The improving security situation in Sabah is giving foreign tourists more confidence in the state, says Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.
Mohamad said many foreign tourists, especially from China, travel to Sabah and bring economic growth to the state.
“This proves that tourists are confident of the security aspect in Sabah.
"Security here is getting better from day to day, and we will improve it further, especially in the waters bordering Philippines and Indonesia,” he said.
Mohamad was speaking to reporters after paying a courtesy visit to Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal in Kota Kinabalu today.
The minister said the state government always gave priority to security, which is crucial to economic growth.
He said this included increasing defence assets, such as medium patrol boats for security control in the eastern waters of the state.
“We at the Defence Ministry are always requesting to purchase assets, but we also have to look at the government’s finances from time to time.
“We are confident that when there is economic growth in the country, priority would be given to security, especially in Sabah.
"We are working towards that and the views and reactions from the Finance Ministry have been positive."
Mohamad also said Shafie was satisfied with the role played by the armed forces in maintaining security in the state.
He said the meeting focused on economic growth in the eastern waters of Sabah and trade with the Philippines.
Earlier, Mohamad, accompanied by armed forces chief Zulkifli Zainal Abidin also paid a courtesy visit to Sabah governor Juhar Mahiruddin.