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Old 18th March 2013, 07:25 PM   #1
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Default Perihal Sabah , Sulu , Malaysia dan Phillipines

[ Mudah-mudahan permasalah Sabah, Sulu, Malaysia segera berakhir dengan adil dan damai ]

Menarik ternyata sejarah di daerah itu ... sama menariknya dengan sejarah Indonesia sebelum masa penjajahan bangsa barat.

Ada yang tertarik mengemukakan fakta2 sejarah nya?
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Old 18th March 2013, 11:31 PM   #2
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kgk ngarti min,,,
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Old 21st March 2013, 04:50 PM   #3
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Malaysia versus Kesultanan Sulu, Tipe Konflik Unik dalam Sistem Negara Bangsa

http://hi.umy.ac.id/malaysia-vs-kesu...negara-bangsa/



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Sabah, itulah nama wilayah yang menjadi persoalan antara Kesultanan Sulu dengan negara Malaysia. Saling tembak yang terjadi pada awal Maret 2013, mengakibatkan lima polisi Malaysia dan dua orang yang di identifikasi sebagai tentara kesultanan Sulu menjadi korban. Saling tembak tersebut semakin melebar dari tempat awal terjadi, dari Lahad Datu menyebar ke Semporna dan Kunak. Konflik antara Kesultanan Sulu dengan Malaysia tersebut semakin bereskalasi (semakin tegang) dari hari ke hari.
Kepala Polisi Malaysia Inspektur Jenderal Tan Sri Ismail Omar menyatakan bahwa, pasukan malaysia akan terus menumpas tentara Sulu yang membawa senjata api. Begitu juga sebaliknya pasukan Kesultanan Sulu menyatakan tidak akan mundur sebelum Sabah menjadi kepemilikan mereka kembali.
Menurut pakar Resolusi Konflik Hubungan Internasional UMY Sugito, S.IP, M.Si, konflik antara Malaysia dengan Kesultanan Sulu ini, merupakan konflik yang unik. Dalam sistem negara bangsa, tidak biasanya kesultanan atau sistem monarki berkonfrontasi dengan negara yang berdaulat seperti halnya Malaysia.Yang justru biasa terjadi adalah negara melawan negara yang di sebut perang, kelompok pemberontak melawan negara yang disebut separatis.
Kesultanan Sulu yang masuk dalam negara Filipina dan mendapat otonomi daerah tesendiri, merupakan suatu kekuatan yang dilihat dari kacamata internasional tidak termasuk perang antar negara. Namun, Kesultanan Sulu berhasil menyatakan tuntutan mereka atas pemilikan Sabah pada Malaysia dengan cara konfrontasi senjata, walaupun kepemilikan Sabah belum tentu didapat oleh Sulu. Inilah yang menyebabkan konflik Sulu dan Malaysia tergolong unik, belum pernah ada sebelumnya peristiwa seperti ini terjadi dalam sistem negara bangsa yang telah sedemikian majunya.
Dilihat dari sejarah, Sabah merupakan wilayah milik Kesultanan Sulu yang disewa oleh Inggris dulu yaitu British North Borneo Company. Inggris yang menduduki Malaysia mengelola tanah Sabah untuk kepentingan ekonomi saat itu. Namun, setelah kependudukan Inggris lepas dan diberikannya Malaysia kemerdekaan telah terjadi peralihan kekuasaan. Sabah yang dikuasai Inggris tersebut pindah tangan ke Malaysia, dan Kesultanan Sulu pun tidak mempermasalahkan kepemilikan Sabah saat itu.
Sebab Sulu Menyerbu
Meninjau kenapa Sulu menyerbu atau mempermasalahkan kepemilikan Sabah, pakar Resolusi Konflik HI UMY Sugito,S.IP,M.Si berpendapat bahwa, penyebab konflik antara Malaysia dan Sulu merupakan alasan yang klasik yaitu frustasi atas kekuasaan. Klaim Sulu atas Sabah, mempunyai keterkaitan dengan perundingan antara Filipina dengan Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Perundingan yang dimediasi oleh Malaysia pada Oktober 2012 lalu, menghasilkan keputusan bahwa Mindanao termasuk juga Sulu sebagai wilayah otonomi dan diberikan sebagian besar wilayah untuk dikelola secara independen oleh Mindanao.
Kesepakatan tersebut menyebabkan Kesultanan Sulu yang terletak di Filipina bagian selatan tidak mendapat lahan lagi dan berniat merebut wilayah mereka di tempat lain, yaitu Sabah. Yangmana Sabah merupakan tanah Kesultanan Sulu jika dilihat dari sejarah kolonialisme dulu. Karena kekecewaan dan frustasi atas keputusan Filipina tersebut konflik mencuat, akan tetapi Sulu tidak memisahkan diri atas Filipina.
Selain itu, Sabah mempunyai kekayaan alam yang banyak, terhitung pada tahun 2011, wilayah Sabah memiliki cadangan gas alam 11 triliun kaki kubik dan cadangan minyak sekitar 1,5 miliar barel. Jumlah tersebut tidaklah sedikit, jika hasil alam tersebut menjadi milik Kesultanan Sulu tentu saja akan membuat kesejahteraan di Sulu semakin membaik.
