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Tanduo Intrusion Not Claim for Sabah Rights but Failure to Provide Security - Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu: “The Defence Minister’s attempt and excuse to link the recent Tanduo intrusion with the growing internal state nationalism to seek the restoration of State rights in Sabah as well as in Sarawak is a weak and feeble attempt to deflect from the failure of the federal government and its leaders to fulfil the promises and failure to provide the security to Sabah since 1963” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief in a follow-up statement released today.

The promises of the then Malayan leaders to provide security against the twin threats from Philippines and Indonesia as well as development were the fundamental basis to persuade and induce Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia in 1963.

These promises were the core of the untold stories told by Tan Sri Ghani Gilong and Tan Sri Majid Khan at the recent forum “The Formation of Malaysia – The Untold Story” organized by the Sabah Society.

The Tanduo intrusion did not only reveal the failure of the federal government in providing the security to Sabah and Sabahans.  The intrusion also revealed that the federal government and the federal departments and leaders from Malaya were the culprits in creating the insecurity and contributed largely to the intrusion.

The militant intruders were beneficiaries of the arming and training of the Southern Philippines/Mindanao insurgency by covert Malaysian operations with training grounds in the jungles of Tanduo/Lahad Datu.   Many of these militants and their supporters including the intruders were given dubious Malaysian ICs and were members of Umno to the extent some of those killed in the Tanduo intrusion were buried in Keningau, Kudat and elsewhere in Sabah because their ICs show that they were alleged to be born in those places.   Many of those currently under detention under SOSMA for their roles in the Tanduo intrusion are members of Umno with some even holding leadership posts.

The revelations at the RCI also showed that the federal leaders and government departments were complicit in the issuance of ICs to unqualified foreigners, many obtained fraudulently by declaring to be born in Sabah when they were not.   Bare denials and selective memory and selective loss of memory by the federal leaders did not absolve these leaders and the federal government of their criminal acts and treason to Malaysia in general and Sabah in particular.   

These leaders may have denied the existence of “Project IC” or “Ops Durian Buruk” by playing with words, but, more importantly, they did not deny the existence of the issuance of dubious ICs to unqualified foreigners and put the blame only low rank civil servants who were merely doing their jobs and carrying out orders from their superiors.

The Tanduo intrusion was solely and squarely a Sulu claim by the Kiram descendants over Sabah as part of their ancestral inheritance together with alleged claims for non-payment of “allowances” for supporting and voting for Umno/BN and the displacement from lands that were promised and allotted to them and then “taken back” partly by the listing of Felda Global Ventures.    

Nothing about the Tanduo intrusion is about the claim of genuine Sabahans over Sabah rights and autonomy that were promises arising from Sabah and Sarawak agreeing to form Malaysia in 1963 and Sabah being an equal partner in the federation of Malaysia.   This historical fact is even now acknowledged by the Prime Minister himself and the Chief Minister of Sabah.

Is the Minister extending his threat over Sabah rights to include the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister?

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