Let’s face it. We–Malaysians–have been had. We’ve been taken for a ride by the Sulus, all these while. In Malay, the precise term would be, “kita semua sudah kena akal!”
All throughout the 70s, up until Nur Misuari became the Governor of Mindanao, the ‘Bangsa Moro’ as what they’d prefer to be called, have been playing with our Muslim brotherly sentiments.
“The Christian Philippines government have been neglecting the Muslim’s welfare. They were discriminative against us. They sent Filipino Christians to Mindanao in large numbers so that we, Muslims became minorities in our own ancestral homeland.”
“We can’t pray peacefully because the Christian Filipino government allow pigs to roam around the street, into our mosques.”
“Look at us. Look at our homes. Look at our children. They dont even have proper schools to go to. What kind of future do our poor children have? We live in severe poverty. Please help us, O’Muslim Malaysian Brothers. We are, after all, brothers in religion.”
The Sulus have been playing the same ‘song’, repeatedly in our heads. So much so, Malaysian Muslims and NGOs went out of our way, to extend many helping hands.
Even Libya’s late Moammar Ghadafi was conned. His country donated USD 25 million towards the development of Jolo, the Sulu capital city. Towards building better schools, roads and public infrastructure in that god-forsaken city.
The Malaysian government paid for a house to accomodate at least one member of the Kiram family, who claimed to be the rightful heir to the Sulu Sultanate. UMNO government gave him monthly allowance and appointed him as one of its party’s branch leaders.
Sabah’s USNO state government, on the other hand, gave out citizenships to at least two other Kiram family members, since way back in the 1970s. One was later appointed as an Assistant District Officer of Kudat, whereas another became successful businessman. By 2013, the businessman-Kiram financed a Suluk invasion in Sabah, led by the government-administrator ADO Kiram.
Malaysians, likewise, through charity associations such as the Yayasan Kebajikan Islam (Islamic Welfare Foundation) had contributed RM8000.00 every month; intended for the welfare of the poor people of Sulu, via their leader, yet another Sultan of Sulu, one M. Tan Kiram).
The Foundation’s main source of income, reportedly derived from individual donations both from the Malaysian general public and Muslim corporate companies. (Mr Ridhwan, the Foundation’s chairman, has since been detained under suspicion of abetting and financing the recent Sulu invasion in the Malaysian state of Sabah.)
Malaysians had also sent in many peace and aid missions to help the Sulus. The poor Sulu. We helped rebuild their schools and donated towards the construction of community mosques.
But apparently, none of these financial donations ever made it to the people of Sulu. These donations were mostly pocketed by the Kirams, in cohort with one or more rebel leaders, to further finance their ultimate cause for power and freedom.
The rebel groups, such as, the MNLF, MILF and Abu Sayyaf indirectly, became the biggest employer to the people of Sulu. For a while now, these rebels primary means of survival depends upon its international kidnapping activities. Or rather, the kidnapping of international nationals within the Sulu seas and southern Philippines. These Sulu ‘army of kidnappers’ were promised with salary, lands and influential positions within the group, upon successful rebellions and kidnappings.
And all the while, we Malaysians, unknowingly conspired to the Sulus’ aggressions. The piracy. The bogus claims. The kidnappings. The killings.
We helped made them. Their atrocities flourished, in part, due to our generous financial and moral support. Not insomuch due to their purported claim of property ownership, but out of the goodness of our Muslim hearts. Malaysians kept giving and giving, until their appetite for free handouts became ever bigger and bigger.
So, when the Kirams sent his men to the Malaysian State of Sabah for a ‘picnic’, each of these ‘picnickers’ may have been expecting great retributions, in the form of lands, money, new IC, citizenships, lucrative government jobs…and possibly a better future. Even to the extent of taking other peoples’ lives and destroying the later’s only means of livelihood.
The Sulus would probably have gotten away with it, except for one thing. The picnickers came equipped with barongs (machete), semi-automatic machine guns and trained snipers.
They did not appear to comprehend that Malaysia is a peaceful country. That Malaysians do not need to carry weapon. Malaysian Malays certainly do not wear krises anymore, except for ceremonial shows such as, weddings.