Keberanian Sulu mengklaim Sabah, tentu saja di pengaruhi oleh bertambahnya kekuatan Kesultanan Sulu dari Pejuang Moro. Sulu selama ini sebagai daerah basis kedua dari pejuang Moro, tentu saja pejuang Moro akan membantu Kesultanan Sulu untuk mendapatkan apa yang mereka sebut sebagai wilayahnya. Karena memang dilihat dari sejarah, Sabah merupakan milik Kesultanan Sulu dulunya.
Kenapa Konflik Malaysia-Sulu Semakin Bereskalasi?
Dilihat dari sikap dan perilaku konflik antara Malaysia dengan tentara Kesultanan Sulu, menunjukkan sikap yang keras dan bertahan. Pihak Malaysia menyatakan bahwa mereka tidak akan melepaskan Sabah ke tangan Sulu, bahkan Malaysia akan menambah jumlah pasukan untuk mempertahankan Sabah.
Sedangkan Sulu bertekad akan terus melancarkan serangan hingga Sabah berhasil diduduki. Abraham Idjirani, juru bicara Sultan Sultan Sulu Jamalul Kiram III, menegaskan tentara Kesultanan Sulu tak akan menyerah dan akan bertahan sampai titik darah penghabisan. Sikap yang keras dan bertahan hingga situasi jelas siapa yang menang dan kalah ini, menunjukkan konflik Malaysia dan Sulu ini semakin bereskalasi.
Sedangkan dilihat dari aktor dalam konflik Malaysia dan Sulu ini, bukan hanya pihak Kesultanan Sulu yang bertentangan dengan polisi Malaysia. Di pihak Sulu ada pejuang Moro yang akan membantu untuk mendapatkan wilayah Sabah, sedangkan di pihak Malaysia di bantu oleh pemerintahan Filipina.
Presiden Filipina Beniqno Aquino, melalui konfrensi pers menyampaikan kepeduliannya atas keamanan Filipina. Beniqno juga meminta pasukan Sulu pulang ke Filipina dan menyelesaikan masalah dengan cara perundingan. Sedangkan Sulu yang menuntut Malaysia atas klaim Sabah, tidak menentang kekuasaan pemerintahan sah Filipina.
Dengan demikian tindakan secara keras terhadap Kesultanan Sulu juga tidak mungkin diambil oleh presiden Beniqno Aquino, mengingat Sulu tidak melakukan pemberontakan atas pemerintahannya. Melihat aktor yang cukup banyak dan kepentingan masing- masing aktor berbeda, maka konflik antara Malaysia dan Sulu ini semakin rumit. Selain itu, Sabah sebagai wilayah yang direbutkan oleh Sulu dengan Malaysia tersebut menyimpan cukup banyak kekayaan alam.
Melihat alasan pemerintah Filipina tidak menindak lanjuti Sulu dengan cepat dan tegas, maka dapat di asumsikan dengan jelas bahwa Filipina mempunyai kepentingan untuk menjaga stabilitas keamanan internal negaranya. Dapat di pastikan jika seandainya Filipina terlalu keras menegur Sulu, bisa jadi pejuang Moro yang berbasis di Suu akan bangkit kembali menuntut pemerintahan sah Filipina.
Selain itu Filipina harus menjaga hubungan baiknya dengan Malaysia, oleh sebab itu Beniqno Aquino mengajak pasukan Sulu untuk mundur dan merundingkan tuntutannya itu. Kekuatan pejuang Moro yang dibantu oleh pasukan Sulu nantinya tentu akan mempersulitkan pemerintahan sah Filipina. Oleh sebab itulah masalah Sulu harus ditangani dengan hati- hati oleh pemerintahan Filipina, supaya tidak terjadi lagi kekacauan di internal Filipina itu sendiri.
Mengenai Resolusi Konflik Malaysia- Sulu
Melihat kerasnya sikap yang dinyatakan oleh kedua pihak, yaitu sikap bertahannya Malaysia untuk menjaga Sabah dan sikap keras Sulu untuk menduduki Sabah. Pakar Resolusi Konflik HI UMY Sugito, S.IP, M.Si mengatakan untuk resolusi konflik antara Malaysia dan Sulu ini dengan cara arbitrase, yaitu dengan cara dibawa ke peradilan internasional atau diselesaikan dengan cara hukum. Dalam solusi arbitrase ini nantinya sangat jelas ada yang menjadi pemenang dan ada yang kalah.
Adapun pihak Kesultanan Sulu meminta masalah kepemilikan Sabah di bawa ke peradilan internasional, bahkan juru bicara Kesultanan Sulu mengatakan besar harapan mereka jika Amerika Serikat ikut dalam penyelesaian masalah Sabah. Berdasarkan pernyataan juru bicara kesultanan Sulu tersebut, Amerika Serikat cukup tahu dalam hal pemilikan Sabah karena Amerika pernah ikut mengontrol Filipina tahun 1900-an. Oleh sebab itu Washington dinilai tahu betul sejarah kepemilikan Kesultanan Sulu atas Sabah.
Sedangkan di pihak malaysia yang mewarisi tanah Sabah dari Inggris dengan jangka waktu cukup lama, tentu tidak akan mudah untuk membicarakan atau menegosiasikan kepemilikan Sabah tersebut. Selain itu Inggris yang memberikan kemerdekaan pada Malaysia, melakukan jajak pendapat atas penduduk Sabah. Adapun hasil dari jajak pendapat tersebut penduduk Sabah memilih untuk bergabung dengan Malaysia. Namun, Inggris pada waktu itu mengambil keputusan secara sewenang-wenang sebagai penjajah atau imprealisme.
Untuk itu, solusi yang cukup tepat untuk permasalahan Sabah ini adalah jalan arbitrase. Dengan diselesaikannya di jalur hukum, maka jelaslah nantinya siapa yang berhak atas Sabah. Diselesaikannya dengan jalur hukum juga mengurangi korban dalam bentrokan antara Malaysia dan Sulu.

