Defence: RMAF’s Walks Slowly But With Big Strides

RMAF Airbus A400M (M54-04) on finals at the Labuan airbase during exercise PARADISE 2017

The A400M: How Has It Fared?

When the Royal Malaysian Air Force purchased the Airbus Defence and Space A400M Atlas, many thought it was to replace the Lockheed C-130H-30 that had entered service in 1976.  15 C-130Hs were delivered to the RMAF with 14 still flying.

However, the RMAF announced further upgrades to its C-130H fleet to keep them operational.  The A400M’s role, although similar to that of the C-130H, enhances the RMAF’s airlift capability.  Not only can the A400M carry 17 tonnes more payload compared to the C-130H, it can fly 200 knots faster and land on rough or soft landing strips like the C-130H.

Its glass cockpit/side-stick  coupled with three-axis fly-by-wire (FBW) with flight envelope protection configuration makes the A400M user-friendly and is based on the A380 but modified to suit military operations requirements.  The flight envelope protection allows the A400M to perform bank angles up to 120 degrees!

The cockpit of the RMAF A400M (M54-04) is large and is very comfortable

Not only could the A400M support the Malaysian Armed Forces’s tactical and strategic capabilities, it could also be utilised for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations in the region.  To date, the RMAF’s A400Ms have performed two HADR roles: delivering 17 tonnes of aid to embattled Marawi in July 2017 and 12 tonnes of aid to the Rohingya refugees in south Bangladesh in September 2017.

RMAF A400M (M54-04) is being loaded with HADR cargo bound for Marawi

The remarkable thing especially about the Marawi mission was the A400M’s ability to fly to Cagayan del Oro and back without refuelling (an approximately 5,400 kilometers return trip); this, together with its speed cuts down total turnaround time.

The A400M is equipped with the defensive aid sub-system and an in-flight refueling capability.  The inflight-refueling package allows the A400M to refuel helicopters at 105 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) and fighters at up to 300 knots, hence safer for the refuelling of both helicopters and fighters.  Flight tests have also revealed that at Alpha Max (with the Alpha Floor protection disabled, the A400M reached 98 KIAS before  the FBW low-speed protection function eased the nose down. There was no wing roll-off or loss of control. Recovery was almost immediate when the nose was lowered and thrust added, underscoring the fact that the A400M is indeed a very safe and capable aircraft.

Maritime Patrol Aircraft – Budgeted For

The Beechcraft Super King Air 200T MPA has been in service with RMAF for 23 years

For almost two decades the role of maritime patrol was assigned to several C-130Hs that were converted to C-130MPs.  Four Beechcraft Super King Air B200T aircraft were inducted into the RMAF maritime patrol fleet to complement the C-130MPs.  However, the high operational costs versus mission requirements of the C-130MPs saw the latter taking over the role completely.

Even before the loss of an airframe, there were already talks of replacing the B200Ts.  Leonardo brought its ATR-72MP aircraft to LIMA ’17.  Apart from the hardpoints and MPA modules on board, the ATR-72MP is just a normal commercially-available aircraft, powerplants and all.  Leonardo’s concept is to provide a platform using what is available in large numbers in the market to keep the costs down.

The Leonardo ATR-72MP, seen here at LIMA 17, also comes with an electronic surveillance and C4I platform. The airframe is that of the ATR-72-600 (photo courtesy of Janes Defence)

Airbus Defence and Space flew a CN295 almost around the world to promote it as a multirole platform.  The CN295, albeit a SAR version that was on its way to its new home in Brazil, made a stop in Malaysia and was presented to operators such as the RMAF, the MMEA, as well as the Royal Malaysian Police Air Wing.

Stretched three metres longer than the CN235 that the RMAF is currently operating, everything about the CN295 is very similar to the CN235, which makes crew conversion fairly easy to make.  It comes with a more powerful plant that features better efficiency, longer loiter capability at station and comes with six external hardpoints for ASW weapons.

When the announcement of the budget for the procurement of four MPAs in 2018 was made, the immediate follow-through was that four of the RMAF’s remaining seven CN235s will be fitted with the MP systems from the B200Ts, a sure sign that either additional CN235s will be acquired for the MPA role, or the CN295s would be acquired instead.

The commonality between the C295 and the CN235 also potentially leads to  even lower operating costs, given the versatile cabin configuration that allows fast switching of mission types, high manouvrability, better low-level flying capabilities given the high-wing configuration and a wide rear ramp, the C295 makes the best option for maritime patrol and surveillance as well as anti-submarine warfare missions in Malaysia.