Unlike Southern Philippines, Mindanao, where massive killings and kidnappings occurs almost every other day; Malaysians hardly hear the sound of gun shots in any of our lands. In fact, weapons are prohibited from our daily lives. According to Malaysian laws, anyone caught in the possession of a mere gun or bullet (let alone, semi-automatics) is punishable by death.
Yes, death. The law was created based upon the presumption that those who possess a weapon, without applying for a license, would have every intention of using it, irresponsibly.
Hence, death was what the picnickers get. All 62 of them. But not without taking down at least 10 ‘fellow Muslim brothers (Malaysian policemen)’ with them.
The battles ahead.
TWO hundred and thirty four terrorists landed in Sabah, Malaysia. Out of whom, 62 were shot dead, whereas another 38 fled hurriedly back to their leaders in Jolo. That leaves at least 154 terrorists who remained in Sabah.
The Philippines’ newspapers reported that there were at least another 100 terrorists who had successfully landed in the Malaysian state. Whereas, Jamalul Kiram’s team, while calling for a ‘peaceful end’ to militarism, boasted having sent at least 1000 additional militants to Sabah’s shores.
It is not known as to whether such ‘stories’ were intended to pressure Malaysia to submitting to the Kirams’ financial demands or to act as a warning to a bigger bloody clashes ahead.
For now, it is presumed that the remaining terrorists would live amongst Sabahans. Who would serve as sleepers, waiting in anticipation for the ultimate ‘D-day’, i.e., the next call of war.
It is truly really mind-boggling that these Sulu terrorists, who hide behind the great Islamic religion, would choose to transgress and kill their own ‘muslim brothers’ who have all the while, responded to their plea for help. How amazingly cunning…and deceitful.
Yet, these Sulu terrorist continue to succumb to Jamalul Kiram’s suicidal plan to be at war with a sovereign nation, Malaysia. Knowing full well that the men he sent would easily be outnumbered, overpowered and quashed six-feet under. Even though their mad ‘supreme’ leader, Jamalul Kiram didn’t even bother to give the fallen men, proper burial in their own homes. These men had died in vain, leaving their families in worst condition than ever before. In sheer poverty.
As a result of following a mad man’s ambition to be royalty, innocent lives were lost. Children lost their fathers. Wives lost their husbands. Husbands lost their wives. Houses were burnt to the ground. Innocent children went through traumatic experience. Schools had to be shut down. Coastal kampung folks had to abandon their lands and relocated deeper inlands.
Will these atrocities ever stop? Will the Kirams ever stop demanding Sabah? I personally, doubt so. They seem to have big appetites for other peoples’ properties. They were and still are, after all, lanuns.
Are there anything positive that come out from the Sulu invasion? I think so.
1. At least now Malaysians are better convinced not to EVER DONATE or HELP a Sulu. Like dogs, the Sulus would bite the very hands that feed them.
2. At least now Malaysians know who our friends are. That the Sulus may be Muslims, but they certainly cannot to be trusted. Cannot be made a friend. Neither are the Filipinos. The Filipinos couldn’t seem to resist the temptation to export their homegrown armed militants to their neighbors’ shores.
3. At least Sabah managed to get rid of at least 6000 Filipino illegal immigrants. That would translate to releasing 6000 employment opportunities for the locals.
4. The ugly, heavily-polluted stilt houses along Sabah’s coastal way could finally be demolished for good.
5. Malaysian military finally got rid of its old stockpile of bombs and bullets.
6. Malaysia’s military intelligence could now be utilized in accordance to their area of expertise, i.e., to track down the Sulu sleepers, instead of spying on the opposition’s party leaders.
7. Malaysia’s over 250,000 para-military and PLKN trainees, who are currently placed on reserve, could finally demonstrate their military trainings, to good use.
8. A permanent security zone and sea-structures may have to be established around Sabah and her beautiful surrounding islands, so as to prevent future fully-armed ‘picnic’ trips from our plundering neighbours.
9. The Malaysian government finally recognizes the importance of integrating Malayan Malaysians and Eastern Malaysians. Geographical segregations amongst Malaysian citizens could soon be a thing of the past.
Will we, Malaysians, ever stop giving money to the Kirams? Will we ever stop supporting them? Stop believing them? Stop sympathizing them? I certainly do hope so.