Wednesday March 6, 2013
Locals who worry about situation in Sabah east coast flee
KOTA KINABALU: A number of people have fled Sabah's east coast areas such as Semporna and Lahad Datu since Sulu gunmen landed there about three weeks ago.
Primary school teacher Jenny Edward, 24, who teaches at a school in the Bum-Bum island off Semporna said she and a lot of the other teachers there returned to their respective hometowns elsewhere in the state on March 1.
“We heard a lot of rumours and the schools around the area started to close, so we were also asked to go back to our villages until further notice,” she said.
Jenny said most of them caught a flight out and left their vehicles in Semporna.
“It would take too long to drive and we wanted to leave quickly,” said Jenny from Beaufort.
She said everyone was worried as they were not sure what was really going on.
“There is no point in taking risks by staying on there,” she added.
Samad Sinumin, 40, who works in a government department, said he had thought the followers of the self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan would surrender peacefully.
“I am driving back to Lahad Datu to bring out my mother as I don't feel comfortable leaving her there,” he said.
“Although the authorities say everything is under control, there are a lot of rumours and I don't feel it is safe for my mother to remain there,” he added.
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