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Curfew order in ESSZone under review to gauge its effectiveness

1st October, 2019

LAHAD DATU: The curfew order in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) is being reviewed to assess the effectiveness of this security measure currently.

Commander of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom), Datuk Hazani Ghazali said this matter had previously been raised by Sabah Police Commissioner, Datuk Omar Mammah at the State Security Working Committee (JKKN) meeting.

“At that meeting, there were a number of proposals made but I cannot reveal these. However, a review has started to look into the effectiveness of the curfew order,” he told reporters, here, Monday.

The curfew order from 6 pm until 6 am the next day and which has entered its 122nd phase, covers Sandakan, Beluran, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.

The curfew order was first enforced on July 16, 2014 to curb illegal entry into Sabah’s eastern coastal waters and kidnapping.

Meanwhile, Hazani indicated the possibility of the curfew order be implemented on a 24-hour basis in a number of selected areas.

“We are studying the matter, perhaps we will impose a more drastic security measure or reduce it, and we also need to consider that Sabah’s east coast is a tourism destination,” he said.

At Monday’s JKKN meeting, Hazani said he had also raised the issue of pump boats and it was suggested that the registration of these boats only be for Sabah residents and the engine power be limited to one horsepower.

“Now, some of the pump boats use up to two or three engines; these pump boats are not from Malaysia. Pump boats with one horsepower is suitable for Sabah residents to go from house to house and the journey should not be more than three kilometres from land,” he said.

Hazani said currently, there were more than 1,000 pump boats in the ESSZone that had registered with the Sabah Department of Ports and Harbours.

“It’s just that now we (ESSCom) want to do colour coding according to districts because if these boats enter other areas, the authorities will know which district they are from.

“Pump boats with no colour code and equipped with engine of more than one horsepower will be sunk by the authorities,” he added. –Bernama

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