Lahad Datu invasion “like school drama”

by Ravinder Singh

That a hundred (or is it 300?) fully uniformed soldiers, said to be armed to the teeth, could just walk into Sabah is unbelievable to say the least. It is as if Malaysia does not have any national security system in place. This is also unbelievable as we know that billions have been spent over the years to acquire modern naval craft including submarines, besides aircraft and helicopters to patrol our shores and skies.

So how did this large group of soldiers manage to break through the naval lines and land so coolly without any land based security personnel checking their papers (is there no immigration at the jetty they landed?) and go inland to set up base and raise their flag? It looks like a drama being acted out by school children. Amazing, really amazing.

Well, whatever lapses happened that allowed this group to set up base in Lahad Datu, it is sending a pre-election message to the Sabahans. The message is: “vote BN to prevent Sabah from being taken over by the Phillipines”. Alternatively, “only the BN can resolve such a critical matter without bloodshed as it believes in negotiated settlements”. This could be totally unfounded, but such thoughts could be running through many minds.

Across the South Chins Sea, in the hall of the Putra World Trade Centre, another drama took place. The 3,000 Felda settlers who were brought to the hall were given an “amanat” (advice) by the one-time longest serving prime minister that all those who have taken the various “bantuan” that has been and continues to be dished out by the BN government must not bite the hand that feeds them, in other words they must vote for the BN. By this token, practically all voters should vote for the BN and thus give the BN much more than a two-thirds majority – in order to continue receiving more “bantuan” in the years to come. So the government does not want them to “berdikari”, ever?

Having done with the “bantuan” theme, they were treated to Tanda Putera, a film that was not supposed to be screened before the 13GE due to its racial tones. The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Felda Ahmad Maslan, said the film was screened due to its historical significance. “So, when else can I gather so many people like this? If we wait till tomorrow it’ll already be the general election,” the Umno information chief reportedly said. These words let the cat out of the bag, i.e. he was admitting that it was meant to brainwash the Felda folks.

The Cabinet decided that the film is not good for public viewing before the 13GE, but the Umno information chief overruled the Cabinet. He felt it was very good for conditioning the Felda settlers’ minds before the 13GE so they will vote for “peace”.

Well, if it has historical significance, release it for public viewing immediately. If it is good history for the Felda settlers, it should be good history for everyone. After all it was made with public funds, a cool RM4.8 million. In Najib’s 1Malaysia, why show a banned movie to a select few of a particular race and religion in the run-up to the 13GE and not to everyone? Where is the oneness? Before elections prior to this, during Dr Mahathir’s governance, it was a tradition to telecast “Bukit Kepong” to the whole nation.


This article first appeared in Free Malaysia Today

One comment on “Lahad Datu invasion “like school drama”

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