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Shafie wants maximum punishment for fish bomb users

KOTA KINABALU: They should receive the highest punishment under the law, demanded by Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal for those who are involved in the fish bombing incident that caused the death of three divers in Semporna.

He asked the authorities to investigate how the perpetrators could have easily obtained the contents needed to make fish bombs.

On Friday, the blast believed to be caused by fish bombs, killed the Two Chinese tourists, namely Zhao Zhong and Xu Yingjie, both 26, and a local divemaster Ab Zainal Abdu, 30, who were diving near the island of Pulau Kalapuan in Semporna at about 5pm.

Police have arrested a boatman, aged 24, and a guide, 23 and still continue hunting for other suspects, who are mostly sea gypsies.

Shafie asked the villagers in Semporma to help the authorities in their probe and for those who were using fish bombs to come forward.

It is known that some fisherman still uses the fish bombs and cyanide to catch fish which could be detrimental to health.

According to Shafie, banning of pump boats which are claimed to be behind the incidents of fish bombing is not necessary as they are not a major contributor. What they need is to restrict the contents of the bombs, investigating how they were obtained and where it is available.

WWF-Malaysia interim head of marine, Monique Sumampouw, said that fish bombings were not only illegal but also posed a great danger to people and result in the destruction of fish habitats, such as coral reefs.

She strongly believe that it is important for enforcement activities to be strengthened by increasing patrolling to deter fish-bombing activities.

A total of 263 fish-bombing cases were recorded from June to September in Semporna last year during a study conducted by WWF-Malaysia, Sumampouw added.

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