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Fwd: MGG As You Sow, So Shall You Reap
By web aNtu

13/9/2000 7:55 pm Wed

Ringkasan Rencana (point sahaja):

  • Berulang kembali kejadian penculikkan ini adalah disebabkan tindak balas kerajaan sendiri yang angkat tangan dan terus wang tebusan.

  • Pak Lah percaya penculikkan ini bermotif kewangan.

  • Kes kali ini lebih rumit kerana Sipadan dan Litigan adalah pulau yang masih menjadi rebutan Indonesia dan Malaysia. Pihak FIlifina percaya seorang Lt. Gen bersara mamainkan peranan di Sipadan.

Jadi tajuknya mungkin sudah menjawab persoalannya ... Sesuatu itu ditanam untuk menuai hasilnya dikesokkan harinya.

[MGG] As You Sow, So Shall You Reap

The Sipadan kidnap stand-off could not be resolved until millions of US dollars were paid in ransom. Despite the denials, the four-month long tortuous negotiations involved money, lots of it. The European countries wanted their citizens out unharmed, and that they would be prepared to pay to get them out was clear: their diplomat representatives in Kuala Lumpur were in no doubt they would be. Malaysia had an assistant minister and a former Sabah chief minister on hand along with sundry others, their role widely believed to involve paying ransom. Officially, of course, they would not pay, but when Libya came in at the tail end, when negotiations were at an impasse, and offered to put up the sums demanded to get them out, it left the countries off the hook. Barely a day after the last victim was released, when the pirates struck again, this time seizing three Malaysians from Pulau Pandanan, off the coast of Semporna; eleven others fled into the jungle. The wide open seas in the area is barely patrolled, and pirates can strike at random, unbeknownst to the authorities. The officials have no clue where the men were.

The Abu Sayyaf kidnappers played their cards well, raising the ante until the first European country cracked and agreed to pay. But it was a dangerous precedent. Both Manila and Kuala Lumpur now admit that the kidnaps were finally motivated. The Philippines spokesman Ronaldo Zamora said "the more you pay in ransom the more you pay in kidnapping". The Malaysian deputy prime minister, Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, believes it could be "financially motivated". The waters around Sabah, especially in the area off Semporna, is breeding ground for pirates, who can hit-and-run with remarkable agility, with little threat from police or military reaction. The presence of a half-million Filipinos in Sabah, mostly from the southern Mindanao area and its environs, mostly Moslems, adds a security element which if all but officially ignored. The Sipadan kidnap is widely believed to have been a political show of force in which, Sabah sources say, involved the Mindanao governor, Mr Nur Misuari, and Malaysian politicians. It backfired.

The latest kidnapping therefore is more serious and dangerous. The security element is not addressed. Could this have been a tit-for-tat for something the Sabah government which restricted these pirates and their relatives to land or otherwise reside in Sabah? It was alleged at one time the Sipadan kidnap was a Mindanao show of force for Malaysians expelling illegals residents in the state. The Philippines allege there is more to the Sipadan kidnap than is revealed, that there was some official collusion in that a retired lieutenant general had a key role in the Sipadan kidnap. A few more high profile kidnaps like this, and one can write off the area as a tourist destination. Security in the area can be ensured only if the three governments involved -- Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines -- jointly patrol the seas. That is not possible, since Indonesia and Malaysia are locked in a dispute now before the World Court over who owns Sipadan and Litigan islands; Philippines-Malaysia ties are strained by the continued Manila claim for Sabah. Since Manila believes the three kidnapped Malaysians are now in an island off Jolo, with a cordon now in place, Kuala Lumpur is embroiled in yet another kidnap in which it can do little but to pay off whatever ransom is demanded. Especially, when bilateral ties are so frosty.

M.G.G. Pillai