Sabah strengthens security after latest kidnapping

MALAYSIAN authorities are once again beefing up security along the east coast of Sabah, especially in Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Sandakan, following a new round of violence in the area.

Inspector-general of Malaysia’s police force, Khalid Abu Bakar, told a press conference yesterday that a fresh deployment of 330 policemen and 350 soldiers is under way. They will be stationed at areas including the resort islands off the coast of Sabah and fish farms.

Designated sea routes for traffic between Sabah and the Southern Philippines, as well as details of a curfew will soon be announced.

This comes in the wake of the death of a policeman and the kidnapping of another officer on Mabul Island, off Semporna, on Saturday (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 14, 2014).

It was reported in the New Straits Times today that the kidnappers contacted the Malaysian police late Sunday night demanding a ransom of 10 million, but did not specify any currency or provide instructions and conditions.

The Sun reported today that Malaysia is investigating if Nur Misuari, former Moro National Liberation Front Leader, is the mastermind behind the spate of kidnappings in Sabah.

The paper also quoted Khalid as saying the police is studying the Malaysian navy’s recommendation to adopt a ‘shoot-on-sight’ policy on suspicious vessels off the east Sabah coast.

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