Curfew along Sabah's east coast extended for another two weeks

KOTA KINABALU: The dusk-to-dawn sea curfew along Sabah’s east coast will be extended for another two weeks in a bid to clamp down on cross-border kidnappings.

Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said the extension started yesterday until further notice from the Home Ministry.

Legally, however, the curfew can only last up to two weeks.

Rashid said in the fortnight that the curfew was imposed from July 19, 40 fishermen in Sandakan and Tawau had been given special permission to work during the curfew hours.

“There were eight cases of fishermen breaking the curfew, of which, 46 have been arrested,” he said.

The curfew was imposed in the wake of an attack on two policemen at the Mabul Water Bungalows in Semporna on July 12.

Kpl Ab Rajah Jamuan, 32, was killed while his colleague Kons Zakiah Aleip, 26, is still being held hostage by Filipino gunmen in southern Philippines.

Another hostage, Chan Sai Chuan, 32, who was kidnapped from a fish farm in Kunak, Tawau, on June 16, is also being held captive.

The curfew covers an area of three nautical miles from the shore until the international border with the Philippines.

The area stretches for about 362 nautical miles from Tanjung Pundaras in Sandakan to part of Pulau Sebatik near Tawau.

The six districts involved are Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak and Tawau.