DFA: 14-day curfew imposed in Sabah waters

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday that a daily 12-hour curfew is being imposed in the waters surrounding Sabah, Malaysia until August 2.

Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the DFA said a curfew had been imposed in waters adjoining six Sabah east coast districts from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. since last July 19.

"A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed by local authorities as part of efforts to strengthen security measures in these areas," said the DFA.

The six districts, where the curfew is in place, include waters off Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak, and Tawau.

It covers the sea areas of about three nautical miles outwards, totaling 362 nautical miles, and involves an area of 121,270 nautical square miles.

The DFA also noted that anyone, who needs to enter or pass through the area, other than security forces, during the curfew times, must first obtain a permit from the district police chief.

The DFA said Malaysian security forces hold the right to detain any person disregarding the curfew.

Sections 3(2) and 94 of the Malaysian Police Act 1967 states that violators could be punished with a RM500 (about P6,600) fine or six-month imprisonment.

"We would like to call the attention of our nationals, who frequently ply this route to visit family members, for barter trading, and other purposes, to exercise utmost caution in going in these areas to avoid inconvenience," said the DFA.

Embassy officials, then, called on individuals to reconsider their plans of going to the concerned districts in Malaysia.

"It would be best if their trips would be done during daytime to ensure proper visibility, especially in cases of inclement seas," said Philippine Consul General Medardo Macaraig.

The advisory was issued after a total of 69 individuals have been detained, and 11 boats impounded over their alleged violation of the curfew. (HDT/Sunnex)

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