State Government Urged To Expedite Resettlement Of Water Villagers

KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 (Bernama) -- The Royal Malaysian Police has proposed that the Sabah government expedite resettlement of water village residents in the state to a safer environment and destroy the 'nests' of criminals.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the urgency was crucial to prevent intruders, kidnappers and terrorists from neighbouring Southern Philippines from further using the water villages as a base for their activities.

"We conducted a census and found that besides local residents, illegal immigrants are also living in the villages.

"We have made arrests in operations carried out periodically but the nests won't be destroyed as long as these villages exist," he told reporters at the launch of Op Selamat 5/ 2014, in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri, here Thursday.

He was commenting on the suggestion by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad yesterday that the federal government and Sabah government relocate water village residents to a safer place and to prevent further incursions by the criminals.

In the latest incident on Saturday at a resort at Pulau Mabul in Semporna, a corporal, Abdul Rajah Jamuan, 32, was shot dead and a constable, Zakiah Aleip, 26, was abducted by eight armed intruders believed to be from Southern Philippines.

Following the incident, the government imposed a curfew and designated routes for boats to enter Sabah waters legally.

The government set up the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) and Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) after suppressing the bid by militants from Southern Philippines to seize Sabah on Feb 12, 2013.


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