Posts Tagged ‘Lahad Datu


If the police knew, why nothing done to prevent Sulu incursion?

NEWS ANALYSIS – A revelation that Malaysian police actually knew two weeks ahead of a planned Sulu incursion into Sabah last February but asked a district officer to keep quiet makes disturbing news.

It also begs many questions, the least of which is if the loss of lives, especially Malaysian security personnel, could have been avoided.

And how long has our national security been compromised by the disregard of intelligence and a breakdown in communication between Kuala Lumpur and the farthest reaches of the nation.

All this came to light when Lahad Datu district officer Zulkifli Nasir told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into illegal immigrants in Sabah yesterday that he had met district police chief Supt Shamsudin Mat in February and was told about the planned landing of the armed intruders.

“I was told that Lahad Datu was the main target of the armed intruders and informed that the issue was top secret. I was warned not to leak any news about the issue,” he told the RCI five-men panel, led by former Sabah and Sarawak Chief Justice Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong.

But the 177th witness to the panel added, “Swift police action boxed in the armed Sulu terrorists in Kampung Tanduo and prevented them from attacking Lahad Datu.”

Other sources have confirmed with The Malaysian Insider that police knew of the possible incursion after maritime traders who plied the waters between Sabah and the Philippines were not spotted for days ahead of the initial attack.

However, no one raised the alarm beyond Lahad Datu.

Malaysians were led to believe that this incursion was a complete surprise and that there were insufficient boots on the ground to cover our borders, especially the porous border between Sabah and The Philippines.

The then Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, even went on to say that the intruders were old men with no weapons. And that negotiations were the order of the day rather than risk a skirmish and an international diplomatic incident with these Filipino followers of one Sulu sultan.

But someone had known that they would arrive just before Chinese New Year. And made sure no one else was to know. Why?

If the police knew, why nothing done to prevent Sulu incursion?
July 17, 2013 – TMI


Questions About Lahad Datu Crisis

MALAYSIANS cannot but be shocked by what is happening in Sabah. And although our security forces are now hunting the remaining Sulu Sultanate intruders after having bombarded them in Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, the crisis is far from over.

Meanwhile, questions abound in the minds of the lay public.

How did the intruders sneak into Lahad Datu from Feb 9 onwards, more than three weeks ago? There were reportedly as many as 300 of them, some heavily armed. How did that escape detection? Our Special Branch is highly regarded as being among the best intelligence units in the world. Did it not get wind of this incursion early enough?

Once the intruders had entered Lahad Datu, and after they had openly declared their intentions for intruding – which was to reclaim the area as their ancestral homeland – why did the Malaysian Government not react quickly enough to get them out?

A claim like that is a serious one and if it was not immediately nipped in the bud could lead to bigger implications. As it has turned out, these implications are beginning to emerge.

And yet, for two weeks, the Government humored the intruders by engaging in, so the public was told by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, diplomatic negotiations. Political commentators called it giving them kid gloves’ treatment.

Was it because the Government feared taking stronger action against these intruders who are Tausugs and closely related to the Suluks, who came from the Philippines and are now settled in Sabah by the thousands as Malaysian citizens, might cause the latter to vote against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at the upcoming general election? And perhaps not only the Suluks but also other Filipinos of other descent who have also become citizens?

For the Government’s hesitancy in dealing forcefully with the intruders, the situation eventually escalated into skirmishes between them and our police that led to the loss of eight Malaysian lives. Why did the Government allow this to come to pass? Surely, it must have been savvy enough to realise from the start that the situation could turn nasty if nothing was done fast?

Malaysians also wondered why the Home Ministry, hence the police instead of the army, was charged with handling the crisis – even when bullets started to fly and our people were killed. If the army had been called sooner, might the intruders not have been ejected expeditiously – and less messily? The intruders were hopelessly outnumbered and our army has superior firepower. Threatening to decimate them might have been enough to make them surrender, might it not?

As it is now, after the bombing at Kampung Tanduo, there are still intruders at large and our security forces have to go after them. Who knows what nastiness might still transpire as the hunt goes on?