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Old 21st March 2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Nasib Sabah, Inikah Salah Satu Kejahatan Imperialisme?
Imperialisme atau kolonialisme merupakan dua saudara yang sama- sama bersifat parasitisme, yaitu memberikan kerugian pada lingkungan sekitarnya. Imperialisme yang memiliki fokus pada pergerakan ekonomi, sedangkan kolonialisme fokus pada bidang tanah. Imperialisme dan kolonialisme ini didorang oleh sifat yang tidak puas dengan apa yang telah dimiliki, serta ingin menduduki kepunyaan orang lain sebagai miliknya. Sebagai contohnya Belanda yang menjajah Indonesia maupun Inggris yang menjajah Malaysia, akan tetapi Belanda dengan cara kolonialisme dan Inggris menggunakan cara imperialisme.
Menurut Sugito, S.IP, M.Si setiap kegiatan imperialisme dan kolonialisme pasti meninggalkan jejak permasalahan, yaitu masalah perbatasan. Karena penjajah hanya memikirkan kepentingan dan tujuan mereka untuk mendatangi suatu wilayah, jadi setiap masalah yang akan datang tidak perlu mereka bahas asal kepentingan mereka terpenuhi. Begitulah yang terjadi dengan kasus Sabah ini. Sedangkan di Indonesia terjadi kasus yang sama yaitu sengketa Sipadan-Ligitan, yakni antara Indonesia dan Malaysia. Begitu juga masalah kemerdekaan Palestina saat ini, yang dulunya Zionis mendapat izin dari Inggris. Singkatnya, setiap kegiatan imperialisme dan kolonialisme merupakan kejahatan yang luar biasa dan merugikan bagi masyarakat internasional. Oleh sebab itu setiap penjajahan selalu meninggalkan masalah kepemilikan tanah atau perbatasan.
Selain itu, imperialisme dan kolonialisme juga meninggalkan masalah yang sangat serius lainnya berupa perpecahan persatuan etnis. Dengan politik devide et impera atau politik memecah belah, Belanda di Indonesia berhasil mengadu domba antar etnis. Sehingga satu etnis hanya peduli pada sesama etnisnya, sedangkan etnis lain dipandang sebagai musuh. Hal tersebutlah yang terlihat di Indonesia pada zaman penjajahan belanda, perpecahan etnis yang berujung pada rusaknya Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (NKRI) sebagai satu kesatuan yakni bangsa Indonesia. (syah)
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Old 21st March 2013, 05:00 PM   #5
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Default Anwar: I don’t agree with Nur Misuari

