RCI for Lahad Datu's 'mastermind': BUT ISN'T THAT YOU, DR M?

Written by  Christopher Fernandez, Malaysia Chronicle
Former premier Mahathir Mohamad seems to have no qualms publicizing his support for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into who masterminded the Lahad Datu intrusion. Whether he was being facetious, hypocritical or simply trying to redeem some public favor, his call is certainly viewed as being most obnoxious by the majority in Sabah and many in the peninsula.
Why? Well, because if there is a 'mastermind' or person to be blamed, he would be regarded as the ultimate cause for the mess in Sabah now.
Firstly, while the over-a-month long crisis in Sabah between Malaysian security forces and Filipino militants is starting to die down, most people in the peninsular believe it will drag on to become a protracted and prolonged struggle.
People observing from the peninsular also see the deaths of Malaysian fighters as needless and unnecessary.
It really is a high death toll for the Malaysian security forces and many Malaysians feel this “war” could have been easily averted in the first place if the state and federal government were more vigilant and watchful.

A needless “war” that could have been averted easily
The fact that the Najib administration underestimated the claim of the by now defunct Sulu sultanate shows that Malaysia’s intelligence gathering network operates very poorly and the subsequent outbreak of fighting with the armed Sulu intruders has also probably caused Malaysia to be answerable of human rights violations.
This has prompted opposition politicians to claim the crisis was a “sandiwara” (Malay for a show) just being staged and timed in view of the need to call for the 13th general elections while the BN government is vehement and defensive of their actions.
Whatever the reasons, the issue of Malaysian security forces having “mati katak” (died unnecessarily) as PKR leader Tian Chua was accused of saying, needs to be carefully evaluated and despite the rising number of organizations who have come forward to offer compensation and other benefits to the next-of-kin of those Malaysians who have died in the fighting, it will never really compensate adequately as it will not bring them back to life.
But could their deaths have been averted? Can this standoff between the two sides have been settled amicably so as to avoid bloodshed?
Some observers are of the view that the Malaysian side “jumped the gun” with home minister Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn being too tough on the intruders.
Dealing with a situation like this is similar to defusing a time bomb. By overplaying his tough guy role, Hishamuddin blew the opportunity to make peace and bring the warring intruders to the table to smoke the peace pipe.
Perhaps since the use of brain was gone, the Malaysian side retaliated with the use of brawn, only to suffer what is being suggested to Malaysians as casualties that were victims of tactics and strategies gone awry.
In the end, the Malaysian side opted to flex their muscles but by seemingly swatting a fly with a sledgehammer by bringing in fighter jets, armored trucks, artillery and mortar bombing with the navy on the coastline and it appeared to be a full scale war.
While Malaysians of all walks of life pray and hope that peace and stability will return to “The Land below the wind” as security forces bring the situation under control by conducting mopping up operations, there are certain troubling and puzzling questions as to why actually this crisis took place and Malaysians really have a right and need to know the true answers.

Could Mahathir Mohammad be the culprit?
While a Royal Commission of Inquiry is continuing its probe and investigation into how Filipino migrants were issued en masse with Malaysian identity cards while Malaysia was under the administration of the Mahathir regime, the role Mahathir played is crucial to what led to the present crisis.
There are several reasons why Mahathir resorted to issuing Malaysian identity cards to Filipinos of whom the majority was of Muslim origin from the southern part of The Philippines.
The need to beef up the workforce in Sabah by a Malaysian economy that was growing rapidly prompted Mahathir to resort to this decision. But he overlooked the fact that in the future they will become a major liability to Sabah and Malaysia.
By thinking that he can populate Sabah with more Muslims to outnumber the Christian population of the state, Mahathir’s shallow, short sighted thinking failed to take into account that they will become a threat to the security of the state in future.
Mahathir was supposedly upset and disliked the fact that Sabah was a state in Malaysia that had a “Christian label” and by going about to do some socio-engineering his ploy has now backfired miserably and created a dilemma for Sabah.
In the run up to this present crisis, from the days of the Mahathir regime’s administration, the border between Southern Philippines and Sabah became extremely porous and the lines demarcating the two nations became blurred because of the free movement of Filipinos in and out of the state.
This is probably why the dormant issue of the claim by the Sulu Sultanate was resurrected and at this particular time when Malaysians and Sabahans are going to the polls to create the greatest possible impact to their bid to reclaim eastern Sabah.

Mahathir’s hypocritical stance over the crisis
While Mahathir played a major role in creating this crisis which has resulted in the needless loss of lives by Malaysian security forces, his stance that though the Filipinos were Muslims they should be dealt with by the use of force is hypocritical.
This is because the use of force or going to war with the armed Filipino intruders runs counter to Mahathir’s initiative of trying to “criminalize war.”
In fighting on one hand to “criminalize war” which is what Mahathir has been venturing around the world to do and giving full approval to the use of arms in Sabah, when it suits his convenience, the hypocrisy of Mahathir is revealed for all to witness.
By denouncing the leaders of Western countries as criminals for going to war in different parts of the world, Mahathir himself is now a criminal for creating the war in Sabah.
Besides this, Malaysians are now beginning to realize that though Mahathir is no longer the prime minister, it looks as if Najib is a mere puppet on a string while the real power lies with Mahathir.
By calling the shots in a number of issues, it looks as if Mahathir has the power to veto the decisions made by Najib and is still in control of the governance of the nation much to the dislike of many Malaysians who are growing unhappy with him clinging on to power though his time is effectively over.

Time for Malaysians to make a radical change
What are Malaysians to do about the state of the governance of their nation? The time has come and it is growing very clear and apparent that if Malaysians want to see real growth, peace and prosperity in this nation, they must make the bold decision of making a radical change.
While whatever Mahathir and UMNO and Barisan Nasional has done for the country in the last 55 years, good or bad, can be recorded down in history, the need to break away from the clutches of their governance is imperative and inevitable for all to prosper.
The truth of the matter is that only a change of this government can help Malaysians shift into an era whereby they will be able to see their wishes and aspirations for themselves, their families and loved ones and this nation realized.
For far too many years, the BN government has stooped to serving themselves and their families and cronies and sycophants while the wealth of the nation has not been spread over the wide base of the population for all to enjoy.
This selfish, self-seeking ploy by BN and its leaders has become evident and an eye-opener for many Malaysians now through the use of social media. BN has failed to govern in a fair and just manner and their “dacing” (weighing scale) is in favor of corrupt governance as can be seen in this crisis in Sabah.
Not only Sabah, in future, if the weak and inept governance of BN is not dispensed with by Malaysians, there looms the threat of further time bombs exploding in Malaysia causing further factionalism and disunity.
The current crisis in Sabah is being watched and followed closely by many Malaysians and the international community and is believed to be the barometer by which Malaysians will be able to decide for themselves if they have had enough of BN governance.
While doing away with a coalition party that has governed Malaysia since its inception in 1957 might seem a difficult choice for some, the alternative of seeing Malaysia become a failed state or a rogue nation is far too frightening a specter for Malaysians and the future of the nation.

Malaysia Chronicle

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