Lahad Datu Incursion: Filipinos have invaded Sabah

February 25, 2013

Lahad Datu Incursion: Filipinos have invaded Sabah

Din Mericanby Din Merican

The invasion of Sabah last week by more than 200 armed Pinoys brings back memory of the ill-fated Jabidah force. In 1968, a group of Muslim irregulars were trained at the Corregidor Island to invade Sabah. When some of the trainees discovered the sinister plot, they tried to escape. A number were gunned down. That ended temporarily Manila’s attempt to reclaim Sabah by force.

map-sabah-intrudersCould this incident be a renewed attempt to reclaim Sabah by force? The difference this time around is the armed foreigners have reached our shores under all kinds of pretext. Instead of arresting and charging them, for breaching our national security, we gave them VIP treatment.

Our reaction defies logic and common sense.

There is a double standard in the treatment. Our leaders seem to turn a blind eye to armed foreigners. Under the Malaysian law, it is mandatory death penalty for any Malaysian committing offences in security areas for possession of firearms and explosives (Section 57(1) of the Internal Security Act 1960).

Invading another state is a treasonable offence. In many countries, the Philippine Presidentoffence usually carries death penalty. Imagine what Manila would do if one hundred Malaysians armed with rifles and rocket launchers were caught in the Philippine town of Cotabato in Mindanao? Manila would probably hang them.

A diplomatic protest note would follow and a state of war declared.  Manila would probably request for the Security Council at the United Nations to be convened to discuss a grave matter of invasion.

Because our Government has not been transparent on this sensitive national security issue, it raises all kinds of insinuation. Some say the Government is complicit in this case as the border is not that porous; we have layers and layers of defence in depth.

Everybody was in the area: the Maritime Enforcement Agency (Coast Guard), the Marine Police and the Royal Malaysian Navy vessels. On land, the Army and Police had been there since Sabah joined Malaysia. In the air, the kumpits carrying the armed invaders were easy targets for the RMAF. Not to forget, the area of Lahat Datu is within radar range.

Home Affairs Minister2It is time for our Government to come clean on this invasion by the armed men from the Philippines. Perhaps, there should be a White Paper for consideration of our Parliament. Playing coy is not acceptable. Our Government must explain this invasion to the rakyat and reassure them that serious steps are being taken to prevent future incidents of this nature which challenge our sovereignty and territorial integrity. This is the least we must expect of any responsible government.

It is indeed disgraceful that our Prime Minister has chosen to remain silent on the matter, leaving  his Minister of Home Affairs to deal with it.

What went wrong

What went wrong? Why were they not stopped at sea? Is it a failure in intelligence or it was done on purpose to remind the Sabahans that something untoward could happen if they choose to vote the Opposition.

Whatever it is, it would seem that the project has backfired. At the time of writing, despite promises to the contrary, the armed bandits remain.

Invasion is a form of external threat. Under our law, the crisis should be PARLIMEN / ANIFAH AMAN / KIMANIShandled by the military and the Ministry of Foreign affairs. But getting the media attention are the members of the Field Force and the Minister of Home Affairs.

Has our Minister of Defence gone hiding? Where is the Minister of Foreign Affairs? Has he surrendered his fate and taken the easiest way out?

ASEAN turns a blind eye

The ASEAN Secretary General is too very quiet. No ASEAN country has made any statement. There is little evidence of any form of diplomatic shuttle by Brunei, the ASEAN Chair. Are they saying that invasion is okay so long as it does not happen to them?Is everybody pretending that all is well in ASEAN?

22 thoughts on “Lahad Datu Incursion: Filipinos have invaded Sabah

  1. Students of political science know this as the ‘chicken game’. Except this one is initiated without provocation by Filipinos with Malaysia having no role in the game. Now it has. And Malaysia appears to have veered off the bridge and is now in a free fall.

  2. Or has the incident been choreographed to give the UMNO led government an excuse to declare a state of Emergency and suspend Parliament? Unlikely as it may sound you may never know.

  3. It takes only half an hour from Tawi-Tawi to the nearest point on the Sabah coast, by speed-boat. It’s quite difficult to interdict such incursions, unless there is 24/7 surveillance from the air and sea. After all coastal radar can only do so much and over the horizon monitoring requires AWACs (go read it up).

    The MMEA (Cost Guard) is seriously under-powered/trained and undermanned since the resources are “Scorpene-ized” and diverted. The coastline of Malaysia is indeed long and the Navy is not helping. But that does not mean that these Suluk pirates could not have been dealt with swiftly once they land.

    There is lots of political play here. The MNLF and Suluk Sultan are trying desperately to derail the Manila-MILF Accord, signed recently. They have apparently been left out of the Process and are getting back at the Malaysian Goons who have conveniently disregarded them. So much for crowing about Malaysian role in International Mediation.

