KOTA KINABALU: Sabah may lift the ban on pump boats to help poor fishermen, especially in the east coast.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said he will discuss the matter with Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din.
The ban was enforced several years ago following a series of cross-border crimes on the east coast, especially kidnappings.
Pump boats are small craft with converted or recycled motorbike or car engines which are much cheaper than “proper” outboard boat motors.
They are normally used by small-scale fishermen and are popular in the seas between Sabah and southern Philippines.
On the dusk-to-dawn curfew order imposed on the east coast, Shafie said it will be continued if it is effective in reducing cross-border crimes.
“We will see which aspects to improve for the enhancement of security,” he told reporters after attending a security briefing with the police and a breaking fast event at the Masjid Nur Islam, Sabah police headquarters in Kepayan here Wednesday (May 23).
Also present was Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and Kepayan assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang.
Shafie said he will also will look into tightening border security by ensuring that those who cross into Sabah from neighbouring countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia do so legally and with the proper travel documents.
He also said that local communities should work closely with security forces to strengthen state security.
“With better security and safety, business and tourism will improve. This will subsequently help drive up the living standards of the people,” he said.
Shafie is the six-term Member of Parliament for Semporna, a town in eastern Sabah which is known as a transit point to the unruly Sulu islands of the southern Philippines.
It’s also the main port to Sabah’s diving tourism islands such as Sipadan, Mabul, Mataking and Pom Pom.