12 Jul 2013 11:19

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Bernama) -- The security operation involving the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) in the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (ESSZONE) will not stop although the 'Ops Daulat' has been ended.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the transfer of military assets to the area which was placed under the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) supervision would be continued including all operations involving military personnel.     "When the 'Ops Daulat' was assigned to ESSCOM and has been renamed as 'Ops Sanggah', that does not mean the responsibility of the MAF will end.

"Although the operation is currently regulated by the ESSCOM, the MAF will continue to be involved in operations in the areas that have been assigned such as 'Ops Pasir' and also for intelligence purposes," he said when replying to Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fake (BN-Sabak Bernam) at the Dewan Rakyat, here, today.

Mohd Fasiah wanted to know the MAF's plans for the area after the 'Ops Daulat' that was launched on March 5 to check the intrusion by Sulu militants into Lahad Datu ended last Saturday. -- MORE PARLIAMENT-HISHAMMUDDIN (INTRUSION) 2 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR

Hishammuddin said several new military equipment that accordance with the operation in Sabah's east coast will also be purchased to strengthen the organisational structure to be more robust on the threat situation.

In addition, MAF personnel were also involved in the addition of five battalions of security forces announced by the government, which included the Royal Malaysian Police, he said.

"With what has been done and planned, the public should not have to worry about the safety level especially on the waters safety," he said.

Hishammuddin said a total of 5,610 MAF personnel have been involved in the 'Ops Daulat' and also the movement of ATM's assets at a cost of RM84.9 million from the Defence Ministry allocations.

He also stressed that the government does not recognise the intruder as Sulu sultanate forces and the use of the term was not appropriate because they were invaders.

He added that the incident had tarnished the sovereignty and left an impact on the country's security, which resulted in two soldiers and eight policemen being killed.