By : DATUK SERI WILFRED BUMBURING
THE INCURSION in Lahad Datu is the second black episode in the history of Sabah. Foreign forces from Indonesia encroached Sabah not long after independence in the infamous Indonesian confrontation.
In that incident the government under the leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman dealt with the incursion decisively and swiftly. Though we lost the lives of several of our security forces the sovereignty of the country had been preserved with great honour and pride for the people Malaysia.
In the Lahad Datu incident the government under the leadership Dato’ Seri Najib had acted hesitantly and indecisively in preserving the sovereignty of the country by enganging first in negotiating with the foreign forces.
This had caused uneasiness, fear and questions from the people. In addition to this, the lack of information provided by the government had stirred up rumours in the state and adding feeling of insecurity among the people of Sabah.
The fear arising from this debacle among the people in Sabah is understandable bearing in mind that there are already hundred of thousand of foreigners in Sabah, thanks to Dr Mahathir for giving away Malaysian identification cards to them.
The general feeling of the people is that if only the political leaders in the government had acted swiftly and given the clear mandate to our armed forces the casualties could have been avoided given the availability of our ground, naval and air arsenal.
Information on the outcome of the bombing by the air force had not even been released by the government to the public. The report by foreign press that the bombs landed a kilometer away from the position of the foreign forces added more speculation from the public.
The lost of eight of our security forces had deeply saddened the heart of the people especially so after seeing the gruesome pictures circulated in the internet of brutally mutilated bodies of our fallen security personnel which was later admitted by the commanders of our forces.
We have heard this inhuman brutality committed by the Abu Sayap in the Philippines before but now it was committed in our own land.
We in Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) convey our deepest condolence to the family of our fallen heroes. Nothing can console the bereavement of those family concerned except the fact that their heroic sacrifices are rewarded with the security and sovereignty of the country and the people of Malaysia, in particular Sabah.
They will be forever be remembered by the people and their sacrifice will surely strengthened the resolute of the people to fight and to protect the sovereignty of this state and country.
The occupation of our territory at Lahad Datu by foreign force with intent to challenge our sovereignty is a very serious breach of our national security and calls for a total unity of our people including both parties on the political divide in the country to come together to ensure that the dignity as well as sovereignty of our King and nation and freedom of our independence is preserved and protected.
As such I support the call for a special roundtable session of parliament to address the issue. The government owes the people through parliament to explain the incidence. Parliament had adjourned a sitting to discuss a motion on happenings in foreign land such as in Gaza, Palestine. The Lahad Datu is a grave national issue and the government must take it to the people.
I fully support the mobilization of our security network in the east coast of Sabah. The threat by Nur Misuari in sending reinforcement to Sabah cannot be taken lightly. The easy penetration of foreign forces in to our land is a grim lesson as to the grave security situation of Sabah. The coast line may be secured but what about the inland part of Sabah.
The illegal immigrants are all over Sabah. This matter is of deep and grave concern to the people because foreigners are already staying in their neighbourhood.
What is of great concern, anxiety and fear to the people is the report in the Manila Bulletin quoting Hadji Acmad Bayam a former chief propagandist of MNLF as saying that they had hidden an arsenal of weapons deep in Sabah mountain terrain.
We want the government to give an explanation to the people on this. Did the government of Malaysia actually train the MNLF here in Sabah as reported? The story about Dampiras island the going ons inside the island in the past had been a common talk among Sabahan for a long time. It is time the government take stock of the situation and explain itself.