Malaysia attacks Filipinos to end Sabah siege


Malaysian troops moving in to flush out members of the Sulu Sultanate’s ‘royal army’ from a remote village in Lahad Datu, Sabah. The Star/Bernama-Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Malaysian security forces using fighter jets attacked nearly 200 Filipinos in Sabah on Tuesday to end the armed group’s three-week occupation of a Borneo village that has left 27 people dead.

Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed the assault was launched Tuesday morning after clashes in Lahad Datu in Sabah this past week killed eight policemen. He had earlier declared that security forces were authorized to take any action deemed necessary.

“At 7 a.m. this morning, security forces launched an attack on Tanduo village,” Najib said, adding that negotiations with the “royal army” of the Sultanate of Sulu, believed to number 100 to 300 and holed up in a farming village, had failed.

The main group of Filipinos comprises members of the clan of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III of Sulu, some bearing rifles and grenade launchers, who slipped past naval patrols last month, landed at a remote coastal village in Sabah’s Lahad Datu district and insisted the territory was theirs.

Nineteen Filipino gunmen have also been slain in Lahad Datu and another Sabah coastal district involving a smaller group of Filipinos since Friday. The skirmishes shocked Malaysians unaccustomed to such violence in their country, which borders insurgency-plagued southern provinces in the Philippines and Thailand.

“The government has to take the appropriate action to protect national pride and sovereignty as our people have demanded,” Najib said in a statement issued through the national news agency, Bernama.

Authorities made every effort to resolve the siege peacefully since the presence of the group in Lahad Datu district became known on February 12, including holding talks to encourage the group to leave without facing any serious legal repercussions, Najib said.

“The longer this intrusion persisted, it became clear to the authorities that the intruders had no intention to leave Sabah,” Najib said. “As a peace-loving Islamic country that upholds efforts to settle conflicts through negotiations, our struggle to avoid bloodshed in Lahad Datu did not work.”

Violence first erupted on Friday when a shootout between security forces and the Sulu gunmen left 12 Filipinos and two police officers dead.

Another gunbattle Saturday in the town of Semporna, hours away from Tanduo by road, left six police and six gunmen dead, raising fears of a wider infiltration.

Another gunman was beaten to death there Saturday by villagers, police have said.

In this picture taken on Saturday. March 2, 2013, a group of Malaysian police commandos stand guard near the area where the stand-off with Filipino gunmen took place in Tanduo village, Lahad Datu, Sabab , Malaysia. Gunmen ambushed and killed six Malaysian policemen. AP PHOTO/BERNAMA NEWS AGENCY

Local media reported fighter jets screaming over the stand-off site and explosions were heard. Military trucks were also seen moving into the area, which is surrounded by palm oil estates.

Najib had ordered a doubling of security forces in the area after the weekend violence.

Sabah police chief Hamza Taib confirmed the attack involved ground and air operations conducted by both the police and military, which included bombing the area. He declined to elaborate, saying the operation remained ongoing two hours after it was launched shortly after dawn.

Abraham Idjirani, spokesman for the Sulu sultanate, told reporters in Manila that the Filipino group in Sabah would not surrender and that their leader was safe. The group is led by a brother of Kiram.

Lahad Datu district is a short boat ride from the Philippine province, and the clan members had rebuffed calls to leave, claiming Sabah belonged to their royal sultanate and that Malaysia has been paying a paltry amount to lease the vast territory with many palm plantations.

The Philippine government had asked Malaysia to exercise maximum tolerance to avoid further bloodshed.

In Manila, presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang said Tuesday that Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario was in Kuala Lumpur meeting with his Malaysian counterpart.

“We’ve done everything we could to prevent this, but in the end Kiram’s people chose this path,” Carandang said.

An undetermined number of other armed Filipinos are suspected to have encroached on other districts within 300 kilometers (200 miles) of Lahad Datu.

Some in Muslim-majority Malaysia advocated patience in handling the Lahad Datu intruders. But the deaths of the Malaysian police officers, including six who were ambushed while inspecting a waterfront village in a separate Sabah district on Saturday, have triggered widespread alarm over the possibility of more such intrusions.

For the second time in two days, President Benigno Aquino III had gone on national TV to urge the Filipino group in Lahad Datu to lay down their arms, warning that the situation could worsen and endanger about 800,000 Filipinos settlers there.

