The Sulu terrorist intrusion into Sabah has been hogging the limelight for the past few weeks.  After 3 weeks stand off, the Malaysian Police and Armed Forces begins to take action after suffering a few casualties. 

I have copied and paste the heart wrenching account of one of our warrior who were there when they comrades were killed mercilessly.  These are from the New Straits Times dated 12.03.2013.

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GUNFIGHT: Cop recounts the moment Sulu terrorists killed his colleagues in Kampung Simunul on March 2

AS the main assaulters in the police raiding team outside the terrorists hideout were hit by  bullets, *Adam, *Amir and the other operatives behind them pulled back and dove for cover. The enemy had a clear field of fire and the police team was exposed.

Just seconds after the terrorists opened fire, the area where the terrorists were located exploded in a volley of fresh fire as more enemy combatants lit up the police assault team. The police laid down suppressive fire to give their men a chance to get behind cover.

Many leapt into the door-less houses that lined the walkway; these would be their foxholes for the next 24 hours, at least. Adam and Amir were among those who escaped the complex maze. They dialled up their combat net (command centre) and called for backup.

Recalling that moment, Adam said as he moved further from the house, turning his head every now and then, he saw the terrorists exit the house to pull his comrades who were lying in pools of their own blood outside the door, closer in.

“One of our men who was shot at the door retreated but fell into the water below. Somehow, he managed to call the operations centre.

“He was telling command about the ambush and that he had been shot. The terrorists must have heard him. We found his bullet-riddled body a few metres from where he fell,” Adam said.

This was the only time throughout our conversation that Adam was overcome with emotion.

“Then there was a lull in the fighting. I looked back and this was when I saw the terrorists striking my brothers with their barong (a knife resembling a cleaver used in the Philippines) repeatedly.

“They were already badly wounded. I did not hear any sound coming from them as they were being hacked,” the officer, not more than 30, said. He let his voice trail off until he was barely audible.

Heavy gunfire resumed, this time coming from all directions. *Musa, who was peering through the cracks with one eye cocked on the four men he had in custody in case they decided to jump him, was almost hit by two rounds that slammed through the window.

In less than a minute from when the first shot was fired, several terrorists began to advance and press on with their attack on the policemen.

The terrorists appeared to know the area well as they were believed to have entered the village about a week before.

Musa said as it was quite dark outside, he could not return fire for fear of hitting one of his own.

From where he was, he could see the atrocities that were being committed against his fallen comrades in the dimly-lit blue house.

His voice cracked as he told us: “If there is one thing I could erase from my memory, it is the sight of seeing my fellow brothers slaughtered by the terrorists.

“I saw one of my brothers, who had been shot and was barely alive, when one of the terrorists swung his barong at his neck. He was later shot in the mouth,” Musa said, his voice cracking.

This was the same time that Inspector Mohd Hasnal, who was kneeling on the walkway after being shot, was being attacked by a barong-wielding terrorist.

Although he could not fight back, Hasnal shielded himself from the blows with his arms. By then, his fingers and forearm were almost severed. His attacker had also managed to strike him on his head and back.

*Ahmad, from his position, saw the whole thing and lit Hasnal’s attacker up with his weapon. His trigger finger never relaxed as he fired off round after round, spent bullet casings coming out of his ejection port in a torrent of brass. He also killed another terrorist.

Ahmad unloaded an entire magazine clip on Hasnal’s attacker before the terrorist fell into the boat below. Police later found amulets around the terrorist’s waist. He and the rest of the terrorists did not have body armour or ballistic protection.

It was then that Hasnal got up to take cover. As luck would have it, he chose the path that led to the house Ahmad was in. Seeing him approach, Ahmad dived into the narrow corridor and pushed Hasnal into the house Musa was in.

Superintendent Ibrahim Lebar, who had just been shot a few metres away, was a few steps behind Hasnal. However, he came face to face with a terrorist who had turned into the corridor. The terrorist shot at him and attacked him with a barong.

Ahmad, who had heard the shot from inside the house, shot at the terrorist, who managed to run away.

Ibrahim died in the corridor.

Having seen the kind of butchers the Suluk terrorists were, Ahmad was determined to keep his superior’s body intact. He dragged his body in.

As the night fell silent

The next 24 hours was a living hell for Musa and the rest of the men trapped at the village. Although the night had became still since the final rounds were fired, they were hunkered down within the four walls of their concealed positions. They didn’t know whom they could trust.

