SANDAKAN: Members of the armed forces were reminded that security should not be compromised at any time, more so on festive occasions when the threats were higher.
In his Hari Raya Aidilfitri message to troops serving on the frontline, Joint Force commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Seri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin called on them to take pride in their contribution to an important government agenda -- safeguarding the people and the nation's sovereignty for the continued development of the country.
"As we enjoy joyous occasions like Hari Raya, let us not forget the sacrifices of members of the military, police and other enforcement agencies who are away from their loved ones. Their services are like a candle burning itself to brighten the lives of others.
"They have been entrusted to protect the nation and maintain vigilance," he told the residents of Pulau Berhala, near here on Saturday.
About 1,000 troops from the various units, including the 9th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment commandos, and additional enforcement agency members are maintaining a presence on some 33 islands and outposts off the east coast of Sabah.
Present were Joint Force 2 commander Brig Gen Datuk Mohd Ezam Wan Chik and 10th Brigade (Paramilitary) commander Brig Gen Tengku Ahmad Noor Tuan Chik.
Kamarulzaman and his officers later served troops and the local islanders at the tactical headquarters in Pulau Berhala with meals and delicacies, including lemang, ketupat and rendang.
"It is an honour to serve these men and women for their commitment and vigilance 24/7, especially so during festive seasons .
"We must also thank their families for their moral support."
On the first day of Hari Raya on Sunday, Kamarulzaman and his troops joined islanders for prayers and distributed duit raya to the children.
Kamarulzaman said the armed forces was also conducting the 3M -- Menulis, Membaca, Mengira (writing, reading, calculating) -- programme for the children of islanders.
"This programme is part of the people-military cooperation undertaken not only in remote areas but in overseas missions like in Lebanon and Afghanistan where Malaysian peace-keepers are serving."