KOTA KINABALU, Sept 21 — Malaysians have a responsibility to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and any action to the contrary is unpatriotic and amounts to betraying the country, said Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
“Going by this principle, I strongly condemn a speech by Warisan leader and Segama candidate Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi which clearly insulted and belittled the sacrifices of our security forces in defending the country when Sabah was attacked by terrorists in 2013,” said Azmin, who is Perikatan Nasional (PN) information chief.
In a statement today, Azmin, who is Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry, said the incident in Tanduo, Lahad Datu had resulted in clashes between the country’s security forces and militants from the Philippines, which killed 12 Malaysians including security personnel.
He said Mohamaddin’s speech, which allegedly described the armed incursion as a farce, was a lie and an act of instigation aimed at undermining the people’s unity.
It also shows that Warisan is not committed in defending Sabah’s sovereignty and the people’s security, he added.
“PN firmly believes that the struggle to defend the country’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity is a holy responsibility of every Malaysian who loves well-being and prosperity,” he said.
A video allegedly showing Mohamaddin making the disparaging remark at a state election campaign has gone viral on social media.
“I believe the big family of security forces especially of those who perished in the clashes and all patriotic Malaysians could not accept his unfounded allegation.
“PN demands that Mohamaddin retracts his insulting remark and immediately apologises to all Malaysians especially families of security forces killed in the line of duty of defending the country,” he added.
Azmin urged Sabahans to reject anyone who tries to trivialise the country’s sovereignty and security for narrow political interests.
“Let’s enhance our unity and harness the strength of our people to boost the spirit of love for the country together with PN,” he said. — Bernama