Kota Kinabalu 15/03/2013: A former Lahad Datu police chief blamed what happened last month that cost nine servicemen their lives on the Federal Government for continuous ignorance on the security aspect in Sabah especially at the affected district.
Kamis Daming said Kuala Lumpur never entertained any suggestions and requests for upgrading security in the district.
"When I was in Lahad Datu five years ago, I had often expressed concerns to our superiors about the possibility of intrusion by foreign elements, but our proposals and requests for security beef-up were looked at very lightly,"
he told reporters, Thursday.
Kamis said Lahad Datu district police have never had sufficient equipment and their four-wheel drive vehicles always broke down and the patrol boats would be in dire condition.
He said the district also had insufficient personnel and always faced fuel supply shortage because the supplier refused to supply due to the great amount of debt that had yet to be settled.
"Another sad thing is that some of the police officers and personnel have to rent a house outside the police compound because there are not enough quarters," he said.
Low-rank personnel are forced to stay in dilapidated police barracks which have holes on the ceiling and floors because there were no houses outside available for them to rent.
"And when we filed an application for funds to repair the barracks, headquarters would reply that no allocations were available yet," said Kamis.
"Living under such an environment is so demoralising for the low-rank personnelÉso what can be expected from them?" he asked.
Kamis supported Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee's statement that Sabahans have sounded the alarm bells for decades about the threat posed by illegal immigrants in Sabah but that it was Kuala Lumpur that was nonchalant about it.
According to Yong, the statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak describing the Sulu intrusion into Sabah as a wake-up call is already too late because serious damage had already been inflicted on Sabah.
"Many alarm bells were sounded by Sabahans over the decades but Kuala Lumpur never woke up until it is too late," Yong had said.