Malaysia holds 32 Filipinos trying to join incursion


KUALA LUMPUR—Malaysian security forces on Monday stopped a boat carrying 32 armed Filipinos who were trying to join a two-month-old incursion into the disputed territory of Sabah, police said.

Sabah police chief Hamza Taib said the group, armed with guns and machetes, was arrested about 12 nautical miles from the state’s east coast, less than an hour away by boat from the southern Philippines.

The group’s wooden motor boat was towed to Sandakan on the east coast of Sabah on Borneo island but no details were given of where the 32 are being held.

More than 200 armed Islamist followers of the self-styled “Sultan of Sulu” landed in February to claim Sabah for their leader, reviving a centuries-old territorial row.

The incursion and a Malaysian counter-assault in early March left at least 68 militants dead along with 10 security personnel, according to authorities, and strained relations with Manila.

But authorities appear to have failed to catch most of the militants, leading to a prolonged security crisis which has forced Malaysia to relocate villages on the coast considered vulnerable to infiltration.

Philippine media earlier Monday had cited Muslim rebels as saying that 1,000 gunmen were trying to break through a naval blockade to support the fight against Malaysian security forces.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • bharzul

    I am just curious as to whether these militant – armed and crossing the sea in wooden boat in to Sabah knew what really going on here in the first place. I failed to see any tactical or military elements, if indeed their intention of coming was to help beleaguered RSF or whatever you call it , now said to be less then 10 running and hiding for their life in Lahad Datu. Intercepted and caught barely 12 nautical from Tambisan island, barely 30 minutes boat rides from LD? These people were either totally nuts or coming not for war, but to open up forest for plantation. Maybe they were told that they will needed weapon since there will be a lot of wild animal in the forest. They need the blade to fell down trees and clear bushes.

    • corei3sleek sleek

      Naaahh, we don’t buy it. We still going to kill them all although they r totally nuts.

    • Malaysian in Singapore

      We have real time updates and yet both sides could not agree on who is right and who is wrong. Imagine these “warriors” who probably spent most of their lives “training”; they might not even know how to read a newspaper, let alone whatever contracts or deeds. Give them USD 200, and they take the money to feed their 8 kids first, then they hop on to the boat to Sabah, get caught and go home.
      Well, at least the kids will have rice for a few more weeks.

  • buritos

    Its payback time malaysia!!!! You can have Pnoy and Mar Roxas on your side.
    Youve done this in Mindanao before, now it your turn.
    Lets see how your government will solve this.

    • Pinoy Bodoh

      We will just kill them all. Illegal immigrants that they are.

      • buritos

        Easy for you to say that because obviously you haven’t been into any war mate.
        Your government used F18s to finish them off , but they are still there.

      • Sebastian Archer

        but they have been decimated!

      • buritos

        Ask your government for the truth.

      • corei3sleek sleek

        The truth still, we decimated them.

      • buritos

        Words from your mother?

      • Sebastian Archer

        then your mother told you that the Sulus are winning the battle?

      • buritos

        Thats you words mate not mine.
        There’s no winner in any war.
        It only shows that you dont understand what war means.

      • heehe hahaa

        There are no winners in war. Agreed. But Malaysia never chose this path, it was forced upon us by Kiram’s terrorists.

        No further news of the so-called brave Tausugs who are now cowering in fear and begging for a ceasefire.

      • Malaysian in Singapore

        With the exception of the few policemen and soldiers (may their soul rest in peace), this whole thing didn’t affect the Malaysians much, come to think of it. In fact, I would say more good came out of it than bad:
        1) BN’s project IC is on everyone’s lips now = they will lose lots of votes
        2) New Malaysian citizens angry with BN for killing their tausug relatives will also not vote for BN = double whammy!
        3) Illegals fleeing Sabah on their own = we get to save money from having to deport them
        4) Our army boys get to have real life experience, chasing the balance terrorists. The boys get off days, annual leave (while a fresh team takes over), prepacked food, proper sleeping tentages etc…. ok!
        5) The ministry of defence would purchase more weapons now that they’ve realised their mistakes. Good that they had this tiny inconvenience to discover this rather than during a proper war!

    • shah

      Its easy to say payback time from the comfort of your most probably air conditioned location , after having a decent meal an pressing keyboard before going to deep slumber. yes, what a warrior you are. Keyboard warrior that is. Your comments and instigation wont solve a thing.

  • misuari playboy

    Dear Moros and Tausugs, know that your enemy is the Philippine. Philippines Colonialism has robbed you of your mineral wealth gold, nickel and copper for the Tagalogs take all. Sabah is Peaceful and not for you to take. But take your land Mindanao and Sulu out from Philippines Colonialism. Do not support Philippines Expansionist Plan. Vote yourself out from Philippine through a peaceful UN Backed Referendum. You can do it for your future now.

  • Hey_Dudes

    This is an opportune time for straying fellow Filipinos, who just cannot seem to be weaned away from violence, spending time in jails. I hope the Malaysian authorities will do it can to make sure these newly apprehended terrorist from Sulu will rot in their jails so that the process may finally be a learning curve for anyone else wanting to foment unrest in Sabah Malaysia.

    • buritos

      Pray hard mate..if you want that to happen.

  • misuari playboy

    Philippines Colonialist has only two options. Either give the Moros and Tausugs their independence peacefully or fight a bloody war of independence.

  • corei3sleek sleek

    Hahahaha I’m back. Hence, I declare this is a Malaysian Territory. Yes, we r space grabber and we do eat Pinoys but obviously, 32 is not enough… Bring more plz.

    BTW, out of this number, only few r dare to fight, the rests will become a human shield but who cares, we r going to kill them all anyway.

  • gibo772000

    Well, solve this issue with a third party. To solve this. It should be HAPPY ALL. Something is really wrong. Malaysia can’t put a blind eye, just like what happened to Mindanao 30 years ago, until finally Philippine Govt started giving concessions to the rebellion.

    Just like what I said. It should be HAPPY ALL.

  • John John

    Be careful!
    If this thing escalates,covert cross-border preemptive ‘special actions’ by Malaysian black ops teams may be permitted by the authorities in the near future to prevent planned further incursions and protect Malaysian national interests.

    It is claimed Filipinos can sail to Sabah easily in secret but remember it’s also the same case the other way around.A covert Submarine-launched fast assault boat with 10 PASKAL Naval Commandos on board can do a lot of damage in a 5 minute surgical strike.

    Malaysian covert Intelligence agents already in place in Southern Philippines may have already identified & fixed any ‘persons of interest’ for any future preemptive actions. As the Philippines government seems uninterested or unwilling to address this issue,drastic methods may be seem warranted.

  • Malaysian in Singapore

    More on the way? Why? Because fighting in a self-initiated war is way more fun than say farming or building schools for the kids. Hell no, they are macho men! Heck care that half the kids have no education and that the ladies are forced to leave home and work as maids to send money back to buy food and fix the leaking roof.

    Truth be told, the actual combat time could be just minutes while the rest of the time, these (malnourished) rednecks just sit around in the jungle, talking about how brave they are and how much they are sacrificing for their country. Good for them!

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos