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Esscom doing profile on Bajau Laut amidst security fears

Published:  |  Modified:

PARLIAMENT The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) is profiling the Bajau Laut in Sabah amid concerns raised that the ethnic community pose a security threat to the nation, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim.

"To resolve the issue of the Bajau Laut or Pala'u in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone), Esscom has implemented a series of profiling research.

"The profiling on Pala'u was meant to identify the population of the community, its relocation site and its citizenship status,” said Shahidan.

He was responding to Nasrun Mansur (BN-Silam) who expressed his concern about the Bajau Laut in a written reply to Parliament today.

"What are the measures taken by the government in addressing the issue of the presence of many Pala'u in Sabah?” asked Nasrun.

“They are stateless and they always linger in Sabah waters.

"The situation will only jeopardise the security of the country if no steps are taken by the ministry (to address this issue)," he said.

Shahidan said the Pala'u are just conducting their daily activities as usual and they are still under control.

Bajau Laut, also called sea gypsies, have been staying on the boats at Laut Sulu for long time, he added.

Shahidan also pointed out that these sea gypsies travel between the waters of Sabah, the southern Philippines and Indonesia.

"The actual population of the group is unknown; they are illiterate, destitute and still live on the boats and islands," he added.

According to him, Esscom had conducted profiling at Pulau Omadal, Pulau Kulapuan Semporna and Kampung Labuan Haji in March 2015.

Another profiling at Terumbu Sebangkat, Semporna, was carried out in August, 2015.

Esscom has done a profiling on Kampung Halo, Kampung Bangau-Bangau, Pulau Nusa 3, and Semporna. It aims to conduct a similar exercise in Kampung Kunak 3 in August.

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