Kg Tanduo defenders join the chiefs in voting
Published on: Sunday, April 28, 2013

FELDA SAHABAT: About 200 Armed Forces members serving in Kg Tanduo which was cleared of all Filipino terrorist threats recently cast their postal votes for the 13th general election, Saturday. Malaysian Armed Forces Chief, Gen. Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, who led the postal voting process, said there 2,280 armed forces members cast their votes in Felda Sahabat territory, including Kg Tanduo, 160km from here.

"Kampung Tanduo is very significant for us and, I believe, for the other security forces too because this is the site where the Sulu terrorists first intruded on our sovereignty.

"And it is here that we launched our offensive to crush and flush out the enemy from our homeland for the sake of our sovereignty. And we will remain here because it is a place that is very special to the MAF," he said after casting his vote at the 21st Royal Malay Regiment Tactical Unit base that was set up in the village.

With him to cast their ballots were Joint Forces Commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin, First Division Infantry Commander Major-General Datuk Mohd Zaki Mokhtar and Brig-Gen Datuk Ranjit Singh Ramday.

Zulkifeli said 3,500 soldiers stationed in the Ops Daulat areas in Lahad Datu, Semporna, Sandakan and Tawau would cast their postal ballots in an exercise which began Friday and ends today.

He said the voting process was implemented in stages and would be continued at Kg Tanjung Batu/Tanjung Labian and Cenderawasih.

"Armed forces members are not exempted from discharging our responsibility as Malaysians while serving the country.

The postal vote casting process ran smoothly and according to procedures stipulated by the Election Commission," he said.

Meanwhile, one of the armed forces personnel, Major Shahrul Hesham, 34, said it was his first time voting while on tour of duty. "Although the voting process was implemented in an uncomfortable condition it was still implemented according to the EC procedure," he added.

He said it was very meaningful as Kg Tanduo had created its own history when it was the scene of fighting with terrorists loyal to the so-called Sulu sultanate who wanted to stake a claim to the territory as theirs.

Altogether, 72 people died in the incident, including 10 Malaysian security personnel.


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