Armed forces ready to act against any foreign disturbance in Sabah

Modified 22 Sep 2020, 6:26 am

SABAH POLLS | The National Task Force led by the armed forces is strengthening its "Op Benteng" in Sabah following police information that there will be a large influx of migrants from a neighbouring country to disrupt polling day on Saturday.

Armed forces (ATM) chief Affendi Buang said ATM is ready to face any situation or threat attempting to disrupt the harmony and sovereignty of the country.

"Surveillance on the land and along the maritime border, not only in Sabah but nationwide, will be strengthened at all times (sebilang masa)," he said in a statement today.

Affendi added that the coordinated deployment of assets of various security and enforcement agencies, as well as the involvement of their members, is geared towards ensuring the state election process will run smoothly.

The National Task Force also involved the police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Malaysian Border Security Agency, Immigration Department and Customs Department.

He urged Sabahans to be their "eyes and ears" and feed any information in regard to encroachment and border-related crime activities to the National Task Force hotline at 011-6251 1223.

Read more: Sabah Decides 2020: Making sense of the players, parties and battles

Affendi's statement followed the revelation by Sabah police commissioner Hazani Ghazali who said police had received information on a plan to create disturbances during polling day.

"In conjunction with the Sabah state election, we have received information that there will be a large influx of immigrants from a neighbouring country who will come to Sabah to create a disturbance.

"We have to thwart this so that the polls can proceed smoothly and public order and security can be maintained," Hazani said on Saturday.

However, he did not divulge details on the matter.

Subsequently, today, Hazani said security forces had beefed up Sabah's security to prevent foreigners from committing criminal activities in the state, including kidnapping.

"There were attempts to commit kidnapping (for ransom). We received this information from our Philippine counterparts... there were attempts (by criminals) there to come over to commit this crime," he said as reported by Bernama.

Hazani said that there had been nine attempts by criminal groups from the Philippines to enter Sabah to commit kidnapping for ransom since May this year, he said.

However, he did not elaborate on the matter.

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