TAWAU: The Chinese business community along the eastern seaboard of Sabah is working on a memorandum calling for a review of security measures adopted by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom).
The memorandum will be submitted to the State Security Committee headed by Chief Minister Musa Aman and a copy extended to Esscom Director Abdul Rashid.
The memorandum, being prepared by the East Coast Security Committee (ECSC) of the Sabah United Chinese Chambers of Commerce (SUCCC), will reportedly emphasise that the security measures adopted by Esscom had adversely impacted the economy and livelihood of the people in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (EssZone).
The memorandum, according to a statement by ECSC Chairman Mok Tian Sang, would be based on feedback from SUCCC’s Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Sandakan and Kudat members.
Initial feedback from members showed that they have mixed feelings about the 10-hour night curfew, from 7pm to 5am, first imposed in the EssZone on July 19 and thereafter extended to Sept 19 in stages.
“The curfew was imposed under the Police Act as a short term measure only to address the security situation and was supposed to last for 15 days only,” said Mok who is also the deputy president of SUCCC and president of the Lahad Datu Chinese Chambers of Commerce.
Already, there has been a drop in marine catch after the imposition of the night curfew. The result has been an increase in prices at the market, which is affecting the general public and the livelihood of fishmongers and others.
“In principle, we agree with the night curfew, but we believe there should be a better solution than the present arrangement,” said Mok. “Otherwise, the economy will be further affected.”
He pointed out that the economy in eastern Sabah was already hit by a 30 to 60 per cent decrease, depending on the area, in the tourism business over the last few months.
Semporna and Lahad Datu were the worst hit, he added.
SUCCC president Mohd Gan Sau Wah is expected to present the memorandum to the Sabah government when it is finalised and approved by the Chamber.