March 16, 2013
Be Grateful and Loyal to our Security Forces in Lahad Datu
by Tunku Abdul Aziz@www.nst.com.my
STEADFAST: They are in the front line risking life and limb to protect the nation
THE Royal Malaysia Police engaged in a series of life-and-death operations against Sulu terrorists in Lahad Datu and Semporna, Sabah, have once again demonstrated that peace and internal security cannot be taken for granted.
While admittedly the task of securing the borders of Sabah will be near to impossible given its geography, we have been somewhat cavalier, particularly in dealing with the movements of the people from southern Philippines.
It is both ironic and galling that while the Suluks are moving in and out at will, West Malaysians who are putting their lives at risk fighting to defend Sabah are treated as foreigners as far as Immigration control formalities are concerned.
Our Immigration laws have to be tightened to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants and other criminal elements from using Malaysia as a base for human and drug trafficking.
Malaysia has earned, and deservedly so, an unsavoury international reputation as a centre for racketeering and trafficking activities. Our enforcement of laws at entry points is at best cursory and at worst derisory. The Kuala Lumpur International Airport is the soft underbelly of our Immigration control. We have made it all too easy for foreign nationals to enter, in a bid to promote tourism. All perfectly understandable, but is the tourist dollar mightier than national security?
It requires a high level of trust and understanding for two security forces with their different traditions and modus operandi to harmonise the complex operational elements of command and control.
There are not many countries in the world where such an effective integration exists between the Army and the Police in dealing with threats to internal security.
Questions were asked why the Army was not called into action as soon as the incursion was discovered.
The country was not invaded by a foreign army: public order and internal security falls within the jurisdiction of the police and the army is used in support of civil authority on request. This arrangement has worked well in the past.
Let us listen to what others had to say about our Police Force, with its long tradition of public duty in the interests of the nation.
According to Gen (Sir Rob) Lockhart, Director of Operations during the early phase of the Malayan Emergency: “The Police have been and are the spearhead of our attack as well the main source of our defence against the bandits in Malaya.”
Gen (Sir) Gerald Templer (above), who later assumed full military and civil control as high commissioner of the Federation of Malaya, paid this compliment: “I have great affection and admiration for the Royal Federation of Malaya Police force and its component parts.
“They are the people who have been continuously at the business of fighting militant communism all through the long 10 years of the Emergency in their country.”
According to J.W.G. Moran, the author of Spearhead in Malaya, “up to the end of 1965, 2,890 Police personnel were killed in action, as against the military force’s 518. During the same period, the communist casualties totalled 11,718, out of which 8,678 were bagged by the Police jungle forces”.
Nothing much has changed as far as our Policemen and women are concerned: they are there in the front line, at the sharp end, risking life and limb to secure and preserve peace and order for all citizens, irrespective of race, politics or religion.
They deserve our gratitude for their steadfast loyalty and commitment in protecting lives and properties under all circumstances.
I am pleased that the government has seen it fit to improve the conditions and services of the Police and Armed Forces. They perform a thankless job for such small material recompense. We are able to go about our business in peace and safety because they are there when we need them.
The Opposition’s cyber troopers, who hide behind the cyber skirt demonising those who face constant danger in protecting us, should desist from politicising what is a serious threat to the security of our nation.
If you are incapable of showing patriotism to your country, that is your business, but go elsewhere where you will be happy to peddle your pathologically obsessive hatred for the forces of law and order.This country is better off without you.