KOTA KINABALU: Politicians in Sabah are angry that Lahad Datu MP Datuk Mohammadin Ketapi said that the 2013 shootout with Sulu militants in Tanduo was “just a show” to gain votes and help Barisan Nasional win the 13th General Election.
Sabah Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin called the statement “childish” and “inarticulate”.
He said he hoped the candidates contesting in the state elections would be more careful when making speeches.
"Don't ever make such provocative statements that could offend the people. Although there is freedom of speech in politics, there are boundaries that shouldn't be crossed," he said.
He said Mohammadin's statement could hurt the families and friends of those who died defending the area against the invaders.
"They are fallen warriors, so naturally their family's feelings would have been hurt by how Mohammadin trivialised the incident," he said.
Bung Moktar also said people should choose wisely in the election.
"We don't need comedians but leaders who can bring continued development for the sake of the people," he said.
Parti Cinta Sabah president Datuk Seri Anifah Aman also slammed Mohammadin's remark, calling it an “act of treason” against Sabah.
"Where is the respect for our security forces who were killed defending our sovereignty?" he said, adding that 10 security forces personnel died fighting off the 235 invaders who landed in Tanduo.
A video of Mohammadin delivering the speech with the comment has gone viral.
In his speech, he claimed that military aircraft and tanks were deployed to Tanduo, about 37km from Lahad Datu town, to fight off invaders but destroyed oil palm plantations instead.
He said the only enemies the military had to fight off were "chickens and dogs” and claimed that the "show" was over after the 13th General Election results were announced.
He also claimed that in his travels to the area, he had never encountered any invaders who tried to claim Sabah as theirs.
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