Najib calls for probe over instigation claims

Kangar (The Star/ANN) - The Malaysian prime minister has directed Malaysian authorities to investigate claims that the Opposition was among the parties responsible in instigating heirs of the Sulu sultanate to reclaim Sabah.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, who regarded the allegation as serious, said the authorities were also asked to investigate whether there were links between the clashes in Lahad Datu and Semporna, adding that there were several possibilities, including "massive planning to threaten Sabah's peace and security".

"There are photographs and circumstantial evidence but we need solid proof to determine who is really behind this," he told reporters after opening the Universiti Malaysia Perlis main campus here yesterday.

Najib said the sultanate's claim on Sabah was not new but questioned the timing of the intrusion, adding that the Malaysian and Philippine governments would investigate the matter separately but would exchange information.

A leading Philippine daily reported that Filipino intelligence sources had linked a Sabah politician allied to a Malaysian Opposition leader as among the "external factors" responsible in instigating heirs of the Sulu sultanate to reclaim Sabah.

A report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer said Manila was monitoring three groups believed to be behind the incident.

Najib also described as unfortunate the attack on a group of 57 policemen in Semporna on Saturday night in which six policemen were killed, saying the attackers fired shots without warning when police went to the area to gather information.

He also described as inhuman PKR vice-president's Tian Chua's statement which had belittled the sacrifices of the policemen who had given their lives to defend the country.

"How can the Opposition ridicule their sacrifices and say that Umno was behind this drama?

"This is a blatant lie. Who in their right mind will want to act' in this drama, knowing that their lives are at risk?"

Tian Chua had said in a statement that the death of two police commandos - Insp Zulkifli Mamat and Kpl Sabaruddin Daud - in a shootout with armed intruders in Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, on Friday was linked to a Government conspiracy.

Meanwhile, Sandakan MP Liew Vui Keong urged the Government to investigate claims of the Opposition's involvement in the invasion.

"If there is any evidence linking them to the intruders, they should be charged with treason immediately," he said in a statement.

He also slammed Tian Chua for making what he termed "treacherous remarks".

In KULIM, a Kedah-based non-governmental organisation has called on the Government to set up a commission to investigate the claims.

Kedah Tibai commissioner Khairul Anuar Ramli said the claims was serious and must be investigated.

"I also condemned PKR vice-president Tian Chua for his statement," he said before lodging a police report on the matter at the Kulim district police headquarters yesterday.

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