Friday, 08 March 2013 07:40
SABAH DEBACLE: Paying for the sins of Umno
Written by Moaz Nair, Malaysia Chronicle
The Sabah problem has more to do than what meets the eye – beyond the Lahad Datu incursion, reported to be by more than 200 militants claiming to be the Army of the Sulu Sultanate. In fact, no one truly knows the exact number of those involved in this invasion or uprising.
Sabah has the highest population of immigrants, including illegal immigrants, as compared to other states in Malaysia. This has been a long-standing issue and has now become a grave problem to the state. According to the Population and Housing Census Report for 2010 of the Economic Planning Unit about 27 per cent of Sabah's population are foreigners.
And thousands of them have been given “instant” ICs and absorbed as citizens and UMNO members.
Face the consequence of UMNO’s political ruse
To most rightful citizens of Sabah they had sensed that it was a matter of time when these illegal immigrants in Sabah would rise up and fight the Malaysian government. It seems like this insight of theirs has now come true. As the proverb that goes back to Chaucer's 'Parson's Tale' says, the chickens have come back to roost.
The country now has to face the consequences of UMNO’s political ruse in the past and present.
This is only the start of the evil hex cast by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad with his Project IC in Sabah and he is still around to see the consequences of his greed for power. Disconcerting the natural balance of population of Sabah by giving instant ICs to foreigners through deceitful means is an act of treason and those involved in this manoeuvre cannot be exculpated.
Project IC was conceived by Mahathir and his associates as stratagem to rework the demographics of Sabah and topple the then opposition PBS government in 1994, but little did they realise that this ruse would spur the Sulu Sultanate's territorial claims over Sabah.
But surprisingly Mahathir is still being touted as “Negarawan Ulung” by many bootlicking UMNO leaders of today.
His treasonous act of issuing ICs to these Filipino islanders has bolstered their leaders into thinking that they have the support of their community in Sabah and the right to be there.
“New” citizens in Sabah
The Moros have been fighting against Manila in the Southern Philippines for decades. Crestfallen, they may not hesitate to antagonise Malaysia even when the majority here are their Muslim brothers.
The Lahad Datu standoff could lead to a wider unrest engulfing Sabah, since more than 10,000 Filipinos, mostly Tausugs or Suluk tribesmen, are residing in Sabah and they can be probable supporters of the Sultanate of Sulu. Beyond that, there are almost one million “new” citizens in Sabah now after the disreputable Project IC. The leaders that came after Mahathir have failed to dismantle this legacy of issuing ICs on the platter to aliens.
The rationale here was to increase Muslim population in the state and give UMNO an advantage over the Christian dominated parties in Sabah. The whole design has now turned awry. It has boomeranged as the new citizens are now unhappy with UMNO leaders.
The devil at our doorstep
A gunfight broke out between Malaysian security forces and the Filipino rebels last Friday after the armed Sulu group had set foot in Kampung Tanduo – about 130km from coastal town Lahad Datu – for more than two weeks, leaving more than 15 dead in the village.
The following night, six members of the Malaysian police force were killed in an ambush during a raid in Semporna, about 150km from Lahad Datu. Eight members of the Malaysian police force had been killed till then.
Jet fighters, bombs and M16s cannot handle these enemies and their comrades now. This will not instil fear in them as they can easily come together and blend with the locals, go undetected and may create mayhem at any time elsewhere. In short, they have become the devil at our doorstep.
With due respect to our security forces, their strenuous efforts in eradicating the intruders cannot be considered “accomplished” in the Lahad Datu chronicle. The enemies have not died out. They can now be among the thousands of illegals and those who were given instant ICs under the Project IC Sabah. The enemies could be carrying Malaysian identity cards as well as lethal weapons with them.
Should there be widespread insurgence in Sabah, it can easily be sprung from within the state, with or without intrusions from Filipinos in Mindanao, Sulu or the nearby Islands.
Instant citizens to help UMNO in elections
Malaysia is facing risks created by letting Filipinos who owe no loyalty to Malaysia into the country. UMNO politicians who have allowed this to happen must be held accountable.
UMNO leaders are wrecking the country. This slow obliteration of the country’s sovereignty started when Mahathir took over as prime minister in 1981. Tunku Abdul Rahman’s vision for a united nation with the Malays, Chinese, Indians and the Orang Asal living together peacefully as Malaysians has remained a dream and has never been ingenuously nurtured by the present UMNO.
Tunku’s dreams were shattered by none other than Mahathir and the latter’s legacy has been carried forward until today by the existing UMNO leaders.
Having less faith in the loyalty of the Chinese and Indians, UMNO went on a shopping spree to recruit citizens from among the Filipinos, Indonesians and Siamese. Even Bangladeshis, Myanmarese and Pakistanis are roped in to become instant citizens to help UMNO in elections.
With too many foreigners eating into a small nation like Malaysia what is happening in Sabah could also spread to other parts of the country. It’s just a matter of time.
Echoed their claim over Sabah and Sarawak
Too much politicking and making use of the security intelligence for UMNO’s political survival have made the country lose focus on the nation’s safety. Foreign intelligence reports showed that the armed group of more than 200 who are followers of self-proclaimed Sulu Ruler Sultan Jamalul Kiram III had planned the encroachment in Sabah at least four months earlier.
The Kampung Tanduo standoff claimed many lives of those from the Philippines and the dead may inflame anger among their followers who have settled all along the coastal villages in eastern Sabah. They may take umbrage at our security forces.
