Published on: Monday, August 04, 2014
Lahad Datu: The 6pm to 6am curfew covering the waters off six districts in Sabah's east coast, implemented to check attacks by foreign gunmen, has been extended until further notice from Sunday, Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said Sunday.
The dusk-to-dawn curfew was implemented on July 19 for 14 days in the waters off the districts of Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau following an attack by foreign gunmen on two policemen at the Mabul Water Bungalows in Semporna on July 12.
Abdul Rashid said the curfew was being extended after taking into consideration the situation in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) and in keeping with the powers vested with Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman and Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi under the Police Act 1967.
"I hereby announce to the people that the curfew continues to be in force from today until further notice," he told a press conference at the Esscom headquarters here.
Also present were Esscom Deputy Commander Brig Gen Subari Tomo and Esscom Maritime Enforcement Director First Admiral M. Karunanithi.
The curfew covers an area from three nautical miles offshore of the six districts, stretching a distance of 362 nautical miles from Sandakan to the Tawau jetty and encompassing 121,270 sq nautical miles.
Abdul Rashid urged all quarters to extend their cooperation to ensure no undesirable incidents take place.
He said that under the vested powers, the Home Minister could declare curfew for up to 14 days.
Abdul Rashid said Esscom was generally satisfied with the cooperation extended by the people, particularly fishermen.
He said that during the last 14 days, Esscom detained 46 fishermen aged between 19 and 50 and 11 boats for defying the curfew in eight incidents.
Three of the cases are to be prosecuted under Section 31(2) of the Police Act, the penalty upon conviction being a fine of up to RM500 and a jail term of up to six months, or both.
"The police have also issued permits for fishermen, three in Tawau and 37 in Sandakan," he said.