Despite US travel advisory, defence minister says Sabah’s coast now calm

Minister of Defence, Mohamad Sabu speaks during press conference at Parliament on April 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Minister of Defence, Mohamad Sabu speaks during press conference at Parliament on April 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu guaranteed that eastern Sabah is returning to peace, following an advisory warning by the US Department of State about increased abduction risk in the area.

He also said it is common for the US to issue such warnings from time to time.

“On our part, we guarantee the situation on Sabah’s eastern coast is becoming increasingly peaceful, with the political resolution in the southern Philippines still ongoing,” Mohamad said during a press conference outside the Dewan Rakyat.

He said Malaysia along with the Philippines and Indonesia took security in the region seriously.

“We take seriously the joint patrols conducted in the areas between Malaysia and the Philippines, and can assure the areas are now safer,” Mohamad said.

On Tuesday the department raised its advisory level for 35 countries, including Malaysia, to a ‘K’ indicator for the risk of kidnapping and/or hostage-taking.

Its webpage urged US citizens to take precautionary measures when in Sabah’s east coast where it said there is an increased risk of kidnappings. Other countries on the list include Afghanistan, Colombia, Ethiopia, among others.