Curfew in waters off ESSZone extended to Aug 14

KOTA KINABALU: A curfew in the seven districts of the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) which was to end at 6pm Sunday, will be extended to Aug 14.

According to a Bernama report, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din said the curfew covered the waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

He added that with the extension, those living in the area had been told to stay indoors. They would not be allowed to enter the waters from 6pm to 6am during the period.

Ramli said the curfew was extended to ensure that the waters would not be intruded by terrorists who could threaten the security of international researchers conducting research, as well as tourists on the resort islands.

It is also to ensure the safety and well-being of Sabahans in the ESSZone, he added.

Based on information, he said the Abu Sayyaf militant group and those who carried out abductions or kidnapping for ransom from the southern Philippines, were still trying to carry out such activities and other cross-border crimes.

He said the curfew was to facilitate enforcement and monitoring of boat movements as well as creating a safe environment for chalet operators and fishermen in the area with the presence of security vessels and personnel in the vicinity.

“I have authorised all district police chiefs in the ESSZone to issue permits to eligible applicants for fishing activities or if they need to attend to urgent matters during the curfew,” he said.