Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Locals, scapegoats for ESSCOM’s failings

Esscom II
KOTA KINABALU: Prominent social activist and former international consumerist Patrick Sindu has voiced his support for the restructuring of the East Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) provided it did not have a “hidden agenda” to eliminate senior officials from Sabah who are with the authority.

He said it would be very unfortunate for Sabah if local senior officers were made the scapegoats following several kidnappings along the eastern seaboard since early this year.

“Abduction cases have been happening in Semporna and Lahad Datu since 2000,” said Patrick who did not disclose the basis for his fears. “The ESSCOM restructuring alone does not guarantee 100 per cent that kidnapping cases like this will not happen again.”
He was commenting on the restructuring exercise announced by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak last Tuesday.
Patrick does not see any party as the black sheep behind the kidnappings in Semporna, Lahad Datu and Kunak in particular.
He suggested the government provide adequate and sophisticated radars to help ESSCOM detect the entry of foreign boats, especially those engaged in cross-border crime.
“The government should accelerate the construction of six army and police battalion camps as promised,” said Patrick who attended an ESSCOM briefing in Kota Kinabalu recently. “The feeling is that it’s all just empty talk.”

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