Archive for category Sabah

Again, Putrajaya shows its bark is worse than its bite

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
31 October 2014

In most countries, civil servants who do not obey cabinet directives are disciplined. But in Malaysia, cabinet ministers have to appeal or cajole civil servants to follow government directives or the law.

The latest is the Royal Malaysian Customs Department’s move to seize some 300 Christian CDs and books containing the word Allah from Sabahan pastor Maklin Masiau in klia2 last week.

Masiau’s case is not the first, and is most likely not the last despite assurances from Putrajaya that it respects the religious rights of all Malaysians under the Federal Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Challenge to make Sabah a model of corruption-free administration instead of topping the list among the most corrupt administrations in Malaysia

Recently, anti-corruption is in the news.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had finally acted against illegal logging activity in Sarawak, with the arrest of a senior police officer who is head of a police district headquarters in the State and believed to have received RM16,000 in bribes.

MACC has estimated some RM100 million are lost as a result of illegal logging activity in Sarawak, which is a puny figure compared to the tens of billions of ringgit garnered by corruption every year.

Last month, eight customs officers were charged in Kuala Lumpur with 28 separate counts of receiving bribery involving a total sum of RM34,400 at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

These anti-corruption actions made quite a splash in the local media simply because there had been so little real anti-corruption news as distinct from propaganda to report for the past few years, even thought those arrested recently belong to the ‘flies” category in China’s anti-corruption campaign against “tigers and flies”. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP wins over six Pitas villages

Joe Fernandez| October 5, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

“Hearts and minds” initiative to improve quality of life in rural areas reaches poverty-stricken Northern Sabah.

KOTA KINABALU: Impian Sabah, a DAP Sabah outreach programme, seems determined to rub the ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) nose in the dirt.

An Impian Sabah team turned up this time in Pitas, one of the poorest spots in Malaysia, to fund a basic access road for six villages with about 3,000 people to connect with the nearest town about 7.4 km away. Pitas is situated in the right wolf’s ear of Sabah on the map.

“We handed over RM33,000 on Saturday to the people at a ceremony in Kampung Dowokon, Pitas, for them to build the road,” said Sandakan MP Stephen Wong who also co-ordinates the Impian Sabah Programme.

“The money, sourced from the public, will cover phase one of the project. It will cover 3.8 km of the road,” Wong explained.

Dowokon will share the funds with five other villages viz. Mandamai, Kobon Seberang, Perupok, Maliau Pusat and Maliau Layung. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP not for secession

John Joseph| September 3, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: DAP has clarified it had never advocated the secession of Sabah and Sarawak from the Federation.

“Advocating secession is sedition under Malaysian law,” acknowledged DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang during a visit here for Merdeka.

He was commenting on a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in Sipitang last Saturday that “Sabah belongs to Malaysia” and that action would be taken against those advocating the Borneo nation’s secession from the Federation.

Lim added that no political party, to the best of his knowledge, advocated secession from Malaysia.

What the DAP wanted to see, stressed Lim, was democratic change and reform in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Batu Sumpah Movement

Batu Sumpah Movement

(via tweet)

At the launching of Batu Sumpah movement Keningau this morning, I quoted: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”.

At this morning’s annual routine ceremony for Batu Sumpah, Keningau District Office locked up its compound to prevent public access to Batu Sumpah.

At first Keningau DO gave approval for the routine ceremony. Very flattered that permission was withdrawn/compound locked when they learned that I would be here.

But there’s more than a silver lining for every cloud. The ridiculous lock-up of Keningau Batu Sumpah has inspired a Batu Sumpah movement.

Orang Asal NGOs 1st responese was to produce a replica of Batu Sumpah with the inscriptions of 3 oaths for the ritual ceremony to be performed – outsmart the lockout.

This has led to the idea to place a replica of Keningau Batu Sumpah in every Kampung in Sabah – fantastic step to spread the Batu Sumpah awareness in Sabah.

If there is a Batu Sumpah in every kampung – hundreds, thousands? – come about, must thank person who locked up the Keningau DO compound to block access to the Batu Sumpah.

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Straw poll gives peek into restive feeling in Sabah, Sarawak

BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA AND DESMOND DAVIDSON
The Malaysian Insider
1 August 2014

A straw poll has confirmed a trend that Sabah and Sarawak folk are becoming more restive, with many urban Sarawakians even talking openly about leaving the federation.

