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Nur Misuari involved, says Zahid

KUCHING, July 15 (Bernama) -- Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari is using his own men and other groups to carry out intrusion and kidnapping activities in Sabah, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said they were carried out to raise funds to revive the front's military wing, besides trying to re-exert its influence in the southern Philippines.

It was common knowledge, he said, that Nur Misuari was not getting support, and was not involved in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) peace deal signed by the the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to resolve the Mindanao conflict in March.

"We do not have any direct relationship with Nur Misuari, but we believe he has a bigger agenda, is conspiring with individuals who are said to be part of the Sulu Sultanate, which aims to take over Sabah," he told a press conference after attending a breaking-of-the fast function with police personnel at the Al Mujahiddin Mosque, Tabuan Jaya Police Housing Complex here today.

He was referring to the incident on Saturday where an ambush by foreign gunmen

at a resort on Pulau Mabul, Sabah resulted in the death of marine police corporal Ab Rajah Jamuan, 32, and the abduction of his colleague Constable Zakia Aleip.

Yesterday, a local daily had reported former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor as saying it was likely Nur Misuari was behind the incident in trying to exact revenge for being excluded in the CAB.

Abdul Rahim was quoted as saying MNLF was angry with the Malaysian government for throwing its support behind MILF.

Meantime, Zahid said Nur Misuari appeared to be confident that Sabah could be taken over by the individuals claiming to be from the Sulu Sultanate and also wanted to get involved in the matter.

"I wish to stress that Sabah is part of Malaysia, we will not allow even an inch of the territory to be intruded upon by outsiders," he said.

He said the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom), which from today comes under the police, will ensure that any action taken against intruders will follow set standard operating procedures.

Zahid said he hoped the locals (in Sabah) will give their full support to ESSCcom to ensure the area is safe, and gave a stern warning that anyone caught collaborating with the enemy would have to bear the consequences.

He said he was aware that there were some people, who could be permanent residents, temporary residents or illegal immigrants, who were in cahoots with the enemy, and that it was only a matter of time before they were brought to book.

Zahid also said Malaysia and the Philippines were working closely in facing threats from militants from the southern Philippines, not only between the police forces of the two countries but various other security agencies as well.

"We are cooperating very well, in terms of their navy and coast guard, they are giving us their fullest cooperation," he said.

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