Chief of the Indonesian Consul-General’s Office in Tawau, Sulistijo Djati Ismojo, is confident of the Malaysian security forces’ capability in handling the recent kidnapping case in the east coast of Sabah.
Ismojo said it was hoped that the Malaysian government would resolve the case involving two of its citizens who were kidnapped in the waters off Gaya Island, Semporna on Tuesday.
"We are still waiting for reports from the Malaysian authorities about the kidnapping," he said when contacted by Bernama here today.
Sulistijo said he had met the employer of the victims, who were a skipper and assistant skipper of a fishing boat.
"Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry is tracking the victims' families in Sulawesi," he said
In the 12.30am incident, two Indonesian fishermen Samsul Saguni, 40, and Usman Yusuf, 35, were kidnapped by armed men.
This would be the first kidnapping incident in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) in almost two years.
Meanwhile, in Lahad Datu, Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Hazani Ghazali said in a statement that the victims’ fishing boat was not equipped with the automatic identification system (AIS).
Thus, Hazani advised fishing boat operators to instal the automated tracking system on board their boats to enable the authorities to locate them when something untoward happened at sea.
Beefing up security
The kidnapping of two Indonesian fishermen yesterday is a clear signal that security measures in Sabah, especially Esszone, should be further enhanced and should not be compromised.
Deputy Home Minister Mohd Azis Jamman (photo) said it was important for the government to increase allocations to control and secure the Esszone, which involves 1,400km of the eastern Sabah coastline.
"I agree with the government's cost-saving measure involving mega development projects, but the security aspect should not be compromised.
"Don’t reduce the allocation just because kidnapping incidents have not happened for a while. It is important for the government to increase allocation for the Esscom, maritime and police," he told a press conference here today.
Azis also advised the public not to panic over the kidnapping incident.
"I have asked the police and Esscom to tighten security controls in Semporna and Esszone," he said adding that so far, the authorities had yet to receive calls from any quarters claiming responsible for the kidnapping.
Following the incident, he said the fishing activities in the area had been temporarily halted.