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.

  • EU threatens Thailand with seafood ban over illegal fishing
    EU threatens Thailand with seafood ban over illegal fishing

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has given Thailand six months to drastically crack down on illegal and unregulated fishing or face an EU seafood import ban, but has lifted the threat of similar action against South Korea and the Philippines. …

  • Philippines accuses China of turning water cannon on its fishing boats

    Filipino activists denounced China's coast guard on Tuesday for turning water cannon on Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters, near where hundreds of Filipino and American Marines landed on a beach in a mock assault. The presidential palace in Manila said China's coast guard used water cannon on Monday to drive away a group of Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, damaging some of their wooden boats. …

  • Image of Asia: Training to storm a beach in the Philippines
    Image of Asia: Training to storm a beach in the Philippines

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault vehicle with Philippine and U.S. troops on board storms the beach during a joint exercise at the Naval Education and Training Command center in Zambales province, northwest of Manila. The Zambales shore faces the disputed Scarborough Shoal, where Chinese vessels were reported to have driven away Filipino fishermen with a water cannon and seized some of their catch in early April. Philippine military officials say the maneuvers with …

  • Pinoy team wins global disaster preparedness competition

    The Philippines was one of the big winners at the 2015 Global Innovation Competition last week for a cloud-based information system for disaster. The project, called "Balangay," is the brainchild of cousins Frei Sangil and Paolo Sangil. …

  • How Asia uses Bitcoin in one color-coded map
    How Asia uses Bitcoin in one color-coded map

    Bitcoin is a global phenomenon, but not everyone around the world uses it in the same way. Here in Asia, the way a person from the Philippines uses bitcoin is probably very different from how it’s used in Thailand, and both are very different from the typical user in Taiwan. Despite bitcoin being hailed as …

  • Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash
    Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash

    Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears. Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP. …

  • Manila 'cute little submissive' of US: China media
    Manila 'cute little submissive' of US: China media

    The Philippines is nothing more than the "cute little submissive" of the United States, a Chinese tabloid with close ties to the ruling Communist Party said on Tuesday, criticising Manila for military exercises with Washington. The English-language editorial came a day after the Philippines launched giant 10-day war games with the US and Australia, partly aimed as a warning shot to Beijing amid competing claims in the South China Sea, home to vital shipping routes. "Of all the countries …

  • Philippines seeks more military aid from US to counter China
    Philippines seeks more military aid from US to counter China

    The Philippines said Tuesday it would soon ask the United States for more military equipment and training to build its defences, as it faces Chinese "aggressiveness" in disputed waters. As hundreds of Filipino and American Marines simulated an amphibious assault to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, military chief General Gregorio Catapang told AFP he was drafting a "wish list" for US aid. Catapang said the Philippines would ask for "equipment and training", when Foreign …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options