Hornbill Unleashed

February 27, 2011

History closing its chapter in Libya

Sim Kwang Yang

As I write, the violent events in Libya are coming to a head, as an unreconstructed strongman, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, looks grimly at the inevitable end of his rule. Another despot is counting the days remaining of his political life, just like other dictators in much of the Arab world.

The people’s revolt against dictators, sweeping across much of the Arab heartland, has come as a surprise. The disintegration of Libya comes with a heavy price in lives and blood, as Gaddafi continues to hang onto power, even though his tenuous hold on his country is slipping.

As of now, Gaddafi can lay claim to the services of only about 5,000 troops who are loyal to him personally. Unless he can kill off all the rebels, the end of Gaddafi is within sight. Only a rump force of armed men still do his bidding, at gunpoint, in Tripoli. The rest of the country has rebelled against his rule, in one region after another.


Gaddafi’s enormous oil wealth cannot save him now, as the whole world awaits the final collapse of his power.

Many of Gaddafi’s own senior officials are rebelling against him. Legions of his own troops have also decided to switch sides in support of the revolution. The domino effect of desertion by Gaddafi’s forces is making his regime’s demise into an inescapable phenomenon.

Despite the great temptation for us to call for foreign intervention to resolve the internal crisis in Libya, I support the American decision to take no further action than to impose economic sanctions and no-fly-zones and to freeze the Libyan dictator’s assets.

Libyan’s trouble with Gaddafi is a Libyan problem and must be resolved, peacefully we hope, by the Libyans themselves.

The cruelty of the Gaddafi’s regime is more than evident for the whole world to see, as Gaddafi is ordering his planes to bomb his fellow citizens in cold blood. This action alone is enough to convict Gaddafi of crimes against humanity, for which he and his sons must be held personally responsible.

We in Malaysia and the rest of mankind must express our support and our solidarity with the oppressed people of Libya. Any cruelty and inhumanity dealt out to any members of the human race brings shame and injury to everybody else. This applies to the people of Libya also.

We should support the Libyans in spirit, because all they ask for is to be treated with respect and dignity by their government, a regime who has victimised them, repressed them and robbed them for four decades.

Gaddafi’s oil wealth of billions has gone into the pockets of the dictator’s wife, children, relatives and his close officials of the regime, while millions remain poor.

International bodies must now freeze the Gaddafi family’s assets overseas and repatriate them to the Libyan people in the long run.

Greed for money and power

The lesson from Tripoli is clear. Political power does not come from the barrel of a gun. Those exercising such awesome political power, anywhere in the world, must legitimise that power with policies which can benefit the people collectively.

The temptation of using political power for self-enrichment is tempting for anybody who wields the power of life and death over an entire people. Greed for money and power is still the root of all evil in Tripoli, as well as in Malaysia.

Fortunately in Malaysia, we have the mechanism to change our government through peaceful means, through voting, even though much injustice is left uncorrected, thanks to our unsatisfactory voting laws.

But as long as the framework of democracy remains in Malaysia, we can change the government of the day through the ballot box, and we do not have to resort to violence and bloody revolution as in the Arab world.

Down with Colonel Gaddafi, and the sooner the better. Not only for the people of Libya but for the whole world at large.


SIM KWANG YANG was member of parliament for Bandar Kuching, Sarawak from 1982 to 1995. He can be reached at sky8hornbill@gmail.com. All comments are welcomed.


  1. You are right Sim, Sarawak and Sabah are no more than colonies of Malaya. It was so well covered up for years, no one could see through this scam until now as people have opened their eyes wider and suddenly notice all the discrepencies perpetuated by the present regime.

    Sarawakians and Sabahans who kept quiet and continue to kiss the hands of the regime’s high command are those whose palms have been greased. The common man in the street are none the wiser until now, many have awaken from their illusion. Thanks to the web for all this to expose this deceitful reality show espoused by the regime.

    If not today, then tomorrow will see that liberty and justice are realized by the people.

    Comment by kango — February 28, 2011 @ 12:36 PM | Reply


    SKY said: “The lesson from Tripoli is clear. Political power does not come from the barrel of a gun. Those exercising such awesome political power, anywhere in the world, must legitimise that power with policies which can benefit the people collectively”.

    One interpretation to be inferred from this statement is that political power cannot come from armed uprisings. However, Libyan cannot be used as an example to support his assertion as a violent civil war is in progress and not concluded.

    The statement would read more accurately if modified as “Political power does not JUST come from the barrel of a gun.” Political power won by warfare must be consolidated with good transparent and honest governance beneficial to the people. You can win the war and lose the peace as the UMNO regime is discovering.

    No one would disagree that it is preferable to have a peaceful transition instead of a bloody revolution for socio-political change.

    However peaceful transitions are rare in human history. The earth began its existence with a violent explosion in the universe. Likewise most human socio-political changes have been violent.

    This is not an argument for armed revolution but just to say that the historical truth is that in the overwhelming number of cases political victory was won by warfare. There are few exceptions. Mao Zedong merely summed up this truth that “political power comes out of the barrel of the gun”.

