Friday, July 4, 2014

Kidnappings in Sabah


Pakatan Rakyat Sabah on Thursday filed an application to move a vote of no confidence against Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, in light of kidnappings on the state’s east coast this year.
Sri Tanjong assemblyperson Chan Foong Hin said they believed Musa should be held responsible for the failure of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (or ESSCOM) in ensuring security.
“As the chairperson of ESSCOM, it is his responsibility to ensure the overall security of the state,” Chan said.

A pertinent move but nothing will happen since BN are firmly in control. Musa Aman is safe.
The Eastern Sabah Security Command (or ESSCOM) was supposedly a “solve all” to the never-ending threats from Filipino gunmen operating from southern Philippines. It was set up in the aftermath of the Sulu mini-invasion of Lahad Datu last year. Sabahans have placed their trust in ESSCOM that it would end cross-border crime in the east coast of the state. But this trust was sadly misplaced.
Kidnappings have become a regular feature. The victims were not only Malaysians but also, Chinese and Taiwan nationals.
Last year (i.e. November 15), a Taiwanese tourist was murdered and his wife kidnapped from Pom Pom Island off Sabah. On April 02, 2014, two people, one a Chinese national, were kidnapped from a resort in Semporna. On May 04, five gunmen abducted a fish farm manager in Pulau Baik, off Lahad Datu. And on June 23, two men (including owner Chan Sai Chuin) were abducted from a fish farm by two armed men in Kunak, Semporna.
In fact, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had on June 06, 2014 identified leakage of vital information and corruption involving security forces personnel as the primary weaknesses that contributed to the security breaches in Sabah. But no details were forthcoming.
In the meantime, we shall await news of the next incident. Trust me, it won't take long!
The ESSzone is an area that stretches 1,733.7 km from northern Kudat to south-eastern Tawau in Sabah. A vast and open terrain of 361 islands – some inhabited with about 126,000 locals and migrants living in 22,600 houses on 131 sea villages.
Indeed, ESSCOM is a high-budget failure and it is a sad reflection of the country’s security capability. I am shamefaced to have to admit that we cannot even protect our own citizens and tourists!
On Thursday, I was at the Pesona Toastmasters Club – where I was the General Evaluator. A small-scale meeting but nevertheless, still enjoyable. I reminded them of their inability to start punctually – this is something I frequently complain about when I am the General Evaluator at many Toastmasters meetings! Why can't we start on time? Anyway, I would score the meeting a 4 over 10.


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