LAHAD DATU (Bernama) – The Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) will intensify its engagement programme with grassroots community leaders in explaining the security issue and drastic measures taken to curb the entry of illegals into Sabah, particularly the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).
ESSCom chief executive officer, Ruji Ubi said the explanations were important to enable them to understand the rationale behind the operations to detect and arrest illegals including “Op Gasak” and the special integrated operations conducted in some areas of the ESSZone.
The ESSZone encompasses 10 districts over a distance of 1,733.7 kilometres from Kudat to Tawau. The districts are Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.
Ruji explained that the special integrated operations to nab illegals were a follow-up to the Royal Commission of Inquiry Report on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah and the order from Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman for a massive operation be conducted in tackling the problem of illegals in the state.
“The engagement (under the Psychological Warfare Programme) with grassroots leaders could help forge cooperation and togetherness with residents at all levels in safeguarding national security.
“The task of looking after security should not be left totally to the security forces but accepted by all as a joint responsibility, including by the ESSZone community,” he said in his message at the ESSCom monthly assembly held at the Lahad Datu Marine Police Base hall, yesterday.
Ruji said the principles behind the establishment of ESSCom must be upheld regardless of who was leading the agency as the goal was the same – to make ESSCom an outstanding security entity in maintaining peace in eastern Sabah.
ESSCom commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun also delivered his message on security at the event, which was attended by ESSCom’s chief of Administration/Logistics Brig Gen Subari Tomo, Operations Centre head Brig Gen Datuk Tuan Roslan Tuan Ismail and EssCom Secretariat director Newmond Tibin, among the agency’s high-ranking officials.