PUTRAJAYA, Dec 17, 2015:

The Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) will be getting more assets, according to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the reinforcement was crucial in establishing ESSCom’s presence over the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) stretching more than 1,700km.

The additional assets included a state of the art radar, an attack helicopter and drones.

“Preparedness is not just rhetoric and commitment on paper. We must meet ESSCom’s surveillance requirements and enforcement personnel preparedness,” he told a media conference on ESSCom today.

Earlier, he chaired a high level meeting on development projects for ESSZone and acquisition for ESSCom at the Home Ministry here.

Also present were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

Ahmad Zahid said ESSZone which comprises 10 districts, namely Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau was very vulnerable to intruders.

Hence, he said, to prevent any likelihood of such threats, coordination and recognition of it were emphasised among the enforcement agencies involved.

“Powerful nations had in the past failed to resist guerrilla war tactics; we should not be trapped in the same way,” he said.

On the current security status in the ESSZone, he described it as good, judging from the morale of the personnel.

During the media conference, Ahmad Zahid also introduced ESSCom’s new commander SAC Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid, who is replacing DCP Abdul Rashid Harun.

Abdul Rashid has been promoted and will assume duties as Sabah Police Commissioner effective Dec 23.

ESSCom also has a new chief executive officer, Noor Alam Khan Abdul Wahid Khan. He replaces Ruji Ubi who has been appointed as Sabah State Development director effective Dec 16.

Meanwhile, Bari, who was Kuala Lumpur Traffic and Public Order chief prior to his appointment, said he was yet unfamiliar with his new task but would do his best.

As for Noor Alam Khan, he felt his appointment as ESSCom’s CEO would be a bigger challenge compared to his job as Sabah Immigration director.

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