Ex-cop: Lahad Datu cops’ pleas ignored

Anisah Shukry | March 15, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

A former Lahad Datu police chief says that years of government indifference towards the dire state of security forces in the district paved the way for an armed incursion into Sabah.

PETALING JAYA: Insufficient police personnel, lack of equipment, police vehicles in bad shape — those were the security issues plaguing Lahad Datu for years, said a former Lahad Datu police chief.

Yet, the federal government continued to ignore Lahad Datu police’s requests to upgrade security, said Kamis Daming, and this was why the Royal Sulu Army was able to breach Sabah with ease on Feb 9.

“When I was in Lahad Datu five years ago, I often expressed concerns to our superiors about the possibility of intrusion by foreign elements, but our proposals and requests for security beef-up were looked at very lightly,” Kamis was quoted as saying by the Daily Express.

He told reporters in Kota Kinabalu yesterday that the Lahad Datu district police had scarce equipment and police vehicles such as their four-wheel drives and patrol boats were in terrible shape and constantly broke down.

Meanwhile, the force faced fuel shortages because their supplier allegedly refused to supply them fuel due to unsettled debts, he added.

And despite the district being short of police personnel, he said there were not enough living quarters in the police compound for the force to reside in.

“Another sad thing is that some of the police officers and personnel have to rent a house outside the police compound because there are not enough quarters,” he was quoted as saying.

But even houses for rent were scarce, forcing low-rank personnel to stay in dilapidated police barracks riddled with holes, he said.

“And when we filed an application for funds to repair the barracks, headquarters would reply that no allocations were available yet.

“Living under such an environment is so demoralising for the low-rank personnel, so what can be expected from them?” he asked.

Kamis also reportedly supported Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Yong Teck Lee’s claim that Sabahans had alerted authorities for decades on the threat illegal immigrants in Sabah posed, yet the government remained indifferent about it.

On Feb 9, some 200 armed men from the Royal Sulu Army entered Sabah to take the state by force as they believed they had an ancestral claim on the land.

Weeks of peaceful negotiations with Malaysian authorities culminated in a shootout in Lahad Datu on March 1 that saw two local policemen and 12 or the armed intruders killed.

The following day, six more Malaysians were killed in an ambush by the Sulu army on Saturday in Semporna. On Tuesday, another local soldier died in a gun battle, while another died in a vehicle accident.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 9:30 am

    Perhaps the indifference would have been turned into attention if Sabah is in West Malaysia.

  2. #2 by worldpress on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 9:43 am

    It is so encouraging by the government, they can enter Sabah illegally live there to get citizenship in this independent nation.

    I repeat

    They can enter Sabah illegally live there to get citizenship in this independent nation.

    Who is encouraging all these activities?

  3. #3 by monsterball on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 1:06 pm

    Umno b is corrupted to the core.
    So many became millionaires instantly…while the 3 PMs….under Umno b have sons..brothers…and cronies holding billions….especially the sons and brothers….instant billionaires.
    They are rouges and thieves…projecting the image as the protector of their race and religion.
    If you study carefully…..it is fooling the Muslims all along….and Mahathir is the ring leader.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 1:39 pm

    /// Sabahans had alerted authorities for decades on the threat illegal immigrants in Sabah posed, yet the government remained indifferent about it.///

    So it is pertinent to ask why – because these illegal immigrants who ply freely between Philippines and Sabah can be used politically (per Project IC presently investigated by RCIII ) for BN’s political agenda? Well this is short sighted because the Sabah claim has not been abandoned unequivocally with finality by Philippines either and you’re letting these people from it to move in and out and settle there without immigration enforcement (not the mention still paying whoever who claim rightful heir to Sultan Sulu a annual stipend of RM5,300 as if acknowledging the keeping alive of the historical lease). It is like letting sleeping dogs lie when it serves one purpose (without caring about principles of things and implications of conduct by acquiescence) and now begin to take action only when the sleeping dogs wake to growl bark and bite!

  5. #5 by rjbeee on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 4:27 pm

    If what kamis says is true, Najib and gang having being taking the sabahans for a for a ride..Well looks they must go…IGP will get a medal soonfor bravery…..my foot

  6. #6 by cseng on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 4:52 pm

    Iceberg always had its 99% hidden, those problem you see, always 1% only.

    If 200 heavily armed gunmen, rowing sampans to lahadatu, without being noticed, that is self explanatory …. i.e everything is rotten.

  7. #7 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 5:03 pm

    If anything, many of the local Sabahan leaders should also be held accountable for their indifference to the state of affairs of the State. They have joined the gravy train for quite a while until now. Though it is not too late should they sincerely want to have a change. Anyway giving elected stature to small local parties can create Frogs in the event of a ‘hang’ Parliament. By now, in spite of the poor national education policy, I believe most Sabahans have access to news other than from the Gomen media, if they really want to get to the truth!

