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Army strength in Sabah at the optimum level
Published on: Wednesday, September 09, 2015
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Papar: The army strength in Sabah is now at the optimum level following the deployment of nine battalions with more than 3,000 soldiers who are stationed in various places, including in the East Coast of Sabah.Outgoing Task Force 450 Commander Major General Datuk Masrani Paiman said their presence has further boosted the security level in Sabah and the country.

"Of the nine battalions, two have been positioned at north and south sectors, including the Task Force 450 placed under the Fifth Brigade Army at the Lok Kawi Army Camp here.

"Two battalions are placed in the State's East Coast through 'Ops Daratan', three battalions assigned for special operations and another two battalions to complement the tasks and duties of the army in Sabah," he said.

Masrani said this in a press conference after officially handing over his duties to the new Task Force Commander, Major General Datuk Zulkapli Rahamat, witnessed by Army Eastern Field Commander for Sabah and Sarawak, Lieutenant General Datuk Mohd Zaki Mokhtar, after a parade held at the Lok Kawi Army Camp, Tuesday. Zulkapli was formerly Director-General of Operations and Training at the army headquarters. Earlier, Zaki also witnessed the handing over of the army's 1st Division in Sabah to the command of Task Force 450 that will be based at Paradise Army Camp in Kota Belud.

Also present were Fifth Brigade Commander Brigadier General Datuk Jalaluddin Manan, 507 Territorial Army Regiment Commander Brigadier General Datuk Seri Dr Kamaruzzaman Ampon, Chief of Staff of Task Force 450 Colonel Dr Ahmad Sham Baharin and Chief of Staff of Fifth Brigade Lieutenant Colonel Nor Lizam Shamsuddin and senior officials.

Masrani, who will be posted to the Ministry of Defence as the Chief of Staff of the Joint Forces Command, said the army renders assistance to the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) in terms of addressing and tackling cross-border crime activities.

"Sea robberies and kidnappings in the East Coast are cross-border crime activities that happened before the establishment of Esscom.

"After Esscom was created and the enforcement of curfew, the security issues were manageable and there has been a glaring decline in the number of cross border crime activities following good cooperation with the army, police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and other forces in the area," he said.

In his speech, Masrani called on the army serving under the Task Force 450 to always stay on guard for any eventualities, including the conventional and unconventional threats, and never to take lightly the security scenario faced by the State.

He said the conventional threats can exist and pose threats to the nation's sovereignty and interests, adding that the unconventional threats such as militant threats and cross-border crimes are still happening and have yet to show any sign of fizzling out.


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