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New Sabah laws won’t hinder polls

 | March 25, 2013

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail says unlike the emergency order, the authorities are not given extra power under the new regulations to beef up security in eastern Sabah.

PUTRAJAYA: Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail today assured that the enforcement of the newly-enacted Preservation of Public Security Regulations 2013 in eastern Sabah would not obstruct the conduct of the general election in the area.

At a press conference to elaborate on the new laws today, Gani said the regulations were not the same as the emergency order, which gave the government the power to suspend polls.

“In contrast to other declarations, there is no extra power given [to the authorities]. Nobody should even dream about talking in that manner.

“There is nothing in the regulations that give extra power to impose curfew and everything.

“I am confident that the [new] laws would not hinder the conduct of the election,” he said.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, when announcing the gazetting of the Preservation of Public Security Regulations 2013, said the government would set up an Eastern Sabah Safety Zone Committee and an Oversight Committee.

The Eastern Sabah Safety Zone Committee would be headed by Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, who will be assisted by a chief executive officer.

He said the prime minister would head the Oversight Committee which would assess the effectiveness of the regulations on a yearly basis.

The new security law covers Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.

The law gives the government the authority to resettle people living in several locations in eastern Sabah, which are considered vulnerable to security threats.

Gani said the resettlement would target illegal immigrants and stateless people, and also some Malaysian citizens.

He, however, said the government would ensure the fundamental rights of the people were protected when resettling them and that Malaysian citizens would be duly compensated.

“Access to basic education, job opportunities, healthcare and accommodations would also be provided in the new settlements,” he said.

Gani also said the nationality of Sulu militant leader Agbimuddin Kiram was no longer relevant since he has violated the country’s laws.

He was responding to PKR’s claims that Agbimuddin, the younger brother of self-styled Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, was a civil servant in a Sabah district office.

“I don’t care whether he is a Malaysian or not; as long as he has committed an offence, we will go after him,” he said.

He also said none of the eight Sulu gunmen who were brought to court recently were Malaysians.

He said he has contacted the Philippine Embassy so that the accused would be given a right of representation.


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