KLUANG, Feb 14, 2016:

There is no specific formula in tackling the new security threat faced by the government in this region, says Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

However, he added, the government would always ensure that any proactive, pre-emptive or preventive measure taken would be suitable in dealing with this new threat.

“There is no fixed formula but what is important is, we have to realise that the threat we are facing now is not the traditional threat we used to face with Jemaah Islamiah, Al-Qaeda, Nordin Mat Top and Mas Selamat,” he told reporters at a Chinese New Year celebration at Sin Yu Lee Restaurant in Paloh here, today.

Hishammuddin said the recent move by the Abu Sayyaf group and Nur Misuari to pledge their allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) or Daesh must not be taken lightly.

“So, whatever plan that we want to make, whether to take proactive or preventive measures, will depend on the new threat the world has to face now from Daesh,” he said.

He was asked whether the government planned to “clean out” villages in Sabah that were often associated with militant activities.

Yesterday, six individuals including a woman were arrested by security forces in a concerted operation in Telipok, Sabah, as they were believed to be informants for foreign criminals.

The six suspects are being investigated on their possible involvement with foreign criminals, especially from southern Philippines.

On the arrests, Hishammuddin said the operation was carried out with the police based on intelligence information.

He said a lot of changes had been made to safeguard Sabah and its people’s security, more so after the intrusion incident in Lahad Datu in 2013.

He said these included the upgrading of Lahad Datu Airport as a forward operation base for helicopters and the stationing of 12 AV8 Gempita amphibious multirole armoured vehicles at Kukusan Camp, Tawau.

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