KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s dusk-to-dawn sea curfew has been extended by another two weeks from Jan 11 to Jan 26, says Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah (pic).
He said the decision to extend the curfew, which expired Thursday (Jan 10), was made based on continuous threats from cross-border criminals, including kidnap-for-ransom groups.
Omar said the 6pm-to-6am curfew covered areas up to three nautical miles off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.
“There is a need to continue the curfew in these waters to prevent the encroachment of terrorists and criminals who can threaten the safety of locals, international researchers and tourists on islands,” he said in a statement.
Omar said according to intelligence sources, kidnap-for-ransom groups and Abu Sayyaf militants were still trying to attack and commit cross-border crimes.
“We also want to ensure the safety of the people of Sabah who use the waters and are staying near the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone),” he said.
Omar added that the curfew was to facilitate enforcement and monitoring of boat activities in the area, as well as to establish a sense of security for nearby chalet owners and fishermen through the presence of a security team.
“I have also given the authority to all district police chiefs to issue permits to any eligible applicants who fit the criteria to conduct fishery activities in the areas affected by the curfew.” he said.
The curfew was first implemented on July 19, 2014 following a series of kidnappings that saw the beheading of Sarawakian Bernard Then Ted Fed and the killing of several others, including a policeman and tourists.