The Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) will be further strengthened to restore confidence among the people of Sabah and tourists, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
The Government had approved an additional three General Operations Force (PGA) and three armed forces battalions to swiftly respond to any security threats such as kidnapping and intrusion at the high-risk area, he added.
“We have deployed 32 high-speed and bullet-proof boats to enhance monitoring under the various maritime agencies along Sabah’s waters,” Shahidan said to Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN – Kinabatangan) during Question Time.
Bung Mokhtar had asked the Government to state its initiative to address the issue of security at Esszone.
Shahidan said under Ops Gasak, aimed to flush out illegal immigrants, 1,296 people had been detained as at Nov 23 last year and 3,323 people were checked.
He added that five police stations were set up and three current police stations upgraded.
“Our efforts to increase security and presence in the area has increased confidence among the public and tourists.
“Our assets are deployed on nearby islands to ensure we can thwart any intrusion attempts,” he said.
It was recently reported that a tourist from China, Gao Huayun, and a Filipina hotel worker, Marcy Dayawan, survived almost two months of captivity in the mountainous jungle hideout of Jolo island in the southern Philippines.
Dayawan was working at the Singamata Reef Resort near Semporna, where Shanghai-native Gao was staying on April 2, when five gunmen abducted and spirited them away to Jolo island using high-powered speedboats.
The two women were eventually released on May 30 to Malaysian security officials.