Sunday, 3 March 2013

Lahad Datu: New twist, new threat

Lahad Datu: New twist, new threat
 | March 4, 2013
Already hit by various scandals, the BN government cannot afford to drag its feet on resolving this crisis.

The long impasse in the Lahad Datu standoff has left a sour note in the minds of Malaysians.
Impatience at the inability of the Malaysian authorities to resolve the crisis has generated a big hue and cry with many Malaysians terming it as simply outrageous.
How did a posse of armed militants numbering over 200 managed to slip into the country undetected to lay siege on sovereign Malaysian soil?
Why is it taking so long for the authorities to resolve this tense crisis allowing it to fester for nearly three weeks?
There is no end to the speculation and rumours surrounding the highly controversial issue.
Rumour has it that PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim is working in cahoots with MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) head Nur Misuari to create chaos in Sabah, and to entice Sabahans to vote PKR out of fear, while others feel that it may be a devious plot engineered as an election ploy by the BN government.
Somehow, many people believe that there is something larger going on rather than a simple standoff by a small group of renegades.
Many are adamant that the controversy smells rather fishy and rotten to the core, especially when the general election is just around the corner.
Damaging to the government
The Lahad Datu standoff is testing the patience of Malaysians, and it is dealing a great blow to the credibility and pride of the Barisan Nasional government.
Already hit by various scandals, the BN government cannot afford to drag its feet on resolving this crisis.
Would Malaysia stand idly by, if armed Malaysians were to encroach on Singapore or Thai territory with the intention of reclaiming its territory?
That is a simple act of war and terrorism, which must be swiftly dealt with before the respective countries evict the intruders with punitive force.
Are our borders that porous that armed foreigners can creep in and out with such impunity?
Weren’t the Scorpene submarines commissioned to patrol Sabah’s waters due to its inability to operate on the shallow Straits of Malacca? How did we manage to let our guards down?
Is our military really in charge or are we prepared for the risk of a possible invasion? These are some of the pertinent questions bothering Malaysians today.
It is also scaring Sabahans from coming out to vote for fear of reprisals, while many Sabahans feel that they are living in a tense, siege-like and an artificial Emergency situation.
How can the Philippines stand idly by, helpless to allow its citizens to invade and encroach on the territories of other countries, without taking positive action to end the incursion?
Has our government refused to allow foreign military intervention to capture and deport these renegade citizens?
To date, the Philippine government has sent a humanitarian ship to fetch the women and other civilians who had joined the armed contingent in its incursion into Sabah.
A new twist
The 180-man contingent which includes five women and male civilians has established a sort of beachhead in a little village called Tanduau since Feb 9, with the purpose of dramatising a symbolic foothold on Sabah
Ignoring President Benigno Aquino’s advice to stand down, the Sulu sultan has reiterated that his followers will stay put in Sabah.
“I have already given my orders to them. And they have to stay put in that area,” Kiram said in a muffled voice.
He said his men would not go back home until a written agreement is reached on his territorial claim and signed by the parties concerned.
Issuing a livid message to Sabahans, he said: “We did not come here to die, but we come here to live with them, to stay with them, to love each other and enjoy the income of Sabah together.”
“We come here… not to make war against them especially since we belong to the same religion.”
The MNLF threat
Now with the expiry of all extensions, it has taken a new twist with the MNLF indicating that it will send reinforcements if hostilities break out between the Filipino followers of the Sulu sultan and Malaysian authorities.
MNLF special branch service chief Khaber Sampang also said that full-blown hostilities would erupt if Malaysians manhandle the heirs or followers of the sultanate of Sulu.
“War is not far away,” said MNLF peace panel member Cesar Absalom, referring to the threat of Malaysia to forcibly evict the royal sultanate army in Sabah.
The irony of it is that Malaysia purportedly once funded the MNLF in the 1970s to create a rebellion in the Southern Philippines.
High-powered arms from Libya were shipped to Malaysia before being handed over to the MNLF.
On another note, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that “if MNLF guerrillas crosses over to Sabah, they will be harboured by fellow Tausogs who live in Sabah state. A third of the population in Sabah, according to a rough unofficial estimate, is Tausog”.
Unless this crisis is resolved in a peaceful manner, this new threat can turn rather ugly indeed for the country.
The Philippine government also fears that the Sulu sultan’s defiance could result in a Malaysian government crackdown against undocumented Filipinos residing in Sabah, which is estimated at 800,000 and their fates hang in the balance at the outcome of this crisis.
“The immediate concern of the government should be the welfare of Filipinos who were born and raised in Sabah, which is the bigger humanitarian issue that must be addressed through diplomatic channels,” according to Filipino leaders.
Meanwhile, the Philippine media are having a field day covering the crisis, with one reporting that the standoff has resulted in the sultanate of Sulu succeeding in what its leaders had set out to do, which was to draw world attention to its proprietary claim over Sabah.
Another Philippine news media has reported that “the MNLF has alerted all its fighters in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi as tension mounted between the 235 followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and Malaysian security forces in Lahad Datu, Sabah”.
If any of the reports by the Filipino media can be substantiated, then it is a cause for concern.
A peaceful solution
In view of the tense situation, it would be prudent for the government to resolve this crisis in a peaceful manner or risk repercussions that Sabah state may become a war zone, embroiled in a ludicrous war with a bunch of trigger-happy, hide-and-seek foreign militants.
There is a constant debate, with many sanctioning the use of force which may backfire on the country if tensions continue to simmer.
It would also jettison us into the international spotlight if cross-border tensions were to escalate. It would also be a gross embarrassment for both the Malaysian and Filipino governments.
The window of opportunity for Malaysia to take forcible, affirmative action against the invaders is past, as recent new developments have given rise to a sticky situation that needs to be handled delicately.
Tour consultant, sports pilot and naturalist Iskandar Dzulkarnain has been writing a few years now. He is a FMT columnist.

