Posted to the Borneo Post Online (May 29): Numerous kidnapping, terror attempts crippled with establishment of ESSCom, ESSZone
LAHAD DATU: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government’s move to establish the Eastern Sabah Security Command here had succeeded in crippling and preventing numerous kidnapping and terrorism attempts.
The prime minister brought to mind the Lahad Datu intrusion in February 2013 which claimed the lives of 10 Malaysian security personnel and a member of the public, during which 67 intruders were also killed.
Since the incident, he said, various effective and comprehensive initiatives had been taken and innovations put in place to safeguard Sabah.
“The impact of the intrusion necessitated the establishment of ESSCom and Eastern Sabah Security Zone to enhance Sabah’s security against hostile threats,” he said.
Najib said this while officiating at the ground-breaking ceremony for the helicopter forward operating base (FOB) yesterday.
The prime minister stressed that safeguarding the country, in this regard, Sabah, was not the responsibility of the security forces alone but also the people in the state.
Precisely, he said, there must exist among the local people three pertinent values.
Firstly, unity and solidarity; secondly, love for country or patriotism, including serving as ‘eyes and ears’ for the security forces.
Thirdly, Najib said, the people should not be ‘the enemy within’ and betray the country by colluding with the enemy.
“Regretfully while we were fighting to death in defending the sovereignty of Sabah from terrorists, certain individuals could meet with parties that were linked to the intruders in Lahad Datu,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry in a statement yesterday said RM90 million had been set aside for the FOB project which would be implemented early next month on 0.48ha at Lahad Datu Airport.
The statement said the base involving a shelter and apron would be able to accommodate six helicopters.
The FOB would function as a transit centre and provide support to the Malaysian Armed Forces in their operations involving all types of helicopters as well as an operation centre to counter potential attacks and external threats.
A cabinet meeting on Aug 12, 2015 had called for the ministry to urgently build a helicopter detachment infrastructure as a forward operating base to strengthen security in the state.
The FOB would also improve defence preparedness and security in the areas within ESSCom which was established in March 2013, said the statement. — Bernama