Who’s funding these terrorists? – Tun M

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mahWith their mint-condition assault rifles and grenade launchers, there is no denying that the Sulu militants, who arrived in Sabah in February, were well-funded. But where did the money come from?

Even before the governments of Malaysia and the Philippines launch their separate inquiries into the incursion, this question requires urgent attention. We cannot have anonymous benefactors raising private armies to attack us with impunity.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has joined those demanding answers.

“The question is this: all operations cost money. If you are completely bankrupt I don’t think you can mount an invasion. So where does the money come from?” he asked on Friday.

In the absence of firm answers we have only unsettling speculation and news reports. The Philippines media has already linked the Sulu gunmen to an unnamed Malaysian Opposition politician, while here Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim issued lawsuits when TV3 and Utusan Malaysia attached his name to the story.

The problem is, as Dr M so concisely puts it, is that “some people” stand to benefit from an attempted invasion on our soil. Even if it is doomed to failure from the start, it has had the effect of promoting fear and uncertainty. So who would benefit from that in an election year when the government is standing on the platform of prosperity and stability?

The respected former Prime Minister has also rightly attacked those who claim that Malaysia’s robust operation against the Sulu militants constitutes “crimes against humanity”.

“We are not invading anybody, we are defending our country and even if there is loss of lives on both sides… we have to accept it because we have a legitimate right to defend our country,” he pointed out.

This is a point well made. Have those who suggest the police and army action against the insurgents was a “brutal crackdown” forgotten that it came after three patient weeks of negotiating? Or that eight Malaysian lives were lost at the hands of the Sulu gunmen?

The Philippines media in particular has been critical of Malaysia; the same media that isn’t asking how a private army was raised on Philippine soil without their government or intelligence services having an inkling of what was going on.

With both his observations, Dr M has touched on serious issues that will no doubt be dealt with in the inquiry set to take place in Malaysia, an inquiry that he says should have the full powers of a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Until then, the situation remains under control, with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak saying more evidence was needed “before we point a finger at anyone”, though he remains committed to exposing those who fund private armies to destabilise the nation.  –  The Choice