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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Foreign Ministry in the dark on Lahad Datu?


When contacted the minister and his deputy, both passed the buck to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
PETALING JAYA: Is the Foreign Ministry in the dark on what is happening in Lahad Datu, Sabah? One may make such assumption judging from the responses from its bosses.
Asked on the update of the siege at Lahad Datu, Foreign Ministry Deputy Minister A Kohilan Pillay passed the buck to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
“Please refer to Hisham. I’m not handling that part,” he said.
Queried on how are the negotiations going with the Phillippines, Kohilan said he could not reveal details as it was being handled by his boss, Anifah Aman.
“I cannot comment when my boss is pursuing this. Besides, Anifah is in charge of the Asean region,” said Kohilan, adding that he is dealing with Europe, the US and African nations.
When contacted Anifah, who is also Kimanis MP, also said that the matter must to be referred to the Home Ministry.
“It’s being handled internally by the Home Ministry,” he said.
On the negotiations with his Filipino counterpart, Anifah said, “It’s handled by the Home Ministry. I’m just the conveyor of message between both countries,” he said.
About two weeks ago, hundreds of armed men, claiming to be loyalists of the Sulu Sultanate in the Southern Philippines, landed in Lahad Datu and refused to leave the area.
The group claimed ownership of Sabah, citing historical links between the state and the Sulu Sultanate before the arrival of British in the Malay archipelago.
Yesterday, local media reported that the armed men had fired shots but claimed it was merely to warn the Malaysian security forces from approaching closer.
Meanwhile local residents informed FMT that they started hearing gun shots starting 12 noon today. Unconfirmed reports also stated that some of those involved were injured in the shootout. Police however refused to comment on the matter.

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