Mar 14, 2013

Sulu invaded Sabah - Najib Aquino showtrue leadership

Letters to the Editor
OPS DAULAT: Najib, Aquino showtrue leadership
By Hassan Talib, Gombak, Selangor

I REFER to editorial "Surrender or face consequences" (NST, March 8) where the pressing question asked was: " non-military aspect of this debacle remains an intrigue: the timing. Why has the long dormant beast stirred just when elections are imminent in both Malaysia and the Philippines?"

 The long defunct sultanate of Sulu was probably hoping to 
embarrass Philippine President Benigno Aquino. AP pic 
Jamalul Kiram III, the self-styled sultan of the long defunct sultanate of Sulu wants to extract the most from both the Malaysian and Philippine governments as he sees both countries are facing a crucial period - the general election.

He had thought the time was right to send a small force into Lahad Datu to blackmail the Malaysian government and make demands on the Philippine government.

With the Malaysian government, he sees the annual cessation of RM5,000 as pittance for Sabah, which he considers his ancestral land, notwithstanding that his forefathers had given it away to the North Borneo Company, while the people of Sabah - through the Cobbold Commission - had chosen to be part of Malaysia.

Kiram probably thought it should be raised to RM50 million since the Malaysian government had not recognised their rights over Sabah, but more as a goodwill gesture in the spirit of Islamic brotherhood.

With the Philippine government, it was probably to embarrass President Benigno Aquino for being weak in their claims over Sabah and Kiram wanted to be recognised as a respected leader.

We also cannot overlook the unseen hand of a third party who may have a role to get into power through the backdoor by instigating Kiram. In politics, anything is possible.

Kiram took a calculated risk when he thought the timing was perfect with both Prime Minster Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Aquino busy preparing for their respective general elections.

Kiram also thought it would be a quick mission where both leaders would meet his demands. But, as it turned out, he was in for a surprise.

Najib and Benigno showed their true leadership qualities where it mattered by holding the bull by its horn.

They were willing to sacrifice their political interests for the sake of the nation's security, sovereignty and honour.

They would not succumb to terrorists' blackmail. Both leaders showed the world that Malaysia and the Philippines are not rogue states.

When dealing with rogues, they would comply with international protocols over the hasty use of weapons.

Both leaders understood the value of human lives to the extent of "giving face" to the Sulu terrorists before military action was taken.

Lahad Datu brought out the best in Najib and Aquino's leadership qualities.

This shows there is hope for a better world if leaders are willing to look at the bigger picture in any conflict.

LAHAD DATU: MNLF recognises decision by Sabah people to join Malaysia
Johor Baharu - The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) recognises and respects the decision taken by the people of Sabah to join Malaysia in 1963, says chairman Muslimin Sema.

The Sabah people, he said, had the right to determine their own destiny by joining Malaysia, 50 years ago, and that right should not be disputed by any quarters.

"We (the MNLF) recognised the desire of the Sabah people to decide and determine their own destiny. They have decided to join Malaysia and we accede to their desire, that is our position," he told Bernama in an exclusive interview via telephone from Manila today.

The dovish Muslimin, who is currently the vice-mayor of Cotabato City in southern Philipines, said he had been to Sabah in 1973 and personally witnessed the happiness felt by the Sabahans, led by their leaders after joining Malaysia.

"They have decided and we accepted it," he said, adding that he still had many relatives in Sabah, who were loyal Malaysian citizens and earning a good and prosperous livelihood. - Bernama

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