    There is also a lot of speculation of ‘small’ armed squads of Suluks roaming the coastlines of Sabah. In order that our sovereignty and public security remains intact, it’s important that the Armed Forces be given a free hand to deal with the threat. This is no longer an internal security problem, but an external threat.

    Oh btw Bean, the State of Emergency can only be declared for Sabah. But that is probably what UMNO-in-extremis is aiming for – seeing the utter disgust of the natives there. Lembek Jibs is probably leaning towards such a ‘Solution’ but the Peninsula Warlords are said to be mighty unhappy about the situation too. He might be caught with his pants down..

  4. The invaders will leave and rewarded with all the goodies, Hisham will be happy and claim victory, Zahid will be smiling saying nothing have been taken from Sabah, Najib will be praised as a wise man, Sabahan will again vote for BN. Lupalah INI KALILAH.

  5. This must be the LAST STRAW. to throw out this UMNO-BN Govt RIGHT NOW.

    Our OWN GOVERNMENT is now a THREAT to the SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE NATION…. just look at the way they handled this external threat by the Filipino invaders

    1.The LEADER OF THE NATION ie the Prime Minister ie the President of UMNO is dead SILENT on the issue from day one till now. Why is PM Najib SO QUIET like a mouse and spending his time attacking PAS, DAP AND PKR instead of spending time to assure and updating Malaysians on the external threat. Remember NERO and Rome??

    2. How could our Navy, Air force and military could not boat loads of 100 armed and unarmed men coming into Sabah on Feb 11. If our Military is unable to detect these people and only to find they are already on-shore, what hope is there for protecting this country against an all out invasion.

    3, Not only is this UMNO-BN Govt stumping its nose at the Agung and the Constitution by deliberating giving INSTANT CITIZENSHIPS to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS and breaking the law in giving citizenship to legal immigrants, now they are seen as appeasing the FILIPINO INVADERS IN SABAH.


    The way the Lahad Datu crisis is handled by this UMNO-BN Govt, it is NOT. ‘

    The truth is : THIS UMNO-BN Govt is a GOVT UNTO ITSELF, and it has been for the last 50 years.


  6. Clearly this incident could be a renewed attempt to reclaim Sabah by force because
    1. The Philippines government has claimed and renamed the South China Sea to Philippines Sea as if its own territories.
    2. However, the Philippines is incapable of doing this alone, only hope the allied with former colonial masters Japan and USA achieve the dream,
    3. The Philippines is shameless, cannot be trusted
    4. Expel the ‘chicken’, they only got the second-hands warships from US and Jap.

  7. Similar to the situation in Kelantan when BN faces the loss they invoked Emergency and took over the government of Kelantan and install Mohamed Yaakob. BN fears losing Sabah and without the seats in Sabah BN will not have the majority. Thus create this insurgency, negotiate with the intruders and even extend the deadline. Philippines navy ships are already off shore waiting to either remove the intruders or enforce a blockade.

    So much for Scorpene submarines, MiG’s, Sukhois and F-18’s attack fighters, Air Force, Navy and Coastal Maritime Agency. See how easy it is for armed intruders to invade Malaysia. If this can happen in Lahad Datu what assurance that it won’t happen in Bukit Kayu Hitam, or in Penang or Melaka. The Melaka Straits is about 10 miles at its narrowest. A fast boat will take less than 30 minutes to cross.

    While the powers that be are engrossed to keep an Oz Senator out, armed soldiers have entered the country and entrenched in a local community and the powers that be have not even made a statement to remove these armed men claiming to be soldiers to the Sultanate of Sulu. Did Malaysia recognize the Sultanate of Sulu? If so then it’s an outright intrusion and an act of war.
    If Malaysia does not recognize the Sultanate of Sulu, then these are rebels and terrorist and should be dealt as terrorists. Wonder if any of these Sulu soldiers carry the Malaysian Blue I/C. If they do they have committed treason for enlisting in a foreign army while being a Malaysian citizen.

    The FM is silent, the Home Minister had gone to look see look see, yet have not issued and statement. The IGP also went to look see look see and said the GOF are handling the case. This is not a civilian matter, it’s an armed forces from a foreign nation and should be dealt with by the military. Defence Minister also silent. Perhaps no commission to be made Now the busk is at the door step of the PeeM. Hope he’s not peeing in his pants knowing that the PM office in Putra Jaya may be an easy target for armed groups next.

    Come on PM, Malaysia sovereignity is under attack. Negotiate and lose like Pedro Blanca? I thought Bugis are brave and proud people, maybe the historians made a mistake.

  8. Dear Mr Bean, your second comment is the more likely scenario, how much do you wanna bet??? I’ve said in my earlier comment on this issue,but obviously not as smartly wrote like Dato Din’s, have been there,seen it n done that…during my youth,I’ve spent it on fighting the communist,while they are actually in town wearing 3 piece suit,robbing us blind while carrying party member cards,cronies,arse lickers n Ball shiners,they are all there… about misspend youth…Oouch!!! but true.

