PETALING JAYA: Former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman has hit out at Warisan’s Segama candidate, Mohamaddin Ketapi, for his statement on the Lahad Datu incursion in 2013, calling it repulsive.
He said the former tourism, arts and culture minister was speaking in public with “such careless arrogance”, and his statement that the incursion was a “sandiwara” (farce) is an insult to the eight men who died protecting the country.
Mohamaddin, who had reportedly said Malaysian security personnel were “fighting with chickens and dogs”, denied belittling the security forces and said his remarks had been misconstrued and taken out of context.
In a statement today, Musa said that if not for the efforts of the security forces to defend Malaysia’s sovereignty, “Mohamaddin’s campaign trail would not have been possible, and he could not even move freely like what he is doing now”.
He said such “divisive” statements were a hallmark of Warisan’s leaders and called on Sabahans to be wary and to reject the party in the election on Saturday.
“Their slogan of unity is hollow. The fact is Warisan is the cause of all disunity. Their leaders have been indoctrinating their followers with the ‘We vs them’ mentality since they launched their party three years ago,” he said.
Musa also said the armed forces report directly to the King and not to political parties.
“Does he (Mohamaddin) think the prime minister (Muhyiddin Yassin) has command of the military? Is that why Warisan is so desperate to make their president the prime minister even if it means betraying their friends, PKR?”
In a 33-minute campaign speech posted on Facebook, Mohamaddin had claimed security forces bombed oil palm trees and homes, and that ground troops fought with “chickens and dogs”.
“When the election (2013 general election) was over, there was no more war,” he said, adding that during his previous stint as an assemblyman, he had not come across any armed pirates or Filipinos who wanted to declare war or take over Sabah.
His remarks drew brickbats, with Sabah Umno leader Abdul Rahman Dahlan urging Warisan president Shafie Apdal to ask Mohamaddin to apologise.
Parti Cinta Sabah president Anifah Aman also slammed the former minister for his comments, saying it was an insult to security forces and their loved ones.
On Feb 11, 2013, some 200 Sulu militants entered Sabah waters and landed in Lahad Datu, leading to a stand-off with Malaysian security forces, which ended with the death of 56 militants, 10 Malaysian security officers and six civilians.
The surviving militants were caught and the conflict was declared over on April 10, 2013.
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