The straw poll of 100 revealed that 72% of Sarawak folk felt that leaving the federation was the best option, with only 14% in Sabah agreeing.

The straw poll also revealed that 43% of them believed that the best way for Sabah and Sarawak to solve their problems was to leave Malaysia and go at it alone.

Secession is considered treason under Malaysian law.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s response to Mabul attack resulting in death of one policeman and abduction of another, too little, too late and smacks of a cover-up

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s response yesterday to the Mabul attack by Sulu terrorists when he visited Sabah on Saturday night, resulting in the killing of a policeman and abduction of another, is not only too little, too late but also smacks of a cover-up.

Najib’s order to the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) to review the security system along the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) to be more detailed so that it cannot be penetrated by enemies should have been his first directive when Esscom was established after the Lahad Datuk incursions in April last year and not after 15 months of its establishment chalking up a disastrous catalogue of murders, abductions and violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sabah and Malaysia by Filipino terrorists.

Sabahans can still remember Najib’s boast at Esscom’s launch that Esscom was “the fastest decision made in the history of Malaysia in terms of creating posts in any government agency” but it has proved to be the most costly and unproductive of all government decisions, in terms of human lives, bad international image for the country, economic costs and public expenditures, resulting in a rare show of unity by Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament denouncing the ineptitude of Esscom and even demanding its abolition and replacement by a more effective security high command structure in Sabah. Read the rest of this entry »

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What leadership is Najib showing when he refuses to make public the report of RCIII in Sabah although it has been presented to Putrajaya for close to two months after decades of foot-dragging on the issue?

Yesterday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak cited Brazil’s ignominous 1-7 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals as the pitfalls awaiting Malaysia if there is an absence of leadership.

Unfortunately, Najib is one of the heads of government in the world who has a lot to learn from Brazil’s massacre by Germany, for in the past year, Najib has shown a singular lack of leadership as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
For instance, what leadership is Najib showing when he refuses to make public the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Immigrants (RCIII) in Sabah although it has been presented to Putrajaya for close to two months after decades of foot-dragging on the issue?

In fact, Najib will lose all credibility as leader and Prime Minister, particularly in Sabah, if he continues to lock up the Report of the RCIII in the vaults in Putrajaya, even though he is the first Prime Minister to accede to the demands of the Sabahans for a royal commission of inquiry on the issue. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another fatal defect in Speaker Pandikar’s ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state was his sole reliance on Jamil Khir’s explanation and failure to canvass all views in Parliament on the controversial subject, including those from non-UMNO Ministers/MPs from BN

Yesterday I said that Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had exceeded his powers and functions as Speaker of Parliament when he passed judgment on the Malaysian Constitution ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state.

This is because it is not the role or function of the Speaker of Parliament to interpret the Constitution and make a Constitutional ruling which becomes an authority quoted by all and sundry as the law of the land.

Although Pandikar has limited his interpretation to “merely for the purposes of this House” and not an opinion to be “an authority” in the country, there is no doubt that it would be quoted by various quarters as an “authority” both inside and outside Parliament to justify the arbitrary, dubious and controversial stand that Malaysia is not a secular state.

Another fatal defect in Pandikar’s ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state was his sole reliance on the explanation by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom and his failure to canvass all views in Parliament on the controversial subject, including those from non-UMNO Ministers and MPs from Barisan Nasional.

As the DAP MP for Bandar Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen had tried to point out in Parliament after Pandikar’s ruling yesterday, as far as Sarawak and Sabah were concerned with regard to the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Jamil was very wrong to say that Malaysia is not a secular state “berdasarkan kepada fakta sejarah yang menunjukkan bahawa Malaysia telah ditubuhkan berasaskan Kerajaan Islam Kesultanan Melayu dan Raja Raja Melayu merupakan Ketua Agama bagi negeri masing masing” – as both Sarawak and Sabah (and Singapore, which was a party to the Malaysia Agreement 1963) did not have a history of Malay Rulers. Read the rest of this entry »

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M’sia not secular state – what say Sabah, S’wak?

Malaysiakini
Jun 17, 2014

YOURSAY ‘Position of Sabah and S’wak, where there is no official religion, is clear.’

Malaysia not secular state, gov’t says

Aries46: The Federal Court has in no uncertain terms declared that we are a secular nation and this has been reaffirmed even in a High Court decision last month.

