LAHAD DATU : Three Al-Jazeera journalists and three Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) youths were detained off waters at Tanjung Labian, near here, adjacent to the area where more than 100 armed Filipino in a stand- off with Malaysian security forces.
The six and a boatman were detained by the General Operation Force (PGA) at about 8am when the boat they were travelling in were approaching Kampung Tanduo, the place the Filipino armed group gathered.
SAPP Tungku Central Liaison Committee (CLC) Chairman Suaib Mutalib said the three youths were accompanying the foreign journalists who wanted to cover the stand-off.
“SAPP Tungku Youth Chief Mohd Ahsraf Amir, another two SAPP youths, three Al-Jazeera newsmen and the boat man were detained this morning.
“They were taken to the Chenderawasih Police Station at Tungku and only released seven and half hours later at about 3.30pm after police took their statements,” Suaib said.
Suaib who is also SAPP Assistant Secretary General added that situation around Lahad Datu at present were different.
He said many parents were reluctant to send their children to school while most shops are also closed early.
He added it seems that the stand-off between Malaysian security forces and the Filipino armed group scared the people.
The stand-off started once the Filipino armed group intruded Malaysian waters and gathering at Kampung Tanduo about 130km from here.
Meanwhile, SAPP Information Chief Chong Pit Fah said the government should allowed foreign journalists and international news agencies to enter the area and cover the incident.
He said international and neutral coverage would enable the people to get true picture of what is really happening.
“All this while we are fed with BN government controlled media which reports might not be fully accurate,” he said.
He added that journalists either locals or internationals should be allowed to enter certain area near where the stand-off is.