Monday, 4 March 2013

Pearl Harbour a la Malaysia-Sulu (Update 1)

Pearl Harbour a la Malaysia-Sulu

IT IS now very clear that Sulu has declared war with Malaysia and wants to conquer and occupy Sabah.
The Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) government, just like Pearl Harbour, has been caught napping.
The presence of hundreds of armed Sulu militants or guerillas shows that there was an army built-up over a period of time. Their presence and arsenal cannot be an overnight affair.
And, more and more armed militants are landing on Sabah’s coasts as Malaysian security forces now start airlifting their soldiers to the East Malaysian state – using AirAsia.
This begs the question: Why are commercial and civilian aircraft being used to ferry the soldiers?
What happened to our military aircraft? Not a single one is working or have the engines gone missing? Where’s our armoury, including tanks and what not that our Tentera Darat supposedly possessed?
Isn’t there any armoury in Sabah?

Another Kiram surfaces to claim Sabah, offers to mediate
Princess Merriam Kiram (2nd left) offers herself as an emissary to the armed Filipino group in Sabah during a press conference in Makati City on Monday. The princess says she is the widow of Mahakuttah Kiram, the 34th sultan of Sulu and calls herself the rightful claimant to Sabah. Mahakuttah succeeded his father Sultan Esmael Kiram in 1974. Jamalul Kiram III is a cousin of Mahakuttah. Danny Pata

The Umno-led BN government had for the last five years got its priorities all wrong.
It is so concerned with the fear of losing political power that its military and police intelligence have been deployed for the wrong purpose – to clamp down on peaceful and unarmed civilians who walk the streets clad in coloured tee-shirts demanding for free and fair elections.
The irresponsible BN government let its security and defence guards down and today the Sulu Filipino militants have practically walked into our country with their guns blazing.
And oyur Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had the gall to say the Sulu are neither militants or guerilla.
Just hand over Hishammuddin to the Sulu and see what they do to him. Nothing short of lynching him, I believe.
What an idiot for a Home Minister!
Let’s not also forget the millions of national registration identification card-carrying Filipinos that walk our streets in Sabah.
Who are these Filipinos loyal to?
If the coming 13th General Election is not the time for Malaysians to dump such an incompetent, selfish and conniving government, when is?

