Wednesday, 9 March 2016

‘Sultanate commanders’ in Sabah

Map of Sabah. Source: travelmalaysiaguide.com

KOTA KINABALU: Intelligence conducted by security forces has shown the existence of ‘panglima kesultanan’ (a sultanate commander) in all state constituencies in Sabah and it was seen as a threat to the nation, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said security threats posed by militant groups were no longer confined to Sabah’s east coast as they had spread to the west coast areas as well, he added.

It is a new challenge to the security forces.

“It used to be threats in the East Coast of Sabah but due to tight security by the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) and the Malaysian Armed Forces, a new threat has emerged in the West Coast.

“Therefore, both the RMP and the Malaysian Armed Forces together with other security agencies will expand their scope of operations in both regions.

“I, therefore, would like to remind those who think or plan to intrude or claim Sabah as their own to be cautious because if such threats do occur, not only the Malaysian security forces will come out to fight but the people of Sabah will be at the forefront to defend this country,” he said at the opening of a seminar on ‘Security and Public Order’ (SEKAM) 2016 at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Chancellor Hall here yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the university and the Home Ministry for the setting up of the Sabah Strategic Research and Security Centre (SASSREC).

At the event, Ahmad Zahid also accepted his appointment as Adjunct Professor to SASSREC for his effort in the collaboration between UMS and the Home Ministry.

He said outsiders could never claim Sabah as their own as the state is part of Malaysia since independence.

“It is our duty as Malaysians and Sabahans to defend our country from any internal or external threats.

“It is imperative that everybody stands together in regard to race and religion to defend our nation.

“Certain parties have tried to claim Sabah but remember, Sabah had gained its independence with Malaya in 1963 which is now Malaysia,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said laws in Malaysia, such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), were enacted as an element of prevention to ensure that security and safety of the country would not be compromised.

“Therefore, the Government will not compromise on the issue of security in Sabah, and have ensured that Malaysian security forces expand their operations statewide to counter this threat,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid added that the issue of security is the responsibility of all Malaysians in Sabah and not only the security forces.

“We will ensure that Sabah will be safe from all security threats notwithstanding internal or external. To achieve this, we need the cooperation and assistance from the rakyat through HANRUH or the total defence concept,” he stressed.

Ahmad Zahid also disclosed that although the government had drawn up punitive laws such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA) and Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), efforts against security threats should also be preventive.

“Preventive laws mean that security issues cannot be compromised,” he said and reiterated that the government would continue to make the security and development in Sabah a priority.

Present at the event were Deputy Minister of Home Affairs II Masir Kujat, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, Ministry of Home Affairs Secretary General Alwi Haji Ibrahim, Deputy Inspector General of Police Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun and UMS Vice-Chancellor Prof. Datuk Dr. Mohd Harun Abdullah. (The Borneo Post)

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