LAHAD DATU: He was not only slapped, but also nearly ‘slaughtered alive’ when the son of Kiram terrorist chief General Musa Abdullah put a barong (Sulu machete) to his neck.

The house of Ajmain Mahmud, 39, was vandalised and items were stolen during the intrusion by Sulu terrorists in Kampung Tanduo, a stand-off that had affected his Kampung Tanjung Batu settlement in 2013.

The attack by Jamalul Kiram III followers from the southern Philippines also saw the home of his father, Mahmud Mallang, who is Kampung Tanjung Batu village chief, among the first to be torched.

It was a traumatic experience for Ajmain from Kampung Tanjung Batu where some of the armed conflict had occurred.

Recalling the incident, he said when the March 1 skirmishes between the Malaysian police and intruders broke out in Kampung Tanduo, his wife, their then 4-year-old daughter and other villagers were evacuated to Fajar Harapan Hall.

“Four other family members, all men, and I stayed behind as we were worried that our house would be broken into … If the terrorists came, we were hoping we would have time to escape.

“On the morning of March 6, 2013, a group of armed men were in front of our house and I was helpless.

“One of them, I believe their head general Musa, ordered me to come to him and I obeyed as I hoped that I would not to be harmed.

“Suddenly, one of the group members slapped me twice and held a barong to my neck.

“If he had moved the machete and slit my throat , I would have been dead.

“I could only think of my wife and my eldest child, Ainazerah, who is now nine,” he said at his home here, recently.

Ajmain who is now a People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) member, said the son of General Musa had accused him of reporting their presence in Kampung Tanduo to the authorities.

“They (Kiram followers) claimed that I was the one who reported the presence of terrorists in Tanduo. I denied this and the son of General Musa finally lifted the barong. Later, I and many other villagers were captured and taken to a house nearly 500m away from my home.

“A friend and I were ordered to buy food as the armed group claimed that they had not eaten for several days. One of them handed me RM400 to buy rice.”

Ajmain said he and a friend named Rudy then left the village before he escaped to Fajar Harapan hall at Felda Sahabat (shelter for villagers) while Rudy ran to the General Operations Force (GOF) post near SK Tanjung Labian.

“The security forces then took me to Felda Sahabat 16 to get my statement,” he said.

Ajmain said although the incident occurred five years ago, it remained fresh in his memory.

“Thankfully, the situation at our village has returned to normal, and the security level has even been stepped up by the security forces,” he added.

(File pix) Children playing together in Kampung Tanjung Batu five years after the Lahad Datu intrusion. Pix by Khairull Azry Bidin

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(File pix) Ajmain Mahmud. Pix by Khairull Azry Bidin

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