Malaysian PM – Have confidence in our security forces
Prime Minster Datuk Seri Najib Razak has expressed confidence in the ability of the security forces in handling the situation in Sabah with more personnel being sent there. “The number of police personnel has been increased. The army has also sent two battalions to Sabah. We have adequate manpower to handle any eventuality,” he said. On the five policemen killed in an ambush by a group of armed men in Kampung Sri Jaya, Simunul, Semporna, last night, Najib said it was unexpected.
“Our 57-strong police team did not expect the group to be violent. Our team had gone there to gather information for a clearer picture of the situation,” he said. In the ambush at a water village at about 8 pm, two of the gunmen were also killed. Last Friday, two VAT 68 police commandos, ASP Zulkifli Mamat, 29, and Sjn Sabarudin Daud, 46, were killed and three other policemen were injured in a skirmish with armed intruders claiming to be from the royal army of the Sulu Sultanate in Kampung Tanduo, 130km from Kudat, in Sabah. Twelve of the gunmen were also killed in the incident.
In Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has urged Sabahans to have confidence in the capability of security forces in addressing the intrusion by the armed foreign group. Musa, who is also state security committee chairman, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had assured that security of Sabah is always a priority. I have also been in touch with local leaders and confident that they can control sentiments and ignore rumours.
“I am monitoring the situation along with Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi,” he said commenting on the ambush by armed men in Semporna, yesterday. The operation is jointly led by Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar and Armed Forces Chief, Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin. “I was in touch with the Prime Minister last night who wanted the police and military to be beefed up,” he added.
Meanwhile, National Security Council (NSC) secretary Rodzi Md Saad said Sabah NSC confirmed that there is no prohibition to visit the resort islands. “All activities continue as usual. Sabah NSC apologises for the confusion that arose, ” he said. In Putatan, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin advised the people not to panic following the killing of two policemen in Lahad Datu and five people in Semporna yesterday. “Do not panic, we must have faith in efforts by security forces and give full cooperation. Let us not rush to close stores and businesses,” he told reporters after launching ‘Program Titik Sentuhan Rakyat’ at SK Petagas, today.
In Sandakan, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Datuk VK Liew urged the people to unite and support security forces in tackling the intrusion issue. “We are dealing with armed intruders and the situation is very serious indeed. We must have complete faith in our security forces,” he said when commenting on the death of two police commandos in Lahad Datu and the death of five policemen ambushed in Semporna yesterday. “They died at the frontline while defending our sovereignty. More fatalities may be expected and as a nation we must come together to rally behind our forces.
“We are obviously anxious with the situation but must keep calm and carry on with our daily duties,” said Liew, who is also Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. He said true Malaysians had been tremendous in giving support to the security forces who sacrifice themselves by defending the country. “Netizens have been tremendous too as they support security forces and the government. They play a very important in passing and exchanging correct information on the situation. “However, there are some who have no idea about the real situation but speculated on what is happening.”
Liew also slammed opposition Member of Parliment, Tian Chua, for making irresponsible remarks on the incident in Lahad Datu. “Its a crying shame and reflects not only his quality as an MP but his immaturity and insensitivity. Our nation can do without people like him. “Even their leader was reported to be ‘associated’ with the intruders and was said to have ‘invited’ them to our soil. “This is indeed a very serious matter that require indepth investigation. If there is evidence to link them to the intruders, they should be hauled up and charged with treason immediately,” Liew said.
In Semporna, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal urged residents to fully cooperate with security forces in maintaining security of the district. Shafie, who is also Member of Parliament for Semporna, said such cooperation is important because they know the population and the kampungs inside out. “The people should cooperate and help to facilitate the duties of security forces because some have just arrived and do not know the area well,” he added.