Published: Sunday March 17, 2013 MYT 9:40:00 PM
Updated: Sunday March 17, 2013 MYT 9:43:02 PM
Lahad Datu: Dr M's surprise visit cheers the troops
LAHAD DATU: Hundreds of military and police personnel on duty to flush out foreign militants here had a pleasant surprise when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad turned up to meet them.
Scores of them surged forward to shake the former prime minister's hand when he arrived at the Felda Desa Kencana community hall, where the security personnel were billeted.
Many of them took turns to take photographs with Dr Mahathir, who obliged their requests. The statesman also had tea with them.
Dr Mahathir was accompanied by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar, Armed Forces chief Jeneral Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin and state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor. Dr Mahathir also took time out to have to tea with the security personnel.
Speaking to the media later, Dr Mahathir said more equipment was needed to enable the security forces to respond faster to intrusions, especially in Sabah.
“For example in Lahad Datu, there are mangroves and shallow rivers that make it difficult for existing military or police boats to enter,” he added.
Dr Mahathir commended the action of the security forces in dealing with the attacks by the foreign militants.
“This (security offensive) was necessary as they (terrorists) have attacked our country and killed our people,” he added.
He said it was regrettable that some of those in the Southern Philippines had caused trouble to Malaysia although the country did not discriminate against its people of various races and ethnic groups.
“Now, we will not stop until all the terrorists are found or killed. Either way, they will be found,” Dr Mahathir said.