Malaysian security forces adopted restrained approach, court told

KOTA KINABALU - Malaysian security forces adopted a restrained approach when combing Tanjung Labian to flush out Sulu gunmen in March last year.

Mejer Mohd Nasir Aziz, a squadron leader of the Royal Armoured Corps of the 4th Regiment, told the High Court that he did not shoot directly at a gunman he spotted at a stilt house on March 6, and instead aimed at the ground. "I was carrying out the operation from inside an armoured personnel carrier when the gunmen continued firing at us. I fired a second round at the walls on the house. I finally shot the intruder directly when he did not stop," he said.

"I saw the gunman collapse after the third round of shots, and we continued with the clearing operation without stopping to check on the man or the house as it was still unsafe to do so."

Mejer Nasir was the 26th prosecution witness to testify before High Court judge Justice Stephen Chung at the trial of 30 people involved in various offences linked to the Sulu intrusion in Lahad Datu in February last year.

He said that he and his team with a small number of VAT69 commandos among others entered Kampung Tanduo on March 5 for clearing and mopping up, before proceeding to Tanjung Labian and Tanjung Batu the next day to continue the operation.

"Aerial bombing and mortar attacks were launched against the intruders in Kampung Tanduo at about 7am on March 5 before we entered," he added.

After the March 6 incident, he and his men did not encounter anymore intruders and returned to the VAT69 tactical base in Felda Sahabat on March 7.

Mejer Nasir said he did not lose any team member throughout the operation in the three areas.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail led the prosecution while the defence was headed by Datuk N. Sivananthan.

The trial continues today.