The sudden, surprising and shocking Sulu intrusion into Sabah over the past few weeks has been extremely disturbing to the people of of the state and the rest of Malaysia.
It is obviously a cause for grave concern to Malaysians as it constitutes a serious breach of our national borders.
It is even more worrying as this conflict has brought about the unfortunate deaths of a number of members of the security forces in their honourable endeavour to defend the nation and protect its people.
The security and welfare of our Sabahan brothers and sisters deserve the attention and concern of all Malaysians, and therefore we Malaysians have the right to know everything about this issue. To do this, we may seek as many sources of information as possible.
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In this regard, Special Affairs Department (Jasa) director general Fuad Hassan’s caution to the people to rely on ‘official sources’ pertaining to the conflict is misplaced and misleading. This is especially so when information on this issue has been scarce, coming out only in dribs and drabs from the federal government, which is known to be less than transparent about the way it handles certain issues and conflicts.
Incidentally, Fuad has also taken exception to criticisms put out on news portals and blogs of the way the authorties have handled the issue so far, deeming it unpatriotic. We would like to emphasise to him that such criticism is more than a democratic right; it is, on the contrary, a form of patriotism.
While we understand the sensitive nature of our defence systems and security strategies, we have the right to know why things happened the way they did in Sabah recently. It is scary when intruders can quite easily cross our borders and walk into our land without being spotted and hold off those whom we depend on for our safety and security for three weeks.
We need full answers to assuage our fears and provide the necessary assurance that we are indeed safe.
Aliran Executive Committee
4 March 2013