Tian Chua says Kiram clan not terrorists, questions Putrajaya's allusions

Batu MP Chua Tian Chang said it was unfair to immediately link the Kiram family to a ‘revenge’ attack allegedly planned against Sabah. — File pic
Batu MP Chua Tian Chang said it was unfair to immediately link the Kiram family to a ‘revenge’ attack allegedly planned against Sabah. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — PKR MP Chua Tian Chang today said it was unfair to immediately link the Kiram family to a “revenge” attack allegedly planned against Sabah, despite the late Sulu “sultan” Jamalul Kiram III having claimed responsibility for the deadly invasion of Lahad Datu in 2013.

Chua said Putrajaya must ascertain which group in the Philippines’ restive south is reportedly planning an assault on Sabah, as there are various militant organisations such as the Abu Sayyaf that operate out of the area.

“I just want to get an answer from the minister if the government has identified which group (is planning an attack),” the Batu MP said when interjecting on deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed who was winding up points raised during the committee stage debate on Budget 2016.

“If the group is the self-proclaimed sultanate of Sulu, I think there are diplomatic channels to deal with this, because they are part of the Filipino government... they are not terrorists.

“The group that is not recognised by the Philippine government, MILF, is being assisted by Malaysia and negotiating with the Filipino government. That is why, if we accuse we have to be specific. Otherwise it is not fair,” Chua added, referring to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front separatist group.

Chua had interjected to seek clarification as to why Nur Jazlan had allegedly politicised the issue by linking it to the former’s trip to Manila with Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, who was pictured with Jamalul’s daughter, Jacel Kiram.

Nur Jazlan told the Dewan Rakyat that there is no political motive in warning Malaysians of a possible revenge attack by Sulu “terrorists”, though he took a swipe at Nurul Izzah for posing for a picture with “an enemy of the state”.

“They killed 10 Malaysians; we killed some of theirs too. The way they killed our people was cruel... they cut hands, cut heads. It was cruel.

“So why is a PKR vice-president taking pictures with someone considered an enemy of the state?” he said, referring to Nurul Izzah and Jacel respectively.

However, Nur Jazlan did not state if Putrajaya has confirmed the identity of the would-be attackers, stressing that they need to proceed with caution to avoid tipping off “our enemies”.

Over the weekend, Nur Jazlan reportedly said that Sulu forces in southern Philippines are planning another attack on Sabah in revenge after a failed bid in 2013 to claim ownership of the east Malaysian state.

The Sulu “sultanate” in southern Philippines led by the late Jamalul organised a group of over 200 gunmen who launched an invasion on the peaceful Lahad Datu coastal township in Sabah in 2013.

The invasion, which was the sultanate’s attempt to stake its claim over Sabah, later led to a bloody standoff between local security forces and the Sulu group, resulting in 10 Malaysian personnel dead.

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