Sunday, 31 March 2013

Household income increase is proof Govt has succeeded in improving lives

The 7.2% increase in average household income is proof that the government's transformation programme has succeed in improving people's lives, said MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He urged Malaysians to help the government to achieve its goal of attaining high-income nation status.

“The government is committed to enhance the nation's competitiveness through the various transformation programmes which aimed at improving our standard of living and to be a high-income nation.

“Under (Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Najib Razak's leadership, these programmes have achieved significant results such as increasing our nation's per capita income from USD6,700 (RM20,746) in 2009 to USD9,970 (RM30,872) in 2012.

“Thus, we must put in our best efforts to help our nation reach this goal. MCA will continue to play an important role, with the help of the Chinese community, and together with Barisan Nasional to achieve Vision 2020.

“I urge the people to support the government and its efforts in order to ensure political stability within our country so that we all can live together in harmony and peace,” he said in a statement on Friday.

The 2012 National Household Income Study found that the average monthly household income for Malaysians has reached RM5,000, a nearly RM1,000 increase from the average monthly income of RM4,025 in 2009.
Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Lima visitors tour Malaysian, Thai and Bangladeshi naval vessels

Opportunity to be on board a naval ship is rare and many visitors to the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima) 2013 grabbed the chance to be in one.

Thousands of visitors walked some 200m under a blazing sun to the Resorts World Langkawi jetty in Porto Malai to tour three naval ships docked there for the public.

The three were KD Jebat, BNS Dhaleswari from Bangladesh and HTMS Phuket from Thailand.

The KD Jebat was the most popular as its crew were tasked to accompany visitors on a tour of the warship.

Commissioned to the Royal Malaysian Navy in 1999, it weighs 2,060 tonnes and is 106m in length.

KD Jebat is equipped with guns, missiles, torpedoes and radar, and can conduct surface, air and undersea combat operations.

It has participated in the Ops Daulat mission in Sabah, providing surveillance.

Hotel worker Mohd Aiman Abdullah said he had visited Lima several times but this was his first time on board a naval ship.

The 30-year-old from Langkawi brought his wife and five children along.

“Previously, I had only seen the air show,” he said.
Posted on 12:00 | Categories:

Friday, 29 March 2013

Iranian sisters sent to gallows for drug trafficking

Two Iranian sisters were sent to the gallows by the High Court here on Friday for trafficking in methamphetamine at the KL International Airport in Sepang two years ago.

Judge Datuk Nurchaya Arshad handed down the sentence after the defence failed to raise a reasonable doubt against the prosecution's case.

Fatemah Zandiyeh Mohammad, 24, and Tahmineh Zandiyeh Mohammad, 26, appeared calm when the judge read out the sentence, but in the public gallery, their father broke down in tears and almost collapsed.

Fatemah was found guilty of trafficking in 1,489.8gm of methamphetamine, which was found strapped to her waist, at the KLIA's baggage claim area at about 11.30am on May 5, 2011.

Tahmineh was also found guilty of trafficking in 1,497.9gm of the same drugs using the same method and on the same day at the same time and place. They were charged under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which carries a mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

The prosecution called eight witnesses throughout the trial and the defence, two.
Posted on 17:11 | Categories:

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Lima visitors treated to aerial and marine demonstrations

Visitors to the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima 2013) were treated to a spectacle of high speed chases and air manoeuvres during a demonstration by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) here.

The 45-minute demonstration involved dramatic action moves from 20 ships and aircraft taking part in an attempt to stop a ship suspected of carrying dangerous chemicals.

When officers tried to board the ship, they were attacked by criminals. A rescue operation then ensued, involving Paskal (navy commandos) diving into the sea to join the operation.

Another action sequence involved a fire-fighting mission by the MMEA's amphibious Bombardier aircraft that can scoop up to 6,000 litres of water in 12 seconds.

The assets involved in the demonstration included the navy's Zodiac and CB90 boats, Super Lynx and Fennec helicopters. The MMEA showcased its Kilar and Petir boats along with their Agusta Westland, Dauphin and Bombardier aircraft.

The show ended with the Bombardier releasing water in front of the audience, creating a rainbow while helicopters swooped above the audience.
Posted on 19:00 | Categories:

Japanese national to hang for trafficking in 3.4kg of syabu

The Court of Appeal upheld the Shah Alam High Court's decision to hang a Japanese ex-nurse for trafficking in 3.4kg of syabu at KLIA in 2009.

The court led by Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali denied Mariko Takeuchi's appeal.

The panel also included Justices Linton Albert and Mohd Zawawi Salleh.

Her counsel Afifuddin Ahmad Hafifi submitted that there had been discrepancies in the drug exhibit which was seized and tendered to the court.

“The weight of the drugs had changed during the proceedings at the magistrate's level, compared to the weight recorded at the time of arrest,” he said.

Justice Mohamed Apandi questioned why the weight could have changed and what reason the Customs officers would have to frame the Japanese national for drug trafficking.

He said counsel should provide more reasons to back his theory if he intended to question the integrity of the Customs' officers.

Takeuchi was arrested at a Customs inspection counter at the international arrival hall of KLIA at 9.55pm on Oct 30, 2009.
Posted on 14:16 | Categories:

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

#LahadDatu: Esszone set up to halt incursions

The Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (Esszone) to prevent incursions and ensure the security of the state has been formed.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that it comprised 10 districts Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.

The zone, he said, would be administered by the Esszone Committee chaired by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, with its headquarters in Lahad Datu.

“He (Musa) will be assisted by a chief executive officer and other members to be announced later,” he said during the 206th Police Day Celebrations at the Police Training Academy yesterday.

Najib said the formation of the safety zone was in line with the setting up of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), aimed at safeguarding eastern Sabah.

“The establishment of Esszone does not constitute a declaration of emergency. It will not prevent free and democratic elections from taking place in the area involved.”

It is learnt Esscom would act as an authoritative body for the Esszone. For example, any activity, be it social or security efforts in the safety zone, would be coordinated through Esscom.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

#LahadDatu: Security comes first

The probe into the armed intrusion in Lahad Datu has been put on hold as the priority is the safety and security of the people in Sabah.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the probe whether in the form of a White Paper or a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) would have to take a backseat to other pressing matters concerning the security of the area.