With one hand on his weapon and pointing it at the four suspects, and the other trying to stem the flow of blood from Hasnal’s wounds, Musa’s eyes darted around the house. He didn’t know where the terrorists would breach his position, where they were going to come in from. They could come in through the kitchen door or the open window he was facing. He prayed hard for a rescue team to come soon.

“I had to urinate in my pants and a piece of cloth, because if the terrorists heard the sound of water dripping, we were all dead.

“Occasionally, I would wake Hasnal up to make sure he was still alive.”

Musa had found a water container that the occupants of the house had used to catch water leaking from the roof. It was full of unidentifiable particles and lizard droppings.

“I drank it and gave Hasnal some. That was the same water that I used to clean off the blood on his face.”

He said that while his phone battery had long died, he had to remove Hasnal’s phone battery as he was unsure of how to switch it off. He couldn’t risk the terrorists tracing them. The four suspects had been patted down before the ambush and had had their phones seized.

The rescue operation

The sound of the wooden walkway creaking at 5pm the next day jolted an exhausted Musa.

Heavy footsteps advancing towards him followed. He peeked through the cracks and saw scores of VAT 69 commandos in full tactical assault gear scouring the area. He grabbed the reflective vest he had hidden throughout the night and hung it by the window, to indicate his position to the rescuers.

Earlier, before his mission was launched, the entire team had agreed on a set of pro words, hand signals and gestures to convey information efficiently.

As agreed during the briefing at the headquarters, in case anything were to go wrong, Musa would lie still on his back.

This would enable the rescue team to immediately identify him as a friendly.

The commandos stormed into the house and as per procedure, he gave them a brief report. They then secured and took with them all the weapons in the room, including his.

“I somewhat felt like a prisoner when my weapon was taken away.

“Then, the commandos shouted ‘Secured!’ and said that they would come back for me,” he said.

Inspector Hasnal was immediately taken away by two of the commandos out of the hostile area. “It was the greatest relief for me when Hasnal was brought out alive.

“He had fought hard for his life and it was not in vain.”

By the very admission of Sultanate of Sulu Princess Jacel Kiram, daughter of Sultan Jamalul Kiram, in a March 8 GMA Network “Unang Hirit” interview — the Sabah issue is strictly between the Sultanate and Malaysia. Racel Kiram admitted that the authorization given by their family to the Philippine government in 1962 lapsed automatically when nothing was accomplished in pursuing the claim after 20 years.

Jacel Kiram was quoted: “Nag-lapse na po ito. Nakalagay po ‘dun sa kasulatan na in 20 years time, kung wala pong nagawa ang gobyerno… may expiration ‘yung authority. So back to the Sultanate of Sulu na ulit. (This lapsed already. It’s in the agreement that if nothing is accomplished in 20 years, the agreement automatically expires. That’s why it’s back with the Sultanate.)”

This is the same Jacel Kiram who has been accusing the President Benigno S. Aquino III (P-Noy) government of acting as a Malaysian puppet for not supporting their Sabah misadventure. She and her family knew from Day 1 that the Philippine government no longer has a role in pursuing the Sultanate’s Sabah claim — yet they ranted for days for being abandoned and that P-Noy didn’t protect fellow Filipinos. Now from her own mouth, she announced last Friday that the Sabah issue is strictly between them and Malaysia.

In an earlier media report, a recruit of the Sultan’s royal army in Sabah admitted that they were lured to join by promises of $600 in wages, land and position. Early on during the Sabah misadventure, the Kirams kept boasting that they were willing to fight and die for their rights to Sabah and that many Filipinos in Sabah will rally and join their cause. Again, these boasts reflect deception. The 200-man royal army expedition would not have been as courageous if they knew there were no reinforcements to be expected from Filipinos in Sabah.

Amazing how those of our supposed “sober-minded analysts” and “Sabah experts” missed the pattern of deception in this Sabah caper. Nobody ever thought of the safety of the over 800,000 Filipinos in Sabah that became exposed to risks of deportation because of Sultan Kiram’s boast that they’ll join his misadventure. Not only did they not join the Kiram misadventure — they condemned it for putting their lives, livelihood and assets at risk. Now, they’re returning home where they have no jobs or shelter.

