Press Esc to close
Monday 02 May 2016
News updated at 11:21 AM IST
Weather
Max: 36.6°C
Min : 24.4°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
Bollywood Actors Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor during promotion of their film Baaghi...

Bollywood Actors Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor during promotion of their film Baaghi...

Narendra Modi rides in an E rickshaw during distribution of E rickshaws in Varanasi...

Narendra Modi rides in an E rickshaw during distribution of E rickshaws in Varanasi...

RCB Skipper Virat Kohli with teamate Chris Gayle during an event at a mall in Bengaluru...

RCB Skipper Virat Kohli with teamate Chris Gayle during an event at a mall in Bengaluru...

A potter makes small earthen pots on International Labor Day, on the outskirts of Ajmer...

A potter makes small earthen pots on International Labor Day, on the outskirts of Ajmer...

Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan poses with newly wed couple Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh...

Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan poses with newly wed couple Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh...

A Mirage appears on the Rajpath as the mercury rises in New Delhi on Sunday...

A Mirage appears on the Rajpath as the mercury rises in New Delhi on Sunday...

eam Haas driver Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico, right, and Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg...

eam Haas driver Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico, right, and Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg...

A boy admires plastic balls put up for sale at India Gate lawns in New Delhi on Sunday...

A boy admires plastic balls put up for sale at India Gate lawns in New Delhi on Sunday...

Indian Air Force Helicopter collects water from Koteshwar dam during the rescue operation...

Indian Air Force Helicopter collects water from Koteshwar dam during the rescue operation...

Children enjoy in the waters of a fountain to beat the heat at India Gate as the mercury rises...

Children enjoy in the waters of a fountain to beat the heat at India Gate as the mercury rises...