KOTA KINABALU: Come out with the proof. That is what Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants from Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to do.
On Friday Zahid had alleged that three opposition leaders – one from Sabah and two from peninsular – were involved in the intrusion in Lahad Datu last February by Sulu gunmen.
At a ceramah at the house of Beaufort PKR candidate Datuk Lajim Ukin here, a furious Anwar railed:
”I would like to know what so-called proof they have. It seems that the opposition is blamed for everything, the next time Manchester United loses, they (BN) will say it is our fault.”
The statement by Zahid, stressed Anwar (picture), was yet another attempt to link him to the incident that resulted in the deaths of 10 security forces personnel.
“If you have the proof, bring it out now. Why wait for after the elections. You may not be in the government by then. But stop the insinuations if you do not have the proof.
“It is just a ploy to cloud the minds of the people to taint the opposition as bad people who would collaborate with outsiders to create havoc in the country.”
Anwar also poked fun at Zahid asking him to clarify an earlier report that 35 Sulu gunmen had been killed on April 20 (Nomination Day) as they were approaching Sabah waters.
“Even the Philippine Navy and Armed Forces have denied that such an incident ever took place and queried the source of the information. They call such news misinformation.”
Anwar, the de facto opposition leader said he had no issues with the Sulu people, some of whom he described as the backbone of the labour force in Sabah’s construction sector.
”The Sulu people are not our enemies. But we are strongly against any form of terrorism,” he added.
Zahid had said the authorities had evidence on the involvement of the opposition’s involvement in the incident and were compiling more proof to build up a strong case against the three figures.
He said the evidence would then be submitted to the Attorney General’s office for the next course of action.
Malaysian security initially tried negotiations with the Sulu intruders, led by Abgimuddin Kiram, the younger brother of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.
But after two policemen were killed in Tanduo and another six murdered in Simunul, Semporna, Malaysian security decided to abandon negotiations and to carry out armed assaults against the intruders.
In what was termed Ops Daulat, the air force, navy, armed forces and police launched an all-out attack on the intruders, chasing them out of Tanduo into surrounding areas, before killing or rounding them up.