Hornbill Unleashed

March 11, 2013

Lahad Datu: Politicians who can’t help should shut up

Francis Paul Siah

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang is the only Pakatan leader who made my day this week. In my opinion, he is the only politician from the opposition who managed to lift the spirits of Malaysians during this very troubled times in Sabah.

The veteran opposition figure has called on all Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region or political affiliation to fully endorse all necessary measures by the government and the security forces to deal with the Lahad Datu standoff.

Lim (left) also urged all political leaders to stop making baseless allegations during this period of crisis and put national interest above everything else.

NONE

I salute Lim for his statesman-like appeal to all his fellow politicians. A politician like Lim is able to last the pace in the rough and tumble of opposition politics because of his values.

And he practised these god-given gifts and values, as we have seen this week.

Indeed, now is the time for the nation to wake up from its slumber and get its priorities straight.

When our borders have been breached and our national sovereignty at stake, this is not the time for our opposing politicians to bash each other with the hope of scoring silly points to boost their oversized egos.

The crisis in Sabah today is about defending the honour, dignity and sovereignty of the country.

It has escalated into a war against terrorists who have invaded our nation. This is bigger than any political game there is to play to outwit each other. I hope our politicians get the message loud and clear.

Ask the people of Sabah today, particularly those in Lahad Datu, Semporna and the east coast and they will surely tell you that their security and livelihoods are more important than any general election.

Those living so far away in Peninsular Malaysia will never be able to feel what their fellow citizens in Sabah are going through today.

So can we accord them a little respect and be more careful with our choice of words when commenting on the incident.

Outrageous comments

I posted this message on Facebook a few days ago. “For once, can our politicians from both sides shut up and stop their silly, stupid and outrageous comments on Ops Sulu and Ops Daulat?

NONE“Stop criticising the work of our security forces there. This is a time when the nation has to come together. So put aside your political differences for once. If you are that smart and that brave, go and join our policemen and soldiers in the front line. If not, then shut up!”

For the past week, particularly since we lost two police officers and then six more a day later, I was very disappointed with the antics of some of our so-called political leaders.

Thankfully, the politicians concerned are not top leaders of their respective parties. Nonetheless, they have inflicted damage to their personal integrity and that of their party too in some ways.

What is worse is that an alleged remark has hurt the feelings of the families of those who were killed in the Laha Datu standoff.

This is unacceptable no matter how hard the politician concerned tried to explain that he was quoted out of context.

It is during times of crisis that we see the true colours of some politicians who are out to score political points.

Let me stress that the Sabah crisis should never be about politics but about protecting our nation’s sovereignty. Politicians should be careful not to step overboard and infringed the perimeters of social decorum. There is no room for unfounded remarks or contemptuous and callous remarks.

NONEWhy is it that politicians from PKR and Umno are almost always guilty of engaging in unnecessary and silly quarrels with each other? It’s the case again with the Lahad Datu standoff.

These politicians are nowhere near the league of Lim Kit Siang or Anwar Ibrahim (left) to comment on such an enormous and delicate issue as the battle in Lahad Datu.

What do they know about invasions and tactical warfare? The trouble is that some politicians just do not know when to shut their trap.

The PKR vice-president who allegedly remarked that “the Lahad Datu shooting was an Umno conspiracy to divert attention and frighten the people” did not get much sympathy from his party colleagues. Even some DAP leaders in Selangor, his allies in Pakatan Rakyat, have publicly criticised him.

Then we have another rabble rouser of an Umno Youth leader from Penang who warned the PKR veep to apologise failing which “there will be trouble”.

This is an outrageous and gangster-like threat. I think we can now dump that Umno guy in the underworld heap of undesirables.

Not a traitor

I also think it was absurd of some quarters in Umno to accuse Anwar Ibrahim of supporting the intrusion. This is unbelievable. You can accuse Anwar of being power crazy if you like but a traitor to the nation he is certainly not!