“At the moment, the most important thing is the mopping-up exercises by security forces and to ensure the safe return of all villagers.

“We want to make sure the people in Sabah are safe before we embark on a probe,” he told pressmen after attending the 206th Police Day celebrations held at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) here yesterday.

Commenting on a possible RCI or White Paper into the Lahad Datu incident, Hishammuddin said: “We want to make sure no third party will exploit the situation by using it to pit Malaysians of different ethnicities against each other.”

He said the most important thing was the country's safety and sovereignty.

#LahadDatu: A boat's eye view of the conflict zone

I did not know what to expect when I was finally allowed to accompany the marine police out to sea after three days of persuading them, but I was excited and admittedly, a little nervous.

At 9am on Saturday, I, together with three other videographers from various television stations, were escorted by the police, marine and soldiers to board a three-engine police strike craft vessel (PSC Class) from the Felda Sahabat 16 jetty to Sungai Bilis about 12km from here.

I climbed down a short vertical staircase to board the vessel and was welcomed by several armed personnel - a sight which soothed my nerves.

We were separated into two vessels - the PSC 51 and 52 - accompanied by our own "bodyguards", which made me feel like a very important person, and sailed on the calm sea approximately half a nautical mile (1km) away from shore.

The first thing I saw on the hour-long trip was acres of trees when passing by Kampung Tanduo - the first village besieged on Feb 12 and the blue-roofed surau where more than 100 Sulu terrorists were reported to have first landed upon arrival.

We passed Sungai Nyamuk and Tanjung Batu after that and wondered who still hid behind those trees. There were damaged structures as a result of the fighting.

Later, I saw a bridge that was believed to have been used as one of the hiding spots for the militants before security forces dropped mortars in the area to forcibly flush out gunmen from Sabah soil.

Lima takes off in style

The Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima) 2013 kicked off here Tuesday with an awe-inspiring airshow by 22 aircraft.

The opening ceremony was held outdoors for the first time, at the tarmac of the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who launched the event, said Malaysia was poised for greater growth in the maritime and aerospace industries.

He also paid tribute to the fallen heroes in Lahad Datu, Sabah, and recorded appreciation for the security forces currently engaged in Ops Daulat to flush out Sulu gunmen.
Posted on 10:52 | Categories:

Monday, 25 March 2013

People from all walks of life cycle and walk together at Jom Ceria

Thousands of people spent their morning walking and cycling together, displaying the 1Malaysia spirit.

Participants of the Jom Ceria (Let's be Cheerful) came bright and early, gathering at the starting line at Dataran Putrajaya by 7.30am yesterday as they awaited the arrival of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The crowd, wearing T-shirts bearing the 1Malaysia logo, lived up to the event's name, cheering and waving miniature Malaysian flags as Najib arrived with his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Najib said such events were instrumental in bringing the people closer as the country works towards igniting the spirit of community among Malaysians.

“If we can break down barriers that divide Malaysians of different race and creed, we will become a more united people guided by the principles of 1Malaysia.

“A country that plays together, stays together,” he told the crowd.

The event covered a 12km route for cyclists and 5km for walkers.

Jointly organised by Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia and Putrajaya Corporation, Jom Ceria was attended by personalities such as Altimet, Sazzy Falak, Joe Flizzow, Joey G, Moots, Pamela and Vanessa Chong and sportsmen Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Low Wee Wern and Ong Beng Hee.
Posted on 16:59 | Categories:

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Unicef: 1,800 children die daily from unsafe water, poor sanitation

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) said that almost 90 percent of children deaths from diarrhoeal diseases are directly linked to contaminated water, lack of sanitation, or inadequate hygiene, reports China's Xinhua news agency.

Globally, an estimated 2,000 children under the age of five die every day from diarrhoeal diseases and of these some 1,800 deaths are linked to water, sanitation and hygiene, the UN agency said as the international community is to mark World Water Day, which falls on Friday this year.

"Sometimes we focus so much on the big numbers, that we fail to see the human tragedies that underlie each statistic," says Sanjay Wijesekera, global head of UNICEF's water, sanitation and hygiene programme.

"If 90 school buses filled with kindergartners were to crash every day, with no survivors, the world would take notice," Wijesekera said. "But this is precisely what happens every single day because of poor water, sanitation and hygiene."

World Water Day has been observed on March 22 since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared the date as World Day for Water.

Almost 90 percent of child deaths from diarrhoeal diseases are directly linked to contaminated water, lack of sanitation, or inadequate hygiene.
Posted on 12:30 | Categories:

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Healthy growth for health sector

Malaysia's health travel sector generated RM571mil while exports of its pharmaceutical products earned RM562mil in 2012 alone, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

This was due to the Government's efforts in promoting medical tourism through improved customer experience, proactive alliances and niche marketing.

“Through 13 Entry Point Projects (EPPs), the National Key Economic Areas for health aspire to contribute RM32.4bil to Malaysia's gross national income by 2020,” he said at the Economist Conferences' 4th annual Healthcare in Asia 2013 here yesterday.

Under the pharmaceuticals EPP, Liow said the industry was leveraging on the patent expiration of major “blockbuster” drugs by pursuing generic export opportunities.

He said these projects would have a direct impact on Malaysia's healthcare infrastructure and indirectly result in greater quality care for patients.

“For example, the increase in hospital beds, doctors and nurses due to the growth in the industry will reduce waiting times for patients, shorten the turnaround time on diagnostic and radiological services and improve the quality of patient outcomes,” he said.

Liow added that the Government had taken various steps to attract and retain human resources through fixed time-based promotions for doctors, dentists and pharmacists and by increasing on-call and specialist allowances.
Posted on 18:00 | Categories:

Tanjung Karang folk to get new RM250mil hospital

An RM250mil hospital will be built to replace the existing 46-year-old facility here.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who launched the site of the new building, said the 150-bed hospital will be ready by 2016.

