Updated: Tue, 05 Mar 2013 13:43:11 GMT | By Agence France-Presse

Muslim rebels involved in Malaysia: MNLF

Members of a major Philippine Muslim rebel force who were meant to have disarmed in the 1990s as part of a peace pact are involved in deadly battles in Malaysia, the group's leader said on Tuesday.


Nur Misuari, who founded the Moro National Liberation Front in the late 1960s, confirmed "freedom fighters" from his group were part of the militia sent by a self-proclaimed sultan to claim the Malaysian state of Sabah.

"I cannot deny that some of them are known to be MNLF freedom fighters," Misuari told a news conference in Manila, although he insisted he was not personally involved.

"They went there without my knowledge. I have not ordered anyone to join them. It would be very irresponsible for anybody to implicate us."

Misuari made the comments while visiting Jamalul Kiram III, the self-anointed Sultan of Sulu, who sent between 100 and 300 men from the southern Philippines to Sabah on February 12 to press his ownership claim.

Malaysian security forces launched a major offensive on Tuesday to end the standoff, which has so far left at least 27 people dead, although the sultan's men reported that they had survived.

The MNLF "freedom fighters" earnt their battle experience during decades of armed struggle against the Philippine government that cost tens of thousands of lives.

The MNLF had fought for an independent state in the southern Philippines, while also claiming Sabah state as part of their ancestral homeland.

The group signed a peace pact with the Philippine government in 1996 which created a Muslim autonomous region in the south, and set aside the claim over Sabah.

The MNLF peace pact led to a less-compromising splinter group, the Moro Islamic Liberation front, continuing the battle for independence.

The MILF is now close to signing a final peace deal with the government, which ignores the Sabah claim completely and would lead to the MNLF losing political influence in the southern Philippines.

Observers have speculated MNLF members may have helped launch the Malaysia offensive because they feared they were losing power.

However Misuari insisted MNLF leaders were not involved directly in the Malaysia standoff, and even offered to go to Kuala Lumpur to mediate a peaceful solution.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino's spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, said that the Philippine Navy had stopped 70 more people from getting across the sea border to help the militants.

20Comments
Mar 5, 2013 8:09PM
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 When the MNLF is involved, Misuari is involved despite his denials which are expected. Certainly he is disqualified from being a mediator as he offered because it would be tantamount to Malaysia negotiating with Misuari & MNLF. There is no negotiation when our sovereignty is involved. Misuari is closely connected to Kiram as proven by his visit to the defunct sultan in Manila. So, Misuari is currently our enemy and those associated or having any understanding with him are our enemies too.

 

The Lahad Datu incident is only the beginning and a warning to us not to take security for granted especially in that porous border area. The security forces presence there needs to be beefed up and illegal immigrants must be deported as they can be a dangerous time bomb in our midst.

 

In the meantime, as Malaysians, let us realise that this situation calls for non-partisan response from us and we should not be polarised by party politics.  To act or behave on the contrary is a sure sign on our part of being unpatriotic to Malaysia. This is not a "sandiwara" or a conspiracy staged by those in power as fatalities have been caused; hurt & injury suffered. 

 

 

Mar 5, 2013 6:46PM
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Isn't it early to claim success when there are reports that more militant will be coming in? If launch|ng aer|al bombings is considered success, the major super power nations out there in battle will be busy claiming all of those so-called 'success'

 

Additionally they bombed the target, it was reported that the bombing site was way off the location of the militants. And after sweeping the area, there is no report stating the bodies of militants are found. And yet we call it success.

 

Quote

"IGP: Enemies are still out there

Malaysian federal police chief Ismail Omar told reporters in a press conference hours after the initial attack that soldiers combing across a wide area of hilly plantation country were yet to find any dead militants."

 

Wow, this is beyond comprehension as what they say and what happened on site is totally conflicting.

 

Unless the success meant they carried out the assault without technical glitches on the weaponry part excluding the outcome of the mission, in that case yes.

