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LAHAD DATU, May 28, 2015:

The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) denies using brute force in the ongoing operation to flush out illegals in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone).

Insisting it had remained professional, Esscom Commander Datuk Abd Rashid Harun also said security forces under the initiative did not marginalise or victimise and were always fair in its treatment of business operators and illegal immigrants.

Esscom, he said, was bound by a standard operating procedure as provided for under the law and had always cooperated with other enforcement agencies such as the Immigration and Customs Departments.

“It is impossible for a member or officer of an agency or Esscom to use brute or excessive force without being noticed or without any reports by other agencies that were involved,” he said in a statement here today.

Abd Rashid was commenting on the statement by Tawau Chinese Chambers of Commerce president Lo Su Fui yesterday, claiming that Esscom personnel were being unprofessional and behaving like thugs during operations against illegal immigrants in Esszone.

Abd Rashid then advised the aggrieved party, including business operators concerned, to lodge a police report or lodge a report to an independent body such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“They should come up with a cogent evidence in order for the relevant authorities to take appropriate action. Otherwise it is only a mere allegation.”

He added that while Esscom adopted a friendly approach in tackling illegals in the Esszone, it could not and would not compromise on matters of national security.

Abd Rashid said one of the core objectives of Esscom was to provide a safe and secure environment for socio-economic activities in Esszone.

“Without us, there would be a climate of fear, more rampant criminal and smuggling activities, more entry of illegal immigrants, more kidnap-for-ransom incidences and lastly, a second armed intrusion by the Royal Sulu Forces.”

Abd Rashid said people should come up and propose constructive engagements with Esscom rather than smearing the good image of Esscom.

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