LAHAD DATU, April 2 – Ops Daulat will continue in efforts to build confidence on safety among residents despite the probability of the dissolution of Parliament and the looming 13th general election. Malaysian Armed Forces chief, Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin(pic) said the operation required security personnel in Sabah’s east coast to be prepared until safety was at its highest level and the remaining Sulu terrorists wiped out.
“We don’t know when the general election will be held. On our side, our priority is ensuring safety in the affected villages.
“This includes stationing our personnel in the villages,” he told a news conference attended by Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order deputy director Datuk Abd Rahman Hussin.
He said besides increasing the number of personnel, assets were also maintained in the operation areas and villages to beef up security. Zulkifeli said Ops Daulat would also continue until the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) was fully implemented. Regarding Ops Daulat in Felda Sahabat, he said the operation was at the third stage in which the situation was being stabilised.
“The operation started at level one, which was offensive with the security forces fighting off the terrorists and then level two, which was tracking them down,” he said.
Last Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the formation of the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (ESSZONE), which covers 10 districts to provide the legal basis for ESSCOM. The areas involved are Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.
Zulkifeli also announced that Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Tanjung Labian and SK Fajar Harapan, which were closed due to their locations in the red zone, would reopen next Monday. This decision was made after a phone discussion with Education
director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud, who also visited SK Fajar Harapan today.