Kunak – Eastern Sabah Sceurity Command (ESSCom) Commamder DCP Dato’ Abdul Rashid Harun has reminded the community in Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) not to harbour the illegal immigrants or the Sulu terrorists.
He said that although it had been two years since the Kampung Tanduo incident, the operation to flush out the Sulu terrorists that might be hiding in the zone was still ongoing.
“Therefore, the people, especially those living in the coastal areas of Lahad Datu, Kunak and Semporna should not protect this group of people.
“Local community or community leaders in ESSZone should also report on the presence of illegal immigrants or suspicious individuals in their respective areas, to facilitate the security forces to monitor,” he said in his speech at ESSCom and Kunak Community Leaders ceremony, yesterday.
Also present were ESSCom Chief Executive Officer Ruji Ubi, ESSCom Logistic and Administration Director Brig Gen Subari Tomo and Kunak District Officer Susilo Sumarto.
On June 26, last year six individuals including a woman suspected to be linked with Sulu terrorists were detained during the Bukit Aman Special Branch operation throughout the district.
Those arrested,comprising five locals and an individual believed originated from the Philippines were detained after being found to have a link with the Sulu terrorists, who tried to make a claim on Sabah.
Abdul Rashid said ESSCom would not compromise with any parties found to be protecting illegal immigrants or the Sulu terrorist remnants.
“It is hoped the intrusion incident will never occur again and the incident has given us lesson on the importance of unity among us in defending the security and sovereignty of our people, especially in ESSZone.
“Although the situation is now safe, we could not be complacent and must always be vigilant. Do not become the stooges in any crimes, including smuggling and kidnapping,” he said, adding that it was important to the community leaders to appreciate the message in Negaraku and Sabah Tanah Airku to boost patriotism.
Abdul Rashid also urged the community leaders to provide cooperation in assisting ESSCom to clean out ESSZone of illegal immigrant.
To ensure the success of the mission, special integrated operation coordinated by ESSCom has been launched in several districts in ESSZone.
“Integrated operation is currently focusing on the towns of Tawau, Semporna, Lahad Datu and Sandakan. This operation managed to reduce illegal traders’ domination in the areas.
“If everything goes well, the operation will be launched in Kunak soon and our target is to take control of small business activities in ESSZone,” he said.
Abdul Rashid said the integrated operation which involved various federal and state enforcement agencies was a follow-up action of the Royal Commission Inquiry report on illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Those action also proved the determination of the government in addressing the problem, he said.