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Sabah probes ‘revenge’ letter


06:30 AM July 21st, 2013

July 21st, 2013 06:30 AM

The heirs of the Sultan of Sulu: (seated from left) Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, Sultan Bantilan Esmail Kiram II and (standing from left) Datu Alianapia Kiram, Datu Phugdal Kiram and Datu Baduruddin Kiram. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

KOTA KINABALU—Sabah state police have initiated investigations over a letter purportedly written by followers of the sultan of Sulu stating that they would come to the Tambunan district, in Sabah’s interior, on a revenge attack.

Sabah Police Commissioner Hamza Taib said Saturday the police were tracing the source of the letter even though it was believed it had nothing to do with the Sulu intrusion into Lahad Datu district earlier this year.

“We have started our own investigations even though there have been no official police reports,” said Hamza when contacted by telephone.

He said the police did not believe the author of the letter had any links to the Sulu intruders, and had acted of his own accord.

The authenticity of the letter is doubted, he added.

A July 3 letter signed by “Militant Commandos” on behalf of the Sulu sultanate and Kiram family was sent to the Tambunan district officer, police officials and the residents of Tambunan warning that they aimed to start a war in the district in retaliation for the skirmishes in Lahad Datu district’s  Tanduo village by August.

Hamza said police and security forces took all threats seriously and investigated them.

More than 70 people were killed in fighting between followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and Malaysian security forces in March, following the intrusion by a group led by his brother Agbimuddin into Tanduo.

The intruders were driven out of the village in April, and close to 200 people have been charged over the intrusion.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin, who is Tambunan assemblyman and Keningau Member of Parliament, urged authorities to investigate the letter despite doubts about its authenticity.

“This is something we cannot just leave alone. We have to take it seriously,” said Pairin, adding that he hoped the police would find the writer of the letter and “take appropriate action against such people.”

On claims that Kiram’s followers were planning to return to Sabah, Hamza said that security forces were in place to head off any threats. while also checking on all reports and rumors.

He said, however, that it was part of the Sulu group’s modus operandi to spread “false propaganda” and create fear among the people. The Star/ANN

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