Hornbill Unleashed

March 5, 2013

Report: Total defeat for Sulu group in Sabah dawn attack


Villagers carry the body of a dead gunmen that was killed on Saturday for removal at Simunul village in Sabah’s Semporna district March 4, 2013. – Reuters picture

The armed Sulu intruders who had been in Sabah for over three weeks suffered a total defeat in an attack by the Malaysian army early this morning, the Star Online reported today, citing police sources.

“The Sulu armed group was totally routed by Malaysian security forces’ overwhelming firepower unleashed at 7am Tuesday (today), police sources said,” the news portal said.

No Malaysians were killed in the attack but the numbers of those who had died or were wounded among the Filipino militants was unknown, the Inspector-General of Police said at a 11.30am media briefing today, the news portal reported.

The Star Online also said that the situation in Sabah’s east coast, where armed foreigners from the Philippines had clashed with Malaysian authorities, was reportedly under control.

Malaysian security forces have been placed on high alert due to purported threats of retaliation by the armed men who claim to be the royal army of the Sultanate of Sulu, it said.

A spokesman for the Sulu group today reportedly said they are ready to fight back despite the bombs and gunfire that had rained on them this morning.

The Malaysian army launched an attack on the Filipino intruders at Kampung Tanduo, Felda Sahabat in Lahad Datu at 7am today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak confirmed in a statement today.

The Star Online reported that fresh fighting began between the Sulu gunmen and security forces early this morning. Soldiers are already on the ground in the village, it added.

Gunshots were heard and fighter jets were seen circling around the Felda Sahabat plantation. Explosions were heard for 40 minutes in Kampung Tanduo, the daily reported.

The group of 200 armed men, claiming to be the Royal Sulu Sultanate Army, had landed on February 9 to revive their sultan’s claim for the Borneo state.

Armed Forces Chief Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said yesterday seven more battalions have been sent to Sabah since Saturday, with five in Lahad Datu and one each based in Sandakan and Tawau.


  1. we are very sorry for the lost of 6 six service men. i think they should not died if we act a littlie bit earlier and not too lenient to them. the police was giving them food and asking this pirates to surrender ? pls forget about brothers…they don;t think twice when they killed our men ! stop being a good guy…. make use of your skills . i saddened the statement “” we knew they’re arm but not heavely arm”” this statement should’nt exist at all ! for anwar ibrahim ….. to all people of sabah BE CAREFUL WITH THIS MAN … HE WILL DO ANYTHING TO GET WHAT HE WANTED ! HE’S NOT A MINISTER WHY HE ‘s HAVING A MEETING WITH MILF LEADER ? IS HE ASKING FOR HELPS SO MILF CAN CONVINCE HIS ILLEGAL PEOPLE AND THOSE HAVING IC TO VOTE FOR PKR ? YB BUMBURING YOU ARE IDIOT AND SELFISH DUSUN ! JUST BECAUSE YOUR POLITICAL CAREER KAPUT U BLINDLY FOLLOW ANWAR ? ANYWAY, I HOPE THE GOV will stop paying a single cents to this pirates sultan …his not recognize in philipines…. defunct sultan got nothing !send back all the illegal imigrants in sabah. Learn your lesson gov they not your brother maybe they’re same in religion but different motif in life especially the sultan….. learn your lesson well gov !

    Comment by thaddeus — March 5, 2013 @ 7:01 PM | Reply

  2. In my mind, the Kampong Tanduo, Lahad Datu Sabah incident was just a ‘montage’ and the bigger picture is more about the fate of Sabah and its people.

    The question that has been lingering on my mind since I first read the report about the intruders is: “Will it remain status quo or will there be a change?”

    The Malaysian Armed Forces has finally demonstrated their prowess and using fighter jets, tanks and artillery they acted to end the standoff after almost two weeks. All the dead from both sides have all been respectfully buried and hopefully, the welfare of their immediate family members that they left behind are taken care of. Those injured are being treated and I hope all parties concerned have learned a valuable lesson from the tragedy. All efforts must now be taken to prevent a repeat of such a tragedy.

    Our Armed Forces have proven their capability once again and I am sure the confidence the people have in them remains unchanged.

    However, our security forces must not rest on their laurels as there is still plenty of unfinished business for them to sort out.

    Their continued presence must still be seen and felt by the people until such time the situation becomes better and the threat is diminished.

    As in any incident that involves two sides, especially those that resulted in the loss of lives, there will always be supporters and dissenters. The authorities must be to handle this tricky situation well.

    This brings me back to the period about 40 years or so ago on how the Malaysian Armed Forces and the government of Malaysia handled the post emergency and post counter terrorism operations fighting against the communists insurgents.

    Overall, development moved from slow to rapid and the pace of modernisation continued. The emphasis then was to keep the country peaceful and harmonious, creating more jobs for the people, create a better economy, building more and better infrastructure, building more schools so that the majority of the young could get an education, improve the transportation service, etc. The rehabilitation process took a very long time.

    The situation is now different with a major event, the General election, looming soon. The trauma that the people, especially those from Kampong Tanduo, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Sandakan and all Sabahans in general went through the last two weeks must be cleared and he fear in them must also be overcome.

    Needless to say, the remnants, sympathisers, supporters and followers of the royal army of the Sultanate of Sulu are now spread all over the state with some hiding in states other than Sabah. Many would probably have gone home. The hardcore amongst them may be planning to retaliate to avenge the death of their comrades at the hands of the Malaysian security forces. This cannot be ruled out.

    A proper heart and mind campaign should have already been planned and implemented and the people

    Flushing of illegals should be carried out not just in Sabah but nationwide and those that have committed crimes must be tried and punished.

    The police and the immigration must be strict in carrying out their duties and overall, the security forces, police and the military, must be alert at all times.

    On hindsight, being an optimist, I saw an opportunity in the Lahad Datu standoff. That incident actually provided an opportunity or a window for negotiations to be carried out with the so-called Sulu Sultan to clear once and for all the impasse and their claim on Sabah. I am not too sure if there were any leaders or senior government representative sent to meet with the so-called Sulu Sultan at a neutral or an undisclosed location to negotiate a deal or any deal.

    Nevertheless, our leaders and politicians from both sides of the divide must now be extra sensitive and be more careful when making statements and they must not politicise this whole incident.

    No leaders or politicians should be pointing fingers at anyone, blaming and alleging anyone as the instigator or cause of the incident. Everyone should start closing ranks from now on and contest the general election pride, a competitive spirit and with dignity.

    Captain Hussaini Abdul Karim (Rtd), Shah Alam, Selangor

    Comment by hak55 — March 5, 2013 @ 5:13 PM | Reply

  3. How many of the armed invaders killed or injured ? How many captured ? How many escaped and how did they escape ? What we don’t know is that they could have hide their guns and changed their clothing and now living among the Sabahan.

    Comment by gagojackman — March 5, 2013 @ 4:59 PM | Reply

  4. This is a total bullshit story to all Malaysia police and arm force.
    We must ask ourselves in the first place, how do the Sulu terrorist smuggling into Malaysia ? then how do they smuggling all those heavy weapon into Malaysia ? we don’t have any police at our sea border ?

    All i can tell you is, this is because of CORRUPTION !!!

    Since Mahathir time until now, they just let those fellow in out Malaysia freely by just put RM$5 into a tong.

    Now, we have to pay the cost now !

    BN and UMNO got to answer for all this !!! Malaysia Boleh !!!

    Comment by Mike-Johor — March 5, 2013 @ 4:40 PM | Reply

  5. That should have been the right action right from day 1 of the invasion. Anyway, thanks to the Armed Forces and the Police. Just shoot to death the remainning arrogant intruders and forget about wasting time and money taking them to court.

    Comment by Ayen Piyat Tawai — March 5, 2013 @ 1:55 PM | Reply

  6. “Total Defeat” ? I no understand … how come so easy? No need to fight? No body die or injured … but claim victory

    Comment by tigeryk — March 5, 2013 @ 1:36 PM | Reply

    • Sendiwara kah?

      Comment by Just too good to be true — March 5, 2013 @ 2:12 PM | Reply

    • Airforce pilot who dropped the bomb was out of practice. Missed the target. The mopping exercise and combing the area did not find anything. No dead bodies, no casualties, no abandoned weapons, the Sulu armed intruders must have invisible power. The targetted site was tightly cordoned. Not even an ant can pass through without being noticed let alone an armed intruder.

      Smell fishy!

      Comment by edward, m — March 5, 2013 @ 10:54 PM | Reply

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