Saturday, 23 February 2013

We won’t allow stand-off to harm nation’s security. @HishammuddinH2O

The Malaysian forces are in control in the stand-off with the group of armed Sulu patriots, near here, and will ensure that they do not do anything to jeopardise the nation's sovereignty and security.

Stating this, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein added: “If this cannot be accepted by the group, then we, who are in control, will make the necessary decision. I hope they don't push our authorities to that extent,” he said at Felda Sahabat 17, about 165km from here, yesterday.

He was asked how much more time Malaysia was willing to give before the almost two-week standoff is resolved. Hishammuddin said the utmost priority was to ensure that the military and police forces were in control of the situation.

“We have to do the right thing at the right time to save lives. But if we need to make a decision, we are on top of it,” he said.

Hishammuddin said Malaysia was keeping its options open, including giving room to any party to help resolve the drawn-out standoff without bloodshed with the group, who had claimed to be neither militants nor terrorists.

He added that if there was anyone who could help to rationalise with this group and work with them, the faster the situation could be resolved.

“We have never compromised on the sovereignty of the nation or the safety of the people of Sabah. We are giving a little bit more time for this matter to be resolved,” he said.

The group of about 100 people, including five women, was reportedly headed by a brother of the Sultan of Sulu, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.

Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram and his band of soldiers landed at the coastal Kampung Tanduo on Feb 9 and stated they would not leave Sabah as it was their “homeland”.

On Azzimudie's reported request to meet the sultan, Hishammuddin said Malaysia was looking at all avenues and this could be one of the options.

Asked about the alleged armoury that the group was holding, Hishammuddin said: “They can make all sorts of claims but we have not seen them.”

On rumours of an uprising among Sabah's Suluk community should the group be attacked by Malaysian forces, Hishammuddin said: “Many things had been said which had turned out to be false. The fact that we are giving them time should be reason enough for the Suluks to convince them to return peacefully to their home country.”
Source : CLICK


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