This admission of Jacel Kiram is evidence that there was a conspiracy in this Sabah misadventure. It’s a conspiracy to stir Filipino emotions to further the Sultanate’s interest in what’s strictly a Sultanate and Malaysia row. It’s a conspiracy to involve the Philippine government and the Filipino people both here and in Sabah in a violent episode that the Sultanate instigated when it turns out all along that we have no role in this Sabah row. How could all those so-called analysts, intellectuals of our academe miss this grand deception and even reinforce the misplaced desire to reclaim Sabah? Charlatans they all proved to be.

They were proclaiming the Sabah invaders as romantic Tausug warriors — and that they were Filipinos our government was duty bound to protect. Such idiots they are, people who don’t know the truth even when it stares them in the face. Nobody among these charlatans realized that when you create a national security threat in another country, you are liable to the laws of that country and our government is duty-bound to respect that. When captured and tried, the best our government can do is to provide legal service and when convicted — plead for clemency. In my opinion, the Sultanate should provide for the legal service. They started this mess so let them pay for its outcome and attendant costs.

The seriousness of the threat to Malaysian national security could have dragged all of us into a war with a neighbor that enjoys superior firepower if we had a president who is driven by emotions, like many of those who were ready to assail him for “mishandling” the Sabah issue. Let them come out now and repeat their “mishandling” charge against P-Noy. How can P-Noy mishandle a claim that we were not party to? Mishandling would be if P-Noy engaged Philippine resources and soldiers in a conflict that doesn’t involve us.

Former president Fidel V. Ramos urged P-Noy to sit down with Sultan Kiram. Ramos should walk his talk. During his presidency, he never gave the Sultanate any importance except to give Kiram the Pencak Silat sports appointment. Ramos struck the deal with the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) but did not include the Kirams. How come, he never placed Sultan Kiram in the negotiations? Why would he now suggest that our government pay importance to a troublemaker whose concern is purely between his family and Malaysia?

How come all those geniuses citing historical records to “bolster” our fictitious claim to Sabah never thought of checking if Sultan Jamalul Kiram truly represented his entire family? As it turns out now, there are other claimants to the throne, making Jamalul Kiram a pretender. You don’t risk resources to pursue a claim that’s being held by a dubious claimant. Again, this is another point of deception in this Sabah misadventure.

(taken from http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2013/03/12/918608/pattern-sultanate-deception)

Posted by: tathsing | December 31, 2012

Good Bye 2012 ! Hello 2013 ! HAPPY NEW YEAR !

2012 has been an exciting year with its up and down moments.  Probably the worse time was the passing of my mum who went in the specialist hospital with back ache but went out on a funeral parlor stretcher. I still miss you mum. There were a few surprises too when some of my friends left this world although they are much younger than my mum. May their souls rest in peace.

Amidst the sadness, there were joy when Azira were born making me a grand uncle at so young a age.  More joy again when Danabelle was born adding another niece to my collections of nephews and nieces.

Business and work has been blessed with the grace of God and I am sure 2013 will be even more fruitful with my new position come January 2013.  Its irks me that some “friends” still think that I am a tissue paper to them.  Yes, like a tissue paper tossed away once used.  I guess this is the problem of our world today with mindset of using disposable things!

This will be my last post for the year 2012 although this blog has not been active so hopefully more of it in 2013 with my twenty cents worth of opinion.  There are so many things and thoughts to be pen down.

Signing off here by taking the opportunity to wish everyone a very very HAPPY NEW YEAR and may 2013 be even better for us all. God Bless us all.

Posted by: tathsing | December 10, 2012

Adding Your Points!

While joining the queue at the payment counter at a department store, the lady in front of me gave her membership card to the cashier. As her purchase were being processed another customer (at another cashier machine, there were two cashiers at the payment counter) coolly took her card and exclaimed “may I have your membership card for a while?”

The lady in front of me asked, “why do you want my card for?” showing a extremely fierce and not so happy face!

However, her irritation quickly turn into a cool and soft “thank you” when she was told by the second lady, “I am giving you more loyalty points for my purchase”.

What the first lady did not realised was that actually, the second lady used her membership card to get a further discount on her purchases!

This simple incident highlight the essence of communication. We do not have to tell the full truth but sometimes only the half truth. We do not say what we like to hear but we say what the other party like to hear.

Posted by: tathsing | October 7, 2011

Goodies For Malaysian?

