The invasion in Sabah is as good as over and it is now time to mop and clean up. Despite the armed invaders simplistic claim that they are taking back what is rightfully theirs, what they have done in Sabah is wrong and unlawful. In international law there is no justification for the use of arms except in cases self-defense.
It is sad that the situation has been reduced to where there is loss of lives. Our prayers and heartfelt condolences to the departed and their grieving loved ones.
I am still struggling to comprehend why all this has happened as the claims made by the invaders that Sabah belongs to the Sultanate of Sulu are very dubious.
Historically, it is true that Sabah fell under the jurisdiction of Sulu, but it was subsequently handed over to the British via a treaty. Therefore when Sabah joined Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya to create Malaysia and in gained independence from the British, the arrangement between the British and the Sulu Sultanate then legally transferred to the new federation.
Of course there are provisions for the treaty to be re-examined. The manner in which the Sultan of Sulu agreed to the agreement can be questioned; the probability that he was coerced or tricked can be investigated.
But this must be done in a peaceful manner, not by a show of force, bearing arms and forcing an invasion. Again, another legal conundrum arises for the Sultanate of Sulu does not exist as an international legal entity. It is not a sovereign state.
The Philippines are a sovereign state but they clearly did not order this attack. So, in effect, the current crisis is the result of private individuals and thus outside the ambit of international law.
Be that as it may, the effect is still the same as one army attacking another; resulting in unnecessary violence and the people of Sabah living in fear. What the invaders have done is deeply wrong and unlawful. All that remains is to pray that this sorry episode ends soon without further loss of life.
I have no doubt the Malaysian armed forces will be victorious; it is just a matter of how soon and with how many casualties.
What we certainly don’t need at this trying time is the politicking of the situation. If all the conspiracy theories flying around were true it could only mean that all politicians in this country on both sides of the divide are helplessly brain dead.
Neither the Barisan nor Pakatan stands to gain from this crisis.
Of course, both sides have accused the other of having a hand in the sparking of this invasion.
I know they are politicians, and politicians have to do what politicians have to do, but even they can’t be that moronic.
If Pakatan did this and they are found out, they will be traitors and their future will be in garbage collection. The exact same argument applies for the Barisan. What good would a situation like this gain to either one of them?
There is a rumor going around that the elections are being put on hold because the Government will declare an emergency. Would an emergency declaration really help Barisan gain popularity? I don’t think so.
Once this is all over we can have a proper impartial investigation to find out the full story of this sad chapter in our lives. Until then, I hope that this tasteless politicking can be put aside and that peace will be restored as soon as possible.
Malaysia can then seek the extradition of self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III from the Philippines to face the law over the intrusion into Sabah.
Legal experts have opined that Malaysia’s arrest and extradition of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari to the Philippines in 2001 following a request by that country had set a precedent for cooperation in dealing with such cases.
Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar said the culprits, including those based in Philippines such as Jamalul Kiram, needed to be brought to Malaysia to face criminal charges of waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, an offence under the Penal Code that is punishable by death upon conviction.
The Spanker says:
Our sovereignty has been challenged and while Malaysia tried hard to avoid bloodshed they started firing, triggering action which resulted in our security personnel being shot dead, which means there is no more room to forgive them.
Since Jamalul Kiram did not personally take up weapons in Malaysian territory, he could be investigated for abetting to wage war, which also carries the death penalty upon conviction.
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Associate Professor Shamrahayu A. Aziz said the charge could be used against the culprits even if they were not Malaysian citizens because what mattered was where the crime was committed.
It is also possible for Malaysia to request the extradition of a person who is not in our country if we can prove that the instructions came from him or that he instigated or incited the actions, she said.
Emeritus Professor of Law at Universiti Teknologi Mara Prof Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi said many Sections in Chapter 6 of the Penal Code could be used against the culprits.
He said Malaysians in Lahad Datu, who had given protection to the intruders, could also be charged under Section 125A of the Act, which makes it an offence to harbor any person in Malaysia or a foreign country who is at war or considered hostile against the King.
In addition, Shad Faruqi said the culprits could also be charged under the newly included Section 6A of the Penal Code, which deals with offences relating to terrorism.
On the possibility of the Philippines requesting to send its naval ships to Malaysia to offer assistance, Prof Dr Aruna Gopinath from Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia said it can only be done after obtaining an agreement from the Malaysian Government. They cannot just sail here unilaterally as that would be trespassing,” she said.