Full weight of law must fall on Lahad Datu intruders

by Mat Zain Ibrahim
Feb 18, 2013


‘The Sulu Sultanate invasion of Lahad Datu.’ This is the term I consider most appropriate to define the standoff between some 100 heavily armed intruders from the now defunct Sultanate of Sulu and the Malaysian security forces in Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu.

The intruders have made clear that they are there to stay for as long as necessary and more of their kind will be joining them to claim a piece of Sabah that they perceive to belong to their ancestors.

They have also made it clear they are not going to budge, even when threatened with deportation.

If the first batch of 100 or more can infiltrate into our territories without being detected by our security forces, then their back-up forces can row their boats across easily, without any resistance as well.

There was, without any doubt, a security lapse in Sabah waters.

There wouldn’t have been an intrusion of such magnitude otherwise.

If we are expecting the Philippines Armed Forces to assist us in preventing them from coming here, we might as well forget it.

If we played them out at the last minute in handing over Manuel Amalilio (left), the most wanted conman who has allegedly cheated some 15,000 Filipinos of almost RM1 billion, then we cannot expect sincere cooperation from them.

While it is not wrong for some BN MPs to question Senator Nick Xenophon’s role in visiting Malaysia, it is also not wrong for Malaysians to demand that both the defence minister and the home affairs minister explain the security lapse in Sabah waters that resulted in the Kampung Tandou standoff.

We have lost Pulau Batu Putih (Pedra Branca) to Singapore due to the carelessness and lapse of alertness by some civil servants.

We cannot afford to lose any more of our lands, surrender our sovereignty to criminals or show our weaknesses.

Not so different from Sauk incident

There’s not much difference between the standoff in Kampung Tandou, Lahad Datu, and the one that took place in Bukit Jenalik, Sauk, Perak, in July 2000.

The only difference is in the numbers. There were less than 30 in the Sauk incident while there are now at least 100 in Kampung Tandou and more are expected to join them.

If the Sauk case was classified as “waging or attempting to wage war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, a Ruler or Yang Dipertua Negeri”, which is an offence against the state, then the citizens can demand the same law be applied to the Sulu invaders.

If our own citizens involved in the Sauk incident can be forcibly disarmed and even killed by the security forces and later charged in the court of law and a few eventually hanged, then the rakyat has the right to voice their outrage should the prime minister, who was the defence minister during the Sauk incident, treat the Sulu invaders with kid gloves.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, who hails from Lahad Datu, Sabah, and who had about two weeks ago promised to take action on the illegal immigrants in Sabah since that is his state, would be failing in his duty should he not advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the prime minister that there are provisions in the Penal Code to deal with those armed criminals from Sulu holed up in Kampung Tandou.

After all Gani, as one of the lead prosecutors in the Sauk incident, will surely remember the ingredients needed to prove this case.

However, should there be any intention or attempt to exploit and use the Lahad Datu incident to spin Najib’s profile politically before the impending general election, then they are bound to fail miserably.

Should the actions taken against those armed intruders in Kampung Tanduo be less severe than those imposed against our own citizens in the Sauk incident, then the actions shall be deemed to be a disgraceful, treacherous and cowardly act by the prime minister.

MAT ZAIN IBRAHIM is former chief of the Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 12:48 pm

    ‘There was, without any doubt, a security lapse in Sabah waters.’

    Hey, we have two Scorpene Class submarines based there. They are still afloat aren’t they ? Sunk already ? ‘Not operational’ and waiting for spare parts and Perimekar consultants ? What?

    Maybe the ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ buttons not functioning just like the toilets.

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 12:49 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    ‘There was, without any doubt, a security lapse in Sabah waters.’

    Hey, we have two Scorpene Cla.s submarines based there. They are still afloat aren’t they ? Sunk already ? ‘Not operational’ and waiting for spare parts and Perimekar consultants ? What?

    Maybe the ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ buttons not functioning just like the toilets.

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 12:55 pm

    ‘…If we played them out at the last minute in handing over Manuel Amalilio….’

    Maybe it is payback time. Them Filipinos must have encouraged these people to pop over to claim back their lands.

    Maybe the 1Malaysian government can do a deal them Filipinos – we give them Amalilio and they also take back these land claimants.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 1:59 pm

    Full weight of the law – international law???Malaysia lost Pedra Branca in the case before the International Court of Justice because principally S’pore exercised acts consistent with sovereignty such as installation of naval communication equipment, flying of its ensign and investigations of marine accidents whilst Malaysian/Hore officials did nothing. Likewise in the Lahad Datu incident, the kid glove treatment of and the act of negotiating with this group of intruders (some of them armed) who had made clear that they were here to stay for as long as necessary based on the Sulu Sultan’s claim to Sabah and more importantly their claim that Malaysian govt still pays the Sultan’s heirs rent (not publicly disputed or denied by the govt) are by established international law acts consistent with the Sulu Sultan’s claims and inconsistent with Malaysia’s claims to the sovereignty of Sabah.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 2:01 pm

    “…Malaysian/JOHore officials did nothing….”

