SEMPORNA, Aug 3 (Bernama) -- Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has called on the relevant authorities to punish without compromise, anyone who breaks the curfew imposed on the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).
He emphasised that the security authorities should not relent and let off culprits lightly just because they were found to be local residents or Malaysians.
"These people may be locals but they have broken the law and could even be working for criminals. So there should not be any backpedal as it is not something that warranted mitigation," he told reporters after the groundbreaking for the Seafest Star Class Hotel & Suites project here today.
He noted that the security authorities had a procedure to follow, which does not merely entail issuing a warning, "which is simply not efficient", but stern action to get the message across that breaking the curfew is a serious offence.
On the five-star Seafest hotel project, he said it was one of the state government's initiatives to develop the local tourism industry.
"For example, Semporna is a popular tourist destination and a five-star hotel would cater to the needs of high-end visitors," he said, describing security as a very important factor in tourism.
Meanwhile, the 240-room Seafest Star Class Hotel & Suites project costing about RM100 million is expected to be completed within two years.
Seafest Sdn Bhd director Jane Chua said Semporna received about 50,000 domestic and international tourists in just one month, hence the need for decent and comfortable accommodation.