PENAMPANG: It is time to beef up security along Sabah’s coastal and maritime borders to prevent future intrusion by foreigners, Penampang member of parliament Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said.
That is the lesson to be learnt from the Lahad Datu incident on Friday which had claimed the lives of two Malaysian commandos, the Plantation Industry and Commodities Minister said.
Speaking to reporters after officiating the ‘Pesta Kraf, Makanan dan Minuman Tradisional Penampang 2013’ on Saturday, Dompok was of the opinion that the Malaysian authority must beef up the security in the east coast of Sabah as the intrusion which occurred in February was not a new incident.
“From time to time there have been incidents involving people who cross the border but we do not seem to have taken very strong action. And I think because of this, people take for granted that perhaps everybody is so relaxed in Sabah that they don’t really mind intruders coming in. I think it is a heavy price that we have to pay for we are paying with the lives of our security forces and we should therefore take action before any incidents can happen again,” the United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) president said.
Dompok pointed out that there should be no reason to question the ability of Malaysia’s security forces as they are able to carry out their duties.
“It is only that action must be taken to prevent any further intrusions … if these people had been prevented from entering Sabah in the first place, this would not have happened,” he stressed.
Dompok also said that people in Penampang were saddened by the death of the two Malaysian commandos.
“We all send our deepest condolences to the families of those who died in Lahad Datu. They served valiantly to save the country and I think all Malaysians must be proud that we have these heroes to protect us,” he added.
When asked to comment on the act of some quarters that are trying to politicize the issue, Dompok stressed that it is not a political issue but one about security.
No one needs to politicize the issue, he said and stressed that there is no need for anyone to make any political assumption about it.
“We need to defend the county’s sovereignty and also to ensure that those in Sabah will abide by the law,” Dompok said.