39-Day Countdown to 13GE: Proposal for an all-party council to help deal with Sulu Sabah crisis

While Malaysians are still mourning the death of two national heroes, elite police commandos Insp Zulkifli Mamat 29 and Sabaruddin Daud 46 who were killed in the shootout in Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu on Friday morning with Sulu armed intruders, with three other commandoes injured, the nation is shocked this morning at the news that there have been another two police casualties in Semporna last evening.

Malaysians woke up this morning to the sad news that “Cop killed in Semporna, another injured in gunfight with militants” but by noon time, the police confirmed that there were two policemen who were killed in an ambush in Kampung Seri Jaya Siminul, a village on stilts above the water, in Semporna at about 6.30 pm last evening – and that a third is fighting for his life at the general hospital in Semporna.

But worse were to come, when Malaysians learnt of the news of the first joint press conference by the police and army in Felda Sahabat Residence, Lahad Datu after the three-week stand-off with armed Sulu intruders at Kampung Toudou, as reflected in the following Malaysiakini reports:

  • Five cops killed in Semporna ambush, says IGP

  • IGP: More armed intruders have landed

  • Army General: Intruders ‘well-trained’

It is also reported of another landing by intruders in Kunak.

Last night I received reports of two police casualties in the clash in Semporna and I am sure this information would have been passed around Sabah last evening, raising the question of credibility and reliability of official information about the Sulu crisis in Sabah.

The official authorities should realise that in this era of instant information and communication, there is a need to revise and modernise their pre-information era policies and practices to ensure their own credibility.

Patriotic Malaysians have many questions about the handling of three-week stand-off with the Sulu armed intruders in Lahad Datu and whether the casualties of the security forces could have been avoided if the whole situation had been properly handled right from the beginning.

These doubts and queries, however legitimate, must now take second place, as there is no doubt that the country is faced with a crisis involving national sovereignty and the people’s security which must take topmost priority.

I proposes an all-party council be formed, with representatives from both the ruling and opposition coalitions, to help deal with the Sulu Sabah crisis to show the world that that Malaysians, regardless of political affiliation, race, religion or region, are united as one in protecting the sovereignty of the nation and the security of the people.

I have two other proposals on the Sulu Sabah crisis to give full support to the military and police personnel who are in the frontline defending the national sovereignty with their lives:

  • An emergency meeting of Parliament which should be convened within the week, even on 8th March 2013 to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2008 general elections, to tell the nation and the world that although the country is facing the 13th general elections, Malaysians regardless of political affiliation, race, religion or region, are united and solid in defending the national sovereignty and people’s security with regard to the Sulu Sabah crisis;

  • The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should make an immediate extended visit to Sabah to allay the concerns and unease of Sabahans at the various incidents of intrusion into Sabah and the security of the people in Sabah.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur