Friday March 8, 2013
Lahad Datu: Najib puts troops in an upbeat mood
LAHAD DATU: The smiles on their faces said it all. Despite facing the arduous task of hunting and tracking down the remnants of the armed Sulu group, police and army personnel were upbeat after an opportunity to meet the Prime Minister.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak earlier flew in without much fanfare into Felda Sahabat, just 20km from where a combined police and military offensive against the Sulu gunmen at Kampung Tanduo and Kampung Tanjung Batu entered its third day.
Accompanied by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Prime Minister headed to the General Operations Force based at Felda Sahabat.
The base has become the tactical headquarters for the operations that began with the standoff between security forces and the 100 gunmen since Feb 12.
At the base, the Prime Minister met Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar and Armed Forces Chief Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin who briefed Najib about the progress in the first ever joint military and police operations in tackling a national security threat.
Hishammuddin said the Prime Minister had been closely following developments in the standoff and the subsequent offensive against the gunmen that had started at Kampung Tanduo and had since expanded to Kampung Tanjung Batu.
Hishammuddin said he, along with Zahid, had been in constant touch with Najib on the operations.
Zahid said the Prime Minister's visit was for an up-close look at the ongoing operations against the gunmen as Najib was always concerned about Malaysian servicemen and would want to ensure that they had sufficient logistics and support.
He noted that Najib had served as Defence Minister for 14 years and during that time had visited Malaysian peacekeeping missions in the frontlines at Bosnia, Timor Leste and southern Lebanon.
Zahid said Najib's visit had definitely boosted morale of the police and military personnel involved in the Ops Daulat offensive.
Meeting some of the servicemen at the Felda Sahabat area, the Prime Minister spent time talking with them and asking them about things like their weaponry.
And the upbeat mood was obvious in their smiles after meeting Najib while their mission to hunt down the Sulu gunmen has been on track.
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