WHEN Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak landed in Lahad Datu yesterday for a closer look of the flashpoint at Felda Sahabat, it could only imply a logical scenario: the security setting for his presence is absolutely assured for the Prime Minister to mingle with security forces and locals to better understand the crisis.
The Prime Minister did not insist on jetting over on Tuesday, the day he green lighted the air/ground strikes against intruding terrorists revealed as treacherous and vicious, a deluded ragtag bunch of Filipinos who fancied Sabah as their private little fiefdom.
Instead, his generals did the country’s bidding in the initial phase of the counter-insurgency to flush out the terrorists from whatever hole, barn or village they crawled into to “hide in plain sight” and live to cause another ruckus in the near future.
If Najib had insisted on being there from day one, a chunk of security personnel would have to look after his and his entourage’s safety, a distraction when they are better off deployed on the mopping up operations.
But he didn’t.
He took a little time.
Najib has examined the damage and future prospects of the region and worked out a better empathy, especially for the imminently crucial meeting with his Philippines counterpart to wrestle with ideas to make the region safe, secure and prosperous.
By now, Najib is arguably the most knowledgeable man on the crisis, mustering briefings, reports and intelligence from a phalanx of security forces confronting the Sulu terrorists from every conceivable angle, perhaps to journalists and scholars envious of his multitude of informed sources.
Najib has obtained updated reports from the Home and Defence Ministers, background briefings from senior police officers, armed forces brass, the special branch and military intelligence agents crawling all over Sabah, Sulu and the Philippines for reliable data, and intimate insights from Sabah’s grassroots leaders.
This thought is tantalising: Najib should be able to blog juicy nuggets on the fighting there and dispatch daily tasty Tweets, maybe a picture of two which he personally snapped, being the social media enthusiast that he is.
But he hasn’t and by sticking to conventional wisdom, he won’t because if he does, it would be dangerously telling, a boon to the terrorists savvy enough to exploit the barrage of useful information proliferating on the web and social network sites that risks exposing counter-insurgency tactics.
The limited official news and information on the counter-insurgency is so obvious and yet demand for more, revealing information remains unabated, especially from idiotic Opposition politicians, sanctimonious journalists and hordes of armchair generals, on reading military manuals, found the impudence to chide the security forces on where they went wrong and how to execute the right operations.
Granted, there are conscientious critics with intimate military and technical knowledge to perceive the search-and-destroy phase but some of these demands’ inanity, shrillness and bloodlust mandate that military orders are to be issued from these know-it-alls out of the cozy cafes in Bangsar!
This includes Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s speciously comparing Lahad Datu with the 2000 ragtag band of religious fanatics who commandeered an army camp and mugged them of lethal firearms and artillery before they were overpowered by a joint police-military operation – four days later.
Let’s get this straight: the Al-Maunah siege operated from a dense jungle slope in Perak that was easily contained while no foreigners or diplomatic ties or political sensitivities were incriminated.
Right now, security forces are trekking the red zones to flush out Filipinos who appear as Sabahans, hence the “hide in plain sight” tactic, a tenuous task considering that the last time a similar operation took place was decades ago, our soldiers stalked nasty communist terrorists.
If this idiotic Anwar rant, borrowed from a naïve ex-army general with a crush on the PKR defacto leader, is any indication, Anwar’s pleading for bipartisanship roundtable and an emergency Parliament debate is disingenuous to begin with, designed to mask the allegation that the Opposition was part of a bigger conspiracy that instigated the Sulus.
Casting of aspersions on the Government directly and our security forces subtly had always been concerted and insidious, manipulated to create resentment against the establishment and hook voters with the general election in sight.
Right-thinking Malaysians have stated their stand: they retain their faith on our soldiers’ abilities to flush out the enemy, even if it is deliberately slow but steady, capture them alive if possible to extract valuable intelligence and secure Sabah’s wellbeing.
People who continue to demean the PM or our soldiers on how to do their jobs are excessively self-indulgent. They should visit a shrink before they are deemed to be clinically insane.