These gunmen from the Sulu Sultanate – Tausug, Majuindanao, Badjao and Samal – are close-knit tribes and regardless of their groups, they will rise in show of loyalty to their ethnicity. It will be no surprise if these tribes living in Malaysia join forces to fight the cause of their South Philippines counterparts.
In South Philippines, these tribes also make up the greater part of MNLF and Abu Sayaf rebels and they have been known for their solidarity fighting for a common cause against Manila. They are known to be diehard objectors who would fight to their death.
According to sources, members of the MNLF and fragments of the Abu Sayaf rebels were promised lands in Sabah if they fought along to capture the state. As such, they have been entering Sabah – undetected by Malaysia’s security intelligence – since before the standoff on Feb 12.
And their uprising together with those villagers of Southern Philippines origin residing in Sabah cannot be ruled out. They may dare so as they already have their people in Sabah now.
Claiming that the blood of their brothers in Sabah is sacred is clear indication that they will not easily hoist the white flag. They have even echoed their claim over Sabah and Sarawak, claiming that the states are theirs historically.
UMNO has yet to set foot in Sarawak and the party is unwelcome in the state.
Should not be pointing fingers at the Opposition
A political chief of MNLF even claimed that there will be a “civil war” in Sabah because thousands of Bangsamoro are residing in Sabah.
The incursion by armed foreigners in the state show the clandestine Project IC is now haunting Malaysia. And our soldiers and police personnel are paying the price for the bungles created by UMNO leaders.
UMNO leaders should not be pointing fingers at the Opposition just for their political expediency or the Filipino intruders for their own political misdemeanour. They should instead investigate the entire clandestine affairs involving the Project IC and those responsible must be held accountable for causing the present furore in Sabah.
Those who conspired in exercising this project have to be hauled up, admonished and severely punished. Mahathir, and UMNO leaders, have shown no respect for the natives of Sabah and the state’s sovereignty. Mahathir carried out an exploit what no leader in the democratic world would do – giving citizenship to unqualified illegal immigrants just to put UMNO-BN in power.
Sabahans wanted Putrajaya to show some strong political will but with UMNO’s political dimness this has not been achieved. The rightful citizens of Sabah are justifiably riled if they regard the UMNO-led government “out of sorts” for diluting Sabah’s ethno-religious identity.
A new government should take steps to nullify MyKads given to aliens unlawfully and the gradual repatriation of these people. But this is going to be an uphill task for a new government to remedy without dissensions from those affected.
Paying for the sins of UMNO
The “up in the air” historical arrangements over the “padjak” status of Sabah from the old Sulu Sultanate have come back to stomp the country. UMNO leaders were so complacent that they never had the vision to resolve this matter just before and after the formation of Malaysia. The Sulu Sultanate has a history dating back to the early 15th century – 1457 to be exact.
Malaysians are now paying the sins of UMNO. A solution to address the Sabah-Sulu ties was never addressed by UMNO leaders when they had 50 long years to do so. This only shows that UMNO has inept leaders who could only think short-term.
Hopefully Sabah does not enter into the fray and threats from urban guerrillas, as in any guerrilla warfare the insurgents know no political boundary. The US troops abandoned Vietnam in 1975 after a long guerrilla warfare that saw no modern military equipment could contain the Viet Cong fighters.
As observed, the intrusion in Sabah cannot be solely from elements outside the country. It must be with the group effort of those among them already given permanent nationality in Sabah as these intruders were reported to have been in Sabah much earlier.
With the entry of thousands of illegals into the country and they being granted instant citizenship the country could anticipate more problems similar to what has happened in Lahad Datu. The consequence of granting ICs to hundreds of thousands of illegals is now putting the whole country at risk of being attacked from within.
Concessions made by UMNO
These Sulu invaders of Sabah are claiming to be victims of our bellicosity and they dare to intimidate us of an imminent civil war. Civil war and unrest to them can only mean that many of them are already in the country residing as illegals or holding Malaysian ICs – courtesy of Project IC, UMNO and Mahathir.
A MNLF leader has claimed that most of their fighters were trained in Sabah and arms were given to them by Libya through Malaysia – with the hope of strengthening them in the name of “Muslim brotherhood” and seeking autonomy for Mindanao from Manila. If so, these fighters are no strangers to the state of Sabah.
And now they dare warn Malaysia that Lahad Datu attack may escalate into a civil war. They are overtly threatening us with chaos. This is the consequence of our years of complacency and concessions made by UMNO to foreigners who lack civility and graciousness.
Friday, 08 March 2013 07:51
Sabah debacle shows leadership failure, says Anwa
He questioned why the government had waited 23 days before taking action in swiftly ending the crisis.
“This is not failure of the police or army, but the (political) leadership. There is weakness in giving instruction from the top.
"Why did the government wait 23 days only to take action when our sovereignty had been violated?” Anwar asked.
In contrast, Anwar said it took the authorities only four days to solve the Sauk episode of July 2000, when members of a militant group allegedly raided a military armoury to launch attacks on strategic locations.
Early yesterday, prime minister Najib Razak announced Ops Sulu involving the police and military to weed out loyalists of the defunct Sulu sultanate from a village in Lahad Datu.
However, at press time, there has been neither announcement nor visuals of militants' bodies being discovered following intensive air and ground offensive. - Harakahdaily