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Krishna Singh · Top Commenter
No one should believe that this matter can be resolved peacefully unless we are prepared to hand over Sabah to them. All the statements from them indicate that they want to settle the matter on their terms. Our own action so far shows that we have been weak and it will just encourage the invaders.

Now that we have a clearer picture, could the Home Minister clarify how he came to the conclusion that these invaders are not militants or terrorists?
coz they're moslems?
what does being a muslim gotta do with it?
Gill S. Manjit · Top Commenter
Ray Ong · Top Commenter · Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In any country where such an armed intrusion and deaths of security forces and citizens had happened, the leaders and armed forces would have put the nation on red alert and deployed all the forces at their disposal to lock down the state against further incursions. Our leaders have failed us miserably with their lackadaisical attitude resulting in unnecessary deaths and encouraging the invaders to launch further attacks. Heads must roll and don't blame the opposition again as its getting tiresome and boring.
Well said.

Najib kept quiet and seemingly wish the problem go away. Now, there was reported deaths in Semporna. The situation seem to escalate into an insurgency. Nur Misuari, the MLNF chief, even join the fray and promise to assist the Sultan of Sulu.

When Najib open his mouth, it was to accuse the Opposition of having a hand.

What an absurd, surreal leadership.

Najib could have come out forcefully that there is no ground for the territorial claim. He could have issue a press statement that the armed incursion is criminal, and the government - while aiming to avoid bloodshed, will not negotiate but wants the armed intruders to disarm or face all out assault.

Further, he could have assured Sabahans that the border security is tightened, and that military assets are moved into Sabah.

