Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun (Photo: bernama.com)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia has decided to lengthen a curfew in waters near the Philippines, the country’s news agency Bernama reported.

Accordingly, the curfew in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) of Malaysia’s Sabah state, which ended on September 24, has been extended to October 10.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said the curfew covers waters of seven eastern districts of the state, including Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad, Kinabatang, Sandakan and Beluran.

With the enforcement of the curfew, residents in the affected areas are required to be indoor from 7pm to 5am daily. Emergency cases or fishing activities during curfew time must be approved by district police chiefs.

The order is expected to prevent armed gunmen from sneaking into the ESSZone waters, threatening the safety of international researchers and tourists visiting the resort islands in the area.

Abdul Rashid added that insurgent groups from southern Philippines which often carry out kidnappings for ransom, including the Abu Sayyaf militant group, are trying to enter the area to commit cross-border crimes.-VNA