Fish bombing quite rare now, says Salahuddin

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub.

KUALA LUMPUR: Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub today rubbished the notion that fish bombing has become more rampant in Malaysia, following the deaths of three divers in a blast off Semporna, Sabah on Friday.

He told reporters at Parliament that fish bombing is rare these days although still a problem.

He said he would wait for the full details from the police before making any further comments.

“We have to verify who was involved so we can take action in the future,” he said, adding that he would discuss the next step after that with his Sabah counterpart.

Chinese tourists Zhao Zhong and Xu Yingjie, both 26, and diving instructor Ab Zainal Abdu, 30, were killed off Pulau Kalapuan in a blast believed to have been caused by fish bombs.

Police have since arrested a boatman, aged 24, and a guide, 23. A hunt is ongoing for other suspects, said to be mostly sea gypsies.

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal, who is also Semporna MP, called for those involved to receive the highest punishment under the law.

He described it as a perennial problem in Sabah and urged the authorities to investigate how the perpetrators could have obtained the contents needed to make fish bombs.