We read with grave concern the latest developments in Lahad Datu about the armed incursion in Sabah by a group of foreigners numbering about 100 and claiming to be citizens of the Sultanate of Sulu.

If the reports are true, the question is then why has the situation got unnoticed until only now? Has the Home Minister been sleeping on the job that our intelligence agencies have not been able to sound the alarm early enough so that corrective action could have been taken?

Why have we let the situation deteriorated to such a point that it appears we have to negotiate with armed insurgents? One would have expected our security forces to be in total control of the situation and that these men should have been disarmed by now.

The Home Minister must answer for this serious lapse of security. Rather than making a fool of ourselves in branding Senator Nick Xenopohon “an enemy of the state and a security threat” the Home Minister should have given more focus to the real threats to our national security.

Mohamed Azmin Ali

Deputy President