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Filipinos in Sabah not mistreated, says M'sian minister
Publication Date : 12-03-2013
The Malaysian Defence Ministry has denied reports that Filipinos in Sabah were being mistreated and shot at by security forces in search of Sulu terrorists in Lahad Datu.
Its Minister Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi described the allegations as baseless.
“If there is any development, the police and armed forces will make the necessary announcement,” he said after the Mahallah LTAT ground-breaking ceremony at International Islamic University Malaysia here yesterday.
Dr Ahmad Zahid was asked to address reports in the Philippine media of alleged inhumane treatment of the country's citizens during the operation against the Sulu gunmen led by Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram.
Zahid said the security forces had followed standard operating procedures when conducting Ops Daulat to flush out armed militants.
“We also received no official report that thousands of Malaysians of Sulu descent had sought refuge in the Philippines,” he added.
Zahid also hit out at Jacel Kiram the daughter of self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III over remarks that it was unIslamic of the Malaysian government to “steal the land of others or to pilfer from it”.
“She needs to study all the historical evidence,” he said, adding that the Philippine government did not recognise the Sulu Sultanate.
He also said the government's move to deploy five additional battalions to Sabah was necessary to enhance security in the area.
“At the moment, the number of security personnel is sufficient,” he said.
On when the situation in the east coast of Sabah will return to normal, Zahid said: “I wish there will be peace tomorrow but there is no indication the armed intruders will lay down their weapons any time soon.”