KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s dusk-to-dawn curfew in waters off the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) will be extended for another two weeks, in view of the on-going cross border threats in the east coast.
Ramli Din, the Sabah police chief the curfew is also to ensure the safety and well-being of Sabahans who go out to sea, and those living in the Esszone areas.
Apart from that, Ramli said the curfew allows the enforcement and monitoring movements of boats, while the presence of security vessels created a sense of security for chalet operators and fishermen around the area.
“The curfew has been extended to ensure that our waters are not breached by terrorists, which could threaten the security of international researchers conducting their work, as well as tourists on the resort islands,” Ramli said.
Abu Sayyaf militants and kidnap-for-ransom groups from the southern Philippines were still active and have not stopped targeting Sabah, he said.
However, Ramli said he had authorised all district police chiefs to issue permits to any eligible applicant for fishing activities, or in cases of emergencies.
According to him, the curfew which ends at 6pm on Thursday will be extended until Aug 26 The sea curfew involves waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.
Those living within the affected areas are advised to remain indoors between 6pm and 6am, he said.
Meanwhile, Musa Aman said the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) has made 232 arrests through 6,188 integrated operations on the mainland in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone since unrest broke out in Marawi city, southern Philippines, in May.
The Chief Minister, who is also Esscom chairman, said the agency had also intensified monitoring and inspections and made several offshore arrests during the curfew, in May and June.
“The Malaysian government through Esscom has also established three-way, long-term cooperation through the Trilateral Cooperative Agreement (TCA) with Philippines and Indonesia to address security issues along the border of the three countries.