Press Esc to close

Malaysia to move residents from invasion zone: PM

Kuala Lumpur, Mar 25, 2013 (AFP) 13:24 IST
Malaysia's prime minister today said authorities would relocate residents of areas deemed vulnerable to foreign infiltration as they continued to try to root out Filipino Islamic invaders.

Prime Minister Najib Razak's announcement appeared to indicate a recognition that an armed invasion by more than 200 armed fighters had exposed deep-seated security problems in the eastern state of Sabah near the southern Philippines.

"The primary cause of the invasion of terrorists ... is the existence of settlements considered easily exposed to the danger of infiltration by illegal immigrants and stateless persons," Najib said.

He added relocations would affect areas near the invasion site but could be expanded to the entire state, which for centuries has had a porous sea border with the southern Philippines.

Armed followers of a self-styled Philippine sultan landed in Sabah six weeks ago to claim the state for their leader.

The incursion and a Malaysian counter-assault have left more than 70 dead -- mostly invaders -- according to authorities, and put rare stress on relations with Manila.
Najib gave no further details on the relocation plan.

However, the move could add to scrutiny of the Malaysian government's policies in the state and whether they had facilitated immigration by large numbers of foreigners with questionable national loyalties.

There are an estimated 800,000 Filipinos living in Sabah, whose total population is just over three million.

Sabah natives have long grumbled over an influx of Filipino Muslims in recent decades. Critics accuse the government of encouraging the flow to shore up electoral support for the Muslim-dominated central government.

The government denies the allegation.Malaysian forces launched an assault three weeks ago to crush the insurgents and claim to have killed more than 60. Ten security personnel also have died.

But the government has released only sketchy details on the operation and have indicated they were struggling to stamp the invaders out amid fears militants may have melted away into area populations with the support of locals.

Last week, a Malaysian court charged eight Philippine nationals with terrorism-related offences, which is punishable by death. They were among more than 100 arrested -- apparently Malaysian residents -- on suspicion of complicity in the incursion.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Two peacocks in a mid-flight at the Rastrapati Bhawan in New Delhi...

Two peacocks in a mid-flight at the Rastrapati Bhawan in New Delhi...

Former Telecom Minister A Raja addresses the gathering at his book launch 'The 2G Saga...

Former Telecom Minister A Raja addresses the gathering at his book launch 'The 2G Saga...

Police personnel stand guard near the premises of Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya...

Police personnel stand guard near the premises of Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya...

STF personnel recover gold after a raid which resulted in arrest of most wanted criminal Subodh...

STF personnel recover gold after a raid which resulted in arrest of most wanted criminal Subodh...

Former Miss Earth Nicole Faria addresses the event for felicitation of 112 women achievers...

Former Miss Earth Nicole Faria addresses the event for felicitation of 112 women achievers...

Bollywood actor Aishwarya Rai at an event to recognise 112 women achievers, to be honoured...

Bollywood actor Aishwarya Rai at an event to recognise 112 women achievers, to be honoured...

A farmer burns the residue of her sugarcane crop at her farm on a cold foggy morning...

A farmer burns the residue of her sugarcane crop at her farm on a cold foggy morning...

Kite-enthusiasts display a kite with an image of Kulbhushan Jadhav during International Kite...

Kite-enthusiasts display a kite with an image of Kulbhushan Jadhav during International Kite...

Honey bees visit a flower near Vijay Chowk area in New Delhi...

Honey bees visit a flower near Vijay Chowk area in New Delhi...

A squirrel eats corn grains on a cold winter morning in Bhopal ...

A squirrel eats corn grains on a cold winter morning in Bhopal ...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.