23 Jun 2014

How to deal with militants in Sabah

PETALING JAYA: Former MACC adviser Robert Phang has proposed the revival of the colonial-era “new village” system to isolate suspected foreign militants in Sabah from the general population.

In a statement lamenting the recent rash of abductions in the state, he said he was suggesting the “British-tested tactic” because the militants and their sympathisers “all look like Sabahans”, making it difficult for the authorities to identify them.

He said the exercise would need strong support from the locals and urged the MPs and state assemblymen in the affected areas to lead in planning and putting the isolation scheme into effect.

Phang, who chairs the Social Care Foundation and sits in the executive council of the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation, resigned from the MACC advisory panel in January 2011 following events subsequent to his insistence that Attorney-General Gani Patail be investigated for graft.

His statement on the Sabah abductions called for a structural reform of the Eastern Sabah Security Commission (Esscom) and expressed incredulity over official statements that no ransom had been paid to secure the release of kidnap victims.

He urged the authorities to stop negotiating with kidnappers and paying ransom to them, saying he feared that kidnapping was becoming a “lucrative business”.

“No ransom paid is the official stand of the PM,” he said.  “But it was contradicted by the families of the victims.

“It’s difficult to believe that there was no ransom paid to the kidnappers. Simple logic: if no ransom paid, there will be no release of hostages. The kidnappers would not risk their lives to do it for free.

“Every time ransom is paid and hostages are released, a new kidnapping takes place. This goes to show it has become a lucrative business.”

He also expressed concern that the “so-called negotiator” between the militants and the authorities would become “a permanent negotiator because of this lucrative business”. 

Source : http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/06/22/how-to-deal-with-militants-in-sabah/

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