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Follow Existing Procedures - Hishammuddin

From Abdul Muin Majid

MARAKAH (Lebanon), July 15 (Bernama) -- The matter of security of Sabah waters should be handled according to existing rules and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure no innocent person was victimised, said Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

He said there were actually SOPs which allowed for extreme measures to be taken, but "there must be set procedures that you have to follow".

"What I'm saying is there are enough laws for us to even take measures immediately, which have not been explored fully, like actually boarding the (offending) vessels, detaining (intruders)," he said.

Hishammuddin was speaking to reporters Tuesday during a visit to Marakah Camp, the headquarters of Malaysia's Malbatt 850-1 contingent under the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil).

Chief of Navy Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar had sought a 'shoot on sight' authority from the government, following an ambush by foreign gunmen on Pulau Mabul last Saturday, resulting in the death of a policeman and the abduction of another.

Hishammuddin noted that Abdul Aziz's comments might have been made out of frustration of the current security situation in the areas involved.

The minister nevertheless, said that emotions should be kept out of the way in addressing the issue.

He stressed on the importance of relevant security agencies to be aware of and carry out their respective responsibilities to ensure the security of Sabah waters.

-- BERNAMA




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