Update 1 - March 5, 2013

M’sian army begins assault
 | March 5, 2013
According to residents living close by, they heard the sound of jets just before the explosions.
LAHAD DATU: Malaysian forces are reported to have launched an assault on the armed group of Filipinos who killed eight policemen over the weekend.
The assault at Kg Tanduo was preceded by the sound of bombs exploding and the sound of jets roaring overhead.
Government officials announced that the operation to retake Kg Taduo, an area taken over by about 200 members of the Royal Army of Sulu claiming allegiance to Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, took place at 7am.
According to residents living close by, they heard the sound of jets just before the explosions. Many of them are reported to be fleeing the area.
Kg Tanduo is bracketed by two other seaside villages a few kilometres away and most of the villagers residing there have abandoned their homes and can be seen on the highway between Kg Tanduo and here.
Artillery rounds were heard pounding the area before soldiers went in and the sound of shooting erupted. There has been no sound of fighting since 10am.
The sea fronting Kg Tanduo is reportedly clear of any vessels.
Police units were seen rushing towards Tungku area at around 10am and troop movement was seen Cenderawasih in Sahabat 7.
Felda Sahabat is said to about twice the size of Singapore.
Over the last few days, Malaysian forces have beefed up their presence in the area. Up to seven army battalions have deployed in various areas here to reinforce security.
Unemployed MNLF insurgents?
The first skirmish with the armed group broke out last Friday. Two police commandos were killed in a firefight that broke out as they attempted to tighten the cordon around the armed grouped that had taken over the village.
Reports emanating out of the Philippines said the members of the armed group were veteran Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) insurgents out of a job.
Journalists here say they have spotted scores of villagers with their children packed in trucks used to transport oil palm heading out of the area.
Several roadblocks manned by heavily armed police and soldiers have been set up along roads around the state. Passengers in buses have been asked to alight while their identities were checked.
Manager held hostage
Meanwhile FMT received an unconfirmed report that a manager from the Hap Seng Plantations in Lahad Datu is being held hostage.
Hap Seng Plantations’ activities are located mainly in Lahad Datu and consist of three groups of oil palm estates – Tomanggong Group of Estates, Sungai Segama Group of Estates and Jeroco Group of Estates. Hap Seng also operates the Ladang Kawa Estate in Tawau and the Pelipikan Estate in Kota Marudu. The total area of the estates is 39,803 hectares.
More intruders arriving in pump boats
 | March 4, 2013
The latest group of intruders who landed in Tanjung Labian arrived in civilian clothes and 'grouped up and put on their military fatigues', said Armed Forces chief Jeneral Zulkefli Mohd Zin.
SEMPORNA: More flash points have opened up on the east coast of Sabah. Reports have trickled in that Malaysian security forces are chasing multiple groups of invaders who have landed in support of their compatriots in Kampung Tanduo, about 160km from here.
Armed Forces chief Jeneral Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said the intruders came in small boats over the last few days from the Southern Philippine island of Sibutu, just a 25-minute boat ride from Semporna where six policemen were killed in an ambush in Kampung Sri Jaya.
In an indication that the Malaysian-Philippine maritime border remains porous, he said the hopping distance between the two areas permitted such clandestine groups to infiltrate Sabah at will without detection.
Zulkifeli described the intruders as criminals but at the same time seemed to indicate that they were more than just that when he described how the intruders had taken pains to disguise themselves.
“I believe they came in civilian clothes and, upon entering Sabah, they grouped up and put on their military fatigues.
“We found two bags with civilian clothes,” he said, adding that investigators did not know when they entered the state.
The army and police are said to be mapping out a strategy to take back the seaside village of Kampung Tanduo from a group of armed men led by Agbimuddin Kiram, the younger brother of Jamalul Kiram III, the man widely acknowledged to be the sultan of Sulu who says Sabah belongs to his family.
Sightings of intruders in Kunak were confirmed when three armed men dressed in military fatigues similar to that worn by the Sulu group at Kampung Tanduo were arrested.
With fears that the residents are panicking, the authorities have sent two more army battalions to Semporna and Kunak to assure them the people they are in control of the situation.
There have also been unconfirmed reports that a group of up to 50 men have landed at Tanjung Labian and Tanjung Batu Felda Sahabat, all near Kampung Tanduo and that hostages have been taken.
‘Don’t harm them’
Meanwhile, the Philippines media has reported that Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari has ramped up the rhetoric by warning Malaysia to settle the Sabah standoff peacefully or his group would come to the aid of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III’s followers “if blood is spilt”.
“I hope they will not harm them. They are our brothers. If one drop of their blood is spilled, we might be forced to come to their aid,” Misuari said.
“Please don’t touch them, give them a friendly and brotherly treatment,” Misuari appealed after chairing an MNLF leadership meeting in Zamboanga City, which he said was attended by some 2,000 leaders from across Mindanao to discuss various issues facing the Bangsamoro people.
Misuari, who has offered to mediate to end the standoff, has also claimed that he only heard news that a group of men had crossed over into Sabah when he was in Jolo, Sulu, over the week.
He said that he was told that they had only gone over because they had been told they would be allowed to settle in Sabah.
Tragedy could’ve been avoided
 | March 5, 2013
It is time Najib Tun Razak and his ministers took responsibility for their actions and faced the repercussions that must follow.
More unnecessary deaths. This time not a suspect in police custody. Not a suspect being interrogated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
This time not a Bernama journalist accompanying Kelab Putera 1Malaysia on an Islamic charity mission to Mogadishu, Somalia.
Not the death of a teenager after a police chase. This time not a foreign national blown up with C4. We remember, too, the villagers killed at Memali.
This time death comes to the Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM). It comes to PDRM because the government thinks it is prudent to use the police and not the army to handle an armed intrusion by over 200 foreigners into Sabah.
Death comes because this government thinks it is prudent to ask the police to contain the Sulu armed invaders – a job that should have really been the prerogative of the armed forces simply because common sense will tell you that it really is a job for the military.
Time and time again this government has made decisions that have troubled our people, caused much financial hardship, and physical and mental sufferings.
Our prime minister keeps silent. His ministers tell us lies. And when the deed is done, they dare to put the blame on others.
The incursion by the armed insurgents into Lahat Datu and the subsequent deaths of our police personnel (eight till Monday) are all being blamed on Anwar Ibrahim, and on Pakatan Rakyat.
And, I am sure, eventually on the many illegal immigrants in Sabah.
National sovereignty threatened
The same illegal immigrants that this government have chosen to “close one eye” to in the many, many years that they have been allowed to come into Sabah and allowed to grow into numbers.
These illegal immigrants have become a problem not only to the people in Sabah but have also become a threat to the very sovereignty of our nation.
Is this not the way of this government? That everyone else is to be blamed for what goes wrong under its regime?
Am I to be blamed for using too much petrol when Petronas runs out of oil? Will the settlers in Felda be blamed for wanting too much returns on their investments when Felda Global Ventures Holding Bhd goes belly up?
Will the Yang di-Pertuan Agong be asked to take responsibility by this government for not protecting the interest of the rakyat when our public debts goes into the trillions of ringgit?
It is time Najib Tun Razak and his ministers took responsibility for their actions and faced the repercussions that must follow.
It is also crucial to the future of our children to ensure that change will bring about a responsible, accountable and open government in Putrajaya.
No more unnecessary deaths, no more insanely rich politicians, and no more hideously powerful politicians – we must take back Malaysia for ourselves now!
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.