TONGOD: Combating security threats, especially terrorism and kidnapping for ransom in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone), has been the main focus of Sabah police and appears to remain so.
Its outgoing commissioner, Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the state’s location, bordering with two neighbouring countries, the Philippines and Indonesia, and especially the eastern Sabah coastal areas, were exposed to transnational security threats and crime.
He said the internal conflict in southern Philippines, for instance, had brought along security threats and contributed to kidnapping activities for ransom by the Abu Sayyaf group.
“We need to focus on countering these threats by ensuring our state of preparedness at all times as we don’t want a repeat of the unwanted incidents,” he said when met by reporters after officially opening the Tongod police station, here, today.
He was asked to comment on the crime and security situation in Sabah while being state police commissioner for the past one year and six months.
Jalaluddin will be the new director of the federal police Department of Integrity and Standard Compliance from this Dec 31. His current post will be taken over by Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun, the outgoing commander of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom).
The ESSZone covers the districts of Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau, a distance of 1,733.7 kilometres.
Jalaluddin said information received on the global threats of the Islamic State (IS) and Jemaah Islamiah militant groups were also given attention to prevent Sabah from being a place for harbouring them or becoming their target of attacks.
“We also don’t them to recruit people in the ESSZone to be involved in their activities,” he said, adding that countering organised transnational crime like smuggling of drugs and arms, and human trafficking were also focused on.
Jalaluddin also said that the crime rates in Sabah were under control and ranked 9th among the state contingents, with an average of 14 to 15 cases daily, but there was room for improvement.- BERNAMA