Jeswan Kaur | March 7, 2013
Free Malaysia Today
March 7, 2013
Lives have been lost in Lahad Datu all because the prime minister failed to uphold his responsibility of keeping the country and its people safe and secure.
After eight policemen died at the hands of intruders in Lahad Datu, the prime minister has come to his senses and declared that he has to defend Malaysia’s dignity and sovereignty.
This knee-jerk reaction from Najib Tun Razak in an attempt to do some damage-control has not appeased the rakyat; it has instead raised their hackles.
The Lahad Datu drama has raised a host of questions, all of which point to the federal government’s failure in averting bloodshed.
More precisely, the Lahad Datu debacle has revealed that Najib lacks perspicacity in preventing a crisis and this is a major cause for concern for the country and her people.
On March 1, armed intruders from the so-called Sulu army fired at policemen on duty in Lahad Datu, killing two of them and another six officers in Semporna the following day.
Najib was reported to have said that following the armed intrusion in Lahad Datu on Feb 12, the government adopted the approach of resolving the issue without bloodshed.
The unwise call by Najib today holds him accountable for the deaths of the eight policemen.
Had Barisan Nasional leaders been “on their toes” instead of prancing about for public sympathy and votes to secure a win in the general election, the Lahad Datu tragedy could have been avoided.
It is baffling that Najib decided to take a soft approach to the intrusion when the intruders themselves came armed to kill.
BN lacked guts
As usual, when things go wrong in this country and they so often do because of the inept and ineffectual ruling government, all blame is conveniently dumped on the opposition front.
The Lahad Datu intrusion-turned-murder too is no different with BN’s nemesis Pakatan Rakyat being blamed for politicising the issue.
But in hindsight it is the BN government that has always lacked the guts to face the music for its notoriety.
Instead of continuing to spin a yarn, can Najib or Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein enlighten the rakyat as to how the intruders so easily crept onto the shores of Sabah?
Has safety not been a priority in Sabah or for that matter can outsiders easily trespass and gun down whoever they want?
What happened to the marine authorities? How is it that the nation’s safety can wantonly be breached?
Najib has missed the point that each time a country’s security is hacked, its dignity and sovereign is at stake.
Why does the government continue to act like the proverbial “katak bawah tempurung”, crying foul only when lives are lost?
What were the country’s leader and sovereign rulers doing when the intruders made it clear they had no intention of saying “goodbye” to Sabah?
Najib’s biggest mistake
With eight lives lost, it is imperative for the rakyat to demand the truth post-the Lahad Datu massacre.
This is not the time for people to empathise or praise the BN government over the Lahad Datu episode for to do so would only strengthen its determination to hide the truth.
As with the people of Sabah, the rakyat of this country should also take cognisance of the ill-fated episode and worry for their safety, especially when Najib is calling the shots.
It was he who compromised the safety of Malaysians by not acting swiftly against the unwelcome visitors because he wanted to portray Malaysia as a peace-loving Islamic nation.
So strange that the premier could not apply the simplest logic that negotiations with the intruders was a dead-end approach; the country’s intelligence failed to detect or slipped in its assessment of these killers who had no problem spilling blood to achieve their means.
Lives have been lost all because Najib failed to uphold his responsibility of keeping the country and its people safe and secure.
Relying on the police and not the military was Najib’s biggest mistake in tackling the issue. Not giving the intrusion priority and treating it as an internal affair was his next mistake.
Ironically, for a premier who made “People First, Performance Now” as his mantra, Najib’s incapable salvoes fired bear proof he is the real culprit behind the Lahad Datu tragedy.
Najib made the mistake no leader can afford to make – he compromised the nation’s safety, taking it for granted, leading to the Lahad Datu bloodshed.
Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.