But no, Najib turned around and said, Anwar did it ! The government handling of the situation, makes Malaysia a laughing stock in the region.
Thiagu Arumugam · Top Commenter
From our Philippine studies and as per records the Sultanate of Sulu is the lessor of Sabah. Malaysia has been paying $1,700 a year lease to the Sultanate. Therefore they have the legitimate claim for this entire island and have the rights to claim what is theirs. Could someone from Malaysia or Sabah tell me that this is not true then what evidence Malaysia have? This what I really want to be enlighten.
This is a shameful episode in the history of our armed forces, especially when we are constantly being bombarded with the need to buy big-ticket weapons, guns, aircraft and even and an unsinkable submarine or two. It simply shows that our military expenditure, which is not modest by any standard, is wasted money because it did not make for a safer Msia from invaders and intruders assaulting our sovereignty.
Simon Khor · Top Commenter · None
It was stupid mistaken of mamakutty in first place let those illegal came to Sabah in hopping to Topple PBS government then was back more than 10 years...ago... and now we have another crisis with sultan aka sulu followers... and what is government of ameno doing?
Robert Lim Beng Beng · Top Commenter
our bereavement and condolences go to those security personnel for their brave sacrifices to protect our sovereignity and country. PM says don't listen to please don't listen to rumours that the opposition has a part in this episode. also don't listen to rumours regarding bn conspiracy with the filipinos muslims to make the SABAHANS feel threatened without bn govt. also don't blame the security force for not taking fast action bcos the ORDERS come from someone who said that these armed filipinos are not militants or invaders, so they should be accorded with MALAYSIAN hospitality so as to promote visit MALAYSIA 2014 just launched by tourist minister NG YES YES.
Maybe this is a cleverly plotted ruse to buy more and more Scorpenes?
Niera Jp · Top Commenter
Innocent Malaysian brutally beaten and died in police custody , but the terrorist are getting free tour in malaysia!
"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist".
Ernest Sirimanne · Top Commenter
Everyone seems to forget that this is a direct result of mamakutty mahathirs citizenship policy in Sabah. Create more muslims to end christian dominance on the political front. Mamakutty - Sabah is now reaping what you sowed not so very long ago. I think it is opportune that malaysians see the frightful damage wrought by this bloody kutty and his BN compatriots.
tis mess should NOT be prolong n we cannot simply send in our POLICE to go in n let die n tis is NOT approriate for UMNO being the longest ruling party in the world suddenly bcome a laughing stock to the world! has transformation made our FORCES WEAK? tq.
GS Guang Trading · Top Commenter · Technical College
Scorpene submarines already sunk into South China Sea. Shame for Malaysia with hopeless and brainless reaction.
Karma :)
Mak Yoon Nam · Top Commenter
Shocking photos at http://omak

Why must we be at war with these armed men if they are not considered militants and terrorists. They are specially invited guests of UMNO. Just read the above web blog and look at the cute pictures.

Rupa-rupanya pemimpin penceroboh Sulu yang membunuh tidak kurang 6 anggota keselamatan negara kita di Lahad Datu Sabah adalah tetamu agung dalam Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2012 di PWTC baru-baru ini.

Mereka dijemput khas oleh UMNO sebagai tanda sahabat dan rakan karib intim.

Cuba memburukkan pencerobohan Lahad Datu dengan DSAI tetapi rupa-rupanya pemimpin agung Sulu adalah tetamu agung Najib Razak semasa Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2012.

Please refer the photos in the website to convince yourselves.