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Nazri Aziz has come out to explain that the police were the better option to handle the situation because it was an intrusion, not a war, but when it comes to the safety of the residents of Lahad Datu and the surrounding areas, is there cause for such technicalities?

What will the genuine Sabahans now make of all this mess? Would it matter to them if it was an intrusion or a war? Those who have had to flee their villages out of fear would only know that their safety and security was not protected by the Government. Would they still support the ruling coalition that has failed them in this regard? What about genuine Sabahans living in other parts of the state? Would they still have faith in the ruling coalition?

And what about Malaysians in general?

For the first two weeks of the crisis, they were mystified as to why there was so much secrecy surrounding the so-called negotiations between the Government and the intruders. Despite the fear that had gripped the villagers in the affected area and the anxiety of Malaysians at large wondering if something dire was emerging from the situation, the Home Ministry gave out little information.

Three Al Jazeera journalists covering the developing story were detained near Kampung Tanduo on Feb 20 and held for police questioning for six hours. They managed to report that about 100 villagers had been made homeless from fleeing for their safety.

Questions About Lahad Datu Crisis
By Kee Thuan Chye
06 March 2013 – Malaysian Digest


Swift action on Tian Chua, snail’s pace for Ibrahim Ali, Ridhuan Tee

MARCH 14 – PKR’s Chua Tian Chang was charged with sedition today for allegedly linking Umno to the on-going Sulu intrusion into Sabah.

Two surprises here.

One, that the Sedition Act is being used despite Putrajaya saying that the law will be repealed.

Two, allegedly offensive statements to burn Malay-language bibles by Datuk Ibrahim Ali and that against Hindus by academic Datuk Dr Ridhuan Tee have yet to see the police working as hard as they have with the Batu MP.

What does that say about double standards?

And what does that say about the priority of the powers-that-be in taking action against those who criticise the government rather than those who wound the feelings of fellow Malaysians?

Aren’t all of us supposed to be equal before the law? Is there a law for opposition MPs and one for those friendly with the government of the day?

Every Malaysian expects the police and the prosecutors to be above politics. To act without fear or favour. To investigate every case thoroughly and bring to court those who they believe have committed an offence.

In this case, the police and prosecutors have done a swift job with Tian Chua, taking him to court even as the Sulu incursion continues. Malaysians can only leave it to the wisdom of the judiciary to decide whether Tian Chua has committed sedition.

But we are in the dark over action taken against the Perkasa president and the lecturer in the National Defence University. How is it that their cases are still being investigated and no action taken?

Even if there is no case to answer, shouldn’t the people be told? At least then, they know the police are doing their job.

Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done. The swift action against Tian Chua is glaring when compared to the snail’s pace in investigating both Ibrahim and Tee.

And it lends credence to Tian Chua’s assertion that this is all political and nothing to do with what is right or wrong.

– The Malaysian Insider

Swift action on Tian Chua, snail’s pace for Ibrahim Ali, Ridhuan Tee – The Malaysian Insider
March 14, 2013 – TMI


Sabah: Mahathir’s failed attempt at social engineering

MARCH 6 — To paint the Sabah situation as “virtuous Sabah natives” against “invading foreign terrorists” is far too simplistic.

The reality is as complex as Sabah’s political landscape, enmeshed in history and complicated by the notion of statehood.

Farish Noor explains the complicated history of the various people of North Borneo and the Philippines in his column where he says:

“In the midst of the chest-thumping, saber-rattling jingoism and hyper-nationalism we see rising in both Philippines and Malaysia today, we ought to take a step back and look at ourselves honestly in the face.”

Historically the people of Sabah are a complex mix. With the formation of countries and borders, people who are connected by history and blood are now separated by that thing we call “citizenship.”

Sabah artist Yee I-Lan sums up that divide in one of the pictures from her “Sulu stories” series. Map, from artist Yee I-Lan’s “Sulu stories”.

Of the subjects in the photo, Yee says: “One carries Malaysian identity, the other Filipino. They come from the same sea and place and knowledge.”

But while we must acknowledge history, we have to address present realities.

Whatever the Sulu descendants claim, their kingdom is long gone. Their attempt to supposedly reclaim their birthright is now seen as an act of violence.

