Curfew in eastern Sabah extended, but hours shortened

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman (right) giving the Press Conference at the Lahad Datu district police station. Looking on is Esscom commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun. ― Picture by Julia Chan
Sabah police commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman (right) giving the Press Conference at the Lahad Datu district police station. Looking on is Esscom commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun. ― Picture by Julia Chan

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 19 ― The curfew in Sabah’s east coast has been extended for the second time, but the hours will be cut to 10 from 12.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said that a security review with Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun decided that a curfew was still needed.

“The new curfew period will be from 7pm to 5am. It will cover the same areas and will last the maximum 2 week limit again till Sept 2,” he said at a press conference at the Lahad Datu district police station.

Pleased with the cooperation he received from most parties, Jalalluddin said that the curfew has been beneficial in helping them identify illegal vessels and the channels used to enter the country.

The 6pm to 6am curfew was first imposed on July 19, following repeated kidnappings and an attack by armed foreigners along the east coast of Sabah. The first extension was announced on August 3.

The curfew covers areas starting from about three nautical miles from shore until the international border with the Philippines, stretching some 362 nautical miles and encompassing some 121,270 sq miles, from Tanjung Pun­daras in Sandakan until parts of Pulau Sebatik near Tawau.

The six districts involved are Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak and Tawau.

The latest was an attack on a popular dive island, Mabul on July 12 where Marine Police Kpl Ab Rajah Jamuan, 32, was killed while colleague Kons Zakiah Aleip, 26, was abducted and still held by kidnappers.

Jalaluddin also said that since the curfew extension, 14 local fishermen have been charged in court under Section 31(2) of the Police Act 1967 and sentenced for 10 days in jail and a fined RM500 each.

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