LABUAN, Jan 24 – The IS militant threat in Sabah poses a serious danger if no proactive measures are taken to combat it, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said Friday. He said Malaysia was taking this threat very seriously, and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself had tabled the white paper on the threat of IS in Parliament last November.
“At least we are asking the questions (on how to fight the threat), at least we are preparing ourselves,” he told reporters after visiting the Labuan Air Force Base, here. Hishammuddin, who is on a three-day working visit to Labuan and Sabah, said the government’s seriousness in tackling the issue was also shown when it informed the people on the number of those detained for involvement in IS activities.
He said information from intelligence revealed that the remnants of Darul Islam militants were still using the east coast of Sabah as a location to disseminate their ideology which was in line with IS. Hishammuddin said the existing threat demanded that the government and the Defence Ministry implemented numerous initiatives and approaches to empower the defence and security in Sabah, by falling back on the experience of the Lahad Datuk intrusion incident. He said, this included upgrading the Labuan Air Base as a strategic location to protect the air space specifically in Sabah and improving the weapon systems of several air assets.