Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander DCP Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said Thursday the man, who was injured in the left calf and right hand, was taken to Pulau Bakungan Kecil for first aid and then sent to the Duchess of Kent Hospital here.
The boat was one of eight that had encroached into Malaysian waters on their way from Pulau Bakungan Besar in the Philippines to Pulau Selingan, located 25 kilometres from Sandakan, at 1.45pm, he said. "The suspect is in stable condition," he said in a statement.
Abdul Rashid said soldiers deployed in Pulau Bakungan Kecil came to know that several boats from Pulau Bakungan Besar in the Philippines were headed to Pulau Selingan, and six soldiers rushed to the location in a boat.
"At the location, the soldiers saw eight pump boats in Malaysian waters with one person aboard each of the vessels," he said. Abdul Rashid said the soldiers fired three warning shots into the air to chase away the boats but only two vessels turned back to the Philippines.
"The boatmen mocked the soldiers and one of the boats with a man armed with a machete approached the soldiers' vessel.
The soldiers fired in self-defence," he said.
Abdul Rashid said an investigation was initiated to find out where the intruders were from and that Esscom had stepped up security in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone).