KUALA LUMPUR: Police have detained three people, including a Filipino, for their alleged involvement in the so-called Royal Sulu Army.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police arrested the three – Abu Bakar Jayari, Zainuddin Mislani and Kassim Ibrahim – on July 22 under the Prevention of Crime Act for allegedly joining the group with the aim of removing Sabah from the Federation of Malaysia.
“The three are believed to have been recruiting new members to join their cause.
“It is supposed to be a starting phase in their bid to claim Sabah for the self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Khalid said the three men were detained under Section 19A of the Act which provides for detention for not more than a two-year period.
“Two of the men are of Sulu and Bajau ethnicity while Kassim is a Filipino who is believed to have entered the country illegally,” he said.
On Feb 12 last year, Sulu militants led by Agbimuddin Kiram – the brother of self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram – intruded Lahad Datu’s coastal village of Tanduo.
It led to a standoff which lasted more than a month with over 200 militants arriving in boats to claim Sabah.
The standoff ended on March 24, marking the end of Ops Daulat. The Eastern Sabah Security Command was launched on June 29 to make security arrangements and conduct operations on the Ops Daulat area.