Kota Kinabalu open to enemy attack

A surreptitious decision to park two offensive attack submarines in Kota Kinabalu has scared its citizens.

(Free Malaysia Today) – KOTA KINABALU: The federal government’s clandestine move to turn Kota Kinabalu into a naval city has angered its citizens who fear for their safety.

According to several local inhabitants here, there was “no notice of such a decision and no public feedback was sought”.

The Sapangar Bay Naval Base, just north of Kota Kinabalu, is said to house two offensive attack submarines that can lay sea mines and fire missiles besides sinking ships with torpedoes.

Jesselton, the former name for Kota Kinabalu, was totally destroyed by bombs during the Second World War except for its damaged clock tower and two other buildings.

Many of the city’s inhabitants and historians are concerned that the secretive decison to stack such weapons would endanger the community.

Said Amran, a lecturer with a tertiary college, here, said: “The positioning of the submarines just south across from Cam Ranh Bay Naval Base in Vietnam and the Spratly Islands South China Sea lane choke point may expose Kota Kinabalu to military strikes in the event hostilities break out (against territories) which Malaysia is also claiming.

“Also, Vietnam has reportedly ordered more than six submarines from Russia… it is cause for concern.”

Vulnerable to attack

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, Malaysia’s longest-serving Defence Minister, was the architect of many of the procurement of military hardwares.

In addition to the Kota Kinabalu naval base, Malaysia has a lagoon-sheltered base and airfield on one of the bigger islands.

Yusof, a retired serviceman upset with the move, said any enemy would seek to first destroy the base.

“Any enemy would want to put out of action any mine-laying and missile-launching vessels by destroying their bases and supporting facilities including food and water supply sources.

“We cannot assume that such a situation will not arise…” he said.