Hoping US Govt will review it
Published on: Wednesday, April 17, 2019
By: Mardinah Jikur

SANDAKAN: Security off Sabah’s coast is under control, said Naval Region 2 Rear Admiral Datuk Sabri Zali. He assured that the Royal Malaysian Navy along with other security forces continue to carry out tasks in safeguarding the situation. 

He said this when asked about the United States Government which placed Malaysia in the “K” indicator as announced in the travel advisory issued by the US Department on April 9. 

The advisory among others, showed the US Government’s concern over possible kidnapping in certain areas in the east coast of Sabah. 

Sabri said Wisma Putra had already stated its stand and objected to the “K” indicator. 

He said kidnapping incidents have not occurred in Sabah until 2017 and the year before and that security has been tightened in the affected areas. 

He said this when met by the media shortly after delivering his keynote address at the Dewan Mohd Azim at the navy’s Taman Samudera housing area, here, Tuesday. 

The ceremony also saw pinning of ranks on 16 officers and personnel. A guard of honour was also held at the marching field of the residential area. 

The guard of honour involved units under the MAWILLA 2 from seven platoons involving 561 participants comprising officers and personnel of various ranks. 

Also present was Naval Volunteer Reserve Lieutenant Commander Datuk Charles O Pang. The inaugural guard of honour was held after Sabri held the post as Naval Region 2 head on Jan 18. 

Earlier in his speech, Sabri called on his officers and personnel to continue practising the four values of the Royal Malaysian Navy, namely, glory, loyalty, courage and pride. 

“These values shouldn’t only be words but must be practised and inculcated in each and every one of us in the navy to ensure we become a balanced human capital,” he said. 

He hope his men will continue to work with sincerity, honesty and integrity to improve innovation, skills and knowledge. 

Meanwhile, State Police Commissioner, Datuk Omar Mammah, when asked about the safety advisory issued by the US Government said “That’s their right, we only hope the US Government will come and see the security controls we’re working on with other security agencies here.”

Omar said the claims contradict the positive development in the east coast of Sabah which receives a large number of tourist arrivals every day. 

“What they (the United States) describe is different from what is happening in the east coast of Sabah. There have been no incidents of kidnapping for the past few months. 

“In fact, the number of tourists in Sabah is increasing every day, especially in the east coast which has the world’s prettiest islands,” he said. 

Omar did not rule out the possibility when asked if the curfew order in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) could be the reason for the advisory. 

He however said that the curfew order is still extended as a move to prevent fishermen or tourists from conducting any activities at night in prohibited areas. 

“There has been no case reported during the curfew so far, but it is imposed to prevent fishermen and tourists from carrying out any night activities, because kidnappings take place at night. 

“We understand that there are still some who fish in prohibited areas, and some tourists are also reported to have gone on night tours, thank goodness nothing untoward happened because of the security including patrols in waters and posts on the islands,” he said. 

The State police has so far extended the curfew for the 111th phase (2019) under Section 31(1) of the 1967 Police Act, on April 11 in seven Esszone districts to curb cross border crime. 



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