PETALING JAYA: Former defence minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dismissed allegations that the 2013 Sulu militant intrusion in Tanduo was “just a show” to gain votes and help Barisan Nasional win the 13th General Election.
"The statement made by Warisan's Dun Segama candidate had insulted the victims, families and all the security forces that were protecting the sovereignty of Sabah.
"As the defence minister at that time, I deny his slander regarding the Lahad Datu intrusion," said the Umno president in a Twitter post on Monday (Sept 21).
A video of Dun Segama candidate Datuk Mohammadin Ketapi delivering the speech with the comment has gone viral.
In his speech, the Lahad Datu MP 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.
Several Sabah leaders have condemned his statement, with Parti Cinta Sabah president Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, who was the foreign affairs minister under the Barisan administration, calling it an “act of treason” against Sabah.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said that Ops Daulat was one of the moves made by the Barisan government to fend off the threat of terrorists.