Avoid ‘senseless’ provocations, says Bung Moktar, after Mohamaddin’s Lahad Datu remarks

Sabah Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin delivers a speech during the unveiling of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah's pledges in Kota Kinabalu September 16, 2020. ― Bernama pic
Sabah Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin delivers a speech during the unveiling of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah's pledges in Kota Kinabalu September 16, 2020. ― Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin has today advised contesting candidates in the ongoing Sabah state election to not use senseless provocations that promote uneasiness amongst the people, following a disparaging remark made by a former minister on the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff.

The Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chief said which freedom of expression is accorded in politics, a line must be drawn to not belittle the contribution and sacrifices made by others in certain circumstances such as the national heroes who gave their lives to protect the people of Sabah.

“To me, the statement issued by Mohamaddin Ketapi is childish and senseless by claiming it was mere BN propaganda to fight pirates who launched their attacks through Tanduo,” he was quoted saying in a video clip. 

“What happened in [Kampung] Tanduo is not a game but a planned attack from the outside which led to many casualties.

“We must be sensitive towards those who sacrificed because they are seen as national heroes that defended the country but when you have provocation such as this, definitely people would be angry because you have hurt their feelings,” he added.

Bung Moktar was responding to former tourism, arts and culture minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi labelling Armed Forces personnel’s sacrifice during the Lahad Datu incursion in 2013 as “theatrics” in a video clip that has gone viral. 

Asked whether Mohamaddin’s remark was an act of desperation to rile up voters, Bung Moktar said the former was famous for being eccentric in his manner of speech.

“Not desperation, but [Mohamaddin] is famous for being eccentric in his speech, meaning he does not know what he is saying. That is why the people in Segama need to decide which kind of leader they want to remain as their elected representative.

“We don’t need comedians as elected representatives,” he added.

Joining Bung Moktar, was former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman who also chided Mohamaddin for the insulting remark which could be construed as treachery.

Earlier today, a two-minute-thirty-second video clip surfaced where Mohamaddin made the disparaging remark during a speech at the campaign trail yesterday in the Segama state seat where he is contesting.

The Silam MP claimed due to the “mass killing theatrics” which took place in Kampung Tanduo, a lot of people lost their lives during the incursion when about 235 militants landed on Sabah after arriving by boat from Siminul Island, Philippines.

At the end of the standoff, around fifty-six militants were killed, together with six civilians and ten Malaysian security force personnel. The rest of the militants were either captured, or escaped back to the Philippines.

Mohamaddin is expected to issue a statement on the matter later today.

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