Even a layperson is aware that we are a constitutional monarchy and our constitution is based on secular and democratic principles under parliamentary supremacy.

Even Muslims are subject to the civil courts notwithstanding the fact that the Syariah Court has jurisdiction over their religious and customary family matters.

While the civil court may not have purview over matters related to the syariah court, the latter is also not empowered to trample on the constitutional rights and provisions under civil law that is legally binding and exclusive to non-Muslims, under the guise of conversion.

This is an injustice universally under any law, Islamic or otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib must take a clear stand – whether he is with the moderates or the extremists, whether he is for 1Malaysia or the very antithesis of 1Malaysia

On 5th May 2014, the first anniversary of the 13th General Elections, Malaysians were torn by grave disillusionment with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for a year of failed policies and the dire prospect of a break-up of Pakatan Rakyat over hudud law.

The next day, the beginning of the second year of Najib’s second administration as Prime Minister could not have started on a more ominous note, heralding that Malaysia is heading for a new dark age where all the grandiloquent pledges and slogans of 1Malaysia, World’s Best Democracy and Government Transformation Programme would be consigned to the dustbins of history and replaced by undemocratic, repressive, unjust and draconian rule.

In the morning, the PR/DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok was charged in Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with sedition over her Chinese New Year “Onederful Malaysia” video, a 11-minute clip lampooning and criticising various failures of government policies.

It is supreme irony that one of the five criticisms in her video alleged to be seditious was about the security situation in East Sabah especially after the abduction of the Taiwan tourist in an island resort off Semporna in November last year – as on the morning that Teresa was charged, news were received of another abduction of a Chinese national in a nearby island off Lahad Datu at about 2.45 a.m. the same day!

Teresa was telling the truth, but telling the truth has become sedition in Najib’s Malaysia as the Prime Minister has forgotten his promises to repeal the draconian and colonial Sedition Act. Read the rest of this entry »

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Release the RCI report on Sabah illegal immigrants

By Kee Thuan Chye
msn.news
21.4.2014

Kidnappings and illegal immigrants – these are issues that are closely related, because they raise the pressing question of how secure Sabah’s east coast really is. So when a Chinese tourist and a Filipino worker were abducted by gunmen from Singamata Reef Resort off Semporna on April 2, proving once again that marauders from around the surrounding areas and the Philippines can easily penetrate Sabah’s eastern border, the incident also reminded us how easily illegal immigrants have been hopping into Sabah over the decades.

This naturally led to another question. A Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) was established in 2012 to finally investigate the issue of Sabah’s illegal immigrants, and it concluded its hearings on September 20, 2013. But after seven months, we have not yet been told what the six-man panel have recommended. When will the RCI findings be revealed?

Is the Federal Government, as usual, waiting for the right timing to release the findings so that it can use the occasion for its own political leverage? Or is it holding back because the recommendations may be detrimental to its own position? Read the rest of this entry »

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Outpouring of grief and respect by sea of humanity at Karpal’s funeral reaffirmation of Malaysians’ support for justice, rule of law and democracy – the very ideals Karpal fought for in his whole life

The outpouring of grief and respect by a sea of humanity at Karpal Singh’s funeral in Penang yesterday was a reaffirmation of Malaysians’ support for justice, the rule of law and democracy – the very ideals which Karpal had fought for in his whole life.

For four days, Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, age or gender, grieved at the sudden and shocking death of Karpal at an accident at the North-South Expressway near Gua Tempurung.

The nation-wide grief and shock over Karpal’s death was so great and overwhelming that over these four days, the great tragedy of MH370 with 239 passengers and crew vanishing without any clue since March 8 and the shocking ESSCOM security situation with a tourist from China abducted at the Singamata Reef Resort off Semporna on April 2 were momentarily edged aside.

But Karpal, if still alive, would want proper closure for these two shocking events. Read the rest of this entry »

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Government’s denial syndrome in both MH370 disaster and ESSCOM crisis are biggest stumbling blocks in efforts to restore national and international confidence in the security and good governance in Malaysia

The government’s denial syndrome in both the MH370 disaster and ESSCOM crisis are the biggest stumbling blocks in efforts to restore national and international confidence in the security and good governance in Malaysia.

