Tuesday, 12 March 2013 11:22
DON'T BE SO CHEAP: PKR slams Najib for using Lahad Datu as political capital to stir HATE
Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle
PKR has denounced Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Umno party for using the Lahad Datu debacle as political capital to "build a crescendo" of hate towards Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan Rakyat coalition as the nation hurtled headlong towards its 13th general election, which has been widely touted to be a mother of all battles that could yield Malaysia's first-ever regime change.
"Not only do I think it is extremely cheap but dangerous because Lahad Datu is a matter of national security and should be resolved as quickly as possible. It is also extremely disrespectful to the memory of those who died," PKR strategy Rafizi Ramli told a press conference on Tuesday.
From the time of Alexander the Great
The lives of 8 Malaysian security forces and more than 50 militant intruders were lost during the violent skirmishes that occurred last week to eject a group of some 200 armed Sulus who had somehow managed to slip past Malaysia's security lines to land in Lahad Datu by boat. The gunmen had refused to leave, insisting they were there to reclaim the land on behalf of the Sulu Sultan.
Najib has been trying hard to deflect the blame for his administration's laxness in allowing the gunmen to sneak in undetected, and then allowing them to stay for more than 3 weeks before making the first strike. There is a growing groundswell of criticism that the loss of lives, especially those on the Malaysian side, could have been prevented had he been more decisive and willing to let the Armed Forces do their job without political interference.
"From the time of Alexander the Great, the military tactic has always been to surround and lay siege. First things to do - cut off water and food supplies. Weaken the enemy and then pounce. But what did our authorities do at the start ... they drank 'teh-tarik' with the intruders and let them walk all over their heads," a well-informed military source told Malaysia Chronicle, referring to Najib's soft approach and refusal to do anything until public outrage became too loud to ignore.
Orchestrated: Najib's symphony of hate?
As the dust of the debate and finger-pointing from both sides of the political divide subsides, what is clear is a trail of recent and increasing violence by pro-Umno groups against leaders from the Opposition, using the Lahad Datu invasion as a platform to vent their anger and gather support against Anwar, PKR vice president Tian Chua and other PR leaders.
PKR wants Najib - as the Prime Minister - to take responsibility for the spate of violence that has erupted throughout the nation against the Opposition. Leaders from all three PKR parties of PKR, PAS and DAP have suffered from attacks - both physical and verbal - during their ceramah (political rallies), functions and fund-raisers.
"Clearly there seems to be some orchestration. The whole media is being used to drag in Anwar brahim, Tian Chua, Nurul Izzah and I am waiting for my turn," said Rafizi.
Umno violence under the guise of Lahad Datu
During a ceramah tour to the Malacca state last week, where he was due to appear together with 4 former military generals, the 64-year-old Anwar was hit by glass flung at him by a pro-BN gang out to disrupt the event.
Just a day ago, 3 NGOs aligned to Umno - JMM, Waris Malaya and TIBAI - staged a violent demonstration at the PKR headquarters in Tropicana, Petaling Jaya. Shouting obscenities, they hurled stones, bricks, sticks, eggs and a traffic cone at the office, injuring 5 PKR supporters and pushing down a reporter who was covering the scene.
PKR vice president Nurul Izzah, who was also present at Monday's press conference, condemned the Umno-linked protesters who had threatened to burn down the PKQ HQ.
The PKR leaders expressed disappointment with the police, who only arrived when the demonstration was about to end, for failing to take swift action.
"Umno has been violent for as long as we can remember but it has become too blatant and they are doing it under the guise of Lahad Datu," said Izzah.