Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sabah intrusions due to corruption, says Hishammuddin

Published: 5 June 2014 | Updated: 5 June 2014 3:50 PM
 Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein says the repeated intrusions by foreigners into Sabah are the fault of corruption and leakages. – The Malaysian Insider pic, June 5, 2014.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein says the repeated intrusions by foreigners into Sabah are the fault of corruption and leakages. – The Malaysian Insider pic, June 5, 2014.
Corruption and leakages are among the causes of continued intrusions in the coastal waters of Sabah, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said.
The defence minister said it was unfair to just blame weaknesses of assets for the repeated intrusions by foreigners into Sabah.
"Investigations have shown that Sabah's security has been affected by corruption and leaking of vital information by irresponsible parties.
"We have lost a lot of time discussing the security of eastern Sabah. This is because time has been spent looking for weaknesses,” Hishammuddin said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

"The credibility of our personnel, graft and information leakages are issues which need to be studied.”

Hishammuddin also highlighted four aspects in eastern Sabah which required attention, namely, intelligence, assets, human resources and the area.

There have been several intrusions in Sabah’s eastern seaboard recently, including the abduction of two women by gunmen from an island resort near Semporna in April and the fatal shooting of a Chinese tourist and abduction of another at the Pom Pom Resort in November last year.

Hishammuddin said the issue of assets involved weapons technology used in handling intrusions into eastern Sabah.

The human resource factor involved the personnel from the police, military and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

"I have been given the mandate by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi regarding the police and MMEA."

He said it was important to review the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) in the context of emerging threats.

"One of the proposals being considered was to use the old oil platforms belonging to Petronas to increase security in the area," Hishammuddin said.

"Brunei is also prepared to explore this option by cooperating with oil and gas companies who have platforms in the area."

Hishammuddin said he would be going to Sabah this weekend to look at the 1,400km coastal area which needs to be monitored.

He also said the existing radar system needed to be upgraded and the holiday resorts in eastern Sabah should be strengthened by security forces.

"There is no point in widening the authority of the Esscom director-general if the security agencies in the area do not play their roles effectively," he said.

"Many issues depend on the cooperation of the relevant agencies. It is not just the director-general but the military, police and MMEA.

"Whatever authority is given to the director-general is meaningless if he does not get the cooperation from other agencies."

Hishammuddin also said that the rakyat should trust Najib when he said that no ransom had been paid for the two foreign women who were rescued from the Abu Sayyaf.

Last week, Najib tweeted that Chinese national Gao Hua Yuan, 29, and Marcy Dayawan @ Mimi, 40, had been freed from captivity by Philippine security forces.

He tweeted that no ransom had been paid to secure the release of both women.

However, Reuters reported that the two women had only been freed after a substantial ransom was paid to the Abu Sayyaf.

"If Najib says no, then it means no ransom was paid. When I was the home minister, there were also hostage situations where no ransom was paid but the hostage was freed," said Hishammuddin.

Both Gao and Marcy were abducted by gunmen from the Singgahmata Reef Resort in Semporna on April 2. – June 5, 2014.

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