From the Sun Daily (Oct 26): Intruder shot dead in boat off Semporna
Eastern Sabah Security Command commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun (second from left) displays the seized handgun. ESSCOM
SEMPORNA: Marine police on patrol along the coastline here gunned down a foreign intruder in a shootout near Pulau Bangau-Bangau on Sunday.
The dead suspect who is in his 40's and is suspected to be a member of a group of criminals behind a string of kidnap cases east of Sabah was attempting to intrude Malaysian waters in a speedboat at about 2.15am when personnel in two marine police boats spotted the vessel moving suspiciously.
Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said on seeing the police boats approach his speedboat the man sped off before a chase ensued.
He said as the suspect sped towards the Semporna jetty, a police boat managed to waylay his boat.
He said when gunshots rang out of the suspect's boat, the policemen returned fire which killed the suspect.
Abdul Rashid said on inspecting the suspect's boat, police recovered a loaded .38-calibre revolver with five bullets and two spent shells. He said there were also two dents on the hull of a police boat caused by gunshots fired by the suspect.
He said police investigations to determine the man's involvement in the recent kidnap cases and other transborder crimes in Semporna is underway.
Abdul Rashid said following the case, police launched an operation at several water villages in the area where seven men and two women were held on suspicion of being involved in various crimes including kidnap.
He said six more men who went by the names — Bocoi @ Komander Black, Ali @ Brown, Badung, Wahab, Alex and Nikson who were sought by the raiding teams are yet to be held.
He urged those with information on the men to alert police.
He said the military, police and maritime enforcement agency were constantly on watch of the east coast of Sabah to counter kidnap attempts by foreign groups.
More than a dozen cases of kidnappings involving mainly tourists had occurred over the past years at several small island off the coast of east Sabah.
The latest case involved police constable Zakiah Aleip, 26 who was snatched by a South Philippines kidnappers on July 4 at Pulau Mabu following a gun battle and remains in their captivity.
The kidnappers who killed Zakiah's colleague Corporal Abd Rajah Jamuan, 32 in the attack have demanded for RM10 million for the release of the abducted policeman.
“Now we do not need to walk for almost half an hour to fetch water from a nearby creek source,” Lina Sukal, a Blaan grandmother of Sitio Kalmenda, Barangay Lun Masla said in local vernacular during an interview last week.
Sukal is one of the sub-project beneficiaries of the Blaan-dominated Sitios Kalmenda and Kafgul in Lun Masla.
“Because of this project, now our children take a bath every day,” she disclosed.
Before the project was implemented, she further revealed that their kids used to take a bath only twice a week. “Supply of water was indeed the primary problem of our Sitio for the past years,” Sukal added.
The sub-project provides tap stands installed near the beneficiaries’ residences. The period to reach the water source now ranges from 15 seconds to two minutes walk.
The water system level 2 is part of the Cycle 1 sub-projects under the Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Programme (MTF-RDP) implemented in 9 barangays of Sarangani Province by BDA SouthMin staff under the leadership of its Regional Manager (RM) Mohalikin D. Piang.
During the turn-over ceremony last September 15, Pastor Sommy Lumayas, Sitio leader of Kalmenda, expressed his sincerest thanks to BDA and donor agencies for the realization of the water system which they “have been yearning for the past years.”
“Imagine how difficult it is to carry water in container from the creek bringing it uphill to our houses for half an hour struggle,” he said in Visayan language.
“The moment you reached home, you have already bathed with your own sweat and you should endure the muscle pain,” the IP leader revealed.
Ferdinand Osop, President of Lun Masla Tri-People Organization (LMTPO), said they now reap the fruit of their sacrifice.”We are very happy with this project,” he added.
“We need to take care and sustain this project which answers one of our basic needs which is water,” he told his fellow constituents.
RM Piang urged the PO officers and members to share their time and effort to sustain the water system project. He cited that having good track record in project implementation shall entice more development partners in their community.
LMTPO is the group that was organized and capacitated by BDA to implement the sub-project through the Community Driven Development (CDD) process.
Under CDD mechanism, the constituents are given leeway to identify their needs, plan and act to address concerns for the holistic peace and development of their community.
CDD process further espouses resource-sharing, thus the Municipal and Barangay governments and the People’s Organization also contribute financial, logistic and manpower support for the project implementation.
The local government of Malapatan provided ten percent of the sub-project cost while the Barangay Council of Lun Masla has committed to help for the major repair of the water system.
The MTF-RDP, under the World Bank administered multi-donor fund, was launched on March 27, 2006 with the aim to assist economic and social recovery in the conflict-affected and vulnerable areas of Mindanao.
It is supported by Australian Aid for International Development (AusAID), New Zealand Aid for International Development (NZAID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), United States Aid for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, and the European Union (EU). It had been successfully implemented for three (3) consecutive Program Partnership Agreements (PPAs).
It is again embarked under PPA4, covering 65 barangays in 21 municipalities. BDA, with the help of its partners- the Community and Family Services International (CFSI) and Mindanao Land Foundation (Minland), takes lead in the implementation of the PPA4.