KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- The police have given an assurance that security patrols in the coastal areas and islands of Sabah will be intensified as a precautionary measure following a "warden notice" issued by the United States' embassy here that foreign tourists might come under attack by irresponsible elements n the area.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said tight security would always be maintained to ensure that the country was free of all types of threats that could jeopardise national security.
"I have directed the state police chief to intensify patrols along the coast and islands around Sabah especially Semporna, Mabul and Sipadan.
"We will always monitor the situation and take appropriate action, thus the people and tourists are asked to be calm and not to be worried because we are always on alert," he told Bernama when contacted.
He was commenting on the notice which warned that criminal and terrorist groups were planning attacks against foreigners in the islands off Sabah.
The notice posted on the embassy's website and dated Friday, said resorts located in isolated areas of eastern Sabah posed a concern.
It urged "extreme caution" in connection with any travel in isolated areas of eastern Sabah, including Semporna and the islands of Mabul and Sipadan.
It noted that the Abu Sayaf militant group, an al Qaeda-linked militant group based in the southern Philippines, which is a short boat ride from Sabah, had previously kidnapped foreigners from Sabah's secluded resort areas in the past.
A "warden notice" is a routine alert issued by embassies all over the world on possible risks to travellers' safety.
It is not a travel alert or a travel warning or travel advisory which are each considered much more far reaching and connotes a more serious and ongoing threat.
Such warnings or alerts are issued only after a discussion/notification to the governments concerned.