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today rejected claims made by his one-time acquaintance Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari, that it is Malaysia that has no claim over Sabah and Sarawak and is occupying the territory which the Moro separatist has repeatedly claimed, rightfully belonged to his clan.
“On Nur Misuari’s (claims), our views are of course, not the same. Every inch of Sabah is Malaysian soil,” stressed Anwar at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
“We reject the Philippine claim, and the claim of the (self-styled) Sulu sultan (Jamalul Kiram III) and his family.”
NONENur Misuari, in an interview with international broadcaster Al-Jazeera published today – amongst other comments regarding the Lahad Datu crisis – had claimed that it was Kuala Lumpur that is occupying Sabah and Sarawak.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang (right), who was also at the press conference, said that part of the problem is the inconsistency of the BN government which continues to pay the cessation fee to the Sulu sultanate claimants.
“Why do we still pay the cessation fee? Why pay to a sultan without sovereign power?” asked Hadi.
He argued that Malaysia’s formation and the inclusion of Sabah and Sarawak happened under the auspices of the United Nations and a referendum that the world body conducted.
The Philippines, he said, is a member of the UN and should abide by the world body’s decision and recognition of Malaysia’s sovereignty.
Short URL: http://www.freemalaysiakini2.com/?p=71312
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Old 21st March 2013, 05:27 PM   #6
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Malaysia kills 2 more Sulu army members in Sabah clashes
Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:43:57 PM

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 21, 2013) – Malaysian security forces killed two followers of the Sultanate of Sulu and captured a female member in separate clashes in Sabah’s Lahad Datu town.

Malaysian authorities said one of its soldiers was also wounded in the fighting that erupted Wednesday in the village called Tanjung Batu where security forces are pursuing the sultan’s men.

