Former IGP calls for curfew in Esszone

An armed Malaysian policeman mans a security checkpoint in Lahad Datu on March 6, 2013. — AFP pic
An armed Malaysian policeman mans a security checkpoint in Lahad Datu on March 6, 2013. — AFP pic

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PETALING JAYA, July 14 — Curfews are among the measures suggested by former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Musa Hassan to be implemented in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) following a deadly attack by a group of masked men on Mabul Island.

He also called for better intelligence gathering and coordination between security agencies in the state.

“A curfew would probably have led to the gunmen being noticed and stopped before they even got the chance to come into the area,” Musa said.

“With a curfew in place, people’s movements will be noticed and checked. No illegal immigrants, especially those who are armed, would be able to roam and do as they please.”

He said the curfew would not affect tourism or those living in the area as they would feel safer knowing their safety was ensured.

He also said that the incidents, which included the abduction of Chinese tourist Gao Hua Yuan, 29, and Filipino resort employee, Marcy Dayawan, 40, on April 2 showed the security of Sabah’s waters needed to be “beefed up”.

He suggested that the force go back to basics and implement safety measures such as the ones before the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) was introduced.

“We used to have the General Operations Force, also known as the Police Field Force, placed all over the waters to respond to any intrusion,” he said.

“This should be brought back and the personnel can be placed on the islands of Sabah so they can blend in and contribute to police intelligence gathering.”

Musa feared that if Malaysian waters continue to be intruded, the confidence of the locals and foreigners in the country’s security forces would be affected.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, in a statement, said “the safety and security of the nation, particularly the East Coast of Sabah, must never be taken for granted.”

He asked the state’s security forces to be constantly vigilant and to be prepared for any possibility.

“The security challenges there are immense and must be addressed by the newly restructured Esscom,” he said.

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