Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the burning of the State's flag in Lahad Datu on Saturday by a group of 12 whose leader claimed to be a descendant of the Sultan of Sulu was a very serious matter that could create public unrest.
Musa, who is Sabah State Security Council's chairman, said he called on the police to probe deeper into the incident.
The 12, who also claimed to be holder of MyKad (which indicated that they are Malaysian citizens), were arrested when they tried to enter the Lahad Datu district police's headquarters by force after burning the flags in tweo location in the Lahad Datu town at 8.40am.
Lahad Datu district police chief ACP Mohd Suhaimi Abdul Rahman said the 12 were being detained for investigation under Section 143 of the Penal Code for involving in unlawful assembly.
Meanwhile, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) deputy president and Member of Parliament for Sepanggar Datuk Eric Majimbun questioned why the 12 were only held for unlawful assembly.
He said the 12 should be severely dealt with a more deterrent offence considering they burnt Sabah flags and not just dirty shirt. He said that if they were really citizens, they should be stripped of their citizenship.
Another SAPP's MP Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) said the burning of the flags was an act of defiance against Malaysia.
"They all have MyKads and this makes it even worse as they are claiming to be representing another country," she said. She called on the Home Affairs Ministry to thoroughly investigate the matter.
In another development, SAPP in a statement, disclosed that Majimbun and Chua would move emergency motion in Parliament to compel the Federal Government to make sure the Philippines drop its so-called claim on Sabah.
SAPP members of the State Legislative Assembly Datuk Liew Teck Chan (Likas) and Melanie Chia (Luyang) will also be tabling similar motion what the Sabah Legislative Assembly begin its sitting on April 16.
Malaysians in Sabah were concerned when a foreign news agency reported last year that Philippines President Gloria Arroyo Macapagal has never made any stand on whether to recognise former president,Ferdinand Marcos, statement that Manila had dropped Philippines claim on Sabah.