Hishammuddin lauds security forces’ contributions

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 12 – Malaysia is capable of facing and tackling any form of challenges if the people continue to stay united and work together.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the Lahad Datu intrusion should serve as an important lesson for all Malaysians not to be complacent and to avoid fighting among each other.

“This will only open up space for the enemy to take opportunity of the situation. That’s why I am not comfortable with the actions by certain irresponsible quarters who like to attack the integrity and morale of our security forces.

“Therefore, I urge everyone to continue to support and express our appreciation to the security forces,” he said at the Daulat Feb 2013 Battle Honour ceremony at Padang Merdeka, here.

He also called on the people not to allow criticisms and allegations to disunite Malaysians.

Hishammuddin, who is also Minister with Special Functions in the Prime Minister’s Department, was accompanied by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Armed Forces chief General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor.

The Daulat Feb 2013 Battle Honour is a significant ceremony to award and recognise the contribution of military personnel involved in the Lahad Datu intrusion.

During the event, Hishammuddin awarded the Battle Honour to 12 army regiments – nine regiments of the Royal Malaysian Air Force and three regiments of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

He also presented National Sovereignty Medal to 61 military personnel for their service throughout the operation code-named Op Daulat.

Medal recipient, army personnel Captain Amar Abdul Aziz, 32, expressed gratitude towards to government for recognising their contribution and supporting the security forces.

“I was among the first troop sent on Feb 12 (2013) to enter ground zero (Kampung Tanduo). At that time, the situation was already very tensed.

“It was my first real battle experience and it occurred in our country. It’s a memory that many of us will not forget,” he said.

Amar, who is attached to Kem Terendak Melaka, also expressed his gratitude to Sabahans for their continuous support during the Op Daulat.

In February 2013, followers of the self-proclaimed Sulu Sultanate entered the isolated Kampung Tanduo within the Felda Sahabat estate in Lahad Datu to stake a claim over Sabah.

The first clash occurred on March 1, killing two Vat 69 commandos. The following day, six policemen were killed by Filipino gunmen who stormed the Simunul water village in Semporna.

The intrusion lasted for about three months and ended with two more soldiers being killed in the line of duty.

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