“The groundbreaking and earthworks will be done this year. JKR (the Public Works Department) will be calling for tenders. Next year, the infrastructure works should commence,” Liow told reporters after inspecting the 16.19ha site.

The new hospital, sited 6.5km from Tanjung Karang town and 7.5km from Kuala Selangor town, will serve some 200,000 residents in its vicinity.

Liow said the new facility would also be an upgrade a “minor specialist hospital”.

“Cases requiring specialists are now referred to the Sungai Buloh hospital, which is quite a distance away.

“There are eight visiting specialists who come weekly to Tanjung Karang Hospital and when the new building is ready we will station some of these specialists there permanently,” he added.
Posted on 11:27 | Categories:

Friday, 22 March 2013

More ‘Safety Points’ for the Klang Valley

Police will expand the “Safety Point” programme, which involves private sector employees in fighting crime, to the rest of the Klang Valley by June.

Federal National Key Results Areas (NKRA) Secretariat chief Comm Datuk Ayub Yaakob said the pilot project was launched in Bukit Bintang recently.

He explained that the project, which ropes in seven 7-11 outlets and two Pos Malaysia branches, would enable victims of crime to get immediate assistance.

“The pilot project focuses on the Bukit Bintang area and involves some 40 personnel of the two companies.

“They will be trained to act as first responders to assist crime victims,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Comm Ayub added that police patrols in areas surrounding the outlets would also be increased.

“This is the latest initiative in our effort to boost engagement with the public ... and 24-hour outlets are the best option given that people can go there at any time,” he said, adding that such outlets were also fitted with CCTVs.
Posted on 20:30 | Categories:

#LahadDatu: Filipino accused says he ‘foolishly’ took part in Sabah intrusion

A Filipino accused of being part of a terrorist group told the High Court here yesterday that he had been “foolish” and that he was “paid” to join a group of intruders which occupied a remote seaside village in Lahad Datu.

Holland Kalbi said he was asked by “someone” to be part of the terror group and was paid for it.

“I was just being foolish,” said Holland who was among eight Filipino nationals who were produced before Tawau High Court judge P. Ravinthran yesterday.

Kalbi said this through a Bajau court interpreter when asked by Justice Ravinthran whether he had anything to say about the proceedings.

Justice Ravinthran subsequently advised him that he should bring this to the attention of his lawyer that would be arranged for him if he did not have one of his own.

Kalbi is one of four Filipinos charged under Section 130K of the Penal Code for being a member of a terror group.

The others are Lin Mad Salleh, Habil Suhaili and Timhar Hadir. All four face life imprisonment upon conviction.

Another two fellow Filipino nationals Atik Hussein Abu Bakar and Basad H Manuel also face a similar charge as well as being accused of waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Section 121 of the Penal Code that carries the death penalty.

Court says raid on Borders bookstore, seizure of Irshad Manji's books illegal

The High Court here on Friday held that the raid on Borders bookstore,and the seizure of Irshad Manji's controversial book 'Allah, Liberty and Love' were illegal.

On June 18, Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd, which owns Borders, and its two employees, assistant general manager (merchandising) Stephen Fung Wye Keong and Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, had applied for a judicial review to challenge the seizure of the book by Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi).

On June 25, they obtained leave for a judicial review from the High Court to challenge the seizure.

In the leave application, they had sought, among others, a certiorari order to quash the decision by Jawi officers in raiding, searching and seizing the books on May 23 at the Borders bookstore, The Gardens Mall in Mid Valley City.

Posted on 11:15 | Categories:

Thursday, 21 March 2013

#LahadDatu: Misuari’s claim a lie - MILF

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has denied the claim that the Malaysian Government had used it to strengthen its claim on Sabah.

MILF secretariat head Mohammad Ameen also dismissed claims by former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari that Malaysia was responsible for promoting disunity among the Moro people.

“This is a total lie and completely fabricated. Misuari has committed a sin for making such an irresponsible and callous statement against both the MILF and the Malaysian Government.

“He should rectify and atone for this,” Mohammad was quoted as saying in a news report by the Luwaran News Centre yesterday.

He was responding to Misuari, who accused Malaysia of being a “stumbling block” in efforts to unite rival Moro groups in southern Philippines.

Misuari also said that the MILF was “the instrument of Malaysian colonialism” and that it was Malaysia which was “pulling the strings” behind the MILF.

Mohammad pointed out that it was Malaysia who called for the formation of the Bangsamoro Solidarity Conference (BSC) in 2002 to unite the MNLF and MILF factions, as well as to promote a common position among them, especially in their dealings with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Positive outlook for Malaysian economy

The Malaysian economy is expected to grow steadily at 5% to 6% in 2013, thanks to strong domestic demand, robust private investment and a better global outlook.

Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz expects growth to be sustained on the back of higher domestic demand and an improvement on the exports front as the global economy recovers.

She added that last year's better-than-expected 5.6% full-year growth came despite a weaker global economic environment.

Zeti said private investments were expected to grow 15.6% this year, led by investments in the services sector while private consumption growth would remain firm at 7.1% backed by income growth and stable employment prospects.

She told a press conference that the minimum wage policy would contribute positively to income growth while the unemployment rate was expected to remain stable at 3.1%.

Meanwhile, CIMB Investment Bank Bhd economic research head Lee Heng Guie expects the economy to grow by 5.5% this year.

“While domestic catalysts will continue to anchor growth, the cyclical upturn in exports should improve economic prospects,” he said.
Posted on 15:30 | Categories:

#LahadDatu: Eight Filipinos on terror charges taken to Tawau High Court

Eight Filipino nationals charged with terrorism and waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong arrived at the High Court here Thursday morning under heavy police escort.

They were among the first batch of 108 people detained under preventive security laws following attacks against Malaysian security forces.

On Wednesday, the eight, aged between 17 and 66, were charged at a temporary Magistrate's Court in the Lahad Datu district police headquarters.

Each of the Filipinos was charged under Section 130 KA of the Penal Code with launching terrorism acts and waging war under Section 121 of the Penal Code.

Section 130 KA provides for a jail term of up to 30 years while Section 121 provides for the death penalty upon conviction.

The case was transferred to the High Court here for hearing following an application by the prosecution.

