Sabah and the Tausugs
To say that I’m disappointed on how the administration handles the Sