Government’s denial syndrome in both MH370 disaster and ESSCOM crisis are biggest stumbling blocks in efforts to restore national and international confidence in the security and good governance in Malaysia


The government’s denial syndrome in both the MH370 disaster and ESSCOM crisis are the biggest stumbling blocks in efforts to restore national and international confidence in the security and good governance in Malaysia.

The Malaysiakini interview by the former Sabah Police Commissioner from 2002 to 2004, Ramli Yusuff describing the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) as “ridiculous” because of the duplication of the chain of command in ESSZONE is serious food for thought and basis for immediate decision by the Cabinet.

The ESSCOM director-general Datuk Mohamad Mentek’s boast during the first anniversary celebrations of ESSCOM on April 1 about the ESSCOM’s twin successes in combining the role of the four components in Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE) – Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) and public agencies – and to stop abductions of foreign tourists have proved to be most premature following another abduction in five months and less than 24 hours of the ESSCOM’s first anniversary celebrations.

Recounting from his experiences as Sabah Police Commissioner about a decade ago, Ramli advocates that ESSCOM should be headed by the state police chief to avoid duplication of the chain of command and to ensure a better grip on security operational matters.

Ramli said it is ridiculous to have ESSCOM which creates a conflicting chain of command, and wants ESSCOM to be headed by the police or army, but he prefers the police because this is an internal security matter.

As ex-Sabah police commissioner, Ramli thinks that Mohamad Mentek is not suitable to be the ESSCOM director-general as he is from the Immigration Department and “doesn’t know operational matters”.

Ramli’s comment on the recent kidnapping of two women from a resort off Semporna warrants serious attention.

Ramli said if the police were in charge, no time would have been wasted and “no ‘pushing (bertolak-tolak)’ between ESSCOM and the police to figure out whose jurisdiction the kidnap fell under”.

Ramli said when he was police chief, there were no incursions or kidnappings because coordination was tight among all enforcement agencies, including the army.

As police chief, Ramli said, he would advise the chief minister on security issues and coordinate everything with the navy, air force, army, volunteer corps (Rela), and Immigration and Customs departments.

Ramli said the army and police shared their assets throughout Sabah, and compared notes on intelligence which he insisted is the most crucial aspect of security operations.

Special attention was also given to tourist areas where more personnel were deployed at outposts and for patrols.

Ramli said “It doesn’t matter (how long the border is). If it happens in your district you have to know”, adding that ground intelligence should be water tight in “red zones”.

Based on his experience, Ramli said “there is no way” such kidnappings and incursions can take place because the state and security personnel have already identified these “red zones”.

Malaysiakini quoted Ramli as saying:

“So I cannot understand why Esscom cannot (handle) this… These are the areas we used to take care of before and we beefed up (security) in all these areas.

“If only the police and army can sit down and work together again, it will be very good. We worked based on information on the ground.

“Now I believe they have many platoons… There is no reason for such things to happen.”

The government’s denial syndrome on the Eastern Sabah security problem is its refusal to end the overlapping and duplication of command in ESSZONE despite the creation of ESSCOM and the expenditure of over RM300 million.

The statement by the Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein yesterday refusing to address whether Malaysia had handled the initial stages of MH370’s disappearance poorly on the ground that the government wanted to “move forward” is another example of the serious denial syndrome afflicting the government.

With the MH 370 disaster entering its 40th day of tragedy and mystery, as there is still no conclusive proof of its whereabouts, Hishammuddin should realise that the priority can no more be solely on finding the aircraft but must be expanded to include finding answers to the thousand-and-one questions about the handling of the disaster, in particular what happened in the initial hours of the disappearance of the MH 370 Boeing 777 aircraft.

It is both facetious and fallacious for Hishammuddin to berate critics for “looking so far back at a time when we are already looking forward”, for it is impossible to “look forward” without a proper grasp of what happened 40 days ago in the initial hours of the MH 370 tragedy on March 8.

It is not a matter of apportioning blame for the MH370 disaster, but there cannot be a full closure for the families and loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew onboard the Boeing 777 (or even for Malaysians and the world) without a full and no-holds-barred investigation into what happened in the initial hours and days of the MH 370 disaster.

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  1. #1 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 8:51 am

    It’s in Perkosa-UmnoB/BN’s DNA mah
    Denial or tai-ji d blame 2 PR lor, UtusM n other msm can easily executive d blame what

    • #2 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 1:13 pm

      paksa rela give than ringgit Malaysia 50 and all beres

  2. #3 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 9:57 am

    Its true Malaysian across the board is losing confidence in UMNO/BN in security, safety and crises situation because of MH370 and Esscom failures.

    But the truth is Malaysian have been apathetic about holding UMNO/BN accountable over these things for long long time – our crime situation has been so bad for so long AND they actually tried repeatedly – and its still as bad as ever – AND we still won’t hold them accountable. We are international drug trafficking, human trafficking, football-fixing, money-laundering and all sort of others crime center.

