The camp of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram 3rd on Sunday believed that Malaysian forces are now hesitating at hunting down the remaining members of Sulu Royal Forces (SRF) in Sabah.Abraham Idjirani, the spokesman of the Sultanate of Sulu said that the Malaysian forces are afraid of the “guerilla warfare” employed by the SRF headed by Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, the Sultan’s brother.
“We are informed that it seems Malaysian forces are now afraid to hunt down the remaining members of SRF because of their tactics used in the battle,” Idjirani said.
At least 1,600 followers of Kiram are still in Sabah, months after the Malaysian government declared that the standoff is over, subsequently ending the offensive against the SRF fighters.
But despite this, Idjirani said the SRF members are in defensive position, as they would only fight back if the Malaysian army would attack them.
“Lagi naman silang nakahanda, pero nasa [They are always prepared but they are always in] defensive position lagi,” he added.
This, according to Idjirani, is in accordance with Kiram’s declaration of “unilateral ceasefire.”
Idjirani said that the pursuit operations against SRF had eased since Malaysia held its national elections in May.
Since Malaysia held elections in May they have not received any report of clashes between SRF and Malaysian forces, he said.
Raja Muda had led Kiram’s armed followers to Sabah in February and engaged Malaysian forces in a three-week standoff that led to violent clashes on March 1 and 2.
This prompted Malaysia to mount offensives to flush out Kiram’s followers from Lahad Datu.
Several Kiram supporters and their Malaysian supporters had been charged before a Malaysian court for the incident.