The identities of those slain in the fighting since hostilities began this month remain unknown, although Malaysia initially said that one of those killed was General Musa Abdulla, of the Royal Sulu Army.

It said there were two clashes in the village – one at 11.30 a.m. and the other at around 2 p.m. – and the operations are still going on in an effort to flush about 50 remaining followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram.

The ailing 74-year old self-proclaimed sultan sent about 200 followers - headed by his brother Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram - on February to Sabah to exert their claim and historical rights over the island, which is also being claimed by Malaysia.

More than 60 of the sultan’s men had been killed and over 300 Filipinos arrested on suspicion they were supporting or aiding the group of Raja Muda Agbimuddin.

Malaysia has put Sultan Jamalul and his brother on its wanted list and branded them as terrorists for intruding into Sabah and killing and decapitating 10 policemen and soldiers in separate clashes on the island.

It is also investigating reports that somebody was financing Sultan Jamalul to destabilize Sabah ahead of elections this year.

The Philippines, which is also holding its midterm polls in May, has began a probe into the same reports and pointed to political opposition and former Muslim rebels, opposed to the peace talks being brokered by Malaysia, as behind the destabilization efforts aimed at derailing the government negotiations with the country’s largest Muslim rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

There were also reports that several Malaysians allegedly met with Sultan Jamalul prior to the Sabah intrusion, but it was not immediately known whether the meeting had anything to do with the destabilization or not.

Sultan Jamalul has recently bared an assassination plot by a Malaysian group to kill him and other personalities tied to the Sultanate of Sulu for a still unknown reason, but President Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda branded the report as “tall tales.”

“This is getting ridiculous and every day they are coming out with tall tales. People should stop listening to tall tales,” Lacierda said, adding Philippine authorities have no reports about the slay plot. (Mindanao Examiner)

http://www.mindanaoexaminer.com/news...20130321004357

Malaysia's opposition claims leader of Sulu rebels is a Malaysian
By Melissa Goh, Malaysia Bureau Chief | Posted: 20 March 2013 2245 hrs

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's opposition alliance claims it has evidence that the leader of the Sulu rebels in Sabah is in fact a Malaysian citizen.

And it is using this to link the ruling UMNO party to the standoff in the east Malaysian state, denting Prime Minister Najib Razak's efforts to unite the country behind the crisis.

Even as Mr Najib told the nation of the government's social and economic achievements on Tuesday, security was on his mind.

He told Malaysians that the peace and stability they enjoy should not be taken for granted.

He said the Sulu militants' incursion into Sabah that has so far claimed the lives of eight Malaysian police officers and two soldiers was a wake-up call.

And Mr Najib pledged to defend Malaysia's sovereignty and the safety of its people at all costs.

He said: "Our men did not die in vain, their sacrifices should never be taken lightly. We will not let an inch of our land be taken away. This is the commitment of the present government."

His cabinet ministers said the prime minister's words have fired up the patriotic spirits of the people.

Shafiee Apdal, vice president of UMNO and Minister of Rural Development, said: "What happened in Lahad Datu, it's been quite an incident, which really produced a spark...

"People became more aware... how crucial and how important the safety of a nation is. It has indeed sparked the spirit of Malaysia, the sense of belonging, among all the Malaysians, in Sabah too."

Malaysian Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said: "It unites the people in this country. Most importantly, the people feel more confident of the government, and the government can ensure safety and security to the people of this country. So it shows that the people are in the good hands of the government."

But the opposition has suggested that the ruling UMNO party may have had a link to the Sulu rebels.

It has produced documentary evidence that allegedly showed the leader of the Sulu rebels, Raja Muda Agbimudin Kiram, is a Malaysian citizen, and once worked for the Sabah state government as an assistant district officer in Kudat.

PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli said: "These are the questions that have been lingering in our minds. But for the last one month, if we ever were to raise this openly, we will be accused of being unpatriotic.

"It's very clear he is not the only one. That may explain the difficulty of our security forces to complete the mission swiftly as we expected."

