Forces pledge to target right houses

  • Nation
  • Monday, 02 Jun 2003

KOTA KINABALU: The security forces have pledged to be more careful to avoid inadvertently demolishing houses of locals during the Ops Nyah II blitz against illegal immigrants in Sabah. 

“If we demolish them by accident, we will rebuild them,” Fifth Infantry Brigade commander Brig-Jen Datuk Muhamad Yassin Yahya said yesterday. 

He said those involved in the ongoing Phase IV of the operation had been told to exercise extra care so that houses belonging to locals and permanent residents would not be torn down. 

He was speaking to reporters after attending a carnival by the Royal Malay Regiment’s Third Battalion at the Lok Kawi Camp near here. 

The previous Ops Nyah II had sparked controversy because the houses of some local people were accidentally torn down by the authorities when clearing illegal immigrant settlements. 

Brig-Jen Muhamad Yassin said those rounded up in the operations would be deported as soon as possible to reduce the cost of holding them and to avoid the hassle of charging them in court. 

“There are too many problems with space constraints. We will hold them for two days, take their documents and then arrange for boats (to send them back),” he said. 

He also said the authorities would do their best to keep Sabah safe as security was closely linked to the tourism industry. 

Security forces had been working hard to prove wrong the travel advisories issued by the United States and Germany asking their citizens to be careful about travelling to Sabah, he said. 

“We are doing our very best to ensure the security of the state is all the time at the best level. So people and foreigners planning to come here should not have second thoughts,” he said. – Bernama 

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