The names of those charged were not made available.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

#LahadDatu: 107 to be charged over Sabah incursion

Over 100 people arrested in connection to the Feb 12 Sulu armed intrusion at Kg Tanduo about 135km from here are likely to face charges in court very soon.

Those arrested include suspected gunmen, uniformed personnel and villagers who might have directly or indirectly abetted the Sulu gunmen.

As of yesterday, 107 people were arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Somsa) and over 243 for various other offences including the Immigration Act and National Registration Act.

Some of them were arrested within the Ops Daulat area where security forces launched an air and artillery offensive on March 4 to flush out the terrorists from Tanduo before it spread towards villages in Tanjung Labian area.

Many others were arrested in Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak, Sandakan and other parts of the state.

Sabah police chief Comm Datuk Hamza Taib said the suspects were being investigated for various offences including possession of offensive weapons, suspicious personal documents and illegal entry, among others.

He explained that Somsa (which replaced the Internal Security Act) was used for investigations and charges would be filed under the Penal Code.

Penubuhan #ESSCOM Pertingkatkan Lagi Keselamatan Perairan di Sabah

Penubuhan Kawasan Keselamatan Khas Timur Sabah (ESSCOM) membabitkan lima daerah di pantai timur Sabah dan ia terdiri daripada Sandakan, Tawau, Kunak, Kudah dan Lahad Datu. Dengan penubuhan ESSCOM ini akan membabitkan penyelarasan kerjasama antara tiga komponen, iaitu penduduk setempat, pasukan tentera dan pihak polis bagi membanteras ancaman pengganas.
Jika diperhalusi ESSCOM bukanlah sesuatu yang asing bagi Malaysia kerana ketika Sarawak berhadapan dengan ancaman komunis pada tahun 1970-an, Kawasan Keselamatan Rajang (RASCOM) secara khusus diujudkan untuk berhadapan dengan ancaman tersebut.
Sudah pasti ada yang mempersoalkan mengapa baru kini kerajaan menubuhkan ESSCOM sedangkan ancaman keselamatan memang sudah lama ujud seperti beberapa siri penculikan yang didalangi oleh kumpulan pengganas dari selatan Filipina.
Perlu ditekankan bahawa selama ini sememangnya ujud beberapa struktur keselamatan khas khusus untuk menangani isu keselamatan Sabah yang dianggap begitu mencabar dan unik. Mencabar kerana perairan terbuka sepanjang 1,400 kilometer begitu sukar untuk diawasi dan unik kerana komposisi penduduk Sabah yang mempunyai sejarah asal usul begitu menarik.
Operasi Padanan & Sipadan Island Resort atau lebih dikenali dengan nama singkatan Ops Pasir adalah salah satu struktur keselamatan yang diujudkan untuk berhadapan dengan ancaman khusus iaitu penculikan pelancong terutama sekali di pulau terpencil. Ops Pasir mula diperkenalkan pada tahun 2000 dan diuruskan oleh Markas Angkatan Bersama, Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (MAB-ATM).

Malaysia’s education system is fast becoming world’s best

The Malaysian education system is on track to becoming among the world’s best as stringent monitoring is in place to ensure its success under the Government Transformation Plan (GTP).

“The rate of improvement of the system in the last 15 years is among the fastest in the world,” the GTP report said.

Malaysia also ranks among the top in the world for equitable access to education.

However, Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said there was still a long way to go before Malaysia could justly claim that its education system was at par with the world’s best.

“But the Government is committed to transforming it to be among the best in the region,” he said.

The targets of GTP 2.0 include achieving 92% enrolment at pre-schools; scoring international average in Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS); and reducing urban-rural achievement gaps by 25%.

The initiatives under GTP encompasses changes aimed at “three-foot horizon”, which would form the first wave of change towards the overall goals of the 12-year Malaysian Education Blueprint.
Posted on 16:00 | Categories:

Government’s transformation policies have greatly benefited Malaysians

The people have benefited greatly from the Government's national transformation policy which has seen family income grow from RM4,025 in 2009 to RM5,000 a month in four years, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Unveiling a glowing report card that listed achievements since he took office in April 2009, the Prime Minister stressed on the importance of the nation having an effective government that delivers on its promises to the rakyat.

Thanks to hard work, dedication and cooperation from all parties, a better standard and quality of life for the people had been attained with the economy progressing while government finances remained healthy, he said.

The Prime Minister said his administration deserved a strong mandate to turn Malaysia into a high-income nation.

He announced that the BR1M cash aid initiative for the low-income group, which started last year, would be an annual affair.

Najib said: “It is clear that this is a responsible Government which delivers on its promises. This Government puts the well-being of the people above everything else.

“In a country that practises democracy, the people determine which party is to be entrusted to form the government. There are effective governments and there are those which are weak and fail to fulfil what is entrusted to them,” he told the nation “live” on TV channels last night as he presented the annual report of Pemandu, the performance management and delivery unit of the Prime Minister's Department.
Posted on 12:54 | Categories: ,

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

ESSCOM - ESSZONE: Kerajaan Laksana Pendekatan Holistik Lindungi Keselamatan Rakyat Sabah

Mungkin ada orang ramai yang tertanya-tanya serta ingin tahu mengenai latar belakang penubuhan Kawasan Keselamatan Khas Pantai Timur Sabah (ESSCOM) dan Zon Selamat Sabah Timur (ESSZONE). Sudah pasti ada yang mempersoalkan mengapa baru kini kerajaan menubuhkan ESSCOM sedangkan ancaman keselamatan memang sudah lama wujud seperti beberapa siri penculikan yang didalangi oleh kumpulan pengganas dari selatan Filipina.
Penulis ingin berkongsi fakta serta maklumat diperolehi dari media arus perdana supaya dapat memberi pencerahan kepada rakyat khususnya berhubung peranan serta fungsi  ESSCOM sebelum ditukar kepada ESSZONE.
Perlu ditekankan bahawa selama ini sememangnya ujud beberapa struktur keselamatan khas khusus untuk menangani isu keselamatan Sabah yang dianggap begitu mencabar dan unik. Mencabar kerana perairan terbuka sepanjang 1,400 kilometer begitu sukar untuk diawasi dan unik kerana komposisi penduduk Sabah yang mempunyai sejarah asal usul begitu menarik.
Operasi Padanan dan Sipadan Island Resort atau lebih dikenali dengan nama singkatan Ops Pasir adalah salah satu struktur keselamatan yang diwujudkan untuk berhadapan dengan ancaman khusus iaitu penculikan pelancong terutama sekali di pulau terpencil. Ops Pasir mula diperkenalkan pada tahun 2000 dan diuruskan oleh Markas Angkatan Bersama, Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (MAB-ATM).
Begitu juga dengan organisasi keselamatan lain seperti Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM), Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia (APMM) dan Jabatan Imigresen mempunyai peranan tertentu demi menjamin keselamatan perairan Sabah.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Angry goldsmith shop worker splashes acid on fleeing robber

