Referring to the Lahad Datu siege, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim criticises the government for being soft.
“When a leader is under siege, he creates this fear of foreign intrusion. Even ex-US president George W Bush did this,” Anwar said at a press conference held at the party headquarters today.
For more than two weeks, several hundred armed Filipinos, claiming to be loyalists of the Sulu Sultanate, have been camping in Lahad Datu.
The men refused to leave the place saying Sabah is their homeland, citing historical links between the state and the Sulu Sultanate in the southern Philippines.
Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, said that the very existence of a government is centralised on the notion that it would provide security to its citizens.
“But our government is exceedingly soft on the armed men,” he said.
Anwar also reminded the government that Sabah joined Malaysia in 1963 under a guarantee that the government would protect its security at all times.
“But two weeks have passed with no tough action taken against the armed men.
“I have received many calls from friends in Lahad Datu. They are very concerned about this matter,” he said.
Conference on the GE
On another matter, Anwar said that his office would be holding the International Conference on Malaysia’s 13th General Election to galvanise support for a free and fair election, as well as democratic reforms.
The conference is scheduled to be held on March 4 and 5 at the Parliament.
“Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Nazri Aziz) and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia have allowed us to use the Parliament premises for the conference,” he said.
The conference, Anwar said, would include leaders from Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Rakyat, NGOs and foreign delegates.
Nazri and Hulu Selangor MP P Kamalanathan are scheduled to represent BN in the conference.
“We have also invited international panelists such as Justice Marlon Reis (Brazil), Mobashar Jawed Akbar (India) and Mohamad Nasir Tamara (Thailand) for the conference,” said Anwar.
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