If what the record said is true, then Agbimudin -- who is the brother of the self proclaimed Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram -- is 72 years old this year, and still leading over 100 sulu gunmen in waging a guerrilla war in Lahad Datu.

So far, the authorities have declined to comment. They believe that Agbimudin is still at large, hiding and evading arrest in the thick jungle in Sabah.

With the General Election widely expected next month, the opposition has threatened to turn the so-called "Project IC" into a greater election issue.

They said the alleged government's programme of freely granting citizenship to immigrants in exchange for votes is partly to blame for the current stand-off in Sabah.

- CNA/al

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...261306/1/.html
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Old 21st March 2013, 05:29 PM   #7
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Sulu sultanate confirms Agbimuddin worked in Kudat, denies Malaysian citizenship claim




By Debra Chong
Assistant News Editor
March 20, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 – Agbimuddin Kiram was a civil servant in a Sabah district office, a spokesman for the Sulu sultanate confirmed today, but denied the militant leader had been granted Malaysian citizenship as alleged just hours earlier by the opposition PKR.
Abraham Idjirani, the sultanate’s secretary-general, told Philippines media in Manila that Agbimuddin had served as an assistant district officer in Kudat on Sabah’s north, backing PKR’s statement earlier this morning, which was based on a 1975 Sabah government payroll dug up from the state’s archives.
Idjirani however, maintained that Agbimuddin – who is the younger brother to self-styled Sulu sultan Jamalul Kiram III – is Filipino and was never issued a Malaysian identity card as asserted by PKR.
“That time they said ‘bigyan nyo kami ng IC, sabi ng Sabah authorities kahit hindi kayo bigyan, kayo ang may-ari ng Sabah’ [‘give us IC cards, but Sabah authorities told them, ‘even if we don’t give you, you own Sabah anyway],” Idjirani was quoted as saying by Philippine news portal InterAksyon this afternoon.
He also said the Kirams, who are seeking to reclaim their 17th century ownership over the oil-rich north Borneo state now under Malaysian control, had lived in Sabah after the 1968 Jabidah massacre.
The Jabidah incident reportedly marked the killing of 27 Moro Muslim youths recruited for a top-secret mission to invade Sabah, at the hands of the Philippines armed forces during the Marcos administration, according to a report in The Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper yesterday.
Idjirani also said he had spoken with Agbimuddin this morning where the latter had narrowly escaped death in Sabah after fresh clashes against Malaysian security forces today.
The Sulu sultanate’s “raja muda” or crown prince had led a 200-strong band of gunmen into Lahad Datu last February 9 and turned the Sabah east coast into a violent battleground in their bid to retake the state.
Idjirani said Agbimuddin had only his prayer beads and was unarmed in the 10.30am skirmish but survive the face-to-face encounter with Malaysian security forces which felled two Sulu militants.
Jacel Kiram, who is Jamalul’s daughter, and was present at the same news conference as Idjirani, was reported saying two of Agbimuddin’s men had shielded him from the gunfight.
“Noong nagkaroon ng encounter, close daw, masyadong malapit, nakita ng tao n’ya (When an encounter occured it was really close and his men saw) that a gun was about to fire at Raja Muda so he covered the Raja Muda and his people died in the incident,” Jacel was quoted as saying.
Idjirani said only 166 of the 235 Filipinos who sailed to Sabah with Agbimuddin remained and repeated the sultanate’s plea to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to take a stand on the Sabah conflict and to “postpone his campaign sorties”.
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/m...izenship-claim
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Old 21st March 2013, 05:31 PM   #8
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http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-spon...sultan/5327660

