KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has outlined several strategies and approaches to resettle squatters in the state.
“The relocations must be done. Squatters are sources for social problems, among many other issues,” said state Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang.
“We are concerned about squatters because we know that such areas could pose social and security problems if not controlled or managed properly,” he said.
Teo was responding to a question on the pre-dawn raid at the notorious Telipok refugee settlement here on Saturday.
Six people with links to cross border criminals and militant groups were arrested.
Teo added that the state government has outlined a few approaches for resettlement of squatters and not just in one or two places.
The latest police arrests of the six under the Security Offences Special Measures Act (SOSMA) has raised several questions for the state government.
This included the need to tackle squatter colonies in the state where criminal elements and also problems with other groups have been reported in the past.
Police have said that they were investigating the six suspects aged between 19 and 50.
They are suspected to be involved in providing information to cross border criminals with links to southern Philippines based criminal and Sulu extremist groups.
Local-based Sabah Suluk Solidarity Council secretary Mohd Zaki Harry Susanto said the action by the authorities at the Telipok settlement area was commendable as it served as a warning to all criminals and those abetting cross border criminals.
“We fully support the operations as it is time for the authorities to come down hard on the criminals,” Zaki said, after urging members of the Suluk community to come forward and assist the police.