PETALING JAYA: The National Patriots Association (Patriot) calls for further investigation into the 2013 Lahad Datu incursion that had led to army and civilian deaths.
President Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji (pic) said a new allegation on the facts of the incident necessitates further investigation, adding that the truth must be told.
"Patriot is of the view that the conduct of our security forces during the incident in February-March 2013 was magnanimous. They had followed orders. Where it bungled was the interference of ministers who behaved like generals.
"The real generals and ground commanders should have been given a free reign without political interference. Orders should have been to shoot-to-kill and no negotiation with armed foreign intruders, as we have mentioned in our previous statements," he said in a statement Thursday (Sept 24).
Mohamed Arshad said the latest allegation surrounding the incident was "of serious concern".
"It has been alleged that land was promised to the so-called armed intruders and that they had come to claim the land. It was also alleged that the incident happened because certain Moro factions were unhappy with the peace deal; and unfulfilled promises in the Moro peace talks in Kuala Lumpur and the Moro peace agreement in Manila in October 2012, where our nation played a part," he said.
Mohamed Arshad claimed that Reuters' reports at the time had shown that what was reported in the Philippines did not corroborate with what was reported in Malaysia.
As such, he said it would be "shocking" if the allegations about land in Sabah being promised to the intruders were true.
"Key Cabinet members at that time have a lot to answer if it is true," he said.
Mohamed Arshad also lambasted critics who had claimed that Patriot had not condemned Lahad Datu MP Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi for his remarks against security forces who had fought during the Lahad Datu intrusion.
Mohamed Arshad said the barrage of criticism from political opponents should have taught Mohamaddin his lesson, adding that they had enough wisdom when it comes to semantics and the use of rhetorical language in politics.
On Monday, a video of Mohamaddin saying that the 2013 shootout between Sulu militants and Malaysian security forces in Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu was “just a show” to gain votes and help Barisan Nasional win the 13th General Election, was widely circulated.
In his speech, he claimed that military aircraft and tanks were deployed to Kampung Tanduo, about 37km from Lahad Datu town, to fight off invaders but destroyed oil palm plantations instead.
Mohamaddin said the only enemies the military had to fight off were "chickens and dogs” and claimed that the "show" was over after the GE13 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.
He had since apologised over the matter saying he never meant to insult anyone, and he was not belittling the sacrifices of security forces, adding that his comments were taken out of context.
Caretaker Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has since also apologised over Mohamaddin's remarks.
Mohamed Arshad also noted that the illegal immigrant issues in Sabah had dragged on for decades, noting that the Lahad Datu incident was closely linked to illegal immigrants.
"The Lahad Datu incident, which was linked to the illegal immigrant issue, should not have happened if only there was political will to solve the problem. Lessons must be learnt, and it must start with integrity and honesty in governance.
"Furthermore, the presence of illegal immigrants is also a security threat and feeling sorry in the future will be too late," he said.