The C295 is powered by twin PW127G turboprop engines driving Hamilton Sundstrand Type 568F-5 six bladed propellers which provide outstanding hot and high performance, low fuel consumption, and an endurance exceeding 11 hours.  Flying at a maximum speed of 480 km/h which is slower than the  B200T’s 540 km/h, but has a range of 5,600 kilometers compared to the  B200T’s 3,100 kilometer range.

The RMAF’s need for a reliable platform that would be able to perform largely anti-shipping missions and has a reasonable but economical loiter endurance with some strike capability if required makes the CN295 a better choice of MPA. It also makes strategic and economical sense for Malaysia as it allows operators to narrow down its aircraft types and suppliers, making logistical and technical support easier.

The Airbus C-295 of the Força Aérea Brasiliera arrived at the Subang airbase on Friday 7 July 2017

UAV, MRCA and LIFT

Although the procurement of the badly needed MRCA to replace the MiG-29Ns have not been announced, the RMAF is making up for the void by ensuring high serviceability rate of its frontliners.  Observers would note that the serviceability percentage has increased tremendously despite the cut in the defence budget.

Perhaps the RMAF should think of an interim fighter or Lead-In Fighter Trainer  (LIFT) that gives the bang for bucks.  The Korea Aerospace Industries’s TA-50 LIFT comes into mind.  Each unit of the more advanced FA-50 costs half or three times less than a top-of-the-line fighter would but it carries enough sting to hurt the enemy.

RoKAF Black Eagle’s KAI T-50B zooms above Langkawi during LIMA 17

Losing only but not much in terms of range to the BAe Systems Mk 108/208 that the RMAF currently deploys in Labuan to cover both the eastern South China and Sulu seas, the TA-50’s ability to reach supersonic speeds (Mach 1.5 compared to the Hawk’s Mach 0.84) and excellent thrust-to-weight ratio (0.96 to the Hawk’s 0.65) means that the TA-50 would make a better aircraft placed on Alert 5 to intercept straying foreign aircraft. Its superb ability to deliver air-to-ground as well as anti-shipping ordnances makes it a suitable platform to support anti-incursion/counter-insurgency operations in the ESSCOM area.

The RMAF is also interested to develop its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capability in both tactical and strategic aspects.  RMAF Chief General Tan Sri Dato Seri Affandi bin Buang TUDM said that the RMAF is conducting a detailed study to identify the UAV capable of meeting the current needs of the country apart from being equipped with technologies which could be shared with various parties in the country.

The Chief of RMAF (second from left) speaking to reporters during Exercise PARADISE 4/2017 at the Kota Belud Air Range

Besides security surveillance, UAV can also be used for other purposes such as weather information and others,” he said. “If the RMAF is able to acquire sophisticated UAVs we would be able to enhance our operations in the Peninsular, Sabah, Sarawak and also in support of the MPAs patrolling the South China Sea as well as the Sulu Sea.

Hopefully the RMAF would acquire UAVs with extended on-station endurance with some hardpoints for strike capability.

Epilogue

Although the RMAF is still in want of frontline airframes, it is seen to improve its serviceability percentage, a task that seemed daunting in times of global econmic uncertainty, but certainly achievable.  The plan to purchase capable Maritime Patrol Aircraft as per the 2018 Budget, and planned addition of sophisticated UAVs, will certainly enhance its control over the airspace.

It is hoped that the government could look into equipping the RMAF with interim strike capability, especially in the South China and Sulu seas, by adding a squadron or two of the KAI TA-50, if not a squadron each of the TA-50 and its frontline version, the FA-50, hopefully by 2020, before preparing its budget for the procurement of actual frontline MRCAs that are badly needed, not only as replacements of the recently-retired MiG-29N, but also as a contingency to replace the F/A-18D which is already in its 20th year of service with the RMAF.

The RMAF may seem to walk slowly, but it is definitely walking with big strides.

Endorsing The Enemy

Almost three years ago the nation witnessed the slaughter of several police officers and men by a bunch of low-life thugs from the Southern Philippines, men of the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III landed in Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu and demanded for the return of Sabah to the Sultanate.

 
The women above lost their husband and their children have lost forever a normal life.

Anwar Ibrahim, too, lent support to the thugs. He met up with Nur Misuari before the incursion and Jamalul Kiram III openly announced his support for Anwar as the new Prime Minister of Malaysia should BN fall during the 13th General Elections.

