KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 ― Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) today urged Putrajaya to crack down on Sabah and Sarawak secessionists, saying stern action was necessary to protect and defend national unity.
In a statement here, Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman urged Sabah and Sarawak citizens not to be swayed by the movement, claiming it benefits nobody but “greedy and dissatisfied” parties that he did not name.
“Isma urges the federal government to enhance the effort and do the necessary to plug any opportunity for them to launch a secession campaign that would only destroy our peace and stability, and jeopardise the country’s future,” Abdullah said in a statement.
“Isma asks the authorities to fulfil its promise not to compromise on the matter, and to take strict action against those involved if they are found guilty of spreading the secession agenda.”
The group said its position on the matter is to defend the unity of the pribumi, or natives, across the country from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak.
“All Malaysians from all religion and ethnic groups are brothers who share history, interests and future,” added Abdullah.
Supporters of the secessionist movement argue that the allegedly Malaya-centric federal government has largely disregarded the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and the 20- and 18-point agreements pertaining to the special rights of Sabah and Sarawak, respectively, when Malaysia was formed.
Putrajaya recently pinpointed several people they believe to be involved in a movement to have Sabah and Sarawak secede from the federation, with Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar both issuing stern warnings against those behind the movement.
In September, police announced that they have identified three Malaysians involved in the secession movement, adding that they will be investigated under the Sedition Act 1948 and for criminal defamation.
On Monday, Isma’s website ran a report slamming an online group calling itself Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM), mooted by a Sabah-born political activist and lawyer based in the UK, Doris Jones.