  8. #8 by NotBN on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 5:12 pm

    The issuing of IC to illegal immigrants (and complaints by locals) was going on since 1980s. Is it any surprised that nothing was done by the incompetent BN UMNO? The new DAP PKR government would have to review and reassess all Mykads issued to people of Filipino origin and to purge all illegals. And the guilty pegawai involved should be sentenced to only 1year imprisonment for every illegal IC issued.

  9. #9 by chengho on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 5:25 pm

    in other country spending on mindef and security , they do not discuss in public , only in Malaysia Gov too soft and too liberal , should learn from Beijing

  10. #10 by worldpress on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 5:58 pm

    You should not be MALAYSIANS. Why dont you migrate to Beijing then

  11. #11 by tuahpekkong on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 6:02 pm

    What? The police in Lahad Datu lacked sufficient funding to purchase the required equipment and their welfare was not looked after? Yet we have funds to pay intermediaries hundreds of millions of Ringgit in commission in the Scorpene submarine purchase. When are we going to get our priorities right? It seemed also our naval base at Semporna had not been effective in deterring the militants from infiltrating Sabah.

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 6:56 pm

    Ha, ha, mata-mata didn’t know d intention of orang atasan, who did not wish 2 KEEP foreign elements AWAY but rather 2 WELCOME them with open arms n legs 2 Sabah 2 collect blue ICs n vote 4 those in POWER (status was dynamic, changing fr abang adik 2 nouveau citizens 2 intruders 2 invaders 2 armed terrorists)

  13. #13 by raven77 on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 9:29 am

    Now you know why the rest of Malaysians get taxed to he tilt and your salaries are not increasing…..Malaysia has to support almost 1 million illegal immigrants …..

  14. #14 by HJ Angus on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 9:32 am

  15. #15 by Cinapek on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 11:32 am

    It is incredible to hear the state of neglect and “tidak apa” attitude by those in authority to the security situation in Sabah, particularly the east coast towns of Lahad Datu and Tawau. Years ago there was an incident when armed men actually landed and took over one of the towns (I cannot remember which) for a short spell before fleeing. The ease with which they can do this should have alarmed the Govt to beef up the security. Also back in the ’80s when I stayed at a hotel in Lahad Datu, I was told by the reception to keep my ground floor window locked as “..armed pirates might land at any time” Actually it was quite amusing if not for the seriousness of the situation.

    Now I see the authorities falling over themselves to take advantage of the publicity and promised all sorts of security measures as well as a slew of benefits and such as new health facilities etc. Why take action only after a trajedy has occurred and precious lives has been lost? Why can’t the people responsible take proactive actions to prevent such incidents from happening in the first place? Why bolt the gate after the horse has escaped? How many other areas in East Malaysia could suffer from the same problem? Do they also need to suffer the loss of lives and livelihood before the authorities will look into their problems? What has the State Govt done to pressure Putrajaya to increase the security problem? Are they waiting to pose in photo shoots with the PM, Home Minister and Defence Minister for the next incursion?

  16. #16 by monsterball on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 12:44 pm

    Govt. should learn from Chengho how to be tough.
    How can Najib miss him out in his line up for 13th GE candidates?
    Chengho should be nominated by Najib..to stand against Anwar…..instead of wasting time as a dish washer in a restaurant …..in USA.

  17. #17 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 1:34 pm

    I pray BN and UMNO gets crushed in the landslide, buried in the avalanche, drowns in the tsunami and crumbles in the earthquake come GE 13.

    I hope all Malaysians pray for the same.

  18. #18 by sotong on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 2:07 pm

    Nothing is above politics.

    How to use these illegals for political advantage?

  19. #19 by PoliticoKat on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 9:17 pm

    No money to pay for basics such a patrol boats and fuel but got billions to spend on submarine that are useless in our shallow waters.

    Another case of Malaysia Boleh!

  20. #20 by on cheng on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 9:36 pm

    No station army in Sabah? need to use air asia to fly 2 battalion soldiers to Sabah? that is how prepared the current govt is on defence issue !

  21. #21 by tak tahan on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 9:49 pm

    Hail chengho for the divine guidance and save Malaysia.I truly see the whole picture now!!!!!

  22. #22 by chengho on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 10:51 pm

    Dap should go alone to win 40 Parliment seat , if with Pakatan ABCD probably only 30 seats .
    You guy think Anwar will contest in Permatang Pauh, don’t think so , give him old man Karpal seat

  23. #24 by gofortruth on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 11:29 pm

    2 party system is the way to go and a change is too too too long over due!!!!!
    Lets pray for 2/3 majority for Pakatan Rakyat!

  24. #25 by monsterball on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 - 12:45 am

    hail chengho…for waking up at the right time.

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