straitstimes, The opening of the RM145 million Semporna Royal Malaysian Navy forward base would ensure the security in Sabah is not breached by pirates and terrorists thus ensuring the safety of its people.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who is also Defence Minister said the Government does not might spending a huge sum of money just to ensure the country and its people are safe from any external threats.

“We have spend RM145 million for this base and another RM100 million for Ops Pasir which was implemented four years ago after the kidnapping cases in the east of Sabah.

“I see the security in the waters of Sabah especially in Semporna is guaranteed and from the reports we have obtained displacement of our men around the area under Ops Pasir, Sabah has been free of threats from pirates and terrorists,” he said after the official handing over ceremony of the Semporna Forward Base by the main contractor Pertama Satu Sdn Bhd to the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Present at the ceremony were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman, Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal who is also the Semporna MP and Sabah State Ministers.

Also seen at the ceremony were Armed Forces Chief Jen Tan Sri Mohd Zahidi Zainuddin and RMN chief Datuk Seri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor.

“This shows the Government is highly committed and although a huge sum of money is involved we feel satisfied that the money has improved the security in east Sabah.

“Not only the locals feel comfortable and live without ant fear or threats but the tourism sector in Sabah has returned to normal which is seen through the arrival of tourists,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Najib said the Barisan Nasional Government always delivers what it promises unlike certain quarters that can make various promises but when it comes to implementation the results are zero.

“We have a credible government and this is why we can implement various projects which benefits the people thus enabling to live in a country which is peaceful, stable and prosperous,” he said to the applause of some 4,000 people who attended at the ceremony from various parts of Semporna.

Under the Government, Najib said not only the people's safety and comfort is assured but the country experiences political stability, has a proper education system, development in town and rural areas, and also enjoys basic infrastructure development.

The Semporna base, is built for its special operations force or Paskal, would have the latest facilities.

The naval base is one of four to be built under the Eighth Malaysia Plan. The other three will be at Teluk Sepanggar in Sabah, Langkawi and Sejingkat in Sarawak.