   
 
Treachery must run deep in Anwar’s family. On the 9th November 2015, his daughter and MP for Lembah Pantai, Nurul Izzah, went to lend her support to Jacel Kiram, daughter if the now rotting Jamalul Kiram III. Talk about insensitivity! Jacel Kiram still claims that Sabah belongs to Sulu.

  
To add insult to injury, DAP’s Teresa Kok had this to say to reporters about Nurul Izzah’s visit:

  
The visit is not serious, she said, and the events that took place at Kampung Tanduo is a bit of an old story.

I hope she could tell China to now stop asking for an apology from the Japanese, and that the Jews should forget the Holocaust ever happened.

Whoever votes for these MOs again ought to be castrated and raw iodine poured on their wound.

ESSCOM ERROR

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When the government announced the formation of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM), I said to myself, “About bloody time!”. I imagined security sectors formed from Kudat to Sandakan to Lahad Datu to Semporna and Tawau, mirroring what we used to have along the Malaysian-Thai border during the Communist insurgency such as Kota Alfa, Kota Bravo, Kota Charlie and Kota Delta spanning Kuala Perlis to Tumpat. The initial aim was to combat the communist guerrillas and stopping their infiltration from Southern Thailand. After the treaty in December 1989, we had elements of the Unit Pencegahan Penyeludupan (UPP) or the Anti-Smuggling Unit operating in these areas in a supporting role, to curb the smuggling of contrabands and also human trafficking.

Instead, I find it rather amusing when the Ketua Setiausaha Negara announced that Datuk Mohammad Mentek has been appointed as the Director of ESSCOM effective April 1st. What is wrong with this appointment? Mohammad Mentek is the Director of Immigration for the state of Sabah, the agency that, in my opinion, has failed badly in curbing the in-flow of illegal Filipino and Indonesian immigrants into that state.

The New Straits Times ran a story on Mohammad Mentek’s appointment and a statement by the KSN that was complemented by Mohammad’s curriculum vitae; citing even that Mohammad would be very experienced in the field of security and public order.

This April 1st appointment has to be an April’s Fool joke with an extremely bad taste. Surely the KSN should know the functions of the Immigration Department like the back of his hand. If I may provide a memory-jogger for all, the. immigration Department’s functions are:

  • 1. Issuing of passports and travel documents to Malaysian Citizens and Permanent Residents.

    2. Issuing of visas, passes and permits to Foreign Nationals entering Malaysia.

    3. Administering and managing the movement of people at authorised entry and exit points.

    4. Enforcing the Immigration Act 1959/63, Immigration Regulations 1963 and Passport Act 1966.

  • If you think I made the above up, read it here. How much of an expert do you think the Sabah Director of Immigration would be in the field of counter-insurgency warfare, joint-command operations and public order? Other than the pen being mightier than the sword, I doubt if the person’s handled anything more than the butter knife, let alone deploy battalions of soldiers and policemen in combat situations.

    This is another example of the government missing out on a good opportunity to make things better. Obviously, the main concern when we talk about Sabah right now is its defence from foreign elements. With the heavy presence of our security forces there, we can only see illegal immigrants returning to their homeland, and not the other way round. Therefore, the government should have had a clear aim (again, quoting from the Principles of WAR) in ensuring its strategies in making Sabah more secure conform to this aim. A concept called Defence-in-Depth should have been adopted instead where the Army and Police’s General Operations Force occupy the peripheral islands off Sabah, as being done in Ops PASIR, supported by the Navy, Marine Police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. These are the front-liners that will be meeting armed militants head-on. Onshore, defence and security should be effected by the Army and Police. The Immigration Department will just stick to its supporting role, weeding out illegal immigrants.

    Therefore, in my opinion, the ESSCOM should be jointly-directed by the Deputy Commander of the Army’s 1st Division, one of the deputies of the Commissioner of Police, Sabah, and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency’s Head of Regional Enforcement for Sabah and Labuan. The reason is because they are in-charge of the combat and combat-capable units operating in this region, not the Immigration.

    In conclusion, the choice of the Director of Immigration for Sabah as the Director for ESSCOM is a grave mistake. I respect the person for who he is, but if the government wants to be seen serious in protecting the Malaysians in the state of Sabah, leave the job to the professionals. Not someone who holds a Master of Science (Statistics) degree and a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) degree from the University of Minnesota, United States.

