by Nur Natasha Aida Ismail
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 (Bermama) — A Malaysian from Kota Kinabalu was
arrested this month by the Philippine authorities in Zamboanga City for suspected involvement in Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) activities in southern Philippines.
Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) director-general, Datuk Mohammad Mentek told Bernama today that the 55-year-old man was arrested on Oct 4 and was then taken to Manila for further investigation by the Philippine authorities there.
“The arrest of the Malaysian man followed the action taken by the Philippine security forces against individuals suspected of being involved in the armed attacks launched by MNLF fighter in Zamboanga City on Sept 9,” he said.
Mohammad, however, declined to reveal the identity of the Malaysian arrested as the matter is still under investigation by the Philippine authorities.
Asked whether this individual was the one who claimed to have been sponsored by another Malaysian for his involvement in MNLF activities, Mohammad also declined to comment as the investigation in the Philippines is still ongoing.
Following the attacks in Zamboanga City, Malaysia activated its security warning along eastern Sabah’s territorial waters to prevent the attacks from spreading to the state due to Sabah’s close proximity to southern Philippines.
“So far, no security threats to Sabah have been detected but we are intensifying security measures along eastern Sabah’s border waters nevertheless,” said Mohammad.
He said Malaysian security forces would collaborate with their Philippine counterparts if the need arose.
“We have no problem in extending cooperation due to our good relations with the Philippine government,” he added.
According to press reports, more than 400 MNLF fighters attacked Zamboanga City to capture the city hall building and they hoisted the ‘Republik Bangsamoro Merdeka’ flag.
In the bloody three-week battle that ensued between the MNLF fighters and Philippine security forces, 190 MNLF fighters were killed and 292 suspects surrendered or were arrested.
Also killed in the battle were 23 soldiers and policemen while another 180 were injured, besides 12 civilians killed.