Published on: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Kuching: Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Richard Riot on Wednesday cautioned former Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari not to try and take advantage of the Lahad Datu episode to advance his personal selfish agenda.
In rebuking Misuari's claim that Sabah rightfully belonged to the so-called Sultan of Sulu, he said, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had made it categorically clear that the State was part of Malaysia and no one should question its sovereignty and territorial integrity as a legitimate part of Malaysian territory.
"My advice to Misuari is, if he is a peace-loving man as he desperately claimed to be and if he really loves and cares for his Bangsamoro, he should support and join the efforts towards the peace agreement within the framework that was signed recently between the Philippines government and Bangsamoro for long-lasting peace in Mindanao," he told a media conference here.
Cautioning Misuari to heed the Malay proverb, "jangan menagguk di air yang keruh" literally translated as "not to fish in murky water," he urged him to devote his remaining energy and time to the peace accord for the good of his fellow countrymen and government of the Philippines, to which he owed his loyalty.
He said the promotion of peace was one of the pillars of Malaysia's foreign policy and, for which, the country would vehemently protect and defend every inch of Sabah against foreign aggression and any hostile action.
"We have witnessed that turmoil and instability in Southern Philippines have certainly brought no advantage to anyone but only to burden Malaysia and other neighbouring countries having to host those fleeing their homes for safety and better lives," Riot said.
There was nothing that Malaysia desired for its neighbours more than for them to enjoy peace, stability and prosperity, he said.
For that reason, he said, Malaysia had been actively involved in peace keeping missions all over the world and willing to broker peace efforts in neighbouring countries, particularly in the Philippines.
He said the warm bilateral relationship between both countries was reflected when the regional governor of the autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao, Mujir S Hataman, paid him a courtesy at his office in Putrajaya in October last year. -Bernama