When is Najib going to pay regular visits to meet with people in Lahad Datu to ensure quick resolution of the stand-off with Sulu intruders?

I welcome the visit of the Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and his Cabinet entourage to Felda Sahabat 16 in Lahad Datu yesterday to get first-hand view of the stand-off between the Malaysian security forces and the self-proclaimed Royal Army of Sulu.

This is one of the objectives of my visit to Felda Sahabat 16 in Lahat Datuk two days ago, together with the Sabah DAP elected representatives, including DAP Sabah State Chairman and Sabah State Assemblyman for Sri Tanjong, Jimmy Wong Sze Phing, State Vice Chairman Frederick Fung, State Secretary Dr. Edwin Bosi, State Publicity Secretary Chan Foong Hin, MP for Kota Kinabalu Hiew King Cheu, DAP National Assistant Organising Secretary, Vincent Wu.

Our visit to Lahad Datu on Feb. 20 has the following objectives:

  • fact-finding mission to ascertain the actual situation on the ground with regard to the standoff;

  • to understand the concerns and anxieties of the local population;

  • show solidarity with the people in Lahad Datuk affected by the stand-off; and

  • send clear and categorical message to the Federal and Sabah state governments, in particular the Prime Minister and the Sabah Chief Minister, to give priority to the stand-off to ensure a speedy resolution because of the manifold problems it has created for the Sabah people.

I am glad that we have achieved this objective as far as the Sabah state government is concerned, for immediately on the following day of our visit, the Sabah Chief Minister and his Cabinet entourage had visited Felda Sahabat 16 to get a briefing at the General Operations Force (GOF) security post there.

But this is not enough, as not only Sabahans but Malaysians are asking why the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has the time to conduct daily campaigning for himself and Umno/Barisan Nasional although Parliament has not been dissolved yet, but does not find the time in 14 days to visit Lahad Datu and meet with the people in the area to listen to their anxieties and concerns about the stand-off with some 150 Suluk intruders?

If DAP leaders can put aside election campaigning to visit Lahad Datu, why can’t the Prime Minister do the same?

The question I want to pose to Najib is when he is going to put aside his daily campaigning for 13GE and pay regular visits to meet with people in Lahad Datu to ensure quick resolution of the stand-off with Sulu intruders entering its third week?

Can Najib enlighten the people in Lahad Datuk, Sabah and Malaysia how the 150 Suluk intruders could evade the marine, navy, army and police as to hole themselves up in Kg Tanduo in Felda Sabahat 17 since Feb. 9?

Many legitimate questions have been raised by Malaysians on the social media and the Prime Minister should himself answer them or direct the relevant Ministers or federal agencies to furnish the answers.

On twitter, for instance, defence journalist Dzirhan Mahadzir @DzirhanDefence posed the following questions and views:

  • Wondering if Police should be in charge of negotiations in situations like Lahad Datu which involve foreign policy demands, not their area

  • Frankly Malaysia needs to overhaul it's crisis management methods, esp involving international element, letting @PDRMsia handle it wrong IMO

  • Seeing tweets of @mpkotabelud and @ @HishammuddinH2O, can only say as someone with bckgrn in defence/security, utter nonsense from both

  • Wonder if anyone recalls that we have radar systems in East Msia provided by US under 1206 program to detect incursions

The following post from the blog of Major (rtd) D. Swami from the Seventh Rangers, http://7rangers.blogspot.com/ is worth pondering not only by military and former military personnel, but also by the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, the Home Minister and the entire population:

Do you notice the Top Cops, they are fat!! Does that instill confidence in you that they are capable of handling the armed terrorists? They are observing the terrorists via binoculars on our land? That takes the cake!! I guess they are trying to impress the public that they are on the ball. As usual they think we are fools. The Police should not be involved, as it is not an internal security situation, so far they seem to be completely inept in evicting the invaders.

Politicians have interfered that is why the standoff is ongoing. The Police are not trained to launch attacks on enemy locations, where the enemy fires back. It is not a Bersih rally. They do not have Mortars, Artillery, Infantry Fighting Vehicles or Special Forces skilled in Reconnaissance, Air Force and Navy. It should be the job of the Military as it is an external threat, they are equipped and trained for this. This should be handled by the 5th Brigade Commander without sparing all the niceties. This is the Defense Minister's baby, apparently he is AWOL and the Military is being humiliated by a rag tag bunch of terrorists. There was another clown, so called Admiral, had the cheek to say our defence spending is so good (with useless submarines) that a 1511 invasion will not happen again.

Yeah right, we have been invaded this time not by Portuguese galleons but Filipino sampans. So what say you about your mighty submarines?

Can the Prime Minister explain why the Home Minister and the Police are handling the stand-off when it should be the Defence Minister and the armed forces?

Further, how long more is the stand-off to be dragged on – for another week or month?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur