Where are the Sulu gunmen ?
Opinion 2013-03-11 14:14
Opinion 2013-03-11 14:14
By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Sin Chew Daily
Dear Mr Tay,
Have the Sulu gunmen been exterminated? Where have they gone ?
There is a rumour saying that about 10,000 Sulu gunmen are preparing to launch a large-scale invasion in Sabah and stage a showdown with our security forces. Is that true?
Su Fu, a man who has suffered from insomnia for a week
Dear Su Fu,
I am curious about where the Sulu gunmen have gone, too. By using simple subtraction, after deducting 50 from 200, there should be 150 left.
I think there are a few possibilities:
Firstly, perhaps there are less than 200 Sulu gunmen. The so-called 200 people are actually people of the double-storey house, oops! Should be the palace, of self-styled Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.
In fact, he can just simply say a number he likes as it is a kind of psychological tactics. Everyone can report a figure bigger than the exact number, especially in war time.
If there are 200 people, with a man having three meals a day, it would be 600 meals for 200 people per day and 12,600 meals for three weeks. How could a small kampung supply such a huge amount of water and food?
Only they themselves know the exact number of gunmen.
Secondly, perhaps most of the Sulu gunmen have escaped the kampung before the massive offensive launched by the Malaysian security forces.
If they can think normally, they should know that it is impossible for a small group of amateur "army" to combat with a fully-equipped regular army. Therefore, the gunmen might have fled after creating a trouble to achieve Jamalul Kiram III's political purpose.
They might be hiding in the forest or pretending to be villagers in the floating villagers.
As for your second question, how would you be able to sleep well if you allow 10,000 Sulu gunmen to fight in your mind?
However, it is, after all, only a dream of yours. In the real world, where can we find 10,000 of Sulu gunmen?
The so-called Sulu Sultanate indeed has its supporters in southern Philippines, but it has never had an official armed force.
Moreover, even if there are really 10,000 Sulu gunmen trying to cross the sea, it must involve a lager-scale mobilisation requiring a large number of vehicles. There must be actions on the ground, too.
It is hard to expropriate a few hundreds of ships and it is even harder to not be found. They can hardly escape from being attacked by our security forces.
The Sulu gunmen incident has come near the end. I hope you can have a good sleep and get rid of insomnia.
Dear Mr Tay,
What are the impacts have the Sulu gunmen intrusion in Sabah brought to our politics? The general election, I mean.
Su Shou, a man suffering from election syndrome
Dear Su Shou,
You have put me in a difficult position as I could have written at least two thousand words to answer your question, but you want me to answer within 200 words.
The simplest way to say it would be, it depends on the government's ability to handle the issue and the Pakatan Rakyat's approach of responding to it.
For the government, it was criticised for being hesitated and indecisive in the beginning when trying to solve the issue through negotiation. However, the people got angry with the gunmen after they killed a few of our policemen. And the powerful counterattack launched by the Malaysian security forces later was recognised by the people.
The people of Sabah want a capable federal government to maintain peace, as well as protect their safety and property. They also want a firm government to deal with the problem of illegal immigrants.
If the BN government can do it, it can help fish some votes.
As for the impacts on the Pakatan Rakyat, please refer to the news reports about PKR vice-president Tian Chua.