  9. First the traitor Dr. M gave them Mykad so they came now they want to Sulu Sultan with those armed militants demanding their land of course Najib invited them. Now who should we blame there is this Chinese proverb ” Kill one to warn the hundreds.” I say let’s execute one Dr. M and warn those 100 sulu militants….What say you all?

  10. I am doubtful its really choreographed by UMNO/BN. Firstly back in 1986,Datu (Tun) Mustapha Harun tried the same thing, hoping to pull off a 513 for his benefit and failed. With better information, Sabahans are even less likely to fall for the ploy..Secondly, the way is handled so far has infuriated Sabahans and other Malaysians. At the very least its clumsy and incompetent.

    There is no question THIS is an UMNO/BN failure and the longer it drags out the more its worse for UMNO/BN..The real reason its being dragged out is because they are afraid to antagonise the illegal citizen votes and also because of the Bangsamoro deal which they had a hand in crafting. In other words, THEY SCREWED UP big time..

  11. Sad day for Malaysia, not even confident in dealing with armed terrorists whose aim is to establish an independent state within the State of Sabah. I thought Foreign Affairs and Defense are the perogative of the Federal Government.

    Clearly the Federal Government led by inept “chicken” Najib has failed in discharging its duties and protect the borders of Malaysia. Sabah should take back these functions from the Federal Government and like states in the US establish the state National Guard and also the office of Secretary of State on its own.

    Beginning of the breakup of the Federation I guess. It is difficult to govern a country separated by 700 miles of open seas. Remember East and West Pakistan.
    Let us hope the breakup of Sabah (and Sarawak) from the Malaysian Federation does not happen. –Din Merican


    A very good idea, don’t you think?

    In Malaysia, we have “retired” politicians who do not take responsibility for their actions while holding high political office but place the blame on subordinates; high level politicians who make statements that are patently ridiculous (such as you can buy essentials of life for only XX ringgit per month); politicians who claim their actions and statements are non-political (!) etc

  13. C L Familiaris
    AWACs too expensive. Eagle Aircraft Malaysia already producing drones for surveillance. Perfect job with the right avionics and eye in the sky optics and electronics. No worries of over the horizon radar as its directly overhead with large footprint.

  14. BTW, apanama was hot & prep to change the constitution to throw Ms Ambiga, as enemy of state. Why is apanama now like a deaf & mute about this armedinvasion by another dime a dozen itsybitsy zultan.
    My buddies (mostly dancing coyotes) & I have dna from Yala…We are claiming the patani zoltanate lost empire of kelate, ganu, kedah, perlis & even melaka! And I have remnants of the Bunga Emas paid!

  15. Maybe there are other reasons why they were there… not for invasion perhaps… 200 armed men cannot take over the whole sabah… too good to be true… Filipinos take pride and dignity fighting for their country and not for invading others… besides there’s ASEAN which aims, if I may quote, “Its aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, protection of regional peace and stability, and opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully.”

  16. To wit, “Manila would probably hang them.” judgmental in essence… Philippines, as a christian nation in asia got no death penalty at present time. The new president has a high value of life which runs in their blood as a son of a former president Cory Aquino… Besides, why would Malaysians armed with rifles and rocket launchers dare to go in the Philippine town of Cotabato in Mindanao? Funny how it seems but let’s not be too judgmental on things without concrete reasons.

  17. What’s happened to this country of ours?! This is not just another problem. It’s a breach of territorial integrity! In the past, we used to mobilize quickly and decisively whenever faced with existential threats. Remember Konfrontasi and the Japanese Red Army? Why are we in this state? Clearly it’s a reflection of incompetence of those who occupy positions of responsibility.
    We also need to analyze whether this incident is part of a bigger picture? I hate to say more but I am really concerned that many years from now we would be looking back at this incident as the starting point of a turbulent and uncertain future.

  18. Apart from lowering his pants and bending down, showing off his two red cheeks to the Filipinos what can Najib do?? Goolbatok may be tempted to intrude, making the infiltration and intrusion by this ragtag band of paramilitary force pale in comparison. Ouch …. !

  19. Bean,
    What do you expect him to do? He can’t be like Maggie Thatcher who send her armada to wrest Falkland from the Argentinians. Frankly, it’s the gurkhas who won the battle for the britons at expense of several warships & the sinking of Belgrano even when Belgrano was not in the area of crisis…….Thousand of innocent argentinian sailors died instantly
    Najib has lost the initiative unlike Jim Callaghan who has sent submarines to Falkland island to prevent Argentina from invading Falkland
    Even the Spanish navy managed to chase out the Morocans who occupied the uninhabited islets off coast of Morocco
    This footage saw how the british responded when Spain police boats made incursion into Gibraltar

  20. Obviously our intelligence agencies have failed in their job to detect the preparation made by Sultan Kiram to invade Sabah.Will the Government launch an inquiry in the intelligence fiasco?

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