KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will make ongoing efforts to beef up security at the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) in a move to restore confidence among the people of Sabah and tourists, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
He said the Government had approved an additional three General Operations Force and three armed forces battalions to swiftly response to any security threats such as kidnapping and intrusion at the high-risk area.
"We also have deployed 32 high speed and bullet proof boats at the area to enhance monitoring under the various maritime agencies along Sabah waters," Shahidan said in reply to a question from Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) during Question Time on Monday.
Bung Mokhtar had asked the Government to state its initiative to address the issue of security at the Esszone.
Shahidan said under the Ops Gasak, aimed to flush out illegal immigrants, a total of 1,296 people had been detained as of Nov 23 last year.
He also noted that the Government had set up five police stations and upgraded three current police stations.
"Our efforts to increase security and presence there have increased confident among the public and tourists.
"Our assets are deployed on nearby islands to ensure that we can thwart any attempts from intrusion," he said.
On a supplementary question by Darell Leiking (PKR-Penampang) whether there was involvement of illegal immigrants behind the kidnapping incidents, Shahidan said that the Goverment would reveal it once the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Sabah's illegal immigrants had been completed.