Published on: Sunday, March 03, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: Sultan Jamalul Kiram III Agbimuddin Kiram is apparently in a dilemma following the deadly clash between his "army" and Malaysian forces at Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu on Friday.
Tawi Tawi Congressman, Datu Nur Jaafar, told Daily Express in a telephone interview, Saturday night, that the Sultan hoped there would be no further bloodshed and the Malaysian government would allow the 223 intruders who are still holed up in the village to go home to the Philippines peacefully.
However, the Malaysian authorities have decided against any more negotiations with the armed group following ample time being given and have ordered them to surrender.
A total of 235 intruders entered the village on Feb. 9 but 12, including the house owner, were killed during a shootout with Malaysian forces on Thursday.
Two Malaysian police commandos were also killed.
Datu Nur said: "The Sultan doesn't want any more bloodshed and in my opinion, the group should be allowed to go home peacefully.
I know the killing of two Malaysian commandos complicated the matter.
"But we all need to study the implications in handling of the situation.
"It is my sincere hope that the Malaysian government will consider seriously the implications and repercussions," he said, adding that his people in Tawi Tawi would be the ones most affected as it is the closest to Lahad Datu.
Datu Nur said Malaysia will be holding its election soon and he is worried some politicians might take advantage of the situation and hope the Malaysian government will view and handle it carefully.
Datu Nur together with former Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amir Kahar and his wife Datuk Aminah Ambrose met with the Sultan in an undisclosed location in Manila on Thursday, about four hours after the shootout.
"I appeal to the Malaysian government to give them (intruders) time to surrender and allow them to leave Sabah for good so as to avoid any more deaths and casualties," said Datu Nur.
He hoped that the problem will not get bigger and bigger until it is beyond anyone's control.
"A new dialogue should be held between the two governments and address the claim on Sabah properly and settle it once and for all," he said.
Meanwhile, Amir Kahar, who is still in Manila, said he will bring the situation as mentioned by Datu Nur for both governments to sit down for a solution.
"Bloodshed must stop and the people should remain calm and not react on emotions," he said, extending his condolences to the families of the two Malaysian commandos as well as the Filipinos killed.
"I regret that I was not able to meet the Sultan earlier due to miscommunications or else the deaths could have been avoided," he said, adding that despite the effort made, he is of the opinion that further deaths should be avoided. Amir Kahar said he hoped for a peaceful solution to the whole issue.
"I believe the Malaysian government brokered the peace deal for Mindanao and am confident that under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, he will surely be able to make the same peaceful arrangement," he said.
He said he will continue to make efforts so that further deaths can be avoided.
"Having said that, I would like to add that laws in Malaysia cannot be compromised and all, including foreigners, must respect the independent sovereign of out country," he said.