AS TOLL RISES:

Malaysia beefs up security in Sabah

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A Malaysian armed policemen (L) mans a security check in Sahabat 7 on the road leading to Tanjung Tanduo, in the areas where suspected Philippine militants are holding off, on the Malaysian island of Borneo on February 18, 2013. AFP FILE PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN

Tawau, Malaysia – Malaysia vowed to beef up security Monday in an eastern state where at least 26 people have been reported killed after a bizarre invasion by Philippine followers of a self-styled sultan.

(Inquirer.net reports showed, however,  that  at least 24  combatants  had been  killed since  violence broke out in Sabah – eight of them  Malaysian policemen.)

Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is under pressure over Malaysia’s worst security crisis in years, has authorized a “doubling” of police and armed forces deployed in the tense state of Sabah on Borneo island.

“An additional two army battalions have been dispatched to Sabah,” Najib, who has vowed to root out the intruders, was quoted as saying by state news agency Bernama.

Malaysians have been shocked by the militant incursion, which began when an estimated 100-300 people landed on the shores of Sabah on February 12, claiming the state for the heir to a former Philippine sultanate.

The armed intrusion has embarrassed Malaysian premier Najib – who must call elections by June – by exposing lax border security and fuelling perceptions of lawlessness and huge illegal immigration in Sabah.

A tense stand-off between the intruders and security forces, who have them pinned down in the farming village of Tanduo, erupted in a bloody firefight Friday that left 12 gunmen and two police officers dead.

Another gun battle erupted in Semporna, 300 kilometers (190 miles) away, on Saturday night, dramatically escalating tensions and raising the overall toll of reported dead to at least 18 militants and eight police officers.

It remains unclear whether the Semporna confrontation was resolved or is ongoing.

Followers of the 74-year-old Manila-based Islamic leader, Jamalul Kiram III, say the gunmen are ready to die to defend his claim to Sabah, which was once controlled by the now-defunct sultanate.

The fresh weekend clash in Semporna – and a police claim that they were pursuing yet another group of gunmen in a nearby town – has sparked fears of further infiltration by armed Filipinos along the coast.

The exact identities of the gunmen remains a mystery, but Malaysian armed forces chief Zulkifeli Zin told a press conference in Sabah on Sunday that the intruders appeared to have combat experience.

Their “insurgency guerrilla technique is quite good,” he was quoted saying.

Sabah has seen previous smaller-scale cross-border raids from Islamic militants and other bandits from the adjacent southern Philippines, which has suffered for decades from a campaign by Muslim insurgents.

Malaysian authorities have not clearly said whether the different armed groups in the current troubles are related, instead issuing calls for calm, saying the situation is under control.

The Star newspaper has reported, however, that thousands of families fled Semporna in panic.

Sabah’s police chief Hamza Taib was quoted by Malaysian press saying an armed man in commando gear was killed by angry villagers near Semporna. It was not clear whether he was one of the six militants reported killed in Saturday’s shooting.

The Sulu sultanate’s power faded about a century ago but it has continued to receive nominal Malaysian payments for Sabah under a lease deal inherited from European colonial powers.

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  • disqus_ZrxaGjUzMQ

    SABAHAN RISE UP AND GET OUT OF FEDERATION OF MALAYSIAN BUMIPUTRAS THIEVES
    SABAH AS INDEPENDENT COUNTRY  TITULAR HEAD SULTAN SULUSULTAN SULU WILL SUPPORT A FREE INDEPENDENT COUNTRY   SABAHSANDAKAN COM

  • Muhammad Izuan

    Malaysia paid  ‘cession money‘ to the Sulu’s. So Sabah is a part of Malaysia. Check your dictionary what ‘cession’ mean                

    • disqus_ZrxaGjUzMQ

      MR MUHAMMAD USING WORD CESSION —YOU GOT FOOLED BY BRITISH & YOUR MALAY MASTER

      THE CONTRACT STATE PADYAK TRANSLATION IS RENT
      AND ALSO THE CONTRACT STATE ALSO THAT

      THE BRITISH COMPANY OR OWNER OF THE COMPANY  CANNOT  TRANSFER THE PROPERTY WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE SULTANATE OF SULU

