ESSCom bans all night activities at sea and rivers
This means that all night activities such as night dives or travelling out to the sea will be disallowed from 6pm till sunrise the next day.
ESSCom director general Datuk Mohammad Mentek announced the order during a dialogue with resort operators in the ESSZone here yesterday.
From today onwards, all activities in the sea and rivers must be carried out during day time only, he said.
“Any night activities such as travelling out to the sea will not be allowed effective today,” he stressed.
He said this measure was to prevent abduction from taking place again.
Mohammad added abduction could happen at resorts, as well as on boats traveling in the sea.
Asked if banning night activities will impact on the tourism industry, particularly the night activities organized by island resorts in the east coast, Mohammad said operators who have unique reasons to carry out night activities must apply to ESSCom.
On whether local fishermen should also follow the new regulation, he said ESSCom is not banning night time fishing at this stage, but he is discouraging fishermen from doing so.
“We will monitor the fishermen when they go fishing at night. But we hope that local fishermen could avoid night time fishing, if possible, as kidnappers are also targeting on locals.”
Mohammad said the locals were also among the victims in the eight abduction cases in Sabah since 2000.
During this critical period, Mohammad said resort operators and security forces should work closely together. Since night activities carry risks of abduction, then such activities should be stopped, he said.
He said the security forces will be conducting patrols from time to time and operators found carrying out night activities will face stern action.
On the other hand, Mohammad said ESSCom only plays a coordinating role and is not in control of the various security forces such as the Malaysian Army, Immigration Department and police.
He said ESSCom was formed on April 1 last year to coordinate the efforts of enforcement units such as the police, army, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Immigration Department and Customs Department.
Therefore, Mohammad said it was incorrect to say that these enforcement units were under the control of ESSCom as they only receive orders from their respective officials.
“ESSCom only has 48 officers,” he disclosed.
He also refuted claims that ESSCom had received hundreds of millions in allocations.
Mohammad said the government had announced a RM200 million allocation from its emergency funds during the Kampung Tanduo intrusion in Lahad Datu for Ops Daulat. However, ESSCom only received RM2.97 million last year, most of which was used to pay the wages of security personnel in the ESSCom.
He said the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced an allocation of RM79 million to ESSCom in Budget 2014. The allocation has been channeled to the Home Ministry while ESSCom had only received RM7.97 million.
Mohammad reiterated that ESSCom had only received RM11 million in allocation for the past two years, and not hundreds of millions as promised.
source: The Borneo Post
You are free to comment on this article using a valid Facebook account.