Sabah state government will consider lifting ban on pump boats - Mohd Shafie

KOTA KINABALU, May 23 (Bernama) -- The Sabah government will consider lifting the ban on the use of pump boats in the effort to help poor fishermen to increase their income, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Mohd Shafie said the ban on the use of pump boats had prevented poor fishermen from generating income from the sea as they could not afford the expensive and high capacity boats.

"We (state government) will 'legalise' the use of pump boats as a step that can help society, poor fishermen at the grassroots level to generate income.

"I will inform this to the Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din," he told reporters after attending the breaking-of-the-fast event organised by the Sabah Police Contingent Headquarters (IPK) here today.

Prior to this, the previous state government had enforced the interim ban on the use of pump boats since January 2017 to enhance security in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) waters.

However, Mohd Shafie said the new state government would take several steps including using its own pump boats to pursue criminals in shallow waters if there were criminal elements among pump boats' users.

In a related development, Mohd Shafie said the curfew in the ESSZone would be extended as its implementation was effective in helping to improve the state's security.

Earlier, Mohd Shafie visited Sabah IPK to attend a state security briefing session that was also attended by Ramli and his deputy Datuk Razarudin Husain as well as district police chiefs.