Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sulu Army and election, coincidence or conspiracy?

pilihanraya kini     6:00 PM    



by TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Sin Chew Daily
I would like to mourn for the brave fallen policemen. They lost their lives to defend the territorial integrity of the country, as well as to maintain the dignity of Malaysia. They should be given the respect and gratitude of the people.
The incident also caused us to ponder that any conflicts and wars will cost both the confronting sides a bloody price.
Before this, there were voices asking for wars. They accused the authorities of acting too cowardly and demanded an annihilation to show the intruders some colours.
Today, the people can see not only colours, but the color of blood. And lives are sacrificed.
I wonder what would those who shouted that war was the only solution think now after the standoff turned deadly.
I still insist that war is not the only way, nor the best solution.
There is no doubt that Sabah is part of Malaysia. However, the territorial controversy which has long entangled Sabah and the Sulu Sultanate is a historical problem. The remaining Sulu Sultanate and Sulu descendents are still having a deep affection for Sabah and thus, the issue must be resolved peacefully.
The Sulu Army's invasion of Lahad Datu was not a hasty idea, but a well-prepared plan backed by a force. Moreover, it can hardly say whether they are receiving assistance from some people in Sabah.
In addition, why does it take place at this sensitive time when Malaysia is facing a general election, in which Sabah is one of the crucial states?
A few days ago when I was talking with a politician and mentioned about the standoff in Lahad Datu, he suddenly said, "Let's think about it! What impacts would it bring if it evolves into a bloody conflict?"
"There are more than 500,000 Filipino immigrants in Sabah, including legal and illegal ones. How many of them are descendents of the Sulu Sultanate?"
"Once they open fire and kill some members of Sulu Army, what would the Sulu descendents in Sabah think when they see the corpses covered in blood?"
I got goose bumps when I heard it.
Is it a coincidence or conspiracy to have the standoff when the country is about to hold a general election?
I do not want to judge on it and would rather want it to be a coincidence, instead of a political ploy. Otherwise, the problem will be more complicated, more difficult to solve and bring greater harm.
Although we hide the question in our hearts, some Malay newspapers have quoted some blogs that quoted the Philippine media claiming that delegates of a Malaysian political leader had visited and talked to leaders of the Sulu Sultanate.
The political flavour is strong and Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has instantly denied the allegation.
At the same time, PKR vice-president Tian Chua claimed that the BN is behind it. Of course, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has also denied it.
I do not believe in any similar accusations. However, it can hardly be denied that the standoff in Sabah has been infected by some political colours.

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