KOTA KINABALU: The dawn-to-dusk sea curfew has been extended in eastern Sabah due to a wide range of security threats including the possibility of attacks on isolated police bases.
Disclosing this, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said they received intelligence reports claiming that extremist elements were planning to attack isolated police bases in the east coast of the state.
“These are among the information we received and we are taking precautionary steps to counter any such threats,” he told reporters after the police monthly gathering at the Kepayan state police headquarters on Thursday.
According to Jalaluddin, they have also received information that cross-border kidnap for ransom groups and other criminal elements were hiding in islands close to Sabah waters, waiting for an opportunity to strike.
“Our intelligence information also indicated that there were plans to bomb gas and police stations among other key facilities,” he said in announcing the extension of the 7pm- to-5am sea curfew from Jan 11 (Friday) to 25.
However, Jalaluddin said they were still verifying these intelligence reports and were maintaining a high alert in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) that covers 10 districts from northern Kudat to southeastern Tawau.
He said the curfew, which started since July 19 last year, and came into effect after three consecutive kidnappings in Lahad Datu, Semporna and Kunak was to ensure the safety of people in Sabah, as well as to prevent cross-border crimes.
“We have also received requests from fishermen, tour operators and even tourists to continue the curfew as they felt safer with its implementation,” Jalaluddin explained.