All clear: Khalid accompanying Mohammad Mentek (second left) and other Esscom senior officers during a visit to Pulau Adal near Lahad Datu.
SEMPORNA: Security forces thwarted yet another foreign attempt to encroach into the waters off Sabah’s east coast, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said.
He said the attempt happened at the end of last month.
“We are always at the ready to face any eventuality,” he said after visiting the security post on Pulau Adal, near here, yesterday.
Declining to say whether the intruders planned a kidnapping, Khalid said their aim was for “criminal purposes” and the high security presence helped neutralise their attempt to enter Sabah.
He also visited Pulau Mataking and Pom Pom island, close to the Philippines border, and the new Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) office in Lahad Datu.
Accompanying Khalid were Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib and Esscom director-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek.
Last December, the security forces foiled an attempt by certain groups to encroach into the state.
In February last year, over 100 Sulu gunmen landed at Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, claiming the ancestral rights of the now defunct Sulu sultanate. They were defeated and many fled back to their home country.
Khalid said the security forces wanted to increase the number of posts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone), adding that they had identified several strategic spots.
“Our target is to establish more than 40 integrated security posts.”
Khalid said there was now better communication under Esscom among the various security agencies – the police, the Armed Forces and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency – to further improve security in eastern Sabah.
He said he was happy with the operations of the existing bases and found that most tour operators had complied with police advice to enforce security in their respective areas.