Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN) Tan Sri Dr.Ali Hamsa said there is a pressing need for the assets to face the threat of cross-border crime, particularly kidnapping in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE).
He said the allocation is in addition to the RM660 million given to ESSCOM as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when tabling the 2015 Budget last year
“The government has approved an additional RM23 million to the existing allocation for the purchase of small assets that are needed immediately which include the purchase of more than 200 boats, to strengthen security in the waters of ESSZONE,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after a meeting with the officials of ESSCOM and representatives of the top management of federal agencies, at the office of the Sabah Federal Secretary in the Federal Administrative Complex here yesterday.
Also present were the Director-General of Public Service Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal, Commander of ESSCOM, DCP Dato Abd Rashid Harun and ESSCOM CEO, Ruji Ubi.
Ali Hamsa said the meeting, among others, discussed and carefully studied the mechanism to expedite the procurement of equipment and assets needed by ESSCOM.
“Our discussions were mostly on the process for expediting the procurement of equipment and assets for ESSCOM and if there were anything that delayed the process, it was discussed and addressed.
“From now on all will be expedited for ESSCOM … so there is no problem. What is important is that the main objective of this meeting is to ensure security in ESSZONE is guaranteed,” he said.
He added that the agencies concerned should also take action to ensure adequate assets and personnel to ensure security in the area.
“The purchase of the boat is immediate and if there are local suppliers who are ready, we will buy immediately. If not, we will make bookings,” he said.
Previously, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim was quoted as saying that out of the total allocation of RM660 million, ESSCOM was allotted RM65.9 million of which RM17 million was for operations and RM48.9 million for development.
The remainder was allotted to other security agencies such as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).
ATM was granted RM83.5 million, APMM a sum of RM433.2 million and the police was allotted RM78 million to implement various development projects, including the purchase of assets.
A North Sea Boats Special Ops RIB.