Saturday, March 23, 2013

43 -'Involvement of individuals nothing to do with Umno'

'Involvement of individuals nothing to do with Umno'
Published on: Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kota Kinabalu: Umno Information Chief Datuk Ahmad Haji Maslan said the involvement of the party's branch leaders in the Lahad Datu incident was their own personal agenda and nothing to do with the party.
He told reporters this after he officiated at the Himpunan Patriot Gabungan NGO-NGO Sabah by eight Muslim non-governmental organisations in Sabah at Maksak hall, Saturday.
He was asked about the alleged involvement of certain Umno leaders at the Lahad Datu branch-level in the incident, as posted in news portal Sabahkini on Feb. 27, which the party has never confirmed, denied nor taken action on.
On whether the alleged involvement of Umno Sungai Nyamuk branch Chief Ahmad Malindi as named in the post is true, Ahmad said:
"Let the Umno leaders in Sabah make any announcement on it ÉI am confident that he did it because of his own personal basis and agenda, and nothing to do with the party.
"Umno never instructed anyone to do violent things, because our struggles are for the country, race and religion, to defend the country's sovereignty and the people's interests É we never promote violence," he said.
Earlier, he said whatever that happened and the violence in Lahad Datu had nothing to do with any ethnic race or party, but only involved bad and greedy individuals.
"Violence is not specific to any race, ethnicity, religion or political party.
People who commit violence are very bad and greedy people, whoever they areÉthey are not doing it because of Umno or whatever, it is just because of their very bad attitude." Ahmad had a meeting with Umno leaders in Lahad Datu during his recent visit to see for himself the real situation there.
On another issue, Ahmad said the opposition's claim that Agbimuddin Kiram who led the Jamalul Kiram III's armed militant group into Sabah had worked as Assistant District Officer (ADO) in Kudat also has nothing to do with Umno because it was in the 1970s while Umno came into Sabah in 1990.
"I believe this is another attempt by PKR to accuse Umno as being behind the Lahad Datu intrusion. Umno is a rational party. Barisan Nasional (BN) always acts methodically and thus how can we stage the incident as alleged?" he asked.
He said he himself had gone to Lahad Datu and saw the actual situation while the opposition leaders are only talking from their comfortable air-conditioned office.
"They (opposition leaders) are very irresponsible in the statements they make and I believe Sabahans are wise enough to judge such people and will not give them a chance in SabahÉthis is unlike in Umno because we know everything and do everything for the people," he said.
On the impact of the Lahad Datu incident on Felda Sahabat plantation operations, Ahmad said Felda Sahabat was a little affected as one of the mills had to temporarily cease operation and some areas had temporarily stopped work.
"But this does not affect the whole operations, because the security forces managed to control the situation. We see positive progress every day and we hope this can be resolved as soon as possible," he said.
Ahmad also disclosed a proposal by the eight Muslim NGOs that the government consider increasing the number of Sabahans in the police, army, APMM and Rela in Sabah because they believe the locals are much better in protecting the State.
"Who would be more patriotic in defending their own kampung (village) than the people who live thereÉthis is not to say the others are not as patriotic, but there is a difference between you protecting your hometown and people coming in to protect your hometown," he said.
So the NGOs concerned hope the additional security manpower to be provided under Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) will be filled by Sabahans.

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