The Malaysian government will set aside MYR250 million (USD59 million) from its 2018 national budget to enhance security within the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE), the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak announced via a parliamentary speech on 27 October.
The funds will include MYR50 million to acquire new coastal surveillance radars for the Eastern Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, said Najib, who also announced a 5.3% increase in overall defence spending allocation for 2018.
ESSZONE is a special security area that covers over 1,400 km of coastal areas in Eastern Malaysia. It was established in 2013 following a spate of kidnappings by gunmen that arrived by sea from the Philippines.
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