The Malaysiakini interview by the former Sabah Police Commissioner from 2002 to 2004, Ramli Yusuff describing the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) as “ridiculous” because of the duplication of the chain of command in ESSZONE is serious food for thought and basis for immediate decision by the Cabinet.

The ESSCOM director-general Datuk Mohamad Mentek’s boast during the first anniversary celebrations of ESSCOM on April 1 about the ESSCOM’s twin successes in combining the role of the four components in Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE) – Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) and public agencies – and to stop abductions of foreign tourists have proved to be most premature following another abduction in five months and less than 24 hours of the ESSCOM’s first anniversary celebrations.

Recounting from his experiences as Sabah Police Commissioner about a decade ago, Ramli advocates that ESSCOM should be headed by the state police chief to avoid duplication of the chain of command and to ensure a better grip on security operational matters.

Ramli said it is ridiculous to have ESSCOM which creates a conflicting chain of command, and wants ESSCOM to be headed by the police or army, but he prefers the police because this is an internal security matter.

As ex-Sabah police commissioner, Ramli thinks that Mohamad Mentek is not suitable to be the ESSCOM director-general as he is from the Immigration Department and “doesn’t know operational matters”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kit Siang, Pakatan trio to probe into effectiveness of Sabah maritime force

The Malaysian Insider
– April 15, 2014

Four opposition MPs are on a mission to find out if the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) is nothing but a white elephant, following the kidnapping of two foreign women from the Singamata Reef resort off Semporna on April 2.

It comes on the heels of a series of kidnappings from the eastern side of the state – which is a top tourist draw – even after the RM300 million security unit was set up last year following the Lahad Datu intrusion.

In November last year, Taiwanese Chang An Wei Chang was abducted in a raid at the Pom Pom island resort in Semporna, while Taiwanese businessman Li Min Hsu, 57, was killed, when gunmen opened fire during the attack.

Chang was released in December, 36 days after she was kidnapped, after negotiations with the kidnappers.

DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang and three other opposition MPs – Jimmy Wong (DAP – Kota Kinabalu), Stephen Wong (DAP – Sandakan) and retired First Admiral Mohamad Imran bin Abdul Hamid (PKR – Lumut) – are on a mission to find out what Putrajaya can do to ensure Esccom operates more effectively. Read the rest of this entry »

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Four-men PR fact-finding parliamentary visit to Semporna to find out whether ESSCOM is “toothless tiger” or “white elephant” and whether it should be closed down as being utterly ineffective

Together with the DAP Sabah Chairman and MP for Kota Kinabalu, Jimmy Wong Sze Phing, DAP Sabah Deputy Chairman and MP for Sandakan Stephen Wong Tien Fatt and the PKR MP for Lumut, First Admiral Mohamad Imran bin Abdul Hamid, I am visiting Semporna today for a fact-finding visit to ascertain what could be done by the Malaysian government to ensure greater ESSCOM effectiveness and greater security for Eastern Sabah.

This is the direct result of the month-long parliamentary meeting which ended last Thursday which had put the national spotlight on the effectiveness of ESSCOM and the security of Eastern Sabah.

In the last week of Parliament, the DAP MP for Sandakan Stephen Wong created parliamentary history when he succeeded in adjourning parliamentary proceedings to have a debate on a matter of “urgent, definite public importance” to highlight the ineffectiveness of Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) and its failure to be the guardian of security in Eastern Sabah following the second abduction of a tourist from China on April 2 – the second abduction in five months and less than 24 hours after the first anniversary celebrations of ESSCOM.

I had described the first ESSCOM anniversary celebrations on April 1 as an “April Fool’s joke” to the people of Sabah and Malaysia, as the ESSCOM Director-General Datuk Mohamad Mentek had boasted that ESSCOM had “succeeded in stopping the attempts by foreigners to enter Sabah illegally to commit criminal acts like the kidnapping of Taiwanese tourists in Pulau Pom-Pom on 15 November 2013”, but in less than 24 hours, there was a second abduction of a tourist from China and a hotel employee of Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna at about 10.30 pm on April 2!

