KUNAK – The Philippines government’s decision to allow Malaysian security forces to conduct ‘hot pursuit’ of criminals in its waters is a positive sign in tackling the kidnappings in Sabah.
Aslina Ali, 29, a resident of Kampung Tagasan, here, said the move will lead to a new phase of security in Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).
“This is good news as the government tries to tackle cross border criminals who are kidnapping fishermen for ransom,” she told Bernama, here Friday.
In LAHAD DATU, Nadiah Wasil, 35, said the Philippines government’s decision was a significant step to enhance the control and safety of ESSZone residents.
The Philippine government’s decision on ‘hot pursuit’ will have a big impact in addressing the kidnapping problem,” she added.
In SEMPORNA, Mahadir Lahadi, 34, said the ‘greenlight’ by the Philippine government should be utilised to enhance the security of ESSZone residents.
“This will restore public confidence in the security of ESSZone. Some fishermen are scared to go out while domestic tourists fear being kidnapped.”
In TAWAU, Apas state assemblyman Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan said with the ‘hot pursuit’ approval, the Malaysian and Indonesian security forces should be able to tackle the kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf militants.
“May the east coast of Sabah be safe and free of crime with the cooperation of the Philippines,” he added.
Meanwhile, Commander of Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid welcomed the Philippine government’s decision on ‘hot pursuit’ of kidnappers.
However, he said, the matter should be in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) agreed by Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.