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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

10 police reports lodged against Shafie

KOTA KINABALU - An investigation is underway after 10 police reports were lodged against Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Shafie Apdal over his alleged remarks disparaging Rela members.

Sabah police commissioner Ramli Din said the probe involved getting Shafie’s statement on the matter.

“We opened an investigation paper after the reports were lodged,” he said after the monthly gathering at the Sabah police headquarters here today.

The police reports were lodged after a video clip went viral over social media in which Shafie said Rela members could only direct traffic and control crowds at events such as wedding receptions.
He was speaking at a Warisan gathering in Tuaran last week.

Yesterday, he said he had been quizzed by police officers for about two hours at the Warisan headquarters here.

He said he had explained to the police that his remarks about Rela members was part of a statement on Sabah’s security.

Shafie said he told the police that Section 5 of the Rela Act stated that the duties of Rela personnel were primarily to direct traffic and perform community duties.

He said his remarks were taken out of context in the clip, and that his speech was centred on questioning the government’s rationale of sending Rela members to the front lines in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone).

Shafie said if the government wanted to boost security there, it should instead utilise assets like the Lok Kawi military camp near here and Camp Paradise near Kota Belud on the east coast to maximise the available resources.

Shafie said he had received numerous calls from Rela members and their families since the announcement that an initial batch of 500 Rela personnel would be deployed to help Malaysian security forces in the east coast, which had seen a spate of transborder crimes including kidnapping and smuggling.

He said Rela members were only provided uniforms and batons and were not trained to handle gunmen armed with weapons such as M16 automatic rifles.

Shafie, the Semporna MP, said he had relatives in Semporna, Lahad Datu and Kunak on the state’s east coast who were Rela members.

He said security matters in Esszone were serious issues, adding that he had personally seen the aftermath of an ambush at Kampung Simunul in Semporna in which gunmen killed six policemen in March 2013.

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