KOTA KINABALU: The government’s handling of the recent tense situation involving some 100 “heavily-armed and uniformed” intruders from Sulu, who had “penetrated Sabah’s supposedly well-guarded border”, has raised both doubts and questions over Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s commitment to state security.
Questioning the “inconsistent” details that had been filtering out of Lahad Datu following the incident, State Reform Party (STAR) chief Jeffrey Kitingan said the lack of information spoke volumes about the efficiency of the state’s security personnel.
“We have been denied the explanation of how this huge number of intruders managed to penetrate our supposedly well-guarded border, even landing and reaching an estate area in Lahad Datu.
“We are told they came in pump boats while others said they came in tourist boats. This is ridiculous. How can at least 80 ‘heavily armed’ people in military uniforms be in tourists boats and not been noticed?
“Do we have a lot of tourist boats crossing the Sulu-Sabah border on a daily basis? Who operates such tourist boats? And are they carrying tourists from Sabah to Sulu or vice versa?” he asked.
Jeffrey also found it odd that the authorities had denied that these “uniformed and armed tourists” were not militants.
“We are told these people are not militants, but what else should you call a group of people in combat uniforms who are ‘heavily armed’?
“Just because they are not from the MILF [Moro Islamic Liberation Front], MNLF [Moro National Liberation Front] or Abu Sayyaf doesn’t mean they are not militants.
“In fact, the claim that they want to be recognised as the Royal Sulu Sultanate Army and demanding that the Sulu people in Sabah be not deported back to their homeland is clear proof of their militant objective,” said Jeffrey.
He also reminded the authorities to bear in mind that there had been many people who had in the past claimed to be sultans of Sulu.
“ As such, we must look at these intruders as invaders intending to establish military and administrative control over Sabah.
“The fact that the police are negotiating with them, supposedly to avoid bloodshed, may be wise, but Malaysia must demonstrate its firmness and assert its sovereignty, and deal with all such intruders decisively,” he said.
Jeffrey said the fact that Najib had expressed concern, wanting to avoid bloodshed because “they [militants] had relatives” showed that Sabah had been “infiltrated”.
“The prime minister is worried about bloodshed because they [militants] have relatives here. It shows that we have already been infiltrated and held at ransom by illegal immigrants who had been made citizens overnight. Crime doesn’t consider relatives.
“Asking them to leave politely will not guarantee they will not return in larger numbers to pursue their objective of invading Sabah. These people must first of all be disarmed and be punished according to the laws of the land,” Jeffrey said.
Source: Google Syndication