LAHAD DATU: The existing shape and structure of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) needs to be maintained, with several enhancements in place, says ESSCom commander Datuk Hazani Ghazali.
He said the proposal took into account the ongoing threats of kidnappings for ransom, smuggling of arms and human trafficking by cross-border criminals from neighbouring countries.
“It is also closely linked to the fact that within the next five years, Kalimantan will be fully developed as Indonesia’s capital, so it is inevitable that unforeseen problems will arise.
“Therefore, I propose that ESSCom be maintained as long as the threats from criminals in these neighbouring countries are not fully neutralised,” he said here today.
While acknowledging there was room for improvement, he said ESSCom had achieved much success since its establishment seven years ago.
He said in order to improve enforcement, it was proposed that agencies related to ESSCom’s operations be integrated into its job structure to strengthen its role in eradicating crime in Sabah’s east coast.
In addition, Hazani said several positions in the organisation also needed to be re-evaluated, including in the aspects of command and control, besides the coordination of assets and personnel, as well as surveillance.
He said the proposal was in line with the Malaysian Armed Forces’ (ATM) plan to set up another brigade in Sabah’s east coast in Kalabakan, and the proposed establishment of two General Operations Force battalions by the police, namely Battalion 21 in Kunak and Battalion 22 in Kudat.
He said ESSCom’s capabilities were well known among the community on the east coast of Sabah, and there would be resentment among the public over news of ESSCom shutting down.