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The first attack on Sabah was launched by Mahathir by giving hundred of thousands of Indentity Cards to Philipinos for political gains . He also introduced racial and religious profiling in a peaceful state.
Mar 5, 2013 9:16PM
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Just hunt those terrorist **** down and kill them off, just like how USA hunted down Osama ben Laden, right to his hiding hole in Pakistan. No mercy required because they came with the intention of killing Malaysians, armed and fully loaded with guns, mortars, grenades and rocket launchers. Shoot to kill.
Mar 5, 2013 8:17PM
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This situation calls for all Malaysians, with no exception, to present a non-partisan response without being polarised by party politics. To act or behave otherwise is a sure sign on our part of being unpatriotic to Malaysia. This is not a "sandiwara" or conspiracy staged by those in power as fatalities to our security forces have been caused by the enemy and hurt & injury suffered by all concerned. 
Mar 7, 2013 1:22AM
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These groups of militants are loosing battle ground in Philippines and now they are directing their attention to Sabah! If our government stil have the attitude of tiapa or they are my abang adik, or simply giving out IC to these foriegners just to secure their election votes then Sabah state will become a chaos state in the coming future!

 

Don't  repeat the severe mistake that was done by Mamak! Who really bring disaster to a country. Who is really a traitor of the country!

Mar 9, 2013 1:47AM
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The truth is... Malaysia is the one responsible for this conflict. These idiots harbored the MNLF rebels and let them train in Sabah for decades simply because Malaysia knew these militants were warring with Philippines who truly owns this place. They thought these rebels were fighting for Mindanao's and Sabah's separation which was beneficial for Malaysia because it relieved them the tension of doing this themselves.

Now their country's stupidity fired back. The rebels and even the 'Royal Army' of Sultan told everyone they knew Sabah like the back of their hands. Soon Malaysia will realize the nightmare they caused Philippines when they helped these kind of people.

Malaysia's military is very very weak. They can't even repel the Sultan's Royal Army who are war newbies. Can't even bomb a good target having those jets... Even hit their own personnel. These are merely 200+ RA fighters against 6000 Malaysian troops. Once MNLF goes through, They're all dead meat.

Philippines is a much stronger republic. The rebels after decades of fighting, realized they're colliding with a thicker wall. So the reason with the Peacepact. Philippines is just calm in this situation. What they're doing right now is making ways to still rescue these militants (coz they're still Filipinos) and have them face punishment in Philippine law.

Malaysia claims Sabah as their own. But for decades they never protected this place. They even allowed criminals and terrorists past through the very gates avoiding Philippine law enforcement. Now these termites are in their house who happened to be made of plain wood. They'll be chewed to the last piece.

Mar 6, 2013 5:27AM
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If they really-really want to get involve in this matter somebody will pee inside his pant.Give all sabahan M16 riffle instead of rm500.Malaysia Boleh......soon `Marayau pa Mga tahimanggud`
Mar 5, 2013 9:56PM
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"1990`s", see, once a terrorist, always a terrorist! And, "People are basically [bad], not [good]".-KLM-
Mar 6, 2013 12:10AM
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MNLF is now trying to explore new oppotunities in Sabah.  MNLF is a little frustrated in Mindanao when MILF managed to outdo MNLF in the latest Roadmap agreement with the Filipino government.  MILF has done slightly better than MNLF in helping the Moros.  In stead of accepting what is better, it has chosen to disagree.  This simply shows MNLF leaders are not sincere to help the Moros to better off their lives.  These are people who have completely lost directions after years of dominations....  Many Christian leaders in the Philippines too are so stupid to expect Malaysia to submit to the World Court.  Sabah is already part of Malaysia - recognised by the UN.  It is a de facto state of Malaysia.  Who is so stupid to let any court decide whether my house is legally yours ???  Aquino has taken the right stand.  But Malaysia has to get prepared to fight in case there is any joker trying to test our military power !!!

Mar 5, 2013 7:33PM
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BUDAK BUDAK MAIN PASIR. don't slam me over this statement. I am not talking about our arm force, i am taking about the one giving the order.

Mar 5, 2013 10:54PM
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i think its better to increase their rental and let them leave, i believe they need the money before they go
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