Published: Tuesday March 5, 2013 MYT 9:54:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday March 5, 2013 MYT 9:55:11 PM
Lahad Datu: 15,500 people in Felda Sahabat safe, says Ahmad Maslan
PUTRAJAYA: All 15,500 settlers, family members and workers in Felda Sahabat near Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu are safe and unhurt since the intrusion and when authorities launched an offensive on Tuesday.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the 1,000 oil palm plantation workers were granted leave to avoid undesirable incidents.
"The workers are in Felda Sahabat 17, 18, 19, 22 and 56.
“Their leave will be extended if the operation is pending," he told reporters at his office here.
Some 10,000 workers were granted leave on Saturday for the same reason.
Security of Felda Sahabat has been tightened with the collaboration of Felda Auxiliary Police (Felsco), Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM).
Felda warned those in Felda Sahabat 3, 4 and 5 to exercise caution as it is the most populated area close to Kampung Tanduo and to follow advice from security forces.
Ahmad said despite the incident, the population did not face difficulty in obtaining food and advised them to report the existence of intruders.
"Felda Sahabat has given full cooperation to security forces in carrying out their duties to resolve the Lahad Datu intrusion," he said
He did not rule out possibility that Felda operations would be adversely affected if the operation continues in Felda Sahabat 17, 18, 19, 22 and 56.
Each plantation has 300 workers comprising locals, legally recruited workers from Indonesia and the Philippines.
Losses incurred by the four mills near the incident area have not been determined.
Felda Sahabat, with only over 2,000 hectares of the 99,000 hectares populated, in Felda Sahabat 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and has nine mills. - Bernama
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