You cannot resurrect ghosts with blood and threats.

But to people like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia is first and foremost the land of the Malays. Sabah and Sarawak do not fit in with his tidy narrative of the country being led by Malay Muslims.

Dr Mahathir for all his statesmanship could never wrap his head around the fact that in Sabah, Muslims were not always Malay. Nor that the Malay narrative could include non-Muslims.

All you need to do is look over at Bali in Indonesia with its predominantly Hindu and unmistakeably “Malay” population. But then, this is a country where many Malays live in ignorance of, or patently deny that, their ancestors ever being Hindu.

PBS’s defiance of the federal government disturbed the status quo for Dr Mahathir. For him it was unacceptable that Sabah could be led by a Christian indigenous leader instead of a more “acceptable” Malay-Muslim.

His reasoning was to address the “problem” of a non-Muslim native majority by parachuting in more Muslims.

But the problem, Dr Mahathir, is that while the Suluks from the south of Philippines identify themselves as Muslims, they do not call themselves Malay.

Nor are the Bajau “Malay”. Neither are the Muslim indigenous peoples “Malay.”

Dr Mahathir’s poor attempt at social engineering has instead created a dangerous imbalance. The fact is that the Malaysian Sabah state cannot sustain the huge numbers of immigrants from across the border.

There are hardly any jobs for locals. Imagine how slim the pickings are for the many “visitors.”

Sabah: Mahathir’s failed attempt at social engineering
Erna Mahyuni
March 06, 2013 – TMI


Is anybody listening to what Sabahans want?

When speaking of the recent Sabah intrusion incident, many people are trying to relate it only to the bigger picture of the Malaysian government’s political issues.

But it is much deeper than that as it has crept into the fabric of the social lives of Sabahans.

I am here talking because I am a Sabahan, and my hometown is Sandakan, which is only few kilometres from where the incidents are taking place.

I am definitely very concerned over the lingering issue of never ending claim by some non-existent sultanate that has no legitimacy at all since the Suluks “lordship” was only valid around 200 years ago.

While the main decisions are being discussed and taking place miles away from across the ocean in the peninsular Malaysia, we the people of North Borneo are all living in a tense situation and in uncertainty on our own soil.

We are not given any right at all to voice our opinions over the matter. We are just like a colony without any power to decide our future, but to simply follow orders from across the ocean.

What we strongly disagree is for other people to change our historical and cultural background.

Yes, historically a small part of North Borneo belonged to the sultan of Sulu, but they have never done anything much to North Borneo in term of developing it.

The sultanate existed around 200 years ago, and it has long been forgotten and no longer recognised anywhere in the world.

They do not have any existing kingdom thus by the international law, any claim from them is no longer valid.

Now North Borneo is an independent state, and it is part of Malaysia since the last 50 years.

Malaysia by law has to protect the welfare of the state and the people of North Borneo.

And what we want is for Malaysia to once and for all to stop all these illegal claims and intrusions from the non-existent sultanate or any pirates that come to our shore to disturb the peace of our state.

We do not want any more fruitless negotiations which have been going on for years and years since the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.

We are very disappointed with the marines for failing to protect the shore of our state. All those “pirates” should have been stopped at sea, disarmed and sent back to where they belong but instead they were given all kinds of leniency on our soil.

This is not a new issue at all as there has been many illegal entries from those living in the islands of Sulu.

Unfortunately, without the consent of the people of North Borneo, those illegal immigrants have been legitimised by the government of Malaysia.

The social fabric of North Borneo has now been much distorted creating the racial and religious imbalance in our state which are all to the advantage of the federal government.

We, the native people, once the majority group on our own soil have been turned into a minority group due to this legitimisation over the years.

Another complication that arises through this legitimisation is the grabbing of the “special privileges” of the native people.

Understand that all these Suluk immigrants are Muslims, and they are automatically entitled to the special privileges which all Muslims in Malaysia are entitled to.

Our poor native people of Sabah, who are not Muslims, have now become the second class citizens on our own soil.