The cyberworld and the media world have been overwhelm with the news of APPLE Ex-CEO Steve Jobs passing from a 7 years battle with pancreatic cancer. May his soul rest in peace as the world mourned a dynamic visionary yet private individual.

Today is budget day in Malaysia where Prime Minister cum Finance Minister will table the budget at Parliament House. Amidst the temporary setting in the House (the actual Hall is undergoing renovation) will Malaysia’s own visionary Dato’ Sri Najib Razak dishes out goodies a people’s budget ? Many of his critics are saying it will be a election budget although the term of the government is due only in 2013.

Thus far, the Prime Miister has made the call in recent time as far as walking the talk. In a new era of transformation, Dato’ Sri Najib has reached out to the youth who are expected to form the bulk of the new voters in the coming general elections.

He has also followed through on his promises made on the eve of Malaysia Day celebrations in repealing some of the controversial laws from time of old.

Today, in the transformation budget to be presented, we hope to expect more good news for the people. In battling the rising cost of essential goods, the first good news would be a higher tax allowance for personal income tax. Nowadays a RM5,000 monthly salary earner cannot stretch much if one is living in the urban area.

For the young people or even first time home buyer, the strict vetting for the loan application should be eased to enable first time home buyer to be able to buy their own homes. The incentive and protectionist policy for the local vehicle industry should be abolished and the import tax levy for non national brand vehicles assembled in Malaysia be reduced. This would allow market force to dictate the price and improve the competitiveness of the national vehicles industry.

As a friend of mine who says, if after more than 25 years a child still need the protection of the parents, that kid must be a special child.

Incentives should be extended to encourage SMEs or businesses to employ locals. At the same time, levy for foreign workforce should be refundable upon repartration of the workers. This would encourages the empoyers to go through the proper channel in foreign workers employment.

As the market in the nation is small and limited, to assist Malaysian companies to expand abroad the Brand Development Grand should be reinstated. This would grant can be channeled through the various Business or Commerce Industries Chambers. This would ensure the grant goes to the right companies which needs assistance.

One for sure, the civil service will see a pay rise so we hope that productivity and the delivery system will similarly increase toward propelling Malaysia into anhigh income nation.

So will the people buy the budget or will it be a budget that is temporary alike the current Parliament House? Lets see.

Posted by: tathsing | August 29, 2011

SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI & MAAF ZAHIR BATIN !

Selamat Hari Hari Raya Aidilfitri & Maaf Zahir Batin !

Taking this opportunity to wish my immediate family, relatives and friends “SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI dan MAAF ZAHIR BATIN !”. Let the festive goodwill and peace to all !

Posted by: tathsing | June 6, 2011

THANKSGIVING

Every end of May and beginning of June, it’s a time of festivities for Sabah and Sarawak.

Dubbed the Pesta Kaamatan and Pesta Gawai for Sabah and Sarawak respectively, it is where the natives indigenous groups celebrated the bountiful harvest from the soil that they have toiled.

During this time, the traditional drink of “tapai” (in Kadazan-dusun) and “tuak” (in Iban) that is the rice wine are consumed amidst the merry making celebrations.

It is also the time where they give thanks to the Almighty for the blessing bestowed upon them. I cannot share much on the Pesta Gawai but for Kaamatan, it was a full month of celebrations which actually kicked off on the 1st of May with the finale on the 31st May held the Hongkod Koisaan i.e. the Kadazan-Dusun Cultural Centre or popularly in it’s abbreviation KDCA.

There was traditional games contest, singing and dancing on top of the important beauty pageant Unduk Ngadau which is to honor the daughter of ‘Kinoingan’ (their god) who was sacrificed to give the bountiful harvest of rice.

As I sat in one of the stall (there were many) which serve meal and drinks, I reflect upon myself as I celebrate this happy occasion, did I really give thanks to God?

I realized I was there instead for the fellowship and the cool beer!

So how? I guess that is why this posting is titled Thanksgiving and it is sort of like a atonement by me. At least for the record I would like to give thanks to God for all the goodness and blessing showered upon me and my family.

Care to join me? One more set please……..

Posted by: tathsing | June 1, 2011

HELLO I AM BACK!

