|Harakahdaily,||13 March 2013|
Mar 13: Failure of Malaysia’s military intelligence is the main reason behind the current conflict in Lahad Datu which has so far claimed the lives of 10 Malaysian security personnel including two soldiers, said retired army deputy chief Lt-Gen (Rtd) Abdul Ghafir Abdul Hamid (pic).
Ghafir told a forum yesterday that this happened because the military had been used for political purposes and thus lost its focus.
He also said the government committed a serious mistake by dispatching policemen instead of military representatives to negotiate with the armed intruders from the Philippines.
He also echoed widespread criticism over the government’s handling of the whole episode, saying it should have taken immediate action to defend the country upon discovering that the intruders were armed.
“The government said we obeyed the Geneva Convention. This does not make sense as the intruders were clearly armed. The army is needed to defend national sovereignty when breached. But our government used lawyers here and there and in the end, ended up using the police to negotiate,” he said.
“If some robbers enter our house, between a broom and a gun, which should we use? It’s the gun of course,” he chided.
Ghafir further claimed that the government had been caught off-guard in the Lahad Datu intrusion because of intelligence failure.
“The government made a mistake but there has been no apology forthcoming. We should demand the government to apologise to the people, especially Sabahans, for failing to act timely leading to casualties,” he added.