Then we have a new PKR recruit, a former Army general, whose first comment as a politician was to criticise the security operation in Lahad Datu, saying that there was “a lack of clear chain of command”.

He also said that a clear assessment of the ground situation was needed and this was apparently missing.

Perhaps the retired general could volunteer his services on the ground in Lahad Datu rather than making negative remarks about the very institution that had provided him a career and a living for decades.

It’s sad that when a good man becomes a politician, he suddenly changes into a different person, not necessarily a better one.

However, I must agree with the ex-general’s warning to the government against using information war to black out incidents such as what was going on in Lahad Datu.

“We will weave a tangled web if we begin to deceive with information warfare,” he rightly cautioned.

On this, I believe that Malaysians have been updated daily with the correct information as soon as they became available.

NONESince Ops Sulu and Ops Daulat were launched, IGP Ismail Omar  (right) and Army Chief General Zulkifeli Mohd Zin had done very well with their daily press conferences.

I honestly doubt they would want to withhold any information from the public other than for security and operational reasons.

We can expect the Lahad Datu standoff to go long haul.

Even after all the intruders have been dealt with, there is now a clear threat from armed groups operating from southern Philippines. We must remain vigilant at all times.

There have been much speculations and conspiracy theories written about the crisis. We should not pay too much attention to rumour mongering which does nothing except to cloud our thinking.

What is important for all Malaysians today is to give our full support to our brave soldiers and policemen in the battlefields in Sabah.

They are there, ready to face any consequences including making the ultimate sacrifice to defend the country.

Think of their families, wives and children who worry day and night for the safety of their husbands and fathers.

Think of what the families of the eight police officers who perished have gone through and are going through now and in the months and years to come.

So to the politicians who always feel that they have something to say in order to score brownie points, this is my message to you.

If you cannot help and do not have the guts to join our security personnel in the front line in Lahad Datu, I suggest you shut up.

The least you can do is not to say anything.


FRANCIS PAUL SIAH is a Sarawakian and can be reached at sirsiah@gmail.com

 

2 Comments »

  1. PAUL 2 MONTH AGO YOU SAID SARAWAK SHOULD LEAVE MALAYSIA – TODAY YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT “DEFENDING THE NATION”.

    WHOSE NATION? MALAYA, SABAH OR SARAWAK?

    OR ARE YOU JUST SHOWING YOUR TRUE COLOURS?

    THE BLAME CLEARLY LIES WITH UMNO BOSSES WHO HANG UP A “WELCOME” SIGN TO THE FILIPINOS FOR OVER 45 YEARS IN BREACH OF MALAYSIA FORMATION JUSTIFICATIONS THAT SABAH AND SARAWAK WOULD BE PROTECTED FROM “FOREIGN INVASION”.

    OF COURSE IF YOU DON’T KNOW – WE WERE ALREADY INVADED AND OCCUPIED BY MALAYA SINCE 1963.

    WE HAD OUR SHARE OF UMNO TERRORISM AND TERRORIST RULE!

    Comment by Anon — March 12, 2013 @ 12:03 AM | Reply

  2. THE CORRUPT UMNO/BN CABINET PM/MINISTERS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE FRONT LINE IN LAHAT DATU, TO BE SHORT AT OR KILLED, LIKE OUR POLICE/TENTERA, SINCE THEY HAVE NOT…NOT EARN THEIR WAGES THE LAST 20 YEARS. IT IS PAY BACK TIME???????

    THE RAKYAT WILL KNOW THAT ALL THESE CORRUPT, GOOD FOR NOTHING UMNO/BN GOVERNMENT MINISTERS ARE WILLING TO DIE FOR THEIR KING/COUNTRY????????

    AFTER THEIR DEATH, THE KING/NATION WILL KNOW THAT ALL THESE CORRUPT UMNO/BN MINISTER ARE GOOD FOR SOMETHING.

    Comment by Alfred gan — March 11, 2013 @ 10:32 AM | Reply


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