RM646m army camp to beef up LD
Published on: Saturday, January 15, 2022
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Hishammuddin was attending a briefing at the Joint Task Force 2, Kukusan Camp, Tawau.
TAWAU: An army camp costing RM646.15 million will be built at Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu, this year, to further strengthen security and defence in Sabah.

Defence Minister Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein believed this would increase the level of capability and readiness of the army in addressing current threats while further strengthening the security level in the East Coast.

Speaking at a press conference during his working visit to the Joint Task Force 2, Kukusan Camp, Friday, he said he would meet counterparts with the Indonesian and Philippine on Jan 27, to revitalise and empower again the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement (TCA) mechanism. 

He hoped the cooperation between these three countries (Malaysia-Indonesia-Philippine) can strengthen security patrols in the Sulu Sea and Sulawesi Sea.

He said the opposition should not twist issues such as absence of army camp in the East Coast, shortage of assets, etc, which caused confusion among the people.

“They should become a responsible opposition and not threaten the people with unproven and baseless information,” he said.

He said no new kidnapping was recorded in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) area throughout 2021. 

“Chief Minister (Datuk Hajiji Noor) had also voiced his wish to enhance security in our meeting, and I will convey this in the meeting with the Philippine and Indonesian Defence Ministers later,” he said.

“The construction of the camp would see the setup of a new army brigade with an infantry battalion troop in an effort to further enhance the army’s capability and readiness level in dealing with current threats,” he said.

“Last year, with the collaboration of the police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) we managed to seize drugs worth RM3.34 million, contraband cigarettes and controlled items (RM1.38 million), detain 154 illegal immigrants and seized 393 boats and there was no new report of kidnapping on the east coast of Sabah,” he said.

In addition, he said currently eight battalions are guarding the security of Sabah’s east coast where four battalions are operational and four others are on standby to deal with any possible threat.

“Under the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) we have deployed 2,419 officers and members at the Teluk Sepanggar and KD Sri Semporna naval bases, besides having on standby assets including four patrol vessel units, two fast attack craft units and two submarines to protect the sovereignty of Sabah waters.

“As for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), a total of 1,283 officers and members are based in Labuan and always ready to be deployed along with nine units of Hawk fighter aircraft, four EC 725 helicopter units and a C130 unit,” he said.

He said even though currently there are over 8,000 members of the Malaysian Armed Forces being assigned at all times in the state, there are no grounds for complacency as much more must be done for the safety of Sabah and the people. 

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