    The Chinese Navy “Visits” Beting Serupai

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    Mention the name Beting Serupai you might get frowned upon by many. Mention the name James Shoal, and it may raise a few eyebrows. To most Malaysian, they would not be able to pinpoint where James Shoal is, save for some avid fishing enthusiasts, but this 22-meter deep shoal 80 kilometres off Bintulu, Sarawak, has been “visited” by elements of the People’s Liberation Army – Navy (PLA-N) or simply referred to as the Chinese Navy, yesterday.

    In its report on the 26th March 2013, the Associated Press wrote:

    The official People’s Daily online said Wednesday that one destroyer, two frigates and an amphibious landing ship took part in the drills around Chinese-controlled outcroppings. They involved hovercraft, ship-born helicopters, amphibious tanks, and land-based fighters and bombers, and were followed by a ceremonial visit Tuesday to James Shoal farther south.

    The Beting Serupai has always been part of China’s claim, lumped together in the Spratlys, as its southernmost territory. Prior to this “visit” the PLA-N visited the shoal in 1993 and 1994. In April of 2010, its vessel, the Marine Surveillance Ship-83 placed a sovereignty stele into the water area of the shoal.

    When Malaysia enhanced its relationship with China in May 2011, it was looked at as a step further towards harnessing a greater economic relationship. The Malaysian Opposition was quick to excoriate the act as political pandering. But in retrospect, it was strategically a good move as it relives the act by the Sultanate of Melaka with the Chinese. China is not a country one could just ignore. As in the 15th century, an alliance with China not only provides economic benefits, but also from a military standpoint.

    It is no secret that after China’s warnings to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan in 2012, the United States was actively looking for bases in this region. Among the countries where bases are sought include the Philippines and Vietnam. However, no other modern naval base offers the best proximity than Malaysia’s own Teluk Sepanggar just north of Kota Kinabalu. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the carrier battle group of the USS John C Stennis decided to make a port call there in early October 2012. Before that, in the month of April 2012, the RMN base was visited by the US Navy Secretary, who brought with him the submarine-tender, the USS Emory S Land, and the Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine, the USS Louisville.

    The only factor that is stopping the US Navy from getting naval base facilities in Sabah is probably not having a Malaysian government that would kowtow to them. Therefore, the outcome of the next general elections would be important to them. Little wonder that Sabah has been the aim of a certain party. However, this writer hopes that this dangerous effort would not come to fruition.

    That the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines has asked Filipinos to stop referring to Sabah as Sabah, Malaysia three days ago, citing Memorandum Circular No. 162 issued by Malacanang back in 2008. The DFA has also begun referring to Filipinos fleeing Sabah as “displaced persons” instead of “evacuees” or “returnees.” This is the Philippines government doing a 180 on its previous position re the Sabah claim. The fact that the US Navy and Marines have begun deploying its assets in the Philippines comes as no surprise. On Tuesday the USN and US Marine Corps offloaded more than 270 tactical and amphibious assault vehicles in Subic Bay, Zambales.

    American troops from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, III Marine Expeditionary Force, offloaded a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle from the container and roll-on, roll-off ship USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus on March 21. Some 8,000 troops from both the US and the Philippines will commence its Balikatan exercise on 5th April. And the US has yet to offer an explanation on why its minesweeper, the USS Guardian, could run aground on Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea near Palawan, two weeks before the incursion by the Sulu militants. And suddenly, Jamalul Kiram III who hardly has enough money to cover the bills for his twice-weekly kidney dialysis, could find the financial resources to send hundreds of armed militants across the Sulu Sea to Lahad Datu.

    Perhaps, the Chinese naval exercise in the South China Sea and its “visit” to the southernmost part it claims comes as a warning to any party that plans to upset the military balance in the region. China, I would expect, would want to protect its interests; and the 180 by the Philippines in the Sabah issue could be seen as an attempt to de-stabilise the region. Having Sabah not only allows a nation to dip its fingers into Sabah’s oilfields but also increases its EEZ reach into the Spratlys.

    Whatever the intentions may be by all the related parties, the Malaysian government should seriously look into increasing its naval and aerial assets. A country that is weak militarily will only see its soil trampled by foreign forces. The government should also make sure Sabah is not lost to another nation, and act against the Quislings who have caused the emergency in Lahad Datu.

    Crisis Mismanaged

    The Prime Minister recently said that lessons of the Sulu intrusion must be identified. That is only half the battle won. It should also be learnt.

