Sabah rep calls for revamp of security

A Sabah lawmaker has proposed that the state government deal with the state’s porous maritime borders

Sabah rep calls for total revamp of border security

A Sabah lawmaker today proposed that the state government form a ministry with broad powers to specifically deal with the state’s porous maritime borders, especially after the recent spate of abductions in the territory.

Suggesting for it to be named the Ministry of Homeland Security, Immigration and Registration, Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said it is time for the state to be given full control of security after Putrajaya’s repeated failures.

“This homeland security should take charge of Sabah immigration, Sabah national registration, state police and labour, including foreign workers,” he said in a statement.

Kitingan’s call comes at a time when the state’s East Sabah Security Command, or Esscom, is struggling to deal with a recent string of incursions, with the latest being two separate kidnappings of Chinese nationals and a high-seas robbery by pirates.

The Malay Mail Online reported that the Star Sabah chairman, who has been a staunch proponent of greater state autonomy, argued that the “ad-hoc” solutions following each reported intrusion were only reactionary and did not deal with the root cause of the issue — which he claimed had everything to do with illegal immigrants and the so-called “Project IC”.

Kitingan claimed that “Project IC” — allegedly orchestrated by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed to artificially raise Bumiputera Muslim numbers in Sabah by granting citizenship to illegal immigrants — provided an opening for criminal elements to establish strong intelligence networks for their cross border operations.

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