      LOOK AT THE CONTRACT IT SAYS LEASE N NON TRANSFERABLE

  • Noel

    This Pnoy government does not know how to handle crisis.  The current Sabah situation reminds us of that tragic Luneta shooting.  The government asks Kiram’s followers to go home but it warns that once they return many cases await them.  What kind of pleading and negotiation is this?  The government must not only protect the country’s sovereignty but also fulfill its obligation.  If the government helps those convicted of death in other countries even if they are drug couriers, why is it hard for the government to help our Muslim brothers now in Sabah whose only purpose were to negotiate and reach an agreement about Sabah?  Worse, the government is following the line of Malaysia.  Seldom if never we heard about a country risking her own citizens to please a neighbor.   

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JTTG7LQLDSEA5IJZP3DGNEZKK4 stoich_craw

    If the Malaysians have succeeded in forging a rebellion in Mindanao, it will be more difficult for Kirams men to return the favor. First, in Mindanao its Filipino rebels vs, PH GOVT wherein Sabah, its Filipinos vs. Malaysians. 2nd. Mindanao rebels dont need to travel that far, wherein Sabah its 10 hrs and there will be occasional interceptions on the border. 3rd. Mindanao is their safe haven and there is little fear of getting arrested unlike in Sabah. 4th. There will be a big cholateral damage in Sabah, some 800,000 of our own countrymen will be caught in the crossfire, some will be falsely accused of collaborating with the insurgents, and most will be rounded up and deported for damage control. 5th. The rebellion in Mindanao is state sponsored (by Malaysia and Libya), unlike Sabah, at least we dont know for now.
    But karma is still karma for Malaysia, but its going to be a short lived war.
    Prolonging this adventure is not a good idea.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sang.garudada Sang Garudada

      Karma on us? HA!HA!HA! Karma is coming your way and you do not even realize it. Malaysia has sent a group of delegations to meet with our Chinese counterpart at the same time we are sending 7 Battalions together with all the military asset. You filipino beggars have bitten more than you can chew. Now just wait for hell, we are coming for you. God have mercy on your soul, because we definitely won’t

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JTTG7LQLDSEA5IJZP3DGNEZKK4 stoich_craw

        Seems like your country is in distress to push the panic button, and now youre calling for help for just a “small” group of Tausug warriors :-):-) pathetic. Go, call whoever you want, the Chinx, indians, your feudal Lord Brits and your former gay minister. If the situation comes to worse, we will send those warriors with reinforcements of army of dogs and pigs.

        Wait for the hell? Dont you think its the other way around?

      • Teresa Santos

        Nothing wrong with being gay. This Sang Garuda is obviously mentally unbalance we should not even be talking to him. I have a million times more respect to our maid than this ignorant, prejudice Sang Garuda.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

        GET OUT TO OUR LAND SABAH IS OURS! OR YOU TASTE OF TERROR!

      • Teresa Santos

        Why would you need China’s help? Aren’t you just dealing with a few ‘skinny warriors’? Scared?

      • Simplify1

        7 battalions to go up against 200 lightly armed “intruders”?  At least, now thats a fair fight!

  • Tun Mohd Firdaus

     Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors. al baqarah 19

  • Simplify1

    Malaysia doubles police presence and added 2 battalions composing about 2,000 men in arms…. AYAN… DE PATAS NA LABANAN…….

    • disqus_ZrxaGjUzMQ

      2000 malay forces against 2000 tausugs warriors who will have men still standing after all the slaughter ?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5WHLNPOIEHWVLEMONRVB5DOG5A Janjan

    kung c Binay lang ang papalit kay PNoy,, Ay naku naku !!!!
    ibabalik ng UNa ang corruption sa bansa,, 

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/HQ3IST5DNKVHEP7QJJL6GZQB6M bab

    Now that counter attacks are raging, netizens became too silent, where are u folks! Wala na kayong bayag! Watching for updates. SORRY,Malaysia blocked off Sabah from the world. But can they hide the truth that they are the real TERRORISTS, and offsprings of DAJJALS?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    MALAYSIA IS  A TERRORIST SABAH IS PART OF THE PHILIPPINES KICK OUT THE MALAYSIAN UGLY FORCE!

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