The recent armed intrusion into Lahad Datu was an attack on our sovereignty. We simply had no choice but to strengthen our position which unfortunately caused loss of lives.
Their undetected arrival into our jurisdiction has caused and given rise to many concerns. They managed to fool our authorities, security and intelligence.
The self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu is to be held responsible and answerable for this dangerous crime and assault on Malaysia.
While the government has assured that national security is always a priority the present condition must be carefully monitored and watched so that it does not escalate to another dangerous level.
There are many questions the government must answer. An explanation is necessary so that the public will be well informed of the situation there and to avoid a state of panic in Malaysia.
The general public is ready to provide full co-operation to maintain law and order. However, how will the authorities handle or prepare for retaliation from remnants of the group after they were decimated?
While the attempt to capture Sabah is a futile act they may launch sporadic attacks in future.
While we sympathise with the families of the fallen heroes and that they will not be forgotten we as Malaysians demand that the government must provide satisfactory explanations to the following critical questions:
- How did the armed intruders enter our shores without the knowledge of our navy?
- What has happened to our domestic and regional intelligence services?
- Who has been providing the self-proclaimed sultan of Sulu arms?
- Who is providing guerrilla training for the armed intruders in Sulu?
These are very serious questions that the government must take immediate efforts to answer for our national security is currently at stake.
As Malaysians we remind the government that there shall be no negotiations with the armed intruders. Any armed presence by intruders into our territory or jurisdiction is an ‘act of war'.
It is imperative at this most pressing moment that the government must announce that the sultan of Sulu and his gunmen's are militants and are wanted criminals.
While the accusations may be serious it is legitimate and necessary.
We further urge that the government of Malaysia take drastic measures to severe all diplomatic ties if any with the sultan of Sulu and with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with immediate effect.
It is absolutely silly and stupid for the sultan of Sulu to say "it wasn't an invasion but a homecoming".
The sultan has no legal or beneficial right to reassert ownership over Sabah any more.
It must be noted this unilateral inhumane and barbaric action violated the spirit of the original lease agreement and the Philippines must act with caution and not further deteriorate the good diplomatic relationship between the two sovereign states.
It is a misconception to say that we are not at war instead it is an intrusion.
A statement of that sort would purely compromise our position and the circumstances has warranted us to take aggressive and offensive steps and we Malaysians further demand that the government of Malaysia should extradite the self-proclaimed sultan of Sulu to stand trial in Malaysia for treason, invasion and murder.
R KENGADHARAN is a lawyer and ex-ISA detainee.