KOTA KINABALU, April 8, 2016: The source of cross border crimes at Sabah's
East Coast is at the Philippines, says former Chief Minister Datuk Yong
He added that the lairs of these bandits is at the Sulu Sea islands and
Mindanao. The environment in which these bandits thrive is weak
government, corruption-riddled security forces, proliferation of weapons,
breaches of peace agreements and poverty and injustices in the
"Hence, the long term, sustainable solutions to the security nightmare at
Sabah's east coast lay at the Philippines. Malaysia, and now Indonesia,
being victims of Filipino cross border crimes, should use all leverages
against the Philippine government to eliminate the dens, the networks, the
fast boats (used for kidnappings) and the kidnapping syndicates. The
Philippines must be made to realise that, otherwise, they will pay a heavy
price for their bad behaviour as a bad neighbour. After all, with the help
of the Americans, the Philippines have the resources. Other than the
on-going Balikatan war exercises between American and Filipino militaries,
the American had for years provided training, equipment and support to the
Philippines at the Philippines's Southern Command at Zamboanga.
"Sabah's suspension of ferry services and the centuries-old barter trade
will ease the security burden on Sabah but it will also have a negative
impact on Sabah's economy simply because Sabah is a big net exporter of
consumer goods to the Philippines. And without the ferry, legitimate
travellers will resort to smaller vessels that will land all over the
place instead of at the sea ports. In a few months' time, the economic
effects of the stoppage of barter trade and ferry services will spawn new
social and security problems.
Yong, who is also Sabah Progressive Party President said banning pump
boats is like banning motor cycles to curb mat rempits. Suspending barter
trade and ferry services is like suspending air travel to curb drugs
smuggling and human trafficking through airports.
"Unless there are viable alternatives, the suspension of cross border
trade and travel can only be a temporary pain killer until such time that
the government has figured out what to do.
"It was probable that the primary targets of the new tactics to snatch
boats together with its passengers were China tourists in diving boats.
But pre-emptive actions by Malaysian authorities have foiled these
attempts - so far. Unless long term effective solutions are found to our
security woes, it is not impossible that one day, a boatload of tourists
will sadly fall victim to kidnappers. That would be a real nightmare for