    When the Sulu militants began landing at Kampung Tanduo in the Lahad Datu district of Sabah, both the military intelligence and police’s Special Branch knew exactly their numbers, type of weapons, how many more they were expecting, whose house they rendezvoused at and their intention of coming to Sabah. Within hours, elements of the General Operations Force plus the army’s 5th Brigade were deployed to effect a cordon around the area, with combat elements from the Navy, Marine Police and the Maritime Enforcement Agency taking stations offshore. More military conventional and non-conventional forces plus naval assets were already enroute in the ensuing initial hours. Within the first 24-hours, I am in the opinion that we had an overwhelming force to combat the militants. As a former serving officer of His Majesty’s Armed Forces of managerial level, I would have quickly acted in accordance to the Principles of War and the Principles of Crisis Management.

    The first Principle of War is the Selection of Aim and its Maintenance. This is the Master Principle that must be established at the commencement of hostilities and followed through and through, and everything else should fall in place. However, we see the pussy-footing of this issue in Putrajaya, in particular the Ministry of Home Affairs, in making decisions. What we saw instead was the downplaying of the seriousness of the matter by the Minister himself. How can we forget his “old men with rusty rifles” response to his appreciation of the enemy’s physical condition, forgetting the fact that these men had been involved in insurgency warfare against their own government, beheading priests and nuns and fellow Muslims, burning churches etc for the past half a century.

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    This was the same reaction from Admiral Sir Tom Phillips while sailing on board one of the Royal Navy’s most-modern battleships, the HMS Prince of Wales, off the east coast of Malaya. “The Japs can’t see us very well because they have slant eyes,” was his remark when Japanese bombers approached his ships.

    In short, never underestimate your enemy, and never take your eyes off them. Margaret Thatcher followed this principle upon being informed of the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland islands. Within the first 48 hours, she mustered the largest modern British armada to repel the invasion.

    This is because the seventh Principle of Management is You Have 48-Hours. The first 48-hours is the crunch time. If you are not ahead of the crisis within this time, you will be run over by the crisis. What we saw was more negotiations being done by the police as instructed by their superiors. We see that the enemy have already established their aim in accordance with the first Principle of War, yet we were not acting in response to that aim. While the Minister of Home Affairs was seen making ad hoc comments in between plating trees on the issue, still downplaying the crisis, the Minister of Defence was not yet roped into the whole thing to assist in resolving the crisis. This is against the Ninth Principle of War which is Cooperation – to incorporate teamwork, sharing burden of dangers, risks, and opportunities. This gave time for the enemy to maintain their aim of coming to Sabah, and they dug in, with no intention of leaving.

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    There was no communication between the authorities and members of the public, a clear failure in crisis communication. Rules five of the Principles of Crisis Management clearly states that there are three key messages to be delivered within the first 48 hours of the crisis, and they are:

  • We have a plan to deal with….and this has to go hand-in-hand with the first Principle of War,
  • We regret to inconvenience…show compassion to the people affected by the crisis so that hey will understand their need to be inconvenienced, and,
  • We have begun investigations into this matter to ensure this does not occur in the future…you need to re-assure the public that you are on top of this.
  • You need to back this up with action, but after the first skirmish that saw the demise of the first two policemen from the VAT69, there was no follow up. This was not in accordance with the third principle of war which is Offensive Action. This is the practical way to seek to gain advantage, to sustain the momentum and seize the advantage. This never happened. We lost the fifth principle of war: Surprise.

    Instead, there was absolute silence, and misleading statements issued such as the attack on the police party at Kampung Simunul near Semporna that caused a huge loss of life. Gunfire could be heard from nearby islands, and in this age of digital wireless communications, word spreads faster than before the last shot was fired that night. Instead, the official communiqué said it was a drug raid and was not related to the events in Kampung Tanduo. Mind you, although Kampung Tanduo is in the district of Lahad Datu it is much closer to the district of Semporna, gateway to the Tun Sakaran Marine Park, home to the tourist-packed islands of Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking and Sipadan. When this event finally hits the fan, and villagers took it upon themselves to dispatch of one of the militants themselves, did the authorities finally admitted what had happen.

    Such silence only fuelled rumours, as stated in the sixth principle of Crisis Management: Beware of the Court of Public Opinion. The Opposition rumour-mill was quick with this, and the government was slow to react, relying on the service of contracted and non-contracted bloggers to do the public relations, while the Ministry of Communications was also slow in its response and did nothing to explain to the masses about the cession agreement so on and so forth, just a response made in passing by the Minister during an ad hoc interview. I often wonder if it was done in such a manner for self-promotion or that Radio Televisyen Malaysia, as an arm of the Ministry of Communications, did not have the time nor resources to come up with fillers to educate the general public on the crux of the issue in Lahad Datu.

