KUALA LUMPUR, Jul 12 – MCA has proposed that Asean member states set up a special task force to combat kidnapping activities in Sabah waters by Abu Sayyaf militants. The party’s Central Committee member Datuk Paul Kong Sing Chu suggested that the special task force comprise representatives of the relevant countries especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, and draw up emergency plans to uproot the Abu Sayyaf militant base.
“I call on Malaysia and Asean to jointly set up a special task force to wipe out the Abu Sayyaf militants hiding in the southern Philippines and resolve the biggest security crisis off the Sabah coast once and for all. It is only through joint actions that the Abu Sayyaf militants could be completely destroyed to restore safety and peace in Sabah,” he said in a statement, here, today in the wake of the latest abduction involving three Indonesian fishermen by armed men near Lahad Datu, last week.
In the meanwhile, Kong, who is also Penampang MCA division chairman, said the recurring problem had cast Malaysia in a bad light and was not only affecting Sabah’s tourism industry, but also damaged the credibility and efficiency of the enforcement authorities.
He said Asean governments could also learn from their international counterparts in tackling Somali pirates, which included efforts like the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s Operation Ocean Shield with the partner countries and the European Union’s Operation Atalanta with the partner countries, which had reduced the Somali piracy problem. — Bernama