From the Star Online (Jul 27): Shafie: Curfew appropriate measure to ensure security
KOTA KINABALU: Despite inconveniencing some fishermen, the dusk-to-dawn curfew in Sabah’s eastern maritime area is a decisive action to stop cross-border criminal activities, said Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal.
Shafie, who is also Semporna MP, said the curfew was an appropriate measure to beef up security.
Speaking during a visit to the forward security bases in Semporna to distribute Hari Raya goodies to the security personnel, Shafie said that the Government had its priorities correct by ensuring security first, although it was aware of the plight of the fishermen.
Shafie also said that he was in discussions with relevant ministries to promote fish farming and seaweed cultivation as an alternative livelihood.
he two-week curfew that came into force on July 19 is expected to be extended after Aug 2 to protect six east coast districts from possible intrusions by criminals or militants from southern Philippines.
The Eastern Sabah Security Command said that most villagers in the areas had observed the curfew order, though some were initially arrested for defying it.
Meanwhile, efforts are continuing to secure the release of police constable Zakiah Aleip, 26, who was abducted by Filipino gunmen from the Mabul Water Bungalow Resort on July 12 after they shot dead his colleague Kpl Ab Rajah Jamuan, 32, during a raid.
Kons Zakiah is believed to be held by a notorious Abu Sayyaf leader, Al Habsi Misaya, in a jungle hideout on Jolo island.
Al Habsi is also believed to be holding fish breeder Chan Sai Chun, 32, hostage.
He was grabbed from his fish farm in Kunak on June 16 by Filipino gunmen.
Sources close to Chan’s family claimed that the gunmen were demanding up to RM3mil in ransom, though contact had not been made for nearly three weeks.
With the theme “Discover the treasures of Ramadhan,” the event was held last Friday at the Provincial Gymnasium attended by provincial Muslim employees, Imams, Asatidz (Madrasah teachers), guests, and provincial officials led by Governor Steve C. Solon attended the event.
Members of the International Monitoring Team and officers from the Philippine National Police were also present.
Prior to the Iftar (the breaking of the fast), a Muhadhara was held where the social benefits of fasting was tackled. There was also short program where guests gave inspirational messages.
Two speakers were invited namely Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) Executive Director Dr. Mohammad S. Yacob and Secretary Yasmin Busran-Lao of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.
Yacob was not able to attend but his message was conveyed by BDA SouthMin Manager Mohalikin D. Piang.
“This bountiful gathering truly conveys the true essence of Ramadhan because through fasting, Muslims experiences hunger and thirst,” he said, “and sympathizes with those in the world who have little to eat and drink every day.”
Yacob pointed out that the essence of fasting is learning Taqwa, which I more than self-restraint. “It is God-consciousness which endows the person to be aware of the presence of Allah in every moment of his life,” he explained. He also thanked the governor for being invited.
In her keynote message, Busran-Lao said fasting is a healing clinic from bad deeds or diseases of the heart for those who observe. “One of the diseases of the hearts is greed,” she said.
The NCMF Secretary prodded everyone to try to look around and find those in needs.
She urged Muslims to share to others the blessings they have and pointed out that relationship must not only be horizontal (between man and God) but also vertical or between fellow human being.
Busran-Lao, a prominent advocate of peace and women’s rights, said that true believers are those who also care for the welfare of others.
Solon cited he is honored to celebrate the Grand Iftar. He said that it is important that positive change will happen to fasting persons.
The governor announced that the provincial government will provide livelihood support to Asatidz. “Communities must be improved economically including the Asatidz,” he said.
After the Maghrib prayer, the attendees enjoyed food and drinks served. The activity is also a social gathering for Muslim employees of the province where they know one another better.