Shafie should know if it was a farce, says Hishammuddin

Fifty-six militants, 10 members of the Malaysian military, and six civilians were killed.

(FMT) – Former home minister Hishammuddin Hussein says a Warisan leader was being irresponsible in describing the Lahad Datu intrusion of 2013 as a farce, and was terribly hurtful to the families of the country’s security personnel who perished in the armed conflict.

“It was a very irresponsible remark. It’s better for him (Mohamaddin Ketapi) to ask the (party) president (Shafie Apdal) about what happened in Semporna,” Hishammuddin said here tonight, Bernama reported.

“If it was a farce, let the president confirm it,” he told reporters after attending a Sabah election campaign event here.

Shafie was then an Umno vice-president and minister of regional development, serving in the Barisan Nasional government led by Najib Razak. He left Umno and founded Warisan in 2016.

Hishammuddin said he would issue a statement on the security and defence measures taken by the government during the incident.

“I will issue a statement. We will list down all actions we have taken in terms of operations and (placement) of assets. We have made more than 10 significant moves after the intrusion. Now, we want to ask the party’s president who is also Chief Minister, what has he done to ensure Sabah’s safety after 27 months?” he said.

Hishammuddin also apologised to the families of the security forces who died in the two-month-long Lahad Datu campaign against 200 Sulu extremists. Fifty-six militants, 10 members of the Malaysian military, and six civilians were killed.

Mohamaddin was reported to have said at a campaign event yesterday that the incursion was a farce.

Earlier today, Shafie said he would call up Mohammadin to explain his remarks. He noted that Mohamaddin had apologised to the security forces and denied he was belittling them.

Security minister, armed forces chief also angry

Senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob also said that Mohamaddin’s remarks were very disrespectful, especially to the 10 families of security personnel who were killed in the incident.

“All security forces, especially the Malaysian Armed Forces and the Royal Malaysia Police know the truth of the incident and no one has openly disputed it.

“At a time when the country has just celebrated the 87th Armed Forces Day on Sept 16, this accusation reflects how he (Mohamaddin) does not understand and (how he) underestimates the sacrifices of the national security forces,” Ismail said in a statement, Bernama reported.

The Chief of Defence Forces, General Affendi Buang, said Mohamaddin’s statement was irresponsible and belittled the duties of military personnel. “The accusation that MAF members only made attacks on chicken and dogs is also untrue,” he said in a statement.