Security in ESSZone should not be compromised — Azis

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TAWAU (Sept 12): The kidnapping of two Indonesian fishermen yesterday is a clear signal that security measures in Sabah especially the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) should be further enhanced and should not be compromised.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said it was important for the government to increase the allocation to control and secure the area under the ESSZone, involving 1,400 km of the eastern Sabah coastline.

"I agree with the Government's cost-saving measure involving mega development projects but the security aspect should not be compromised.

"Don’t reduce the allocation just because kidnapping incidents have not happened for a while. It is important for the government to increase allocation for the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom), maritime and police," he told a press conference here today.

In the 12.30 am incident, two Indonesian fishermen were kidnapped by armed men in the waters off Gaya Island, Semporna.

Mohd Azis also advised the public not to panic over the kidnapping incident.

"I have asked the police and ESSCom to tighten security controls in Semporna and ESSZone," he said adding that so far, the authorities had yet to receive calls from any quarters claiming responsible for the kidnapping.

Following the incident, he said the fishing activities in the area had been temporarily halted.