PRESS STATEMENT 22 FEBRUARY 2013
Days after the Filipino pirates invaded Sabah at Lahad Datu the so-called Government of Malaysia is “negotiating”, to use its own words, with them in the hope that they will leave!
When Sabah was a colony, this sort of incursion by Suluk pirates was treated as what it was - gang robbery - and the Lahad Datu police, despite having few men and insufficient weapons, dealt with it as such and the pirates fled.
Now over fifty years later, Malaysia has an Army, a Navy and an Air Force as well as a vastly larger and better equipped Police Force, to say nothing of two Scorpene submarines costing billions of ringgit, at least one of which is based at the Sepanggar naval base near KK, Sabah. And yet, and what happens when a large group of armed invaders land on our shores and proceed to occupy a village in Lahad Datu? The short answer is nothing! Feeble discussions are held with these invaders on our sovereign territory in the hope they can be persuaded, or bribed, to leave! Is this what world leaders do in the face of armed provocation and invasion?
Can and will Prime Minister Najib Razak and other responsible Ministers explain how this state of affairs has come about? How did these men manage to land undetected by our security forces with all their sophisticated and expensive equipment? How did they remain undetected whilst they took over a village? How long had they been in occupation of the village before our defence and intelligence forces woke up to their presence? Explain why these men have not been arrested with the use of any necessary force. Better still, explain why billions of ringgit have been spent on military, naval and air force equipment if it is not or cannot be used when our country is invaded? And also explain why we have a bloated defence capability that costs hundreds of millions a year to keep in being if it cannot do what it is paid to do when the occasion arises?
Do the BN ministers not realise that once they have demonstrated that the national defence machine is for show and parades and tear-gassing demonstrators and either cannot or will not be used to deal with invasions of our territory, then such incidents will become common and no one will be safe from piracy, robbery and murder.
Najib should resign at once. The chiefs of the Armed Forces should resign also for their failure to deal with an invasion. The IGP should resign for failing to take necessary precautions against something that has happened before, for failing to collect the necessary intelligence in advance and for failing to arrest the invaders.
If ALL these go and go now it may be possible to recover our national reputation and, more importantly still, discourage any future such attempts. As to the invaders themselves they should be arrested with necessary force and brought before our Courts for trial and punishment.
It seems that our PM lacks not only wisdom to lead the country but also courage, tenacity and sheer grit to defend it from invaders! What a precarious state our nation is in today.
ADUN N70 Ba’ Kelalan/
Chairman, PKR Sarawak