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 2:16 pm

    Hey, WHAT intruders!? They went 2 Sabah 2 join their abang adik who were MADE M’sian citizens by MMK/UmnoB/BN
    They too want their BLUE ICs
    Most likely there are a lot more of them in Sabah, oredi with BLUE ICs or waiting 2 collect their BLUE ICs
    Don’t forget, there are also many M’sians made Dato by d Sultan of Sulu n they serve at d Sultan of Sulu’s pleasure
    All sleepers, waiting 2 b activated – beeeeeeeeeeep

  7. #7 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 2:52 pm

    South, we lost island to singapore.
    East, we are facing claims from filipinos. With several hundred thousands of filipinos residing there (due to monsterO’mamak), soon sabah will be lost.
    And North, ????

  8. #8 by on cheng on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 3:05 pm

    Nick Xen. –one man no gun = threat to national security!

    Lahad Datu,– 100 men with guns= not threat to national security so let them stay as long as they want??

    Malaysia BN govt logic?? Eh??

    If like this, don’t be surprise one day, more from our neighbours may do similar things, send 100 men with guns, repeat 10 times, 20 times! then HOW??

  9. #9 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 3:10 pm

    Perhaps, the scorpene subs are now busy serving umno members – ferrying them back and forth between east and west malaysia for ceramah. That was why our super advanced navy could not detect the intrusion.

  10. #10 by on cheng on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 3:13 pm

    Give those Sulu men some fuel, rice, food and water, and 10 daystime to sail off, if not, Malaysia navy should launch full assault on them to drive them out!!
    otherwise Sabah ppl should pick govt more wisely!

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 3:50 pm

    There is no doubt that there’s (i) Security lapse resulting in armed intruders coming in (excuse – long coastline) (ii) intruders’ presence & refusal to leave based on Sabah belongs to Sulu Sultan challnges our sovereignty and (iii) no outbreak of violence or hostage taking as yet (iv) our fire power could overwhelm intruders but political implications from BN/Govt’s standpoint are wide & detrimental if violence via (iv) ensues – because in part their kinsmen settled there to help vote for BN might get angry and also their grouses stemmed ostensibly from Sulu Sultan and his loyalists being not included in and marginalised/displaced by the allededly unsatisfactory peace deal between Phillippines govt and Moro Islamic Liberation Front which Malaysia claimed credit in sponsoring! In all major aspects this Lahad Datu case cannot be said parallel to Sauk’s case in yr 2000 when 29 Al-Ma’unah men in army fatiques hijacked firearms/ammunition from army camp with the hairbrained avowed objective to cordon off Kuala Lumpur if their demand for then PM Dr Mahathir in 24 hours was unmet – for the argument to treat Lahad Datu & Sauk same same, and if Gani prosecuted those who surrendered in Sauk so he must or he could (without violence ensuing) in the present case of those who have not surrendered and might prepared to fight.

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 3:52 pm

    “…..PM Dr Mahathir’s resignation in 24 hours was unmet…”

  13. #13 by tuahpekkong on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 4:05 pm

    The Government is acting as if we don’t have sovereignty over Sabah. What is there to negotiate with armed intruders? The more we express our willingness to negotiate, the more intransigent they become. Just give them a time frame to surrender, failing which we should storm their hide-outs.

  14. #14 by sotong on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 5:36 pm

    All are welcome….as long as you vote for BN.

  15. #15 by good coolie on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 7:04 pm

    We need a BN government in Sabah, otherwise Sultan of Sulu shall come from the See of Sulu and suck the soil of the Sabah, and projek IC2 will see lulus.

  16. #16 by Winston on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 9:04 pm

    The unkindest cut of all is that Malaysia helped to broker a peace deal for the southern Philippines where these intruders came from!!!!!
    Now that their homeland in the Philippines is secured, they have all the time in the world to turn to claim their right to Sabah!!!!
    See the irony of that?
    That’s the epitome of biting the hand that helps them!!!!

  17. #17 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 - 9:43 pm

    Why are people not pointing out that they are applying kid-glove treatment because UMNO/BN is afraid they are going to alienate the ILLEGAL CITIZENS vote (that is Mahathir’s fault in the first place) for UMNO/BN..

    Its full confirmation of treason by conspiring with the enemy that enabled the invasion. THIS IS ALL MAHATHIR’S and those that went along with him FAULT

  18. #18 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 - 9:10 am

    This is a hostile armed intrusion and ppl like chengho and cintanegara are rejoicing.

  19. #19 by cseng on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 - 1:16 pm

    Just blue IC them…. nothing wrong, within your power and means.

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