Recently some facebook users shared photos and commented that our Royal Malaysian Army is so poorly equipped that they need to take AirAsia to fly Lahad datu…. Before I jump on the wagon to share the news, I began to think why???
Is it our government’s military budget is misused or not enough? But then sometimes it is hard to prioritise distribution of funds for public usage or military usage, especially in era of peace. I believe they do have their own war plane, just that in emergency cases, if you want to transport troops faster to the warzone, anything will help, even taking commercial plane. By deploying troops faster to the field, they are able to protect more lives and halting the enemy’s advancement. Furthermore, these soldiers are going into a warzone not for vacation, for those unfortunate, it could be a one way ticket for them.
When the Lahad Datu’s incident first hit the newsstand, there’s a rumour saying that the Sabah incursion is politically planned to delay the election, which I don’t think so. Because if this is a staged, you’ll be able to see our PM flew to Sabah the next day and appeared quickly to give a fiery speech in a soldier uniform with imprinted with One-Malaysia logo staging the PM is the hero publicity stunts.
But instead, I think the government reaction is a bit slow, sorry to say. As I think after the first landing, they should quickly send troops to occupy and surround the area. Instead, they even let the enemy advances into several different area, thus making more Sabahans lives at risk. The first week of negotiation I think is a complete BS. When you have armed men occupying your territory, do you still have the leisure to sit down teh-tarik and negotiate with them? The Malaysian Government should have DEMANDED that the armed men leave at once or face retaliation.
I really think the Sulu Sultan claim on Sabah is a lost cause.
1) Sabah has been a part of Malaysia for 50years. A survey has been carried out during the formation and the people agreed to be part of Malaysia, not to be a part of Sulu.
2) The British has been paying money for acquiring Sabah to Sulu yearly, this is continued by the Malaysian government. It’s like you SOLD your house, but the new owner still pays you yearly rental, but then one day out of the blue you crash into their house and demanded your house to be returned to you! WTF logic is this?
3) If you want to make a claim like this, I think the more appropriate channel should is to bring the issue to international court. That’s what countries do when solving territory dispute. The moment you bring armed men to occupy another country’s territory, you’ve lost the respect for others and yourself, you no longer deserve the rights to negotiate terms. You would have just labelled yourself a terrorist.
One lucky thing is that the claim is not supported by the Philippine government itself, so at least it would not escalate further into an inter-country conflict. However I think that the Philippine government should put more pressure on the Sulu Sultan who’s currently reside in Manila. Someone needs to knock the fact into the head of Sulu Sultan that his claim is a lost cause and he should ordered the complete withdrawal of all forces at once. A leader who sends his men to a sure-lose battle with a sure-lose cause is a coward. If he withdraw his forces, at least he can be the leader that bite his own pride to prevent further bloodshed.
For the mess he’s caused, for the lives that was lost, the Sulu Sultan should be taken to court to be judged for his crimes. Death penalty may be out of question, as it may incur vengeance but at least he should take some responsibility for causing this mess. At the end of the day, he must sign a treaty to release the Sulu’s claim on Sabah and the Malaysian Government should stop paying money to them anymore.
Both Governments should proceed to do some long term collaboration projects to develop the poor and neglected Sulu states. Build more schools and build up the economy. Give the Sulu states reasons and opportunity to create more peace-loving and hardworking citizens. If there are more job opportunities back home, the Sulu people also wouldn’t flood to Sabah to look for job. Having tamed the Sulu states would also be a big relieve for the Manila Administration. At the end I believe this would be a win-win situation.
Let’s hope that the conflict can be resolved soon. PEACE.