Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Is Lahad Datu siege a Umno-BN plan?

The government's 'unconvincing actions' via negotiations

had 'legitimised' the Sulu army's demands and made us

a laughing stock, said STAR chief Jeffrey Kitingan.

By Raymond Tombung

KOTA KINABALU: Is the incursion of more than 100 armed Filipino men from the alleged royal Sulu army an elaborate federal level Umno strategy to scare Sabahans into voting back the Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election?

Is that why the federal government and its top leaders – Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak included – seem unperturbed by the threats and demands of the Manila-acknowledged Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III and his men led by brother Raja Muda Abimuddin who are holed up in Lahad Datu since Feb 9?

Isn’t it possible that Putrajaya and Manila are in cahoots? After all, it has been reported in the Philippine media that President Benigno Aquino was “informed of the incursions from Day One”. Also noteworthy is that Malaysia took credit as peacemaker in the long-drawn insurgency in the southern Philippines.

Furthermore, Najib, who was in Sabah on a whirlwind visit during the landings in Lahad Datu, had said nothing.

This would explain the police and security forces’ gentle handling of the situation when it would otherwise be treated as a breach of national security.

It all seems to point towards an orchestrated siege, said Sabah State Reform Party (STAR) chief Jeffrey Kitingan today.

Said Jeffrey: “This new form of fear-mongering makes sense knowing BN’s desperation in wanting to hold on to power in the light of the ruling coalition’s lowest level of popularity and support at the moment.”

He said the way the tense situation is being handled supported this theory, pointing out to the fact that neither Najib nor Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had made any effort to explain the real situation in Lahad Datu in spite of the many inconsistencies on the information received by the people.

“The numerous rumours of disturbances like in Kota Kinabalu and other areas spreading through social networks like Facebook add credence to the theory of the intrusion being orchestrated to frighten the people of Sabah,” he said.

Jeffrey added that international reports of various Sulu Sultans claiming Sabah as their rightful homeland and the intruders as members of their royal army as well as the Malaysian government’s tentative handling of the incursion have only lent intrigue to the situation.

Unconvincing actions

He also pointed out that by the government’s “unconvincing actions” via negotiations, it had “legitimised” their actions.

“We are becoming a laughing stock under the scrutiny of international observation.

“We are talking of an intrusion by military units in full gear and [the use of] weapons like M-16, the deadliest gun in army warfare.

“Why can’t they treat this as a flagrant criminal act, a breach of national security and a violation of Malaysian sovereignty?

“By negotiating, the government is giving a lot of legitimacy to the intruders as if they have some sort of rights.

“It’s also not amusing that the story is unfolding to portray the heroic acts of the intruders. It’s making the police and army look weak and indecisive,” said Jeffrey.

He also questioned the efficiency of Malaysia’s security apparatus in the incident.

“Where were the national military intelligence and tip-off of the impending intrusion or invasion so it could be pre-empted?

“The government must explain where were the navy, marine police and its security patrols? Where was the whole security apparatus with helicopters, tanks and heavy artillery? They should have been called in.

“[Everything points to] an orchestrated show and drama because the other components of a real invasion are missing,” he said.

Source: Google Syndication
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Friday, 15 February 2013

Can Najib guarantee Sabah’s security?

KOTA KINABALU: The government’s handling of the recent tense situation involving some 100 “heavily-armed and uniformed” intruders from Sulu, who had “penetrated Sabah’s supposedly well-guarded border”, has raised both doubts and questions over Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s commitment to state security.

Questioning the “inconsistent” details that had been filtering out of Lahad Datu following the incident, State Reform Party (STAR) chief Jeffrey Kitingan said the lack of information spoke volumes about the efficiency of the state’s security personnel.

“We have been denied the explanation of how this huge number of intruders managed to penetrate our supposedly well-guarded border, even landing and reaching an estate area in Lahad Datu.

“We are told they came in pump boats while others said they came in tourist boats. This is ridiculous. How can at least 80 ‘heavily armed’ people in military uniforms be in tourists boats and not been noticed?

“Do we have a lot of tourist boats crossing the Sulu-Sabah border on a daily basis? Who operates such tourist boats? And are they carrying tourists from Sabah to Sulu or vice versa?” he asked.

Jeffrey also found it odd that the authorities had denied that these “uniformed and armed tourists” were not militants.

“We are told these people are not militants, but what else should you call a group of people in combat uniforms who are ‘heavily armed’?

“Just because they are not from the MILF [Moro Islamic Liberation Front], MNLF [Moro National Liberation Front] or Abu Sayyaf doesn’t mean they are not militants.

Militant objective

“In fact, the claim that they want to be recognised as the Royal Sulu Sultanate Army and demanding that the Sulu people in Sabah be not deported back to their homeland is clear proof of their militant objective,” said Jeffrey.

He also reminded the authorities to bear in mind that there had been many people who had in the past claimed to be sultans of Sulu.

“ As such, we must look at these intruders as invaders intending to establish military and administrative control over Sabah.

“The fact that the police are negotiating with them, supposedly to avoid bloodshed, may be wise, but Malaysia must demonstrate its firmness and assert its sovereignty, and deal with all such intruders decisively,” he said.

Jeffrey said the fact that Najib had expressed concern, wanting to avoid bloodshed because “they [militants] had relatives” showed that Sabah had been “infiltrated”.

“The prime minister is worried about bloodshed because they [militants] have relatives here. It shows that we have already been infiltrated and held at ransom by illegal immigrants who had been made citizens overnight. Crime doesn’t consider relatives.

“Asking them to leave politely will not guarantee they will not return in larger numbers to pursue their objective of invading Sabah. These people must first of all be disarmed and be punished according to the laws of the land,” Jeffrey said.

Source: Google Syndication
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