Friday March 8, 2013
Lahad Datu: No compromise with terrorists, says ex-general
PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did the right thing in rejecting the self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan's declaration of ceasefire, says a former army general.
Lt-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Seri Zaini Mohd Said, who led the operation against the Al-Ma'unah militants in Sauk, said the Sulu gunmen had already committed acts of terrorism by killing eight Malaysian policemen.
“We do not negotiate or compromise with terrorists. Rejecting the ceasefire and demanding for an unconditional laying down of arms is the right thing to do,” he said here yesterday.
The country's security forces, said Zaini, had to act against the enemies after exhausting various avenues for peaceful negotiations.
“Furthermore, eight of our policemen have been killed. The full-scale operation against the terrorists, which started on Tuesday, is very timely,” he said.
He was commenting on an ultimatum given by Najib to the Sulu terrorists to either lay their weapons down or die in the operation against them.
Zaini urged United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, who had called for a dialogue towards a peaceful resolution, not to interfere in Malaysia's domestic affairs.
Ban, he said, should respect Malaysia's action in ending the stand-off in the Lahad Datu, which only came after the Government tried to negotiate over two weeks.
“He can make any call he likes but this is an internal security operation. UN should not interfere. We have terrorists trespassing into our country. Our security forces are acting on the threat,” he said.
Zaini said former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari should not mislead people by claiming the Sulu gunmen only had small firearms to “protect” themselves.
“They have already shot and killed our policemen and commandos. How can he say they are only trying to protect themselves? Surely, the gunmen have more than mere small firearms,” he said.
On Wednesday, Nur Misuari had said MNLF would seek the assistance of the Organisation of Islamic Conference over the attacks on the intruders in Sabah, claiming the Sulu gunmen were only using small firearms.