KUALA LUMPUR: The root cause of the Sulu invasion can be discovered by following the money trail to whoever funded the group, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former prime minister said the self-styled Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III should have had financiers.
“All operations cost money. If you are completely bankrupt, I don’t think you can mount an invasion. So where does the money come from?
“I don’t think the alleged Sultan of Sulu is a rich man. According to the Philippine government, he is a very poor man. Somebody I think, thinks that an engagement of that kind can be of some benefit to them. So that is a question I personally would ask, and I think lots of people, including the police, would want to know where the money is coming from,” he said.
Dr Mahathir reiterated that the self-styled Sulu sultanate had no legitimate hold on Sabah and dispelled the annual “rental fee” paid by the Federal Government as means for a claim.
“Even today, the Federal Government is paying RM10,000 to the Kedah government for the lease of Penang and Province Wellesley (the old name of Prai). Not that it is something that we must do but this is just to show that when we enter into any agreement, we honour that agreement.
“Sabah was a lease that was inherited by us and we continue to pay the lease but it does not give anybody the right to the land,” he said.
When asked by reporters whether there was a need to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the Lahad Datu intrusions, Dr Mahathir said it could be done.
“We have a very open government. If people clear it, they can set up a commission like this. They have all the evidence,” he said after handing a cheque to deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar at Yayasan Al-Bukhary.
The RM80,000 cheque from Perdana Global Peace Foundation will go to the families of the fallen heroes killed in Lahad Datu.