In other words, those legitimised immigrants with their special advantage of being Muslims, have grabbed every opportunity entitled to the native people of Sabah.

Many have received all kinds of help from the government of Malaysia which has left a smaller piece of pie to the native-born.

In conclusion, had the federal government had the best interest of Sabahans in mind, those pirates would not have an easy access into our soil.

Is anybody listening to what Sabahans want?
Lucy Ahmed
Mar 4, 2013 – Malaysiakini Letters


Tragedy could’ve been avoided

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!

Tragedy could’ve been avoided
CT Ali
March 5, 2013 – FMT


Complacency is alarming

Anyone who cares about the future of Malaysia should be alarmed by the complacency of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his cabinet about state security. He is a bumbling prime minister who trips from one scandal to another. He is adept at posturing on the world stage, but fails to grasp the seriousness of the situation at home.

During his tenure, defenceless but peaceful protestors were beaten up, and teenagers shot at. Like a typical class bully, Najib shies away from those who are better armed and organised.

Imagine this scenario – A person walks into your house, through the front door which was left open, and makes himself at home. Do you extend him your hospitality? What would you do if this intruder demands more material comforts and refuses to budge? Since when did we, as a nation, negotiate with invaders?

The rakyat first registered their alarm when uniformed and armed Sulu militants landed in Sabah. In a classic error of judgement, Najib refused to take a break from political campaigning, preferring instead to get a head start before officially announcing the date of GE13.

When will our ministers put themselves in the shoes of the farmers whose lives and livelihoods are at risk? Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein reportedly said that the men were neither terrorists, nor militants. The sultan of Sulu’s wife claimed that the men were on a “picnic”. Days later, several men are dead. On whose hands are their blood?

Today, Najib must bear responsibility for his humiliating retreat and for his refusal to take charge of a potentially explosive situation. Does he covet power above all else?

Another person who should bear some blame is former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He masterminded “Project M”, which gave citizenship to illegal immigrants. Like Najib, he was obsessed with power.

Ironically, the modus operandi which assured a win for Mahathir and his party will eventually cause the downfall of Umno. The foreigners who were issued with MyKads did not deserve them. The insurgents who died might have been their brothers. These MyKad holders will vote against BN.

Ministers have nothing useful to say

The Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman and his brother, the equally ineffective Foreign Minister Anifah Aman whose face dominated the publicity shots during Najib’s ill-advised Gaza trip recently, have little to say. Neither have we heard anything of value from Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi.

Army General Zulkifli Mat Zain praised the armed intruders in saying that they had combat experience and were skilled in insurgency tactics. The rakyat could have told him that, without any input from the intelligence services.

Mahathir acts under the illusion that he still rules Malaysia, he refuses to accept the role which he played in this recent bloodbath. He justifies the government’s ‘softly, softly’ approach because these intruders “have families and friends in Sabah” and were Muslims.

He ‘forgot’ that these Muslim invaders have their own agenda. How insensitive can he get? What about the Malaysian lives which were lost?

Meanwhile, Najib fails to grasp the severity of the incursion. Media coverage has been scant. His cabinet has shown its arrogance and ignorance. It is disconnected from the sentiments and sensitivities of the Sabahans and Malaysians in general. Najib’s incompetence has played into the hands of Sabah separatists – both internal and external.

As a leader, Najib is increasingly isolated. As he loses control of the situation in Sabah, he turns to the usual bogeyman, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Najib portrays Anwar as a supervillain – a friend of Israel, Turkey, the United States and their Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), someone with uncontrollable sexual urges who masterminds fiscal deals, and who is also a porn star. Najib now wants to accuse Anwar of being the mastermind of the invading army. What else is new?

More importantly, does the electorate really care about Najib’s perception of Anwar? Shouldn’t Najib get his priorities right and maintain security first, rather than wasting precious resources trying to pin the blame on the opposition?

Anyone who has ever lived and worked in Sabah or Sarawak will know about the abject poverty, the lack of infrastructure, and the many illegal immigrants from Indonesia and the Philippines. These are not new problems.

Najib’s affairs all off-target
Mariam Mokhtar
Mar 4, 2013 – Malaysiakini

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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?