Plaza 333 Riot: Penampang Cops To Make Arrests Soon; Culprits Known

DSP Hobden, left, explaining to Siambun, steps police are taken to bring down crime in the Penampang district.

PENAMPANG: Police have identified most of the suspects involved in last week’s fracas at the popular Plaza 333 in Kobusak, and expect arrests to be made soon.

This was disclosed by Moyog assemblyman Terrence Siambun after he met up with Penampang district police chief, Deputy Superintendent Rosley Hobden.

However Siambun, the Parti Warisan Sabah treasurer, declined to give further details saying that it could jeopardise the ongoing investigations. He however said police had assured that proactive measures were being taken.

He said at the courtesy call on Hodden, he had relayed the fears and concerns of the people living in the vicinity as well as those who patronise the popular hangout which boasts several food outlets as well as entertainment spots.

According to Siambun, apart from the setting up of a police beat base (pondok polis) at the earliest possible time, police would conduct even more frequent mobile patrols as well as sweep the illegal squatter settlements in the area.

Last Friday a group of six to eight youths, suspected to be illegal immigrants, armed with knives and machetes attacked some local youths at a ‘mamak’ food outlet at Plaza 333 resulting in one of them getting stabbed in his abdomen.

Squatter houses, many of which are occupied by migrants, both with documents and their illegal friends, would be the target of a police sweep soon.

The rioters created an unnecessary scare and many people hurriedly left the area despite it being a long weekend.

Siambun said Hobden had readily agreed to the setting up of the ‘pondok polis’ to make the police presence felt.

“I will coordinate with the developer of the centre to request them to submit an application for such a ‘pondok’. It’s actually part of the procedure since Plaza 333 is still under the developer’s management.”

“The ‘pondok polis’ will likely prevent such similar cases from happening again. Before Friday’s attack, there were a few altercations between customers at the various outlets since it was opened for the patronising public last year,” Siambun pointed out.

For the time being, according to Siambun, Rosley will instruct his police patrol cars to make frequent rounds as a preventive measure for any untoward incidence.

He had also requested the police to check on illegal squatters surrounding those areas which have caused major concerns among the community suspecting it might be a hidden place for illegal immigrants.