LEDANG: The Government has directed the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) to boost 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 in 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 yesterday.
Muhyiddin said Esscom would be called to give a special briefing at the coming Cabinet meeting on its capability to face criminal threats.
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 also hoped they were unharmed and would be released by their captors.
He was commenting on reports that Chinese tourist Gao Huayun, 29, and Filipino resort worker Marcy Dayawan were abducted by Abu Sayyaf gunmen from Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna on Wednesday.
At another function in Kuala Lumpur, Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, announced an allocation of RM1mil in educational funding for the Malaysian Telugu Association.
“The fund includes plans to train more teachers who are experts in the Telugu language,” he said in his speech at the Ugadi Festival in Brickfields.
He also noted that the ministry will look into the request made by the association to re-introduce the Telugu language subject in the SPM in the future.
The Ugadi Festival is a celebration of the new Telugu calendar that has a cycle of 60 years, which fell on March 31.