy officer in Sandakan.

"The issue here is the public are worried that they are putting their trust on the wrong people like the Malay proverb 'Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi'," he said. Jumat said Rosland should also be taking action against his men for indiscipline instead of requiring a police report to be lodged.

He should not wait for things to get worse between the people in Sepanggar and navy men, he said, adding this was pale compared to the statement by Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi who cautioned the police personnel against assisting terrorists.

According to him, the people of Sabah praised the role and success of the security forces in thwarting the Sulu terrorist intrusion. "The people would continue to provide cooperation to the police and armed forces as well as other security agencies because not all of them are indisciplined," he said.

"However, if there are members of the security forces involved such as working for the enemy, then it is the boss or their chiefs who must take responsibility," he said.

"If necessary, MPs from Sabah and Sabah Umno division chiefs will submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister and Defence Minister demanding for Rosland to be transferred out from Sabah for accusing political leaders of not assisting in addressing the kidnapping cases in Sabah," he said.