Incursion of Filipinos could backfire on the Barisan Nasional leadership

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein claims that the Malaysian security forces are capable and willing to do anything deemed essential to protect the sovereignty of their land. Hussein made the remarks during his visit to the General Operations Force 17th Battalion in Sahabat 16 at Felda Sahabat oil palm plantation scheme.

He said: “If there is no solution to the stand-off with the band of armed men who claimed to be members of the Royal Sulu Army, and if the security of Malaysians is at risk, the security forces are ready to do the necessary… We are in control. We will ensure that the group will not do anything to jeopardize the situation. I hope those involved will not push the authorities to that extent.”

According to Hussein, the group is not heavily armed and the security forces have sealed the area, which means the group cannot bring in more ammunition. However, it is believed that the current situation of Lahad Datu following the incursion of armed Filipinos could backfire on the Barisan Nasional leadership.

“If this is the BN game, then it is a dangerous strategy,” said State Reform Party (STAR) chief Jeffrey Kitingan. “It [the strategy] is a double-edged sword because it can backfire and cause the people to vote

against the BN for its obvious failure in flexing the [government’s] military muscle for the sake of national dignity and sovereignty. If the government cannot protect our country and deal with this problem in a way that will enhance our standing as a sovereign nation, maybe it’s time for Malaysia to ask for international intervention.”

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