KOTA KINABALU: PBS Youth has lodged a police report against a Warisan youth leader, claiming his Facebook comments on the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah, and which targeted opposition cybertroopers, was akin to criminal intimidation.
PBS Youth chief Christopher Mandut said Putatan Warisan Wira (youth) chief Firdaus Diun had made the threat when he warned cybertroopers who “insulted” illegal immigrants that they would bring harm upon themselves and their families if they were to be located by the illegal immigrants.
“This is a serious threat because it sounds like he’s saying those who continue to harp on the issue, especially cybertroopers and their families, will be hurt.
“The statement also suggests that illegal immigrants will disrupt public peace and safety, and this is a provocation which could create panic among Sabahans,” Mandut told FMT.
The report was lodged at the city police headquarters in Karamunsing here.
Mandut said complaints were being aired because the public was concerned over the issue, especially with the recent spike in crimes involving illegal immigrants or “pendatang tanpa izin” (PTI).
He said people should not be punished or threatened for airing their views.
“It is their right to speak up, particularly when they see action to address the problem is slow,” he said.
Firdaus, however, denied making such a threat, saying he was only repeating the same advice made recently by Sabah police chief Omar Mammah, who warned the public against inciting hatred between locals and foreigners on social media.
He said his statement was twisted by the cybertroopers and again by a local blog, which claimed he had warned Sabahans not to question or criticise anyone over the PTI issue, and that he had allegedly placed PTIs above local people.
“I only reminded the cybertroopers not to play up the issue as it would spark anger and hate among the people.
“The cybertroopers might have mistaken my tone (in the posting) as a provocation but it is more like an advice because their safety and that of their families could be at risk. We should not spread hate that could create unrest,” Firdaus told FMT.
He is unperturbed by the police report, saying he would give his full cooperation if called by the police.
He said there should be no compromise in effectively addressing the PTI issue in Sabah but that it should be left to the government.
Firdaus had, in his Facebook account last week, warned people not to take advantage of the illegal immigrant issue by sensationalising it for political mileage at the expense of the public.
“We remind the cybertroopers who insult PTIs that they might put themselves and their families at risk if these people (PTIs) were to find them,” he had said on Facebook.