    In the end, the public wanted action. And finally, the Minister of Defence was roped in. He went back to KL to brief the Prime Minister on what needs to be done. Subsequently, the Prime Minister ordered the police and military to work together and do the necessary to end this. Only now we see a more structured concentration of force and economy of effort by the joint-military-police action against the militants. And finally, press conferences are handled by senior police and military officers who give hard, no-nonsense facts, rather than by politicians who are more familiar with sugar-coating facts.

    And as the tenth principle of Crisis Management states: Every Crisis Is An Opportunity. Smart leaders would know that in the midst of a crisis, there is an opportunity to be seized. The government has announced an increase in the defence budget to support the formation of the East Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM). However, the decision to place this command under the Chief Minister of Sabah instead of the National Security Council could be erroneous.

    Trust me, there will be more trouble. If there is a lesson to be learnt from all this, it is to leave defence and security matters in the hands of the professionals. Not politicians.

    The Darker Shade of Grey

    My pro-BN friends may not like this post. Just when they were having it good with this:

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    Then they decided that since they have the ammo to attack, they might as well use them all up:

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    In my opinion, it is good when you have all that ammunition and firepower, but it would also be equally good to know when to use what.

    The Manila Times and Reuters articles linking Anwar Ibrahim to the incursion by Sulu militants, coupled with the death of nine of our servicemen in action against them, caught Anwar off-balance and was on the verge of falling down. His signature reactions of denials and threats to bring to court local mainstream media over the allegations, but not sue the foreign ones, underscore his guilty-conscience. Both the mainstream media and pro-BN websites were already all over him.

    There was a brief attempt to divert the attention of all when the father of his purported sodomy victim made an about turn and announced that his son (the victim) has been part of a conspiracy to have Anwar found guilty of the act in order to deny him the chance of becoming the next Prime Minister of Malaysia. However, events in Lahad Datu proved overwhelming; and for a moment it seemed that it was almost game over for Anwar, as far as they eyes of those labelled as “the grey voters”. There was nothing more infuriating than having a Parliamentarian being instrumental in the act of aggression towards His Majesty’s security forces.

    Then, before the public could grasp the gist of the whole situation in Lahad Datu, pro-BN websites started putting up screen captures of someone who looks like Anwar Ibrahim, in an intimate act with another male inside a hotel room.

    To me, it is not even an overkill. It is rather like letting loose your ammo a la John Rambo, hoping to strike something. Instead, only the cheerleaders cheered while some other pro-BN supporters retorted. For the pro-Anwar, the standard-issue answers came out, ranging from the usual “it’s not him” to “this time they have found a much slimmer actor to match Anwar’s tummy.”

    For the grey voters, this is a proof that both sides embark in gutter-politics. It is also a sign to them, although it may not be true, that the government cannot find a strong link between Anwar and the Sulu militants that the government had to resort to punching below the belt to get at Anwar before the next general election.

    I don’t know why this issue was brought forth. Anwar’s sexual preferences is a foregone conclusion. you can find legal documents affirming this. At this juncture the pro-BN sites should just focus on the efforts of the BN government in assisting the people, instead of playing the same game that the pro-PR sites are playing. The saying “If you can’t beat them, join them” does not apply in this situation. You do not simply join those who swim in filth to prove that you could do it too. For those who support Anwar will continue to support him, just as those who attack him are staunchly BN. Not one person from either side is going to change his or her mind just because they see the clips of two men fondling each other.

    But…the Grey ones might react negatively.

    What the pro-BN sites should remember is there is no use in trying to change those who are Black into White; but rather change the Grey into a lighter shade. Unfortunately, this is not how some see it. It is their loss as they may find a high turnout in the next elections but still with a high number of protest or spoilt votes.

    It would be an interesting election-results night.

    Lahad Datu: Why Pakatan Rakyat Does Not Deserve To Be Briefed

    Today, Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party, a member of the loose coalition calling themselves the Pakatan Rakyat, has called upon the Prime Minister to brief the Pakatan Rakyat lawbreakers lawmakers on the operational updates of Ops Daulat that is being conducted by the PDRM and the Armed Forces.

    However, apart from being total idiots, the Pakatan Rakyat side cannot be trusted with national secrets. And my friend, OnDaStreet, whom sides neither he Pakatan Rakyat nor the Barisan Nasional, has explained why beautifully.

    Read more on his blog.