PETALING JAYA, March 2- The armed intruders in Sabah had used a white flag as a ruse to open fire on Malaysian police commandos yesterday in the incident in Kampung Tanduo, 130km from Lahad Datu, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said he learned this from one of the VAT 69 police commandos, and described it a cowardly act.
“The two slain commandos had seen the white flag and did not think that there would be other intruders waiting to open fire on them.
“I do not rule out the possibility that it was a trap by the intruders. If they had resorted to such a tactic, it was a act of cowards,” he told reporters after paying his last respects to the two slain commandos – Insp Zulkifli Mamat, 29, and Cpl Sabarudin Daud, 46 – at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Subang near here.
The Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Hajah Haminah, was also at the base and spent some time with the families of Zulkifli and Sabarudin and handed over a personal donation to them. The white flag is an internationally recognised protective sign of truce or ceasefire, and request for negotiation.
The Charlie 130 aircraft carrying the bodies of the two slain commandos flew in from Tawau at 12.30 pm. Also present at the base were the prime minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor; Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar; Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Hamsa and several Cabinet ministers. The bodies were taken by the respective families for burial in their villages.
Zulkifli’s body was flown in an RMAF CN235 aircraft from Subang to the RMAF base in Gong Kedak, Kelantan, for burial in Kampung Kubang Ikan, Besut, Terengganu. Zulkifli’s widow, Noraziah Noor, and their two sons, aged four and one, accompanied the remains. Sabarudin’s body was taken to his village in Sungai Lias, Sungai Besar, Sabak Bernam, Selangor. His widow, Nurunisa Abu Bakar, and their three children, two sons and a daughter, accompanied the remains.