KOTA KINABALU, March 13 ― Police here insisted today that they have contacted Doris Jones, the alleged mastermind behind the Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) secessionist group, but declined to divulge further detail on their correspondence with the UK-based activist.
Sabah police commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said that contact has been made with Jones, but said the matter cannot be discussed in public.
“Yes we have made contact, but we cannot discuss this publicly,” he said when asked about police efforts to contact Jones, believed to be a UK citizen after having left Sabah for some two decades.
Last month, Jalauluddin told the media that a warrant of arrest has been issued for a 46-year-old Doris Yapp Kim Youn from Labuan, and that the local police will seek help from Interpol to detain the woman, who is also believed to be known as Doris Jones.
When contacted, Jones, however, dismissed any knowledge of an arrest, and said she had not heard from any Malaysian or Interpol authorities.
“She can say whatever she wants,” said Jalaluddin, insisting that the police are working on her arrest.
Jalaluddin was speaking to reporters after the officiating ceremony of an integrity seminar at the state police headquarters here.
Also present was Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim who said police will not hold back against those who are bent on creating disunity in the country.
Yesterday, Sabah state assembly speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said that the government needs to establish Jones’ identity and dispel the false romantic notion that she was fighting for Sabah and Sarawak to secede from Malaysia.
He said that Jones left Sabah for her marriage and took up her husband’s name and is now based in Northampton, UK, where she became politically active only after she met Bersih’s Ambiga Sreenavasan during a talk held in London.
A BBC news report said the 46-year-old human rights campaigner was being “intimidated” after the Malaysian government claimed it had approached Interpol to track her down.
It quoted her fearing she would be “dragged by police to the court and imprisoned without charge” if she set foot in Malaysia.
The report also said her family members could not contact her as said police had threatened them and taken mobile phones from them.