Some locals involved in Sulu intrusion: Shahidan
Published on: Wednesday, May 06, 2015
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Kuala Lumpur: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim said security agencies have taken various measures to stop locals supplying intelligence that could harm the nation's security ever since Esscom was set up. At the same time, he said the security agencies have the means to verify the authenticity of intelligence received from locals. He cautioned that stern action would be taken against those found leaking security information, including charging them under treason

Replying to the additional question from Senator Datuk Chin Su Phin in the Dewan Negara, he said some locals and illegal immigrants have conspired to provide information to intruders during the invasion in Lahad Datu and abduction incidents in Sabah.

Chin wanted to know the measures taken by the Government to ensure operation and security programmes involving the locals or Rukun Tetangga members would not be leaked to outsiders.

Chin also asked if Esscom has a special way of ascertaining the authenticity of the information obtained from locals and Rukun Tetangga.

Shahidan admitted that some locals have played a part in the intrusion in the east coast of Sabah, abductions and cross border crimes prior to the establishment of Esscom and Esszone.

He said many locals in the east coast of Sabah originated from the Philippines and, therefore, had family or economic ties with their counterparts there.

He said the government also recruited locals to join voluntary security bodies such as the Civil Defence Department, Rela Corps and territorial army.

"There are views that if we equip locals with military training, it will encourage foreigners to intrude our country as they have trained counterparts here.

"But we try to instill in their mindset that this is our country where we make our living, where our children are studying and where their future lies," he said, adding that the effort to defend the country was a collective effort.

On Chin's first question who asked the Prime Minister what are the types of cooperation adopted between Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) and local communities to ensure security, Shahidan said it included programme aimed at establishing a strategic partnership with the Department of National Unity and Integration (JPNIN), setting up of patrolling schemes and Rukun Tetangga groups, meeting with community leaders and youths, setting up Sahabat Esscom as well as voluntary unit to ensure security in residential areas.

Shahidan said the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) spanned 1,733.7 kilometres along the coastline and covered 10 districts and 360 islands, hence cooperation and support from the locals were required, especially in providing information pertaining to security and entry of illegal immigrants.


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