PUTRAJAYA: New regulations are being imposed on the coastal area of east Sabah to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country.
Effective Oct 11, movements of small boats from islands in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) can only come to the mainland to stock up on food supply and essentials from 6am to 2pm.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said fishing boats and vessels registered with the Fisheries Department are allowed to dock from 6am to 6pm at jetties permitted by the authorities.
"This permission is subject to a permit issued by the district police chief," he said on Friday (Oct 9).
"Another ruling that will be imposed is that non-conventional ships from Indonesia and Philippines will not be allowed to enter Esszone waters for barter trading and transhipment activities," he said.
Ismail Sabri, however, did not specify how long these restrictions will be enforced, but said that measures must be taken to prevent foreigners from entering the country illegally and to stop Covid-19 infections.
He said the National Security Council had also decided to beef the presence of enforcement personnel and assets in Esszone.