Wednesday, March 6, 2013


REJECT: Community supports action by our security forces

KOTA KINABALU: THE estimated 300,000 local Suluk community in Sabah have distanced themselves from the path taken by the terrorists from the Philippines who intruded into Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu.
They also supported the action taken by the security forces to end the stand-off with the armed Filipinos, stressing that enough time had been given to them to surrender and return to their country.
"We maybe from the same stock, but we totally disagree with their action of intruding into the state, killing and harming members of the security forces," said Abdul Ali Erilis, deputy president of the Sabah Bajau Suluk Cultural Association.
The armed terrorists, who claimed to be members of the Royal Sulu Army, are from the Suluk Tausug ethnic group in Mindanao, southern Philippines.
President of the Sabah Suluk Handicraft Entrepreneurs Association Ruhil Sailajan said the Suluks in Sabah were peace-loving people who would not resort to any action that could threaten security and peace in the state.
"The Suluk community in Sabah knows that any action that is detrimental to peace and security in the state will affect the economy and our businesses will suffer."
Originally from the Philippines, many of the Suluks in Sabah came to the state during the colonial era when it was still known as British North Borneo. After Sabah gained independence through Malaysia in 1963, they opted to become citizens of the country. However, there were also a substantial number who came to Sabah after independence to work in the plantation and construction sectors.
Sabah Suluk Ethnic Association secretary Zaki Harry Susanto said the loyalty of the local Suluk community in Sabah was to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the federal and state governments, helmed by Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Seri Musa Aman, respectively.
"We have nothing to do with the so-called Sulu Sultanate and we will not get involved in the cause they are fighting for," he said in reference to the terrorists' claim that Sabah was part of the sultanate.
The community leaders had earlier met with Musa to pledge their commitment to ensure that the Suluk community in the state uphold the country's laws.
Musa, who is state security committee chairman, said the state government fully agreed with the justifications provided by the prime minister for yesterday's operation against the terrorists.

Read more: 'Suluks want to have nothing to do with them' - General - New Straits Times

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