WOW! I just realized that its more than six months since I last blogged! No wonder my good buddy Donald Stephens mentioned he has removed me from his favorite list in his blog Is It Simply About Life? (Tell you a secret, he started the blog to tease his wife on her blog Simply About Life!……to quote him “its just to take the piss out of her!”)

“Hello I am back” coincided with my return to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah a month ago. Its really a great feelings to be back home after spending more than 2 years away in the nation capital. Although I do miss the busy and concrete jungle, being in the arms of ones family is more enjoyable! I guess that means the next time I fly o Kuala Lumpur, I am like a tourist again!

As I am back on here again, let me wish my fellow Sabahans (AM VERY PROUD TO BE ONE! so don’t play play ah!) a Belated KOTOBIAN TADAU TAGAZO KAAMATAN and my Sarawak friends and relatives GAYU GURU GERAI NYAMAI !

Posted by: tathsing | December 10, 2010

A Time For Reflection

For the past few weeks I have been reminiscing of my childhood days. It does bring back fond memories of growing up moment.

I can recall being the spoiltbrat of the family among 6 siblings. I recall listening to the turnable then and radio comes in a box. Actually there was a recording which came with oversize magnetic tap (a bit like a bigger cassette tapes).

My first view of a television was standing on the sidewalk through the grill of a electronic shop in Gaya Street. The owner of the shop would come and switch on the tv at 7pm and return to switch it off at 9.30pm. That was his style of marketing.

I remember meatball soup was RM1 which mum use to buy at the stalls in front of where the high court is today and that soup would last for lunch and dinner!

Movies were a treat and on special occassion such as Easter or the King’s birthday we would get free movie tickets.

Even eating chicken meat would be on festive season such as Chinese New Year.

I watch the parade that goes around the town during the Governor’s birthday and Malaysia day celebrations.

I recall small planes (presumely courtesy of the Sabah Flyinh Club or Sabah Air) would fly by the town dropping leaflets and a sort of ticker tapes making those occassion more memorable.

We use to see eagles at the end of Kota Kinabalu town which is Tanjung Lipat. Yesn there was’nt even a coastal road then.

The current Millimewa store was the central market and the whole of Segama Commercial ships were the sea.

Everything that time looks tall and big. We stay on the third floor of a shoplot along Beach Street in the middle of town. And we did even have to lock our front doors!

The neighbours knew each other and weekend would be a mahjong session among the adults with our playground being the rooftop where we play our usual game of ‘play catch’, police and thief, marbles and others.

My mum used to plant some vegetables using wooden crates or boxes on the rooftop.

Life were more simple then. It was so carefree. Its was a time of no worries. Its sure was fun and its these memories which I hope to share with my grandchildren and generations to come.

More to come……..

Posted by: tathsing | September 13, 2010

Air Asia 100 Millionth Guest

In the early morning, I was excited when I reached the low cost terminal at Kota Kinabalu International Airport for my flight to Kuala Lumpur. The normal feeling of sadness after saying my good bye to my family turn to hope.

Since I had checked in via web for my flight, I went straight to the departure hall.

While clearing the security check, I cringe my neck looking out for a kompang group with some holding the traditional ‘bunga mawar’ inside the hall.

I told myself maybe it inside the gate when I passed through immigration.

I put on my best smile with a good morning greeting to the airline ground staff upon entering the departure hall. Still nothing yet.

Maybe during boarding I told my self.

But then where would they hide the kompang group? Where are the entourage that accompanied a special fanfare occassion?

I kept my spirit up. Waiting patiently for boarding. I am feeling lucky.

Yes, before the first flight out there is no delay so the anoouncement for boarding was made.

As I queue up, still no fanfare. Maybe on the tarmac I thought.

Alas, as you may read on boarded the aircraft and yes I discover I am not the Air Asia 100 million guest.

Sigh! I was hoping for the free 100 tickets.

So here I am drafting this story during the flight using my BlackBerry. (I remember telling a Ms. Kathleen of AA many years ago “you are not suppose to use your handphone during the flight even if you are very senior in the airline!”. Her reply was “its a BB and it allow me to check my email during the flight”.)

So much for my hope being the 100 million guest. Maybe in my next flight on the 15 October 2010.

Or wait….there is still hope. Maybe when I land later………….

Update: landed early and faced the fact that with no special welcoming fanfare I accept the fact that I did not make it as the 100 millionth guest of Air Asia….

Wonder when will 111 millionth be? Hmmmm….

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