A furious employee of a goldsmith shop splashed corrosive fluid on an armed robber who was fleeing with three others after a heist at the shop in Taman Sri Duyong here.

In reaction, the robber hastily fired a shot as he rushed out of the shop. Another random shot was fired to scare off passers-by as the four armed men fled on two motorcycles.

An acid-laced glove and two bullet casings were later found by policemen investigating the 11.30am robbery yesterday.

State Crime Investigation chief Asst Comm Raja Shahrom Raja Abdullah said that any clinic or hospital where a patient had sought treatment for acid burns should alert the police immediately.

There were no other casualties and the losses incurred in the robbery had yet to be determined.

From initial investigations and CCTV footage, ACP Raja Shahrom said based on their size and movement, the men were estimated to be below the age of 30.


Posted on 20:30 | Categories:

#LahadDatu: Another terrorist shot dead

A four-day lull in the ongoing Ops Daulat was shattered yesterday morning when another gunman was shot dead by security forces, bringing the number of terrorists killed to 62 so far.

Army Field Command chief Leftenan-Jeneral Datuk Seri Zulkiple Kassim said security forces came into contact with a group of militants twice at 9.55am and 10.15am at Kampung Tanjung Batu.

“One gunman was killed in the second encounter and three others escaped. The fight with the other enemies is still ongoing and we believe they are still in the area, which has been surrounded,” he said during a press conference at Felda Sahabat 16 here.

Lt-Jen Zulkiple said security forces were conducting house-to-house checks for the gunmen, who were believed to have split up to avoid detection.

The last gunfight occurred on Tuesday when a soldier was killed and another injured along with three gunmen shot dead near Sungai Nyamuk not far from Tanjung Batu.

Lt-Jen Zulkiple said mopping-up operations were continuing in Kampung Tanduo and Tanjung Labian, adding that residents who had fled the two villages would be allowed to return to their homes once these places were declared safe.

Women from all walks of life join Purple Walk

Women nationwide joined the 1Million Women Purple Walk fiesta as the nation celebrates the contribution of women.

In Nusajaya, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman lauded the roles that women played in the family, community and economic development, citing them as natural multi-taskers.

“One of the main assets of women is their ability to do many things at once and do them well,” he said during the state-level event in Kota Iskandar yesterday.

About 20,000 people dressed in purple participated in the event, said to be held for the first time, in all 56 constituencies in Johor.

In Ipoh, about 20,000 people took part in the event at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Recreational Park.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir flagged off the participants at SM Vokasional Ipoh at about 8.30am and joined them in the brisk walk towards the park.

In Lumut, about 1,000 folks showed up to support the event at the jetty.
Posted on 11:07 | Categories:

Friday, 15 March 2013

#LahadDatu: Needs of those affected by crisis taken care of, says Anifah

All measures to address the needs of those affected by the terrorist intrusion in Lahad Datu and the on-going Ops Daulat have been taken.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said various government departments and agencies were working together in helping the people in the affected areas.

He said the Government would continue to take the necessary measures to provide protection to civilians.

“These include measures to address humanitarian needs such as medical needs of civilians.

“Malaysia therefore views with serious concern the unjustified and unsubstantiated allegations of human rights abuses as reported by some media in the Philippines.

“We strongly reject those allegations,” he said in a briefing for diplomatic corps at Wisma Putra here yesterday.

He stressed that Malaysia is committed in upholding the principles of the Asean Charter and Asean Declaration on Human Rights.

Anifah also said requests to bring back the terrorists' bodies to the Philippines would have to be made through diplomatic channels after the completion of the post-mortem.

#LahadDatu: Disease prevention and treatment at shelters

Everything is in place for disease prevention and treatment at the four temporary shelters for the displaced villagers in Felda Sahabat 16, about 130km from Lahad Datu town.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said six medical and health teams had been sent there to monitor the cleanliness as well as health of displaced villagers.

The teams are also assigned to give personal hygiene and other health-related talks to villagers to prevent disease outbreaks

Liow said two psychiatrists would be taking turns to provide counselling to traumatised villagers and security forces.

He said this after visiting injured security forces at the Lahad Datu town. He had earlier visited the shelter in Chenderawasih with Sabah health director Dr Christina Rundi and other medical staff.

He added that four containers to keep bodies of the killed Sulu gunmen had also been placed at the hospital here as the existing mortuary was not big enough.
Posted on 15:00 | Categories:

#LahadDatu: Ministry hopes to raise over RM130,000 for kin of fallen fighters

The Housing and Local Government Ministry hopes to raise at least RM130,000 for the Tabung Wira Negara in aid of the families of security personnel killed in the fight against invaders in Lahad Datu.

Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said it was in the midst of coming up with a mechanism for a minimum RM10 contribution from the salary of each ministry staff this month.

“We have around 13,000 staff working in agencies under our ministry. Hopefully, they will be generous and contribute more,” he told reporters here yesterday.

Earlier, Chor witnessed the signing of a corporate integrity pact between the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleaning Corporation (PPSPPA) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

During the event, PPSPPA pledged to make deductions from the March salaries of all its staff, promising a contribution of over RM11,000 for the fund.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

#LahadDatu: Mobile hospital for Felda Sahabat villagers

The Health Ministry is expected to send a mobile hospital to Felda Sahabat in Lahad Datu next week to beef up the medical needs there following the Sulu incursion.

Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he and ministry officials had returned on Wednesday from visiting the evacuation centre for displaced villagers who were affected by the attack in Lahad Datu, Sabah.

"This is to provide the necessary medical attention to the villagers who need it," he said after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the Ambulatory Care Centre at Hospital KL Thursday.

Liow said that currently, there were six teams comprising 44 medical personnel based at the Felda Sahabat clinic, and the services would be beefed up with a mobile hospital.

He said that the mobile hospital was provided only for the period of the crisis following the incursion. He also urged villagers to safeguard hygiene and clear up rubbish to prevent diseases from spreading.

Source : CLICK

#LahadDatu: Defence Ministry takes over Sabah's eastern coastline from JPM

The Defence Ministry is now responsible for overseeing Sabah east coast's 1,400km coastline previously under the purview of the Prime Minister's Department (JPM).

Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Sabah's waters, now monitored by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), would be the responsibility of his ministry and the Malaysian Royal Navy following the new directive.

"I received this command last Friday in a letter from Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the minister responsible for the MMEA.

"MMEA's command in Sabah has been handed over to me (Defence Ministry), it is no longer under the JPM," he told reporters after a courtesy call from Singapore Armed Forces Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong.

Ahmad Zahid said the move was necessary for coordinated operations between the navy and MMEA.

"I thank the Deputy Prime Minister for his trust and will take this responsibility to defend and carry out surveillance on the coastline and waters of East Sabah," he said.

Breitling team to display air skills in Subang

The Breitling jet team is set to put Malaysians in awe with its aerobatics jet performance in Subang Skypark at 11am on Saturday.

Those coming to the event will be given an open air visual treat as the team, made up of ex-fighter pilots from the French air force, will fly seven L-39C Albatros military training jets in impressive sequences of synchronised rolls, loops and crossovers.

Breitling jet team leader Jacques Bothelin said the team’s aerial display was an artistic expression.

“We give the public an emotive 25-minute performance with elegant manoeuvres, smoke, music and commentary,” he said.

VIP Tengku Panglima Besar Selangor Tengku Abdul Samad Shah and media personalities got a first-hand experience as they joined the pilots for a spin in the jets yesterday.

Radio announcer Jin Lim said the once-in-a-lifetime experience was awesome.

“I was allowed by my pilot to take control, and I got to do some barrel rolls! It was very exciting!” he exclaimed.

The jet team is the world’s largest civilian aerobatics team and is an ambassador for Swiss watchmaker Breitling.

Source : CLICK

Posted on 10:00 | Categories:

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Free thrills and spills at i-City

i-City is giving out 18,000 free passes worth RM700,000 as part of its campaign to promote its tornado ride.

The ride, which opened in Novem- ber last year and is the first of its kind in South-East Asia, has become a hit among visitors to the waterpark at i-City.

“The free passes are made available online so that it is easily accessible to everyone and from anywhere.

“All you need to do is visit our webpage, select your preferred date and follow the few simple steps to complete the booking.

“Then bring along the printout and present it to the ticketing counter on the particular day that you have chosen,” said I-Berhad director Monica Ong.

She said 100 free passes were available daily and the promotion would last for six months between March 15 and Sept 15.

She said if anyone missed out on the 100 free passes, they could still enjoy the ride at a discount.

Ong said 400 passes would be offered at RM10, 300 at RM15 and another 300 at RM20 each.
Posted on 21:00 | Categories:

#LahadDatu: Zahid Hamidi: Security forces’ spirits still high

The security forces have shown strong commitment in carrying out their duties, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“Despite being on the ground for more than a month, their spirits remain high,” he said.

The Government, he said, would continue to monitor media reports from the Philippines about the involvement of certain Opposition politicians in the Lahad Datu incident.

“We believe that more information will be exposed about their involvement in the conflict,” he said after announcing the financial re­­sults of Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Ten­tera here yesterday.

Zahid Hamidi also said the Philippine media should not publish conflicting reports on the situation in Sabah.

“We do not want certain media reports to affect the good ties between Malaysia and the Philippines,” he said.

He said that a permanent security camp would be set up in Lahad Datu to monitor the situation after Ops Daulat ended.

The operations of the camp would then be taken over by the Malaysian Enforcement Maritime Agency, the National Security Council and police.

#LahadDatu: Two soldiers posthumously promoted to corporal

The two fallen heroes, Pbt Ahmad Hurairah Ismail, 24 and Pbt Ahmad Farhan Ruslan, 21, have been posthumously promoted to the rank of corporal.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that both soldiers' families would receive an increase in pensions to about RM2,500.

"On behalf of the ministry and the armed forces, I offer our deepest condolences to the families.

"They are heroes for defending our country," he said at the Royal Malaysian Air Force Base here Wednesday.

The soldier's bodies arrived at the base around 8am and were received with full military honours.

Dr Ahmad Zahid and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak were among those present to pay their last respects.

The remains will be flown to Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan before being transported to to soldiers' respective hometowns for burial.

Himpunan Hijau's Wong Tack to contest in Bentong under Pakatan ticket

Himpunan Hijau chairman Wong Tack has declared that he will contest the Bentong parliamentary seat in the 13th general election.

He said that after weeks of intense discussion with the group's committee and with endorsements from leaders of the civil society, he would represent the voice of the people, particularly on green issues.

"The people have struggled for the past two years against Lynas and other hazardous projects. The rakyat have organised protest after protest, submitted memorandums after memorandums and taken actions through legal means.

"However, to our great disappointment, all our voices have fallen on deaf ears of those in power.

"This gives us no choice but to utilise the political platform to remove the current regime in order to make way for Pakatan Rakyat to fulfill its promise to the people when it comes into power," he said in a statement Tuesday.

Wong added that Himpunan Hijau's prime objective was to bring down Lynas and to be a part of the policy-making process in the new government with regards to environmental protection and sustainable development.
Posted on 10:00 | Categories:

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

#LahadDatu: Permanent security post to be set up once Ops Daulat ends

A permanent base will soon be set up at Lahad Datu, in Sabah, to monitor the situation after Ops Daulat ends, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

He said the base will be taken over by the Malaysian Enforcement Maritime Agency (MMEA), National Security Council (NSC), and the police once the ongoing operation has ended.