Filipino terrorists have occupied parts of east Malaysia, and leaders in Kuala Lumpur and Manila smell indications of a political conspiracy. WikiLeaks cables show that a Malaysian opposition leader with deep ties to Washington could be a key suspect.
Malaysia has been in the midst of an ongoing security crisis since early February, when a group of 235 rag-tag militiamen from the neighboring southern Philippines slipped into the eastern state of Sabah and began occupying several villages. While engaging police in several firefights, the insurgents beheaded and mutilated several captured Malaysian security personnel, prompting Malaysian forces to deploy fighter jets in an unprecedented air assault over the area in an operation to flush out the intruders. The gunmen call themselves the “Royal Army of the Sulu Sultanate”, representing the heirs of a long-defunct kingdom which once controlled the territory up until the late nineteenth century. The so-called Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III, who is believed to be directing the militant incursion from Manila, insists that Sabah is rightfully part of his kingdom and has vowed not budge on his claims even if his personnel are killed in the standoff.
Malaysians, who are preparing to vote in a pivotal general election just around the corner, have been fixated on events in Sabah as they unfold. The Philippines are soon expecting congressional elections as well, and given the timing, local analysts are wondering how exactly did this elderly self-proclaimed Sultan obtained the resources needed to establish his own private army. Both the Malaysian and Philippine governments have launched official investigations into allegations that figures within Malaysia’s political opposition had a hand in aiding the Sulu gunmen. Reuters cited an anonymous Filipino military officer who claimed that Sulu rebels were “invited to Sabah by a Malaysian opposition politician”.
The blame has been laid on Malaysia’s de-facto opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, who Malaysian reports say has links to Filipino insurgent networks that have long eyed the resource-rich state of Sabah in northern eastern Borneo. Local journalist Adrian Lai recently unearthed classified diplomatic cables from the US embassy in Manila brought to light by WikiLeaks, which document ties between Nur Misauri, former chairmen of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and Malaysia’s main opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
The MNLF is a political movement that pitted itself against predominately Christian Manila by seeking political autonomy for Muslim majority provinces in the islands in the southern Philippines. In 2001, Manila accused Misauri of terrorism when he led an MNLF unit that attacked an outpost of the Philippine army, prompting him to seek refuge in Sabah on the assumption that authorities in Muslim-majority Malaysia would empathize with him and block his extradition. Misauri was detained by Malaysian security forces in Sabah and sent back to the Philippines where he was jailed until 2008.
WikiLeaks cables claim that Misauri detested the Malaysian government for turning him over to Philippine authorities and that he was “a strong advocate for the recovery of Sabah”. The cables claim that Misauri boasted that his militias could invade Sabah in the span of two hours. WikiLeaks has also confirmed that Misauri maintained close connections to Anwar Ibrahim, and that the two had met on several occasions. A separate report issued by AFP cited US diplomatic cables that implicate a Saudi Arabian ambassador to the Philippines of funding Muslim groups seeking autonomy in the southern islands. Misauri recently criticized Philippine President Benigno Aquino for siding with Malaysia in his firm stance against the Sulu militants, warning the Aquino government of chaos if Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III is apprehended.
Anwar Ibrahim, who has vehemently denied all accusations, has long been considered a darling of the West. Mr. Ibrahim is a slippery character of sorts; he was once Malaysia’s deputy prime minister prior to being sacked for getting too close to the IMF, among other things. Anwar also has friends in high places. In recent times, Ibrahim has appealed to Carl Gershman, president of the US-Government funded foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), requesting that he send a US observer team to Malaysia to monitor the upcoming elections. Ibrahim enraged many when he stated he would support policy to protect the security of Israel, and while his political party has long received training and backing from the International Republican Institute (IRI) chaired by Republican Senator John McCain, there little doubt that Anwar – a creature of Washington’s taxpayer funded “Democracy Promotion” overseas – would be the trusted ally that the White House is looking for as it refocuses its military muscle and political influence to the Asia-Pacific region.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino has recently conceded that events in Sabah showed signs of a conspiracy. A recent statement issued by Malaysian political-scientist Dr. Chandra Muzaffar alludes to reports of Malaysian opposition figures promising land, titles and other sinecures to the Sulu Sultanate if they emerged victorious in the upcoming elections. Muzaffar argues that a security crisis in Sabah, regarded as a political stronghold for the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, could weaken the ruling parties hold over the state, leading to a hung parliament or a narrow victory for the BN, prompting in his words, “massive street agitation which could pave the way for a regime change, which is the goal of not only the Opposition but also its foreign backers.” When Chandra talks of “foreign backers”, he is referring to the US political establishment.
