“Secretary Rosario agreed that this group should be labelled as terrorists,” Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said in a statement today.
If you have been following the chronology (read here), this declaration has taken way too long. Only they know why because had this been done much earlier, like 20 days ago, we may have had a different outcome.
Unfortunately, a totally different view was presented by ABS-CBN News in the Philippines saying that the TMI report was taken out of context and that the acts were considered terroristic but the intruders are not terrorists (read here).
In Semporna, there were alleged acts of terrorism. As reported by the Malaysian Foreign Minister, after the police forces were lured into an ambush and killed, their bodies were brutally mutilated and desecrated. If indeed these atrocities were committed as reported to him, the Secretary and the Foreign Minister both agreed that these were, at the very least, terroristic acts.
Now that the Army and Air Force have come into the picture together with the Police, there is now a lot more firepower to deal with the situation appropriately.
It is a joke that the invaders call the Malaysian response “an overkill” (read here) as reported by the Philippines Inquirer. When they come to Malaysia covertly with arms and the intent to cause harm regardless what claims they may have, this illegal action must be dealt with in the most severe manner. What more now that 8 Malaysians have died in the process? It is 8 lives too many to sacrifice.
What our Government calls these invaders have serious consequences.
Because our Government refused to label them as militants or terrorists but merely intruders and according to Tun M that they are also muslims, we have taken the long path of appeasement and negotiation. 23 days too long in fact.
Of course, we are now talking from hindsight although the calls for a severe response have been forthcoming for many days already from Malaysians, especially after our policemen were killed and some had their bodies mutilated and one beheaded as reported by The Borneo Insider (read here).
We can be sure that we are not getting all the news and details remain sketchy at best. All the many conflicting reports around the Internet are not helping Malaysians learn more. The Government should take a page from the US authorities to keep the public informed with enough details on a regular or at least daily basis.
For now, we scour the Internet for any news coming out but we must be very careful in what we read. We must question the validity of information and be cautious and not emotional.
We pray that our security forces handling the Lahad Datu invasion to be safe from harm.
To the Armed Forces, Air Force and Police, we are proud to stand with you as you serve to protect our country from invaders. Salute!