"The new camp will take some time to be set up and we are temporarily putting cabins and our national security personnel at the location," he told a press conference after announcing the financial results of Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) at its headquarters here Tuesday.

He also warned the Philippines media not to produce conflicting reports of the real situation on the ground of the ongoing conflict in Sabah.

"We do not want certain media reports to affect the good ties Malaysia enjoys with the Philippines," he said.
Source : CLICK

#LahadDatu: It was – and is – Malaysian soil

Malaysian security forces fully secured ground zero at Kampung Tanduo and raised the Malaysian flag there as the guns fell silent after a week of heavy bombardment and sporadic fire fights.

Twenty-two bodies of the Sulu terrorists were brought out yesterday and sent for post-mortem to the Lahad Datu and Tawau hospitals as mopping-up operations continued.

Declaring that the operations for remnant gunmen within Tanduo had ended, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said the focus was now on Kampung Tanjung Batu and Kampung Sungai Bilis.

When asked at the daily Ops Daulat briefing at Felda Sahabat 16 Residence Resort if there was any shooting yesterday, he said: “So far, no.”

Hamza added that the security forces were in the final stages of clearing the gunmen in neighbouring villages from where nearly 2,000 people have fled to stay in community halls in Felda Sahabat.

Although life in Semporna and Lahad Datu is returning to normal, he reminded villagers not to re-enter Tanjung Batu and Sungai Bilis, which are still classified as red zones.

On the bodies sent to the hospitals in Lahad Datu (18 bodies) and Tawau (four), Hamza said he could not comment on a purported statement by a forensic officer that one of the bodies was that of Haji Musa, a general of Sulu group leader Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram.

#LahadDatu: Youths show love for peace and harmony

Thousands of youth gathered in Gaya Street in town to commemorate police officers killed in Semporna and Lahad Datu.

The youths, clad in multi-coloured T-shirts holding the Sabah and Malaysian flags, paraded for about 1km along the street together with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman and his Cabinet members yesterday morning.

“This is how our youths show their love for peace and harmony and let the security forces know our prayers are with them,” said Musa.

He added that there were bound to be people who would question the Government’s intentions.

“I hope the people would know who to choose and who to believe when the time comes.

“We must stand united to ensure that no harm would come to the nation and refrain from listening to rumours,” Musa said.

Source : CLICK

Monday, 11 March 2013

#LahadDatu: Groups contribute RM30,000 to police fund

The MCA Public Service and Complaints Department and the National Council of Justices of Peace have each donated RM5,000 to policemen killed in the security operations against the foreign militants in Sabah.

The money was given to the Royal Malaysian Police Welfare Fund.

“Those police officers who protected the country and fought in the frontline will always be the nation’s heroes,” said department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong yesterday.

The council was represented by its deputy president Datuk Seri William Lim.

KK Group chairman Datuk Chai Kee Kan and Ticket Charge Sdn Bhd group chief executive Datuk Dr Dick Yong also contributed to the fund, each donating RM10,000.

Those interested in donating can send their cheques to “Tabung Kebajikan PDRM” and mail it to the department c/o: Datuk Seri Michael Chong, Wisma MCA, Public Service and Complaints Department, 7th Floor, No. 163, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.

For more information, call Wisma MCA at 03-2203 3888.

In LUMUT, MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha has called on PKR vice-president Tian Chua to resign for his remark on the incident.

#LahadDatu: Ministry keeping an eye on displaced residents’ welfare

Health Ministry officers are monitoring the situation at se­veral community halls where residents have been forced to relocate to following the standoff with Sulu gunmen in Lahad Datu.

Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the food served was a matter of concern.

“Food poisoning and other illnesses could easily break out in a location where hundreds of people have been forced to share toilets and other utilities,” he said.

However, he said there were enough medical teams, including those from the military, on standby to look after the displaced residents’ welfare.

Extra doctors, dentists and nurses as well as medicine had also been sent to hospitals and clinics in the affected areas and neighbouring Tawau, said Liow.

“We are also thankful to the security forces who have safeguarded our hospitals and clinics. Their medical teams have also been cooperating with ours.

“We will advise local authorities to install enough mobile public toilets,” he said after attending a function on the East Coast Eco­- nomic Region (ECER) here yesterday.


#LahadDatu: Malaccans show their patriotism

In a show of patriotism, residents in Ujong Pasir near here have come together to send a message to the intruders in Sabah that they would defend the honour and sovereignty of the nation at all cost.

Besides flying the Jalur Gemilang in their homes, a group of them also held a “sit-in” at Pertam in a show of support for the efforts carried out by the armed forces against the intruders.

The group, which also included children, carried a long banner depicting the Jalur Gemilang, while the rest carried miniature flags.

Several of them gave short speeches where they expressed their feelings on what is happening in Sabah.

“We are not afraid, if they (the intruders) come here I will slap them with my bare hands.

“Why disturb a peaceful nation like ours? My father said the intrusion would impact our stability,” said a 12-year-old M. Manosch.

A teenager, R. Esshwer, said he is saddened with the development taking place in Sabah.

“We used to watch news of terror attacks in other parts of the world, but now we are witnessing one in our own country.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

#LahadDatu: More funds for our fallen heroes

A national heroes fund has been set up to assist the families of the security forces personnel who died protecting the nation's sovereignty in Sabah.

The fund would also be channelled to aid national heroes who have been injured in the conflict which erupted after foreign militants attacked the east coast of the state.

The attack by the intruders has left eight policemen dead and several injured.

Initiated by the Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association, the fund is being backed by 474 Chinese organisations as well as individuals in the community.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong praised the individuals and the Chinese-based NGOs involved in the initiative and called upon all Malaysians to chip in to help the affected families.

“The fund can help ease the financial burden of the families of our national heroes who lost their lives in Sabah as well as those who are injured. Their sacrifice is not in vain and will be forever remembered,” he said at the launch of Tabung Perwira at Petaling Street here yesterday.

