KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian authorities will conduct investigations to verify claims by Philippines’ Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari that Malaysia was involved in kidnap-for-ransom activities in Sabah.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim assured lawmakers in Parliament that action would be taken if the allegation was true.
“We are currently investigating the matter and will take action soon ,” he said when responding to a question by Datuk Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Mojigoh sought clarification over Nur Misuari’s claim last week that Malaysia was involved in kidnapping activities in Sabah in 2000.
Nur Misuari had claimed that he had evidence supporting his claims and added that he would drag all Malaysian leaders involved before the International Court of Justice.
Earlier during his reply, Shahidan acknowledged there were groups that were involved in kidnap-for-ransom in Sabah.
“It is a lucrative business which has resulted in several groups emerging to cash in on kidnap-for-ransom,” he said.
Shahidan added that it was crucial for local coastal communities in Sabah to be the eyes and ears of the authorities to help prevent such crimes.
The issue was also raised by another MP from Sabah – Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) – when Budget 2017 was debated at the committee stage.
“We were given an assurance by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) that there would be no more kidnappings.
Bung demanded concrete action to prevent kidnappings as Sabahans are doubting Esscom’s ability to deal with the problem.
“However, a kidnap incident happened again less than a week later,” he added.