TAWAU: Security in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) is being beefed up with the deployment of new army assets in the form of 12 AV 8×8 armoured vehicles in facing any threat in the area.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said besides that, an infantry battalion with a strength of 650 members would be stationed in the area under the purview of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom).
“This will be done upon the full completion of the camp at Felda Sahabat in Lahad Datu,” he told reporters after witnessing a combat demonstration at the Tawau Airport, here, today.
“Those assets which we have identified to boost security in Sabah are already here. This is no longer a promise made to the people of Sabah but one that is being fulfilled, “ he added.
Also present at the demonstration were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.
Hishammuddin said the deployment of the Turkey-made AV 8×8 armoured carriers, given the local name of ‘Gempita’ and placed at Kukusan Camp in Tawau, was in line with the need of a modern army.
Besides that, he said, 18 military infantry fighting vehicles (MIFVs) had been delivered since last December and now placed in Kota Belud.
“Hopefully, these assets could further boost the strength of our security forces in the ESSZone in facing threats such as intrusion like what happened in Lahad Datu and the new threat of IS (Islamic State),” he added.
Hishammuddin also stressed on the importance of caring for the welfare of members of the security forces on duty in the ESSZone, such as their housing needs.
Meanwhile, Musa expressed appreciation to the federal government and Malaysian Armed Forces for the placement of the assets in Sabah for better security control.- BERNAMA