    This is just one way of achieving political power from the English Revolution (Cromwell), French Revolution, Haiti independence War, SKY’s beloved USA/American revolution, Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, the South American Revolutions, the Nepalese Revolution, East Timor, Malayan and North Kalimantan independence War, South Sudan and other ongoing independence struggles. The US UK western alliance invasion of Iraq was a very violent and bloody overthrow of Saddam Hussein‘s regime to install the US puppet regime after the US bomiing killed over 100,000 innocent people. So was the Suharto regime installed with US backing and much violence and bloodshed in 1965 and many other similar examples.

    Even Gandhi’s passive resistance for independence was marred by violence inflicted on his side by the British and the violence of Partition of India.

    Peaceful revolutions are rare

    At the moment in the Middle East, the anti-Gaddafi forces are battling the incumbent gov’t forces with weapons. The Libyans are engaged in an open civil war which will determine which side will win not just by mass demonstrations ALONE but ultimately with armed force and gain power.

    Whether in Tunisia or Egpyt the people could have won power without the army going over to their side. If the army had supported the incumbent regimes they would still be in power. The irony is that most of Middle East regimes having gained their political power through armed revolution became corrupted and betrayed the people they were trying to save from previous corrupt regimes. They now face the same revolt.

    SKY should be most aware that we have our own home grown examples.

    The UMNO regime finally consolidated its political power following the end of the “Malayan Emergency” or alternatively Malayan Independence and Liberation war 1948 to 1989 when the guerrilla warfare ended with a peace treaty with the Malayan Communist Party. The UMNO regime has already reneged on its promises and refused the CPM chairman Chin Peng from even returning to Malaya to pay his final respects to his parents at their grave site. UMNO has embarked on a more intensive plunder of Malayan resources and exploitation of its people the very things which the Malayan Communist Party was fighting to save the people from.

    In Malaya UMNO holds on to power precisely because it still controls the armed forces and therefore holds the gun. It will not last for one minute if the army and police decide not to follow its orders. Perhaps a point to ponder is the report that UMNO has been secretly buying weapons and has dramatically increased its Rela numbers to 2 million. UMNO realises that to stay in power it must be armed and ready to use its guns. This was most clearly seen when PM Najib’s father Razak instigated the May 13 Massacres and declared a State of Emergency (martial law) to seize power from Tunku Abdul Rahman and preserved UMNO’s political control. Malaya Sabah and Sarawak are still nominally governed under several unrevoked “State of Emergency Declarations

    Similarly in Sarawak UMNO consolidated its power with the ending of the guerrilla war of independence against Malayan annexation and colonisation -1962 to 1990. It was an inconclusive peace as the communists gave up and did not achieve a proper deal for the people. The guerrilla war did not stop the plunder of land and timber and petroleum. Now this plunder is being accelerated as CM Taib moves towards the end of his domination of Sarawak politics. The discovery of new oil fields will add to the further impoverishment of our country as the people will see none of this wealth which will be monopolised by the minority ruling elite and tycoon class.
    Having won the war UMNO has failed to consolidate the peace as its government is rotten with corruption and the people are paying a heavy price for this “peace”.

    The people must now continue to struggle to win their own political power.

    SKY is our local high flying philosopher whose collaborationist mindset is locked into the preservation of Sarawak as a colony of the UMNO regime at any cost. He lives with the illusion that he has “independence within Malaysia”. His solution is to change the ruling government but not our colonial status. Even Malayans like Raja K Petra have come out to say Sabah and Sarawak are colonies of Malaya. All the facts say so.
    Our struggle for independence has not yet ended. It is an ongoing struggle to free ourselves from Malayan colonisation and the plunder of all our resources.

    People of Sarawak we must choose whether we want to continue as colonial subject or free ourselves from the bondage of Malayan colonial rule and stand up as a free people.

    Comment by Historystudent — February 27, 2011 @ 1:27 PM | Reply

  3. Our current PM is just like Gadaffi. He even warned us of bloodshed if BN were to lose to the opposition in the next GE.

    How stubborn Gaddafi is, will he eventually fall and it’s just a matter of time that catches up.

    I can see from the stars that there’ll be chaos indeed after the next GE but it won’t last long.
    Before the final count is out, most of the Umno BN fellas and their famillies would have fled this country already.

    Even when Sarawak BN fall, most have made preparation for the exodus.

    Left are just only a few remaining gangsters and hardcore supporters who’ll be trying to stir some trouble just for a few days.

    Comment by Mukris — February 27, 2011 @ 9:45 AM | Reply

  4. To fell the deep rooted corrupt UmnoB/BN tree, voters must remove the roots, start with Sarawak, 1 of the fixed deposits from East M’sia – let’s be lumberjacks n yell out “TIM-BER!”

    Comment by Dayakputera — February 27, 2011 @ 9:16 AM | Reply

  5. Can’t wait for the change in Malaysia. Those thief and murdereres are to have their assets returned to the state and trialed for the crimes they committed.

    Comment by William — February 27, 2011 @ 4:33 AM | Reply

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