Datuk Liwan Lagang

KUCHING, 24 August 2022 - It is high time that the government should set security as its top priority by setting up more territorial army (TA) units so that they could be deployed at strategic assests such as the hydroelectricity (HEP) dams, utilities' plants and telecommunication towers in Sarawak to prevent sabotage and untoward incident.

Deputy Minister of Utilities and Telecommunication Datuk Liwan Lagang said he had highlighted the issue many times but such measures have yet to materialise.

"I have highlighted the security issue at our strategic assets such as the Bakun HEP, Murum HEP, Batang Ai HEP and Bengoh Reservoir Dam on numerous occasions. But somehow it has not caught the attention of the relevant authorities yet.

"So, I would like to reiterate once aain that there is an urgent need to provide security at our strategic assets such as our HEP dams and utilities and telecommunications towers should be our top priority now as we are facing geopolitical uncertainty due to global current issues such as the Ukraine-Russia war, overlapping claims of the South China Sea and the relocation of Indonesia's capital to Nusantara in East Kalimnatan," he pointed out in a statement today.

Liwan, who is also Belaga assemblyman, feared that the Bakun and Murum HEP dams could be breached with very minimal force if left with very minimum security.

"So, the call made by Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) general manager Major (honorary) Ts Dr Zaidi for the government to set up more territorial army (TA) units to look after our strategic assets in Sarawak, such as telecommunication towers is very timely as he (Zaidi) knows what has been happening on the ground (and the towers)," he said.

Zaidi in his statement yesterday has called on the government to set up more TA units to provide security at utilities sites especially telecommunication towers which are prone to vandalism.

"I hope the government will look into the setting up more TA units to look after our telecommunication towers all over the State to prevent vandalism," Zaidi was quoted as saying after the closing ceremony of TA course series 2/2022-511 held at Ria Camp, Kota Sentosa near here yesterday (Aug 23).

Zaidi's call was also supported by TA 511 commanding officer, Brigadier General Abang Mohamad Abang Marzuki, for the government to strengthen its key assets, including ports.

Source: Dayak Daily