Published: Monday March 4, 2013 MYT 2:38:00 PM
Updated: Monday March 4, 2013 MYT 6:22:12 PM
MNLF’s Nur Misuari offers to help mediate with Sulu gunmen
DAVAO CITY, Philippines - Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari has told Malaysia he is willing to help in talks to resolve the Sabah stand-off peacefully.
“It is my message to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that I am ready to send my grand-nephew who is his cousin to open up talks,” Misuari told reporters at the celebration of his 71st birthday here on Sunday, according to Rappler.com
Misuari said he is also willing to personally go to Malaysia to help end the crisis.
Malaysia has not responded to his offer, Misuari added. But he said he was concerned about the children and women in Lahad Datu who "are now facing starvation and danger," the website reported.
Misuari also denied allegations he is funding the armed men involved in the Sabah standoff.
Followers of the Sultan of Sulu sailed to Sabah last month to revive the Sabah claim. The Philippine government appealed to them to return home but they refused.
The situation turned violent last Friday, when Malaysian security forces launched an assault on Lahad Datu, killing 12 Filipinos. The assault also killed two Malaysian police.
Misuari had enjoyed good ties with Malaysia in the past as it allowed the MNLF to seek sanctuary in Sabah under the Marcos regime.
But Malaysian security forces also arrested him in Sabah in 2001, after he fled Sulu following a botched revolt in the province. The arrest led to his detention in the Philippines. - Rappler.com