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Monday, March 4, 2013

Lahad Datu: New twist, new threat

Iskandar Dzulkarnain

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.



    1. Assalamualaikum.wr.wb. perkenalkan nama saya katiman dari surabaya kerja tki di malaysia, saat menulis ini saya teringat memory masa lalu..saya sangat tergugah hati melihat coretan hati yang bapak tulis. saya jadi teringat tentang masa-masa sulit dulu,karena iktiar dan usaha , seolah2 menjadi dendam bukan lagi motivasi, cuma satu tujuan saya pada saat bagaiman caranya untuk bangkit..singkat kata berbagai macam iktiar dan cara yang saya lalui, mengingat pada saat itu hutang saya 1,2m yang tidak sedikit, belum lagi bunga renternir yang bertambah. karena usaha, kesungguhan hati, akhirnya menemukan jalan /solusi . saya percaya ALLAH ITU TIDAK DIAM MAHA PENYAYANG , cobaan itu bukan lah ujian tapi hadiah yang tersilmut untuk kebahagiaan yang sebenar2nya. Bila butuh angka togel ghaib yg sudah kami buktikan hubungi MBAH WITJAKSONO DI 0852_2223_1459. ingat kesempat tidak akan datang untuk yang kedua kalinga

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  4. You are confused and you make people confused. U had covered well why gov can effort to just go and wack this guys (which our security forces are capable)and then why condemn the gov. the point is, we do not want what happen in semporna to happen in kuala lumpur or in any state. The intruders don’t care shit abt innocent life. Let's support what our arm forces are doing now unless you are brave enough to go to front line which i don’t think you r.

  5. Take responsibility for this drama ! The govt of both countries need to take full responsibilities. That is what happens when govts do not listen to the people of any origin.. Their trust and respect was not handled with the best of care but often with the best of "Intentions" no longer a hard handed govt will be the only way to govern a country in this new age of free flow of information via the wireless internet. No more cover ups ! No more political juggling. Get HELP if you dont know how to do this Govt of Malaysia and Philippines !

  6. Hisham yakin proses usir penceroboh di Sabah diselesai baik

    KLUANG - Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein yakin proses pengusiran kumpulan penceroboh di Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, Sabah akan dapat dilaksanakan dengan baik.

    Beliau percaya pihak berkuasa termasuk polis mampu menangani kes tersebut dan mereka yang mendakwa sebagai Askar Diraja Kesultanan Sulu akan dapat dihantar pulang ke negara mereka dengan selamat.

    "Biar pihak berkuasa dan yang bertanggungjawab serta berkepakaran selesaikan hal ini tanpa pertumpahan darah.

    "Saya tak nak mana-mana pihak terkorban. Mereka juga manusia yang perlu dihormati nyawanya. Jika ada yang terkorban, akhirnya kerajaan dan pihak berkuasa kita juga yang dituduh," katanya.

    Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang media selepas menghadiri majlis sambutan Tahun Baharu Cina Parlimen Sembrong Peringkat Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Paloh di Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Paloh di sini hari ini.

    Majlis turut dihadiri Anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Paloh, Datuk Hoo Seang Chang; ADUN Kahang R.Vidyanathan dan pemain badminton nombor satu negara Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

    Dalam masa yang sama, beliau turut menegaskan kerajaan sesekali tidak akan berkompromi berhubung hak, kedudukan dan keselamatan Sabah dan rakyatnya.

    "Sehubungan itu, dakwaan mengatakan kerajaan sedang mengatur sesuatu tentang Sabah adalah tidak berasas sama sekali," katanya.

    Beliau juga sekali lagi memberi jaminan keadaan di Lahad Datu setakat ini terkawal kerana ia bukan melibatkan isu pengganas, keganasan atau militan. - Bernama

  7. Pasukan keselamatan telah melancarkan tindakan 'offensive' terhadap kumpulan pengganas yang bertapak di Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, Sabah pada jam 7.00 pagi tadi. Operasi ini dilaksanakan oleh PDRM bersama pihak ATM.

  8. Sejak operasi ini dimulakan sehingga kini, masih terdapat tentangan dalam bentuk beberapa das tembakan yang dilepaskan oleh pihak musuh.

  9. Ketika ini 'mopping up' dan penggeledahan sedang dijalankan. Bagaimanapun, jumlah kematian dan kecederaan di pihak musuh masih belum dapat disahkan dan setakat ini tidak ada kemalangan di pihak pasukan keselamatan.

  10. Oleh itu semua pihak dinasihatkan agar tidak membuat andaian atau spekulasi tentang sebarang kehilangan nyawa memandangkan operasi ini masih lagi berjalan. Berita-berita yang tidak tepat boleh menjejaskan operasi ini.

  11. Orang ramai tidak perlu bimbang kerana operasi ini hanya dilancarkan di Kampung Tanduo sahaja. Oleh itu orang ramai dinasihatkan supaya tidak masuk ke kawasan operasi dan seterusnya menerima arahan dan mematuhi nasihat pihak polis yang bertugas di sekatan jalanraya yang menghala ke Kampung Tanduo.

  12. "Many are adamant that the controversy smells rather fishy and rotten to the core, especially when the general election is just around the corner."

    sila hentikan menyebar khabar angin jika ini belum disahkan betul

  13. berdoalah kita semua supaya isu ini akan berakhir tidak lama lagi dan tiada lagi nyawa terkorban...

  14. nevertheless, safety of the Sabahans should not be compromised at all

  15. likewise, Sabahans need to be vigilant and extra alert in their surroundings

  16. "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."

    hope this tensed moment will be over soon

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