Yong: Authorities must reveal what will happen to the 14 accused of Tanduo Incursion who are acquitted

Wednesday, 17 January 2018
The authorities must urgently reveal what is going to happen to the 14 accused persons who were acquitted of the charge of waging war against the Yang Di Pertuan Agung and other terrorism related charges in connection with the infamous Tanduo Intrusion at Lahad Datu in February to April 2013.
On Monday, the federal court had upheld the death sentence on 9 accused (all Filipinos) who were found guilty of waging war against the Agung. The other 14 were acquitted. Three of the 14 acquitted persons are Filipinos with Malaysian identity cards.  What will happen to these 3 “Malaysians”? Will they allowed to roam free? Are the security agencies sure that these 3 “Malaysians” are no longer a security risk to Sabah?  What should people do if they come across the three “Malaysians”? These accused persons who had to endure five years of imprisonment under tight security are possibly harbouring anger.
As for the 11 Filipinos who were acquitted, what fate awaits them? If they faced immigration charges, it would mean that eventually they will be deported, after serving jail terms in Sabah. Would they not continue to pose a risk to Sabah even after they have been sent back to the Philippines? Some of the Filipinos are reportedly from Tawi Tawi in the Philippines which is only an hour’s boat trip from Sabah.
The Minister of Home Affairs and the Chief Minister, as the Chairman of the Sabah Security Committee, must be put on record to publicly reassure the people that such security risks have been taken into consideration. 
The criminal trials of the persons charged with waging war against the Agung and terrorism arising out of the Tanduo Incursion of 2013 is over but the security risks posed by the so-called Sulu claim to Sabah remain. One example is the night curfew that is still in force in Esszone.
Datuk Yong Teck Lee
Ex-Chief Minister