I regret that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his hour-long programme of “Conversation with the PM” televised on TV3, Bernama TV, RTM and Astro Awani last night failed to address adequately and fully the Sabah Sulu crisis which has entered into its fifth week, causing the death of eight policemen and one soldier and 56 Sulu terrorists.
I want firstly to convey my deepest condolences to Private Mohd Hurairah Ismail from Pasir Mas, Kelantan , the first soldier to be killed by Sulu terrorists in an exchange of fire in Sungai Nyamuk in Lahad Datu yesterday.
Mohd Hurairah, like the eight police commandoes who were killed by Sulu terrorists in Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu and Semporna, died as a national hero in the defence of national sovereignty and the security of the people of Sabah and the nation owes them an eternal gratitude.
This is why I feel very strongly that there should be a special session of Parliament not only for MPs from both sides of the political divide to express full support and solidarity for all necessary measures by the security forces to deal with the Sabah Sulu crisis but also to pay tribute and honour the nine brave fallen heroes from the security forces and to assure the nation that the government, from whichever political coalition, Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, will look after the welfare, as well the life-long education needs of the children, of the bereaved families as an token of national appreciation of their sacrifices.
This is one reason why I am very disappointed about the Prime Minister’s hour-long television interview last night, especially as I had sent an Open Letter to him yesterday urging the Cabinet today to convene a special Parliamentary session within the week, to adopt an unanimous resolution on the Sabah Sulu crisis on at least six points, viz:
• Give full support to the security forces to take all necessary measures to protect the national sovereignty and the security of the people of Sabah and security personnel ;
• Pay tribute to the nine fallen heroes from the police and armed forces in the shoot-outs with Sulu terrorists in Lahad Datu and Semporna;
• Set up a special foundation to look after the welfare of their surviving family and children, including life-long education to university level for the children of the fallen heroes;
• Condemn in the strongest possible terms the atrocities and the cruel, inhuman, uncivilized and barbaric killing of the fallen heroes in Semporna by Sulu terrorists and to invoke national and international censure of such bestial conduct to bring to justice the inhuman killers;
• Resolve an immediate halt of the annual “cession payment” of RM5,300 to the self-proclaimed heir of the Sulu Sultanate; and
• Call on Philippines Government to demonstrate ASEAN spirit and solidarity by officially dropping all claims to Sabah.
If the Cabinet this morning did not decide on the convening of a special Parliamentary session on the Sabah Sulu crisis, it would mean that for two consecutive weeks, the Cabinet had ignored and deprived the fallen heroes from the police and armed forces the honour and tribute they deserve from Parliament.
I will call on Najib as Prime Minister to invoke his powers to convene a special Parliamentary meeting within a week as this is a matter which must rise above partisan differences.
In fact, Members of Parliament from Pakatan Rakyat, i.e. DAP, PKR and PAS are prepared to put aside all pending matters to attend such a special Parliamentary meeting even with 24 hours’ notice. Are Barisan Nasional MPs prepared to do the same?
In his “Conversation with the Prime Minister” yesterday, Najib touched on several issues about the Sabah Sulu crisis but I must say I do not agree with many of the things he had said.
However, I do not propose to go into these differences with what the Prime Minister had said on the Sabah Sulu crisis, as the topmost priority today is “unity” for all Malaysians to unite as one people on the Sabah Sulu crisis and not “disunity”.
I therefore call on all parties and persons to stop playing politics and to unite as one patriotic Malaysian people to face the Sabah Sulu crisis as a solid force to fully restore national sovereignty and to protect the security and welfare of Sabahans – to end all finger-pointing on who should be blamed, and in particular the dissemination of baseless allegations against political leaders, whether BN or PR.
(Media Conference Statement in Kota Kinabalu on Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 3.30 pm)