    Najib’s and his supporter insistence is that they have been doing OK on the economic front, which is really more a hallucination for most of us – rising property and stock prices does not equate with prosperity for a large swath of no-asset-owning population and self-delusional for single-house and middle-class small-asset owning population.

    AND we have not even gotten to the deteriorating social and national fabric that is being abused by exploitation of political race and religion in this country – apparently even a dead-beat dad can also avail himself now..

  3. #4 by Justice Ipsofacto on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 11:38 am

    I can hear this coming from umno-bigots:

    “Malaysia is the best in the world in search and rescue operation of missing air planes and people.”

    • #5 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 1:10 pm

      and some say even Batam ha ha ha

  4. #6 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 12:42 pm

    300 million spent but nobody is responsible. The same old same old story of bolehland. You can start with the grandmaster of selected amnesia, apanama.

    • #7 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 1:11 pm

      cubalah correct the millions of ringgit Malaysia why the poor old person with that hundreds ha you auditors ?

  5. #8 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 12:45 pm

    Anwar can be found guilty of sodomy, but ling liong sik got off stolen pkfz money. That’s justice for you in bolehland. They are right. Total meltdown.

  6. #9 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 1:05 pm

    Again, I ask, what is so surprising about MH370 and Esscom failures when we lived with failures like Teresa Kok experienced and worst still EVERYDAY???

    • #10 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 1:12 pm

      see the spotlight is on the datuks and not the people who suffer why you journalist highlight the wrong people the highlight has always been on them why not others for a change

  7. #11 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 3:56 pm

    Where else can we find Gomen paying terrorists for kidnapping? At this rate, it is going on: can this arrangement be turned into another PIRATIZATION SCHEME where both sides win? But the national coffer goes bankrupt!!!

  8. #12 by Justice Ipsofacto on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 4:08 pm

    In india corruption is rife too.

    But at least the supreme court judges there are sufficiently upright and bold.

    And this was what they said to corrupt politicians – in a corruption case: See State of Taminadu vs N Suresh Ranjan @ http://www.ipsofactoj.com/DecidedCases/international/2014/Part01/int2014%2801%29-004.htm

  9. #13 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 8:20 pm

    Good governance in Malaysia, ha, HA

    Just look at 1Malaysia Development Bhd, which reported a sharp rise in pretax profit 2 RM877.7 million 4 d year 2 Mar 31, 2013; however liabilities, basically debt, came up 2 some RM42 billion as at d end of d financial year

    How NOT 2 b bankrupt fast, fast

    • #14 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 8:57 pm

      Put all that money to good use. Call the Deepsea Challenger which touched down on the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the pacific ocean. Call the national geographic with all the fantastic scientists using the deep ocean vehicle. If you can pay them with the money you have, for sure they would help you. The bluefin drone found nothing. Either the plane is not there or you need something better to do the job. Corrupt money is one thing. How do you use your corrupt money ? korek ?

  10. #15 by boh-liao on Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 1:20 am

    “A police trainee delivered a baby girl in a toilet at a hospital yesterday, three months after she was tested negative for pregnancy.” (The M’sian Insider)
    NOT pregnant but can deliver a baby – MIRACLE birth
    Or, (whoever did d test) total incompetence in carrying out a simple pregnancy test
    What about other clinical tests? How many false + or – results dat led 2 unnecessary sufferings/deaths?
    Good governance in M’sia, ha, HA

    • #16 by cemerlang on Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 9:56 am

      As long as you have the ability to give birth, why such a big deal ? If you as a trained policewoman can get pregnant and work until you deliver and you are married, why can’t others ? The burden is not for the trainees. You give them a condition. Either they burden themselves until they deliver and continue the training or they just leave the force. What is the difference between a corrupt cop and a lady cop unmarried giving birth ? What is the greater of two wrongs ?

  11. #17 by Noble House on Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 4:17 am

    Leadership call for responsibility. Accountability starts and stops at the top. The buck ends with Najib, not Hisham!

    • #18 by cemerlang on Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 9:57 am

      The buck ends in the indian ocean but collected by others who h e l p

  12. #19 by boh-liao on Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 7:30 am

    SHOCKING! Y, Y, Y
    It’s so SAD good men die early while evil men live on
    “No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death”
    RIP Karpal Singh, who has returned 2 d arms of d Lord

  13. #20 by boh-liao on Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 7:44 am

    Deepest condolences to Karpal’s family n Michael Cornelius Selvam Vellu’s family
    Deepest condolences too to DAP/PR
    Speedy recovery to Ram Karpal and the driver

  14. #21 by Justice Ipsofacto on Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 8:52 am

    The great lion, karpal singh, has moved on.
    He is one true malaysian.
    We are deeply grateful for all the sacrifices he has made and all the services he has rendered to king and country.
    We will surely miss him.
    One final roar for the lion.
    ROOOAR.

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