The MNLF, under its current chairmen Muslimin Sema, has issued statements declaring that it disagreed with the incursion into Sabah, but acknowledged that MNLF forces aligned to Misauri were present there. Reports issued by Reuters also cited Malaysian officials who claimed that the Sulu terrorists had links to factions that were unhappy with the Philippines’ recent peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), an Islamist MNLF offshoot. The Malaysian government facilitated these peace talks, and Misauri made no secret that he publically opposed them. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that some ten thousand MNLF fighters from the southern Philippines planned to join the insurgency in Sabah in solidarity with the Royal Sulu Army.
Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III has told media in the Philippines that he wants the United Nations, the United States and the United Kingdom to intervene in his claim over Sabah. The Sultan claims that the US must intercede, as agreed upon in a 1915 agreement signed with Washington’s then-colonial government in the Philippines that mandated the US provide “full protection” to the Sulu Sultan in exchange for exercising sovereignty over the kingdom as the colonial administration. Let’s not forget, the strategically located state of Sabah is abundant in natural gas reserves, and its oil reserves are the third highest in the Asia-Pacific region after China and India. Sabah’s fifteen oil wells produce as many as 192,000 barrels a day, while the country has holds over 4 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. In 2010, Malaysia was the world’s third largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after Qatar and Indonesia. The Malaysian government had paid a modest annual cession payment to the Sultanate (which the Sultan argues is a “rent”) since gaining independence from Britain, and one of the motivations for the Sultan’s push to reclaim the territory is definitely profit-driven. While the Pentagon refocuses over 60% of its naval presence to the Asia Pacific region, conflicts of this nature – which deal with obstructions to the flow of abundant energy resources to US companies – are exactly the sort that could coax the eventual involvement of US personnel if Sabah were to deteriorate into a hotbed of Sulu-terror.
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Old 21st March 2013, 05:32 PM   #9
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The fact that individuals in the highest levels of the Malaysian and Philippine governments are suspicious of a conspiracy does much to lend credence to the possibility. Former Malaysian PM Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, an ardent critic of Israel and US imperialism, warned months prior to the standoff in Sabah that the opposition’s Western backers sought to bring Anwar Ibrahim to power through Arab Spring-style street riots and even the use of fire power, citing recent examples in Egypt and Syria where NATO states backed political opposition figures and supported al-Qaeda-linked rebels to act on their behalf in overthrowing governments they were tired of. Reports of Saudi Arabia financially supporting Philippine terrorists should also not be taken lightly, as Gulf States have moved in-step with the US and NATO as the main financiers of Salafist terrorist networks active in west Asia, north Africa and elsewhere.
Without resorting to elaborate conspiracies in the absence of hard facts, it would be entirely negligent to ignore circumstantial evidence linking Malaysian figures to this insurgency, especially considering all sources of this nature are non-Malaysian in origin. There is no doubt that the Sultan has no legitimate legal claims over Sabah since the International Court of Justice has long recognized Malaysia’s rights and sovereignty over the territory, and the highly unusual timing of the Sulu operation being so close to elections in both countries will naturally be perceived as suspect. Militancy and terrorism undermines the Sultan’s claims entirely and lends much credibility to suspicion that the Sultan has not acted alone. Even if the US isn’t involved, the fact that a figure who received blatant US support has been implicated is significant. There is much at stake in Sabah, and in the words of the Sultan, “The only thing that could end the conflict is an intervention.
Nile Bowie is an independent political analyst and photographer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com
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