Parliament should close down ESSCOM next week if after spending RM300 million, all it could say after the latest abduction in Semporna is that it it is “powerless in Esszone”

The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) might as well close down if after the Malaysian taxpayers spending RM300 million on it, all it could do is to admit that it is “powerless” following the abduction of two women from a resort off Semporna on Wednesday.

Not only Sabahans, but all Malaysians, are outraged at today’s Malay Mail Online report on the statement by the Esscom corporate communication head Newmond Tibin who said it had “no power” over the 10 districts in the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (Esszone) and that it was under police jurisdiction.

The 10 districts are Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.

“Each district in the Esszone has its own OCPD and they take orders from the police chief. Thus allegations that Esscom is not doing anything is unfair,” said Newmond.

He said Esscom’s role was to coordinate with various agencies.

“We are in no position to give direct orders to the 10 districts on what they have to do. We have done our part to coordinate and cooperate with the authorities.”

Newmond said it was vital to inform the people about Esscom and Esszone.

“We need to explain to the people of Sabah about our role. We have no direct control. The director-general has no power to command,” he said.

This is the latest example of Malaysia’s shambolic governance, with one agency after another denying responsibility and passing-the-buck to another, making fools of the Malaysian people.

Esscom was formed after the Lahad Datuk intrusion in February last year as the guardian of security of Sabahans in the East Cost of Sabah.

Now, after the expenditure of RM300 million, Sabahans and Malaysians are told that Esscom is not responsible for their security. If so, why set up Esscom?

It is clear that the RM300 million spent on Esscom has been a total waste of money as there can be no excuse to spend such a vast sum of money to erect a superstructure just to play the role of co-ordination of the 10 police districts.

Unless there is a clear and satisfactory explanation for the shocking statement by Newmond, Parliament should move an emergency motion to dissolve Esscom next week as Sabah and Malaysia do not need a RM300 million “white elephant”.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah