By Ritchie A. Horario Reporter
Members of the Sulu Royal Forces (SRF) in Lahad Datu, Sabah are preparing for a possible renewed military offensive from Malaysian troops.
Abraham Idjirani, spokesman of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo, on Tuesday said they expect fresh military offensive against their fighters in Sabah following the election victory of Malaysia’s ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“We have started to strengthen our forces in Lahad Datu,” he added.
The Sultanate earlier said that, Najib will maintain his hard line stance against the sultanate if his party, Barisan Nasional, wins the majority of Malaysia’s parliamentary seats.
“We had expected that Prime Minister Najib will maintain his policy once he gets elected again in office. So we expect there will be no changes in the current standoff,” Idjirani said.
According to Idjirani, Sultan Jamalul Kiram 3rd has ordered his brother, SRF commander Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, to maintain their vigilance and remain in defensive posture.
Idjirani said the sultanate has about 500 men and some 1,000 volunteers, mostly fighters from the Moro National Liberation Front, in Sabah.
“They only stopped their offensive and crackdown because of the elections. Now it is over, we’re bracing for battle again,” Idjirani said.
Najib earlier ordered an all-out military offensive against the SRF on March 1, which resulted in the death of 68 Kiram supporters.