LAHAD DATU: All foreign vessels entering and exiting the east coast of Sabah will have to follow designated routes especially in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) with immediate effect.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi said on Wednesday that the Government had decided on seven gazetted entry zones into Sabah and all foreign vessels will have to follow the legal routes or face action under Malaysian law.
In line with the decision, he said all boat owners in Sabah would have to register their boats to show that the vessels were owned by them and not foreign vessels.
“These two steps are proactive actions that will take immediate effect to ensure the security and safety of the people particularly those in the Esszone,” he told reporters after visiting Pulau Baik where a fish farm manager was abducted by gunmen in military fatigues on Tuesday morning.
Chinese national Yang Zai Lin was abducted from Wonderful Terrace Fish Farm by five gunmen at 2.45am Tuesday.
Yang’s abduction is the second recent kidnapping of a Chinese national in the area. Last month, Chinese tourist Gao Huayun, 29, and Filipina resort worker Marcy Dayawan, 40, were seized from a resort in Sabah.
Zahid also said that seven new outposts will be set up as soon as possible to further strengthen the Esszone.
He added that more assets and equipment would be added for the various security forces (police, armed forces and MMEA) operating in the area to carry out more patrols and strengthen security.
He said these actions were part of short and long term plans for the Esszone and efforts to secure the east coast of the state.
Zahid, who was with minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and East Coast Security Command (Esscom) director-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek, said that many agencies had also sent up various proposals which were being considered.
Zahid will be meeting with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Aman with regard security issues in the Esszone on Thursday.