Parliamentarians, whether from Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional, do not want ESSCOM to be an expensive April Fool’s Joke, costing over RM300 million to be a mere “toothless tiger” or worse a “white elephant” which could play no meaningful or effective role to ensure the security and safety of Eastern Sabah. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Cabinet tomorrow to vest the ESSCOM director-general with executive powers and not just co-ordinating responsibilities among the Police, Army, Maritime and public agencies in ESSZONE

Today, the Director-General of Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM), Datuk Mohammad Mentek publicly defended the ESSCOM’s security track record, which was in fact further evidence that he is “powerless” as he had to publicly “eat his own words”.
For the first anniversary celebrations of ESSCOM on April 1, Mohammad made a very clear and specific boast, i.e.

“ESSCOM has succeeded in stopping the attempts by foreigners to enter Sabah illegally to commit criminal acts like the kidnapping of Taiwanese tourists in Pulau Pom-Pom on 15 Nov 2013.”

But in less than 24 hours of the first anniversary ESSCOM celebrations, there was a second kidnapping of a tourist from China, which was why ESSCOM appeared to be a costly April Fool’s Joke.

But in his defence of ESSCOM’s security track record today, Mohammad made no reference to the second abduction and instead only talked about ESSCOM’s success “to ensure that there are no further intrusions similar to the Lahad Datu incident”!

Mohamad not only had to “eat his own words” about ESSCOM’s success in stopping criminal acts by foreigners entering Sabah like the kidnapping of Taiwanese tourists last November, he had also to “eat” the words of the ESSCOM Corporate Communications head, Newmond Tibin, who said after the Semporna abduction on April 2 that ESSCOM was “powerless” act with regard to the abductions as it has “no authority to command, direct or order any action”. Read the rest of this entry »

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RM300 million ESSCOM should not be a costly “April Fool’s joke” for Sabahans and Malaysians

ESSCOM (Eastern Sabah Security Command) has become a costly “April Fool’s joke” for Sabahans and Malaysians.

It celebrated its first anniversary on April 1, boasting about its success as “guardian” of security of Sabahans, and I quote from a Bernama write-up:

“ESSCOM Celebrates Its First Anniversary with Confidence.

“Come Tuesday (April 1, 2014), after officially starting operations on April 1, 2013, the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) celebrates its first anniversary…

“…Sabahans are increasingly confident with the ESSCOM’s ability in protecting Sabah’s sovereignty and maintaining security at the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE)”

The Director General of ESSCOM Datuk Haji Mohammad Mentek was then quoted as saying:

“ESSCOM has succeeded in stopping the attempts by foreigners to enter Sabah illegally to commit criminal acts like the kidnapping of Taiwanese tourists in Pulau Pom-Pom on 15 Nov 2013″.

However, within 24 hours of the ESSCOM first anniversary celebrations, there was a second abduction of a tourist from China and a hotel employee of Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at about 10.30 pm Read the rest of this entry »

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Barisan minister joins opposition in calling Sabah security ‘unsatisfactory’

by Diyana Ibrahim
The Malaysian Insider
April 08, 2014

A minister has criticised the security in Sabah, branding it “unsatisfactory” one day after Barisan Nasional MPs joined their opposition counterparts and castigated Putajaya over the slack arrangements in the state.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz today said the arrangements were not up to mark in light of the latest kidnapping of a Chinese tourists and a Filipino worker on Singgahmata Island off Semporna, Sabah, last Thursday. The island is one of the top international diving destinations.

“This is not the first time this has happened. The arrangements in place should have ensured it did not happen.

“If we want tourists to come here, we must ensure that they feel secure and security has to be at the best,” he told reporters today.

Yesterday, debating a motion in Parliament, angry Barisan MPs jointed their opposition counterparts and demanded action in Sabah. Read the rest of this entry »

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Parliament should close down ESSCOM next week if after spending RM300 million, all it could say after the latest abduction in Semporna is that it it is “powerless in Esszone”

The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) might as well close down if after the Malaysian taxpayers spending RM300 million on it, all it could do is to admit that it is “powerless” following the abduction of two women from a resort off Semporna on Wednesday.

Not only Sabahans, but all Malaysians, are outraged at today’s Malay Mail Online report on the statement by the Esscom corporate communication head Newmond Tibin who said it had “no power” over the 10 districts in the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (Esszone) and that it was under police jurisdiction.

The 10 districts are Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.

“Each district in the Esszone has its own OCPD and they take orders from the police chief. Thus allegations that Esscom is not doing anything is unfair,” said Newmond.

He said Esscom’s role was to coordinate with various agencies. Read the rest of this entry »

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