Malaysia helped in creating the MNLF in the 1970's. In fact, the first few batches of MNLF cadres recruited by Nur Misuari trained inside Malaysia and they were supplied with funds, weapons and other logistics. Malaysia did this in order to pressure President Marcos into dropping the Sabah claim. This armed group now holed up in Lahad Datu are the product of the Muslim rebellion in Southern Philippines in the 1970's. They are the children of the MNLF fighters which Malaysia created and are now SHITTING in Malaysia's own backyard. If the conflict escalates, soon there will be suicide bombings in the crowded malls of Kuala Lumpur and other cities of Malaysia just like what they did in Manila during the height of the war in Mindanao. NOW, DEAL WITH IT MALAYSHIT! It's called Karma. Were they here because Najib kor promise solutions of their claims? Now, they threatened us with war. Thank you Mahathir, for you empowered MNLF and also gave them ICs freely......
BN Govt. should send Kayveas & PPP Gang, UMNO Thugs - 3 Line, Perkasa Silat Dudes, MIC Gangsters, the Buntut Retired Soldiers to take over Lahad Datu, these are the fellows who are always ready for a fight!
Niera Jp · Top Commenter
and if its not because of the American intervention in the middle east crisis , I'm sure all the muslim countries will blow up into pieces.... Their insanity civil war is mind blowing!
what's required by malaysians at the moment is unwavering support for our soldiers....long live malaysia.
Christine Yong Cheng Hor · Top Commenter · Hong Kong
Won't be surprise the ministry will decide buying 2 more submarines as 2 not enough. Reason for the intrusion!!!
Taiking Lee · Top Commenter · Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Resolve the matter? Yeah, just send ridhuan tee abdullah to the front line there in sabah.
Iskandar, Events have already overtaken this article.
Joseph Teh Kim Chor · Top Commenter
What were our defence forces doing or Not doing, resulting in this tense situation? If they were doing a proper job this would not had happen. Are our borders so porous that more than 200 arms militants can camp in our shores for some many weeks before they showed themselves? Our intelligent agency, any good? These are normal questions we normal citizens will ask.
Jamaluddin Shamsuddin · Top Commenter · Works at Malaysia
The hard core Sulu people has only one objective now, to take Sabah back. For this reason, as preliminary move the case should be refererd to ICJ. If ICJ rules Sabah should be given back to Sulu Sultan, then Malaysia Government must abide to the decision. We can see PEACE. If not, Malaysia must prepare to defend Sabah. We can see more bombings.
Gill S. Manjit · Top Commenter
Haiyah the sultan of sulu gave up his claim to Sabah in 1962lah. Give back Sabah, you talking about a state and land that belongs to Malaysia. What kind of thinking do you have, So easy to give back meh? Helloo "Historically, the claim over Sabah by the Sultan of Sulu must be looked at and examined from two perspectives.

“Firstly, on the 24th April 1962, the Sulu Sultanate surrendered their sovereignty over all the Sulu archipelagos to the Philippines government meaning they no longer have any right to any of the territory,

“This instrument was thereafter followed by the Philippines government as the basis of their claims to Sabah which is being resolved at a diplomatic level.

“Secondly, in the same year the people of Sabah in a referendum carried out decided on independence through the formation of Malaysia and this decision was accepted and approved by the United Nations.

“The stability, security and the sovereignty of Sabah as an independent state within Malaysia must be respected by all sides including the Sultan of Sulu and the well-being of the people Sabah must be uphold and defended at all cost,” Bumburing said."
Do u think those monkeys from pilipin will abide the ICJ's rulings? Only the east coast that was once belonged to them. And the natives/org asli of sabah do not want any sultan. especially a an apparently stupid pilipino sultan, who cant even have a decent house.
Jake Cloudfield ,

Actually those Tausug warriors sent by the Sultan are not patsies and sub standard troops like the Tamil Eelam LTTE Tigers.
Dominic Ho Kim Hui · Top Commenter · 63 years old
What did the Virgin Mary apparition on the window pane and in all places , in a renowned hospital meant and made out to be? It is a sign of trouble ahead and no body take it seriously. The fateful must pray hard for a quick solution as otherwise more blood sheds and sufferings will besiege this nation.
If your battle-hardened landlord requests (not even demands) a raise in your land lease and you consistently ignore him, what do you think he will do after waiting for so many years? Malaysia, fikirkan lah dan renungkan lagi, apa yang seharusnya anda lakukan?
Received a text from my Sabah friend, "its hard to identify them because they speak malay fluently and most of them have IC".
Revolt Pilipinas · Top Commenter
The sultanete of sulu already send this to UN court but why malaysia refusing it? hehehe