Sabah: Revisit 1950

We enter the fourth day of skirmishes with eight deaths on our side without any long-term solution. Fighting an almost endless stream of battle-hardened enemy along a porous coastline. Like it or not, we have to face the facts and hit it head on, and stop living in denial.

With Nur Misuari, leader of the MNLF, already giving a stern warning to Malaysia over the recent firefights, and the growing sentiment in the Philippines in support of their people fighting our forces on the eastern part of Sabah, we have no choice but to be firm. And when we fight an enemy that abides by no rules, we will have to make up our own as we did back in 1950.

The latest skirmish that cost the life of six police officers and men goes to show that there are sympathizers amongst the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos earning their living here – most calling Sabah home instead of the Moro region.

In view of this, I would like to suggest to the government to revisit the Briggs’ Plan not only to ensure that the militants do not get support from sympathizers, but also to ensure that those who are genuinely here to make Sabah home are well taken care of in terms of provisions and medical treatment.

I leave the mechanism to the authorities but this is no time to be pussy-footing. The Sabah coastline that is exposed to infiltration stretches from Kudat and all the way southeast to Tawau. Even if we deploy all 300,000 men of the police and Armed Forces, we would be stretching our resources film-thin.

Give it a thought, but please don’t take another 23 days to decide.