KOTA KINABALU: A review of the designated sea lanes for passenger and commercial ships as well as the traditional barter trading is on the cards in efforts to further strengthen sea border security in the east coast.
The move is being studied by Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) who has directed various security agencies including the police, maritime, navy, customs and other authorities to give feedbacks to formulate standard operating procedures in efforts to tighten security.
Esscom director general Mohammad Mentek also disclosed that they were also putting in place a strategic and integrated collaboration with the security forces to reduce smuggling activities while helping enhance socio-economic development particularly for traders who do business barter.
He said the review was to look to improving various regulations that has set for the seven designated routes - Kudat, Tawau, Semporna, Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu and Labuan FT- endorsed by the National Security Council on April 2, 2002.
Mentek also said that all enforcement agencies were also ordered to ensure that commercial and passenger boats entering Sabah to follow the designated routes.
“The enforcement of the law will be focused on creating awareness among boat operators to observe the designated sea lanes in their movements in and out of Sabah,” he said on Friday, adding that it would be efficient in checking people and goods movements at designated entry points.
On the review for the barter trading between Sabah, Indonesia and Philippines, Mentek said that the original concept of exchanging goods have long been replaced by cash payments for good traded.
“We also have reports that smuggling of subsidise goods as well as drugs, firearms and human were being smuggled through the barter trade,'' he said.
He said they would discuss various issues with the 39 barters trading agencies in the state who operated from Sandakan, Tawau and Kudat.