The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) will continue to brief fishermen on the safety aspects at sea to avoid them becoming victims of cross-border crime, including abductions.
Esscom commander DCP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said this was because the fishing community in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) were the most vulnerable to being kidnapped.
He said security agencies including Esscom had taken various safety measures, however, fishermen also played an important role in providing information to the authorities.
“Channeling information to security agencies in a timely manner can allow quick action to be taken, and this will minimise the criminals’ opportunity to commit crime,” he said during a press conference after launching a meeting session with the Beluran District Fishing Community at Kampung Kolapis yesterday.
Wan Abdul Bari said efforts to engage fishermen were done through briefing sessions and meetings which involved all Esscom management officers, and this would allow the public to be more informed, and curb negative perceptions against security personnel.
He said a curfew did not restrict the movement of fishermen at sea, because they could apply for a permit.
Permits could be obtained from the respective district police chiefs, he said, adding this would allow security forces to monitor the movements of fishing boats during the curfew.
The curfew in Esszone waters is now entering the 58th phase, effective from 6am to 6pm until Jan 30.
Esszone covers seven districts, namely Tawau, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Beluran, Sandakan and Kinabatangan. — Bernama