PETALING JAYA, April 11 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad alleged today that he tried unsuccessfully to convince Putrajaya to buy aerial drones to monitor Sabah’s borders.
He claimed these could have prevented the Sulu invasion of Lahad Datu in 2013.
The Pakatan Harapan chairman asserted in a video shown live on Facebook that he recommended that the federal government procure unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) — also called drones — to patrol Sabah’s coastline.
According to him, the federal government only gave the UAV manufacturer “five minutes” to make their case.
“They (the manufacturer) are even keen to let Malaysia produce the UAV here and even export to other nations,” Dr Mahathir said when claiming this failed to convince Putrajaya.
In February 2013, over 200 Sulu gunmen stormed the village of Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, Sabah to stake their sultanate’s claim over the east Malaysian state.
In the bloody standoff that ensued with Malaysia’s security forces, a total of 68 terrorists were reportedly shot dead while 10 local policemen were killed.