Press Esc to close
Friday 27 March 2015
News updated at 7:25 AM IST
Weather
Max: 34.5°C
Min : 22.3°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Malaysia to move residents from invasion zone: PM

Kuala Lumpur, Mar 25, 2013 (AFP)

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

Photo Gallery
An Auto driver seen upset outside theTV showroom as he was watching...

An Auto driver seen upset outside theTV showroom as he was watching...

Angry cricket fans burn the posters of Virat Kohli and Bollywood...

Angry cricket fans burn the posters of Virat Kohli and Bollywood...

Indian cricket fans react as India bats against Australia during their...

Indian cricket fans react as India bats against Australia during their...

Indian supporters wait in the stands following their team's...

Indian supporters wait in the stands following their team's...

India's Virat Kohli (C) and team mates react after Australia won their...

India's Virat Kohli (C) and team mates react after Australia won their...

India's batsmen Umesh Yadav (L) and Mohammed Shami walk off the...

India's batsmen Umesh Yadav (L) and Mohammed Shami walk off the...

Australia's teammates look at India's batsmen Umesh Yadav's face after his...

Australia's teammates look at India's batsmen Umesh Yadav's face after his...

Australian team mates react after they won their Cricket World Cup semi-final...

Australian team mates react after they won their Cricket World Cup semi-final...

Actress and newly appointed AICC National Spokesperson Kushboo...

Actress and newly appointed AICC National Spokesperson Kushboo...

Saina Nehwal at India Open...

Saina Nehwal at India Open...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523