KOTA KINABALU: The dusk-to-dawn curfew in the waters off Sabah’s east coast has been extended in the interest of the people’s safety, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
He urged residents in the affected coastal areas to cooperate with the authorities, adding that the curfew extension showed that the government was serious about curbing cross-border crime in Sabah.
Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun had announced on Sunday that the curfew, which started on July 19 and was to end on Saturday, had been extended until Aug 17.
The curfew came in the wake of an attack on two policemen at the Mabul Water Bungalows in Semporna on July 12. It covers three nautical miles (5.56km) from Sabah’s eastern shores to the international border with the Philippines as well as a small portion of the Indonesian border near Tawau.
Some 362 nautical miles (670.42km) – from Tanjung Pundaras in Sandakan to part of Pulau Sebatik, near Tawau in the districts of Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak and Tawau – are affected.
“I am happy with the curfew order and how it has turned out. I hope all of us, especially those affected by the curfew, will support this move,” Musa said at a press conference here yesterday.
Abdul Rashid said the curfew extension was approved by Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Abdul Rashid said no special permits for fishing in curfew areas had been approved but special passes had been issued to some fishermen to traverse the curfew areas to get to non-curfew areas.
In the July 12 attack, Kpl Ab Rajah Jamuan, 32, was killed while Kons Zakiah Aleip, 26, was taken hostage by Filipino gunmen.
Also being held captive is Chan Sai Chuin, 32, who was abducted from a fish farm in Kunak, Tawau, on June 16.