KINABALU, July 21, 2016: "Another cross-border
kidnapping, this time in the vicinity of the infamous location of the 2013 Tanduo incursion, off the heavily guarded Felda plantations.
In fact, this is the "ground zero" that is supposed to be the most secure
part of ESSZONE. And yet cross border bandits have managed to get away
with another five Malaysian hostages. Sadly, this casts a crisis of
confidence on the capability of our security forces.
Having imposed night curfew, banned barter trade, put in security assets,
launched a helicopter base at Lahad Datu, relocated fighter jets to Tawau
and having spent hundreds of millions of Ringgit, the menace of
cross-border kidnapping has continued unabated.
Therefore, it is time for the authorities to admit failure and go back to
the drawing board. It takes more than a costly security infrastructure to
combat such crimes in a volatile region where violence is a way of life,
where guns bring prestige, where poverty is normal, where law and order is
Sabah needs a proper security architecture comprising efficient
intelligence gathering and timely actions to kill Abu Sayyaf bandits on
the Philippines side of the border, a role that was played by Organisation
of Islamic Conference (OIC)-recognised Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)
in the past. It is no shame to revisit some of the early security
architecture that has had it successes in the past.
By Datuk Yong Teck Lee, former Sabah Chief Minister