The crisis could have wide-ranging political ramifications in both countries. Some fear it might undermine peace talks brokered by Malaysia between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the main Muslim rebel group in Mindanao.

It also could affect public confidence in Malaysia’s long-ruling National Front coalition, which is gearing up for general elections that must be held by the end of June. The coalition requires strong support from voters in Sabah to fend off an opposition alliance that hopes to end more than five decades of federal rule by the National Front.

The US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has advised Americans to avoid traveling to much of Sabah’s east coast, which includes towns that are embarkation points for nearby diving resort islands, because of the potential for more violence.

Supporters of the Filipino group took their campaign to cyberspace on Monday, manipulating Google listings to post a message backing the incursion.

A number of Philippine sites also were reportedly defaced by pro-Malaysia hackers.

Originally posted at 8:44 am | Tuesday, March 5, 2013

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  • Alexis_Ferro

    Just give money to Kiram and there will be peace.

  • AlzheimersC

    Yeah better divide Sabah and all the revenues that it is generating today…please Malaysians thieves negotiate…you can make it 30/70…30% of revenue goes to Malaysia and 70% goes to the sultanate or 50/50 to appease the sultanate of Sulu…don’t be greedy!

  • wsewqe f

    “indians” sold america for trinkets……..same same tangeng natives 

  • jseesus

     peace your sorry azz.. you malaysians trained the tausogs to destabilize our country now you reap what you sow.
    bad karma is happening all over malaysia. your next election will be
    the downfall of your federal govement and your stupid prime minister.
    tausogs will be all over malaysia but more on your capital city kuala
    lumpur. we have the same apprehensions before in manila, afraid that
    moro insurgents will plants bombs in our metropolis but now the one that
    feeds this hungry animal will devour the one who feed and trained them.
    prepare for a long costly war in sabah and in your cities, they will
    bring your peaceful cities in an armageddon like atmosphere that you’ll
    be sorry you have been born in malaysia…

  • Kay

    people here dont understand there was a Cobbold Commision created for Sabahan people before joining Malaysia in 1963. Please educate yourself first before keep on mourning and whining for invalid reason.

    • Andres Bonifacio

      The Cobbold Commission headed by one of your british colonial masters submitted it’s findings as a recommendation. It’s only a recommendation. It is not a law unto itself.
      Why is malaysia afraid of bringing this matter to ICJ if the cobbold commission report is a very strong argument for their case? malaysia won’t agree to bring this matter to ICJ because they knew they can’t win.

  • Jon Snow

     cobbold commision is null and void your the one should dig more further, (^^,) atleast deeper until you go to 1939..(^^,)

    • Kay

      shame on you…learn on history and gets your fact right! Your stupidity comment might embarrassing philipinoes generally..

      • Jon Snow

        No im not,cause i know your government and history are broken over 50yrs. and if i may ask what history are we talking about? your null and void cobbold history?..

      • Andres Bonifacio

        The Cobbold Commission headed by one of your british colonial masters submitted it’s findings as a recommendation. It’s only a recommendation. It is not a law unto itself.

        Why is malaysia afraid of bringing this matter to ICJ if the cobbold commission report is a very strong argument for their case? malaysia won’t agree to bring this matter to ICJ because they knew they can’t win.

      • Jon Snow

         thats more like it supremo (^^,)

      • Andres Bonifacio


  • Edgardo Mendoza

    its time to unite to finish malaysian ugly force out in sabah! are brothers looks squaters in home land!  who is real owner of sabah pilipinos or malaysian ugly force!

    • Jon Snow

      i not sure about it man,i despise those malaysian basher but if we look into a bigger picture what if we retake sabah sa sultan didnt mention it they will give it to the philippines.what if they declared independence in sulu after they get the sabah from malaysia,malaysia and philippines might suffer just revived a lost kingdom.raising a war in malaysia would might cause another motive to push territorial bounderies in tawi-tawi this is super complicated rather than said man,united nation or atleast asean are the authorities weve been waiting for on this arm stand off.

    • Kay

      think twice man! please check your army inventory before fighting with us…and our army will not fight with militant because we’re pity on you as we have so much experience fighting with Japanese and communist before…

      • Andres Bonifacio

        A malaysian police inspector and a colonel were killed by the Tausugs, 4 members of your armed forces were captured  and you’re telling us you have so much experience? You sent 5 batallions , your police force, helicopters and a fighter plane yet you cannot catch less than 200 Tausugs?

