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.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options