Shafie: Time to take offensive action against cross-border criminals

Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal says Malaysia’s defensive attitude must change as criminal activities have clearly affected the tourism sector. (Bernama pic)

TAWAU: Sabah has called on the federal government to take offensive action against robberies and kidnaps for ransom in Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).

Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal said the time has come for Malaysia to stop taking a defensive attitude as these criminal activities had clearly affected the tourism sector as well as the security of locals and foreign workers who came to Malaysia to find a living.

“They (foreign workers) came to work in Malaysia and they also do not want to be kidnapped.

“It will not work if we keep playing defensive. I think its time for us to go on offensive,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters at a membership form handover ceremony for new members to join Warisan in Kalabakan division here today.

Shafie also proposed government-to-government cooperation involving Indonesia and Philippines over the matter.

In this regard, he would be asking security forces to step up their operations in Sabah.

“I will be having a meeting with the security division on Monday and I want operations to be improved,” he said.

On Dec 5, four armed men in a speedboat attempted to rob a trawler, Magtrans II, in the waters of Pegasus Reef in Kinabatangan.

The suspects fired two shots randomly at the trawler which hit Magtran’s skipper on the left thigh.

Apart from that, a fishing boat owner also reported four of his workers, comprising a skipper and three fishermen, have gone missing from the same waters on the same day.