Is historical claim behind the mystery group of armed Filipinos in Malaysian Borneo? – The Christian Science Monitor

KUALA LUMPUR — It’s around an hour by speedboat from Sulu in the southern Philippines to Sabah in the Malaysian part of Borneo, a route often plied by fishermen, traders, and migrants. The maritime passage goes from what is the poorest part of the Philippines to eastern Malaysia, with many making the journey from the Philippines in search of work, joining the 10 million or so Philippine citizens that moved abroad to find jobs. But when on Tuesday around 100 men arrived in batches to – and depending on what account you read – camp out in, or occupy a village called Lahud Datu, it soon become clear these weren’t the usual fishermen or migrant workers. What exactly is going on is unclear, but it has both countries on high alert. Malaysian security forces have sealed off the village, which is 300 miles from Sabah’s regional capital Kota Kinabalu, a two-hour flight from Malaysia’s main city Kuala Lumpur.