Lee, who is the fund's adviser, also thanked the security personnel who continued to risk their lives in Sabah as they fought to defend the country.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

#LahadDatu: It’s high time to clean up our act and stop taking things for granted

Just 50km outside Lahad Datu, one has to pass through Silabukan, which has a picturesque coastline. On a clear day, one can see a mass of land which is part of the Tawi-Tawi islands off the Philippines.

Bongao Island, the capital, is clearly visible. Originally a backwater village, Bongao, where the majority of the population is Muslim, is rapidly developing.

It takes only 20 minutes by speedboat for the Filipinos to reach our shores. That's how close we are physically.

But there is also another dimension to our close proximity.

The locals are fond of telling outsiders that it is normal for their Filipino relatives to come to Malaysia for a game of football or volleyball, and then return to the Philippines on the same day.

Obviously we are not even talking about clearing Immigration.

The Filipino influence on our side is so strong that some of the grocery shops are referred to as “sari-sari”.

At the Danggan Tungku fishing village, one can look across and see Sibutu, which is also part of the Tawi-Tawi islands.

From where I stood, the villagers were talking excitedly about the fighter jets bombing Kg Tanduo.

Friday, 8 March 2013

#LahadDatu: Special area being set up to safeguard Sabah’s east coast

A Special Security Area is being set up in Sabah to safeguard the sovereignty and security of the state's east coast.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the establishment of the area which will include the districts of Kudat, Tawau, Kunak, Sandakan and Lahad Datu.

Najib also said an additional five battalions of soldiers and policemen would be deployed to Sabah. The ratio of soldiers to policemen would be decided later.

The Prime Minister said the proposal to establish the special area was agreed to by the Cabinet at its meeting yesterday.

Najib said the move was to boost the confidence of the people in Sabah that the Government would do everything to maintain peace and safeguard the country's sovereignty.

“Lahad Datu will be made the command centre and several temporary cabins will be placed there so the centre can begin functioning immediately. The centre, which will comprise officers from the military, police and the civil service, will be headed by (Sabah chief minister) Datuk Seri Musa Aman,” he said after attending a briefing on the ongoing “Ops Daulat” against the armed intruders here.

#LahadDatu: Netizens praise Malaysian troops

There has been an outpouring of support for the country's security forces serving in the conflict in Sabah.

Malaysians took to Twitter to rally support for the security personnel currently engaged in the offensive against armed gunmen.

Twitter user @WanieIzwa wrote that Ops Daulat must continue until the invaders from Sulu surrender or were killed.

“Authorities should search for them even down to the worm hole,” she tweeted.

Another Malaysian, @Hazrey, tweeted that the offensive was “not a war against Muslims but a war against murderers who had killed Malaysian security personnel”.

Aizad Ahmad (@aizaddd79) tweeted that Ops Daulat was a “humanitarian mission to free Sabah from intruders”.

In their many letters to The Star, readers paid tribute to the fallen security forces and those who are still fighting the armed intruders.

#LahadDatu: Sulu group leader Azzimudie's fate still unknown

The fate of Sulu armed group leader Azzimudie Kiram remains unknown as Malaysian elite military and police teams enter into the final stage of search and mopping up operations at Kampung Tanduo and Kampung Tanjung Batu near here Friday.

Azzimudie, the brother of self-styled Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, has failed to contact the Kiram family in Manila for the past two days and security forces expect to know what happened to him in a day or two.

The so-called Royal Sulu Army general identified as Haji Musa was among the some 30 gunmen killed in a shootout at Kampung Tanjung Batu on Wednesday.

Azzimudie and his trusted commanders were believed to be among those who slipped out of Kampung Tanduo on Sunday, two days before aerial and artillery bombardment began on Tuesday.

Azzimudie told The Star over the telephone Wednesday that one of his sons was with him in Tanduo along with 200 to 300 of his followers, including six women.

Malaysian security forces launched an all-out offensive against the intruders on Tuesday, after a stand-off that began on Feb 9.
Source : CLICK

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Lahad Datu: Tight land, sea cordon to cut off enemy food, weapons supply, says Sabah CPO

The security forces have cordoned off all sea and land routes to prevent food and weapons supplies from reaching the armed intruders from Southern Philippines.

The police, Armed Forces and Navy have also nabbed intruders who had attempted to leave and enter Kg Tanduo and Kg Tanjung Batu to get food supplies, said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib.

"We have created a tight cordon around the area, with the help of the Navy at sea and Armed Forces on land.

"Their food supplies are cut off because we have caught many of the intruders during their attempts to get food," he said during a live interview on TV3's Malaysia Hari Ini (MHI) programme, here on Thursday.

"The intrusion occurred on Feb 12 and so far in the process of handling the situation, eight Malaysian police personnel and more than 30 terrorists have died since last Friday.

Commenting on Wednesday's reports of the armed intruders now impersonating members of the public, Hamza said the authorities did not deny the possibility and had cordoned off Kg Tanjung Batu to ensure there were no residents there before going on the offensive.

Lahad Datu: Residents confident security forces can resolve situation

The residents of several villages here, who had to be evacuated following the intrusion by an armed group from Southern Philippines, are confident that the nation's security forces can resolve the situation.

Villagers from Kampung Tanduo, Tanjung Labian, Tanjung Batu, Tanagian and Sungai Bilis who are camped out in Embara Budi and Fajar Harapan multi-purpose halls, told Bernama that they now felt safer with the tight security provided by the police and armed forces.

Hoping that the security forces could capture the remnants of the group in the near future, Kampung Tanjung Labian community leader Assaffal Alian, 48, said some villagers were still traumatised by the incident.

"They feel much less fearful now with the tight 24-hour security by the police, army and Civil Defence Department.

"We thank the government for taking stern action against these intruders who have caused us hardship," he said.

A resident of the same village, Musli Jaafar, 52, said his family had to evacuate with just the clothes on their backs after receiving orders from the authorities last Sunday.

"This is a very scary experience. On Tuesday I heard bombs exploding in Kampung Tanduo. The terrorists deserve it and the government has taken the right action," he said.