File photo showing Chinese tourist Gao Huayun who was abducted from Singamata Reef Resort near Semporna on Wednesday
LEDANG: The Cabinet has ordered the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) to boost its level of preparedness, surveillance and intelligence following the kidnapping incident in the waters of Sabah on Wednesday.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Government viewed seriously the recurrence of the crime, with the latest incident involving the kidnapping of two women, including a Chinese national, at a resort on Pulau Singgahmata, Semporna.
"We view the recurring issue seriously, especially after Esscom was set up, but it continued to take place.
"We are aware the area is not easy to guard because of the long coastline and its close proximity to islands under the Philippines," he told reporters after launching the Lifelong Islamic Education Programme at the Ledang Community College on Saturday.
Muhyiddin was asked to comment on the kidnapping incident, which occurred despite the existence of Esscom.
Muhyiddin said Esscom would be called to give a special briefing at the coming Cabinet meeting on its capability to face criminal threats.
"The Cabinet yesterday decided that we scrutinise the structure of command at Esscom which has agencies there such as the army and police.
"In addition, we will also look at the military assets such as boats and helicopters. So, we will call Esscom to brief us," he said.
In the meantime, Muhyiddin said Esscom was asked to disseminate information to the public, especially resort operators and tourists, on precautionary measures that must be taken in the areas concerned.
He said the authorities, meanwhile, were still trying to track down the victims.
He hoped they were unharmed and would be released by their captors. - Bernama