        It’s not about the inventory. You have the needed inventory but your forces don’t know how to use them.Yesterday your fighter jet made a bomb run but bombed the position of your own forces instead  That’s plain stupidity.You should think twice, not us.

      • Kay

        hahah…another idiot who cannot think out of the box and pretend to be smart but to be honest, you’re living in the shadow of liar social media…i have nothing to say except, congratz!!! keep on dreaming on ur own world…

      • Andres Bonifacio

        Your own press reported this. It quoted one of your high ranking police official…idiot

      • Jon Snow

        Desperate comeback its your media the one misleading the information,lahad datu is under control but to know with all the fire power of malaysian kids army they stand in equal know why?cause they lack of experience in war and how can you experience war and survive it when you are coward just like malaysians like you?..

      • Jon Snow

        Dont worry about the fighting force kay your advantage is your scorpene submarine the controversial submarine yes the one the never float and the other one never sink XD  dont be pity on your army prove already theyre cowards (^^,) and to think that you have much experience fighting the japanese?…huh? huh? huh? what japanese?! what?..are you talking about world war 2? ahahaha is that what they said in your decieving history?..but anyway ill give you an other side of the stories what happen there,it was the allied force who defend and retake sabah and those allied force dock in sabah is united kingdom united states and also philippines and your malaysian army had nothing to do with it..even in battle of yultong in south korea your army run and retreat because of huge military power of china and north korea and guess what who defend the line the PEFTOK BCT 10th battalion of philippines with 1000+ military force vs. 40thousand strong china army and try to reseasrch who retreat in that encounter its those communist if philippine army retreat just like those malaysian do there will be no south korea but a whole comunist country of korea,do you still think you have the experience in war?..yes its running and deaf doing nothing (^^,) thats what you are

      • Kay

        yea yea…keep on reading on your deceiving media and keep on writing based on untrue fact…world have recognized us by UN awarded us to be a peacekeeping troops in a few country, if we run away from battlefield like Indonesian army did, the UN won’t recognize us…you can search by yourself and don’t be fooled by western media…US and western known as a devil in this world. Black Hawk Down was a hoax movie and we have boycott this. Do you know who have have rescue the US soldier when 2 helicopter was shoot down there? Go and check by yourself and again get the facts right!

      • Andres Bonifacio

        Your air force can’t even find its target. Yesterday it bombed the malaysian position by mistake. That’s stupidity.

      • Jon Snow

         theyre windtalkers are not good in coordinates and math thats why haha (^^,)

      • Kay

        hahahah…i cannot stop laughing for those who make this silly comment, this are arrogant people who cannot accept the true news…we are now in the ‘cleaning up’ process by collecting intruders body and gather it in one location…they were some complicated job as the body were destroyed into few pieces…further action cannot be reveal it publicly as we track this intruders until to the wormhole…

      • Andres Bonifacio

        reply to kay below:

        What cleaning up are you talking about? You have a news blackout because your govt was so embarrassed by the stupidity of your TOY SOLDIERS and air force.

        You’re laughing because of the ineptness of your armed forces…hahaha

      • Jon Snow

        your media is a deciever,do you really believe they handle and under control the situation in lahad datu?…do you really believe your media is not misleading the news this is a strait question to you i know you will lie for the sake of your so called national security,you can fool other people but not yourself (^^,)

      • isaac

         Hi kay< you dont fight the japanese, you are a jap. collaborator because of your friendship with the GERMAN'S. Also you dont have a battle experience, your soldier are only EQUAL to our BOYSCOUT. SECOND IT IS NOT THE EQUIPMENT THAT COUNTS, it is the man behind the equipment. remember the 9/11?

  • KhairaM

    sabah is not belong to malaysia or philipines.sabah belong to sabahan only.

  • David Millon

    “The skirmishes shocked Malaysians unaccustomed to such violence in their country, which borders insurgency-plagued southern provinces in the Philippines and Thailand.”

    My father is a war veteran, we accustomed to our geographical landscape and not shocked because we have fight communist guerrilla beforehand and we have fight alongside British army against Japanese occupation. 

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