Sabah CM orders lookout for groups fleeing southern Philippines

KOTA KINABALU: Security forces have been ordered to go all out to stop human smuggling activities due to the possibility that Abu Sayyaf gunmen fleeing military operations in southern Philippines might try to slip into Sabah illegally.

Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman, who chaired the State Security Council meeting Tuesday, said there is a need to curb all human smuggling activities in view of the Philippines government operations to wipe out extremist and kidnap-for-ransom groups.

"We are monitoring developments in southern Philippines and there is a possibility of their citizens trying to flee to Sabah with the ongoing military operations against the militants and kidnapping groups.

"There is also a possibility that terrorists might try to escape to Sabah and slip in as ordinary migrants," he said.

Musa ordered security forces to tighten security at all known legal and illegal entry points to check on human smuggling activities.

"Security remains at high levels of alert against any threat, especially in Esszone (Eastern Sabah Security Zone)," he said.

Apart from human smuggling, Musa also urged agencies to work together to check on kidnapping, smuggling and intrusion by cross-border groups.

"I have asked them to be proactive and step up intelligence gathering with all agencies working together," he said, adding that they should adopt "predictive intelligence" to overcome threats quickly.

Musa also urged the people to be united and support the security forces.


Musa Aman , Sabah , human trafficking