KOTA KINABALU: All transhipment activities will resume in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE) on Feb 1 after a decision was made to lift the ban during a State Security Working Committee meeting yesterday.
Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman who chaired the meeting said a review was made on the security tightening measures laid in place since Apr 6, 2016 and yesterday the committee decided, among others, to lift the ban on cross-border sea trading activities within ESSZONE.
The ban was enforced after a spate of kidnappings in the area. Resuming sea trade in ESSZONE must refer to the Standard Operation Regulations on Transhipment Activity Improvement issued by the committee.
Musa said the application to conduct transhipment should be submitted to the Sabah National Security Council for co-ordination.
Another decision made at the meeting was to restart the Custom, Immigration, Quarantine and Security Centre (CIQS) in Kudat on Feb 1 to allow ferry services between Kudat and Palawan in southern Philippines.
Musa said this was in line with the Standard Operating Procedures that have been completed. “This (SOP) must be complied by all agencies,” he said in a statement.
According to Musa, the committee had studied all the views, complaints, problems and effects of the implementation of security tightening measures.
It then took steps to provide the Standard Operation Regulations on transhipment and the management of the CIQS in Kudat and Tawau.
“This is to strengthen the implementation of enforcement activities by the security agencies in line with the objective of developing the economy and improving people’s well-being,” he said.
The ban on pump boats remain but only Malaysian citizens are allowed to own and use them while foreigners caught using the boats will be dealt with by the authorities by seizing and destroying the vessels.
As for the import and export of marine products between Sabah and Indonesia, it will be reopened based on status quo but the landings of sea products have to be at designated jetties or authorised landing sites.
There will also be a large-scale deportation exercise of illegal immigrants from the Philippines by the end of February using Malaysia navy vessels.
Credits to News Sabah Times.