KOTA KINABALU:-Malaysians particularly in Sabah need to establish and strengthen cooperation and interaction between each other to ensure peace and security of borders in the state.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Harun Abdullah said the two elements were the internal control of highest value, especially in the context of security in the east coast of Sabah.
He said laws and regulations were undoubtedly had important roles in maintaining borders and national security, but the security could always be
threatened if there was no proactive cooperation and interaction among members of the local communities.
“Our efforts in combating trans-border crimes will not be successful if we only rely on the authorities alone,” he said when opening the seminar on Sabah border and security organised by Sabah Security and Strategic Research Centre (SASSREC) here today.
Themed ‘Border Security and Sabah’, the two-day seminar, among others, is aimed at generating discussion and sharing of information for the purpose of protecting and improving the socio-political stability in Malaysia, especially in Sabah.
Also involved in the seminar is the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services, UMS Small Islands Research Centre and the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).
Mohd Harun said today’s development and prosperity enjoyed by people of Sabah had also become one of the factors that attracted trans-border criminals.
“These criminals are looking for an easy way to live a great life by exploiting the prosperity enjoyed by people. This attitude should not be allowed
and must be curbed,” he said.
For that, he said the local communities, authorities and institutions of higher education should work closely together in contributing energy and ideas, empirically or intellectually, to ensure border security.
“As such, the seminar is hoped to expose the participants to the importance of working together to make sure trans-border crimes in the east coast of Sabah can be dealt with more effectively,” he added.
Meanwhile, UMS Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage professor, Dr Kamarulzaman Askandar, said Malaysia should foster closer cooperation with the neighbouring countries, such as Indonesia and Philippine, in a bid to address border security issues in Sabah.
He said this was vital to formulate proper and proactive measures to monitor and control border security, as well as the movement of immigrants, besides preventing smuggling of goods or trafficking in persons in the state.
“Monitoring activities and ensuring border security should also be done together with those neighbouring countries, not just by ourselves,” he told
Kamarulzaman also said the enforcement of laws, especially regarding movement of persons in the region, was also the best method to ensure border security.
He said Malaysia had also been deemed highly committed and serious in addressing this issue, including by establishing the Eastern Sabah Security
Command (ESSCom) and Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).
“However, it will be better if our neighbouring countries could take the same initiative,” he said. – BERNAMA