Najib should give Ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday on the Esscom security lapses

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should give a Ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday on the Esscom security lapses resulting in a Chinese tourist shot dead and his wife abducted by suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists on Pom Pom island off Semporna early this morning.

Najib should tell Parliament what actions would be taken by Esscom to tighten security to ensure that such killing and kidnap by Filipino terrorists would not be allowed to recur in Sabah.

Initial reports indicated a group of heavily armed men arrived at the Mandur Pom Pom island resort and stormed into the resort restaurant, where the Taiwanese couple were the only customers and fired several shots.

The victim Lim Min Hsu, 57, was shot twice in the chest and ribs. He died at the scene. His wife, Lim Min Hsu, 57, was taken away by the gunmen who fled in a pump boat towards southern Philippines.

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has confirmed this incident saying that it occurred at about 1 am.

The Pom Pom island killing and kidnap of the tourists is a major blow to efforts to restore tourist and public confidence in the security of Sabah after the intrusion of the Sulu terrorists in Lahad Datuk in February.

When launching the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) in April this year, Najib had outlined a four-pronged strategic and technical approach to be taken by Esscom in order to maintain peace and security along 1,400 km of the Sabah’s coastline in the east of Sabah, viz:

  • enhancement of intelligence capacity;
  • effective coastal surveillance 24-hours a day;
  • boosting the country’s capability to intercept incoming threats from the sea; and
  • strict enforcement of the law with immediate action taken once the threats reached the shores.

All the Esscom’s four-pronged strategy had been seriously compromised for the tragic, criminal and terroristic Pom Pom island incident to occur, resulting in the killing of a tourist and kidnap of another.

The establishment and the huge allocations for Esscom have not brought peace and security to the East Coast of Sabah, as the three objectives of Esscom set out by the Prime Minister, namely “fully guaranteed security”, “the confidence of the people to return to normal life” and “restoring confidence among tourists” after the Sulu terrorist intrusions in Lahad Datuk appear as remote as ever!

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah