Peaceful end likely in Sabah standoff: M'sian minister

Lahad Datu (The Star/ANN) - Hopes are growing for a peaceful solution to the standoff between Malaysian security forces and the self-proclaimed Royal Army of Sulu.

The delicate negotiations going on with the emissaries are believed to be bearing fruit, and among those sharing an optimistic view is Sabah chief minister Musa Aman, who arrived at Felda Sahabat 16 to get a first-hand view of the situation.

Musa, who is state security council chairman, was given a briefing at the General Operations Force (GOF) security post at Felda Sahabat 16, about 165km from Lahad Datu.

Amidst growing public and political pressure for firmer action against the armed group as the country prepares for the general election, Musa said he was optimistic that the standoff would end peacefully soon.

"Our stand is for negotiations and a peaceful end to the incident," he said, urging the Sulu group, led by Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram, to return on their own accord as they had breached international laws by entering Sabah.

"We do not want to see the possibility of our security forces using other alternatives to move them out," he told reporters at the GOF base after the briefing on Ops Sulu.

Those close to the negotiations have, however, declined to reveal what was being used to entice the group to return to southern Philippines, whether a deadline to deport them by today would be kept or if the negotiations could be prolonged with a new set of emissaries.

Malaysian authorities have turned down their demands for recognition of the royal army of the Sulu sultanate and Sabah as their ancestral home.

Since the arrival of the first group of gunmen on the shores of Kg Tanduo in Felda Sahabat 17 on February 9, the security forces have maintained a tight cordon with police, army and maritime units in position to move in at any time.

Assuring the public that the security forces were on top of the situation, Musa said the incident should not be politicised by any group.

The chief minister, who was accompanied by his deputy Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Sabah police chief Hamza Taib, criticised DAP leader Lim Kit Siang and the Sabah Progressive Party for politicising the issue.

"We are very saddened by their attitude as they are trying to exploit the situation by claiming that we have been doing nothing," he added.

Musa's statement follows Lim's visit to Felda Sabahat 16 on Wednesday when he said he was ready to assist in the negotiations with the Sulu group.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Conflict to affect economic growth, stability in SEA’
    ‘Conflict to affect economic growth, stability in SEA’

    Conflict in the South China Sea can affect economic growth and stability in Southeast Asia, New Zealand warned yesterday, amid China’s aggressive reclamation activities in disputed waters. New Zealand is marking its 40 th year of diplomatic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and hopes to intensify trade and other linkages with the 10-member grouping. ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have overlapping territorial claims with China over the Spratly …

  • OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF
    OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF

    The Philippine government is asking the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to finally complete the tripartite review process of the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The review – snagged  for several years as government had its hands full with the peace process with rival faction Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – tackles how the 1996 peace pact with the MNLF has been implemented and centers on the three remaining …

  • Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe
    Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe

    Eight of the resource persons ordered arrested by the Senate finally attended the 21st public hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee into the alleged anomalies involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, but the proceedings turned out to be a review of matters previously presented. For over three hours, the subcommittee heard presentations regarding the alleged hidden assets of Binay and the issue regarding the supposed P200 million in kickbacks he received from a deal between the Boy …

  • DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe
    DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) is wrapping up its investigation into the “massacre” of 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A joint team of prosecutors and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) investigators is about to finish the second part,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has told congressmen. Pagdilao stressed that it has been more than a month since De Lima announced to the media that the DOJ would be …

  • APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism
    APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism

    BALANGA CITY, Bataan – More than 2,000 delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and international media outfits are expected to enjoy the splendid coastline of Bagac town, which faces the West Philippine Sea, as they converge for a workshop in this province next month. …

  • DOST opens P54-M research facility
    DOST opens P54-M research facility

    A P54-million research and development facility of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was recently opened in Bicutan, Taguig for scientists and researchers to develop technology and techniques to allow Filipino fashion and clothing designers and manufacturers to produce more mainstream products from local, tropical fabrics like piña, banana and abaca. Science Secretary Mario Montejo said the Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT) is the DOST’s flagship effort at reviving …

  • DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights
    DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights

    Philippine embassy officials in Doha have raised their concern with Qatari authorities over coercion and human rights violations in the alleged forcing of three Filipino workers convicted of spying to provide information and confess to the crime. Speaking to reporters, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose yesterday said the embassy has raised the matter during several high-level meetings with Qatari officials and the national human rights committee in Qatar. “Our embassy …

  • US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl
    US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday that Washington’s pledge to defend the Pacific nation remains “ironclad” and called for an end to land reclamation in the South China Sea, officials said. In talks in Hawaii with Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine secretary of national defense, the Pentagon chief “reaffirmed” the strong ties between the two countries and discussed territorial disputes in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has been …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options