Sabah trades cautiously with the Philippines due to security situation

File picture shows Philippine government troops checking a vehicle evacuating residents from their hometown of Marawi city in southern Philippines, as it drives past a military checkpoint in Pantar town, Lanao Del Norte, Philippines May 24, 2017. — Reuters pic
File picture shows Philippine government troops checking a vehicle evacuating residents from their hometown of Marawi city in southern Philippines, as it drives past a military checkpoint in Pantar town, Lanao Del Norte, Philippines May 24, 2017. — Reuters pic

SEMPORNA, June 4 — Sabah is taking a cautious approach in trading with the Philippines following security developments in the neighbouring country in recent years.

State assistant finance minister Datuk Ramlee Marahaban said safety was a priority of the state government in economic relations and at the same time, also wanted to maintain good relations with the Philippines.

“We are careful in our trade relations and constantly monitor the developments in the Philippines, with the incidents of clashes involving the Philippine security forces and the militant Daesh in Marawi, Mindanao and the latest shooting incident in Manila,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after presenting Ramadan aid to some 1,000 tithe recipients and single mothers in the Kampung Seraya hall in the Bugaya Zone here.

Meanwhile, Ramlee, who is also Bugaya state assemblyman, said bilateral barter trade had been indefinitely frozen due to security threats in the country’s territorial waters covering the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSzone) and the southern Philippines.”

The system of barter trade carried out before this was based on the bilateral relations understanding between Malaysia and the Philippines, where we provided assistance of basic resources through the exchange of goods, including rice, oil and flour but we froze it since last year as a precaution,” he said. — Bernama

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