DPM, Sabah CM, chair first EssZone advisory board meeting

KRISTY INUS


KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman jointly-chaired the first meeting of the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (EssZone) advisory board, this morning.

The closed-door event took place at Musa's official residence at Sri Gaya here.

EssZone advisory board members comprise National Security Council director-general Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid, and state secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman, among others.

The advisory board was formed following a National Security Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Jan 10, to strengthen existing security mechanisms.

The terms of reference (TOR) include advising the Esszone Committee, chaired by Musa, on steps to boost safety and public order in the Esszone, as well as advising the committee on ways of improving cooperation between Ministries, Departments and Agencies in executing measures in the Esszone, among others.

The advisory board will also provide recommendations to the Monitoring Committee, chaired by Najib, on additional steps to increase security in the Esszone to minimise threats, like kidnappings for ransom, smuggling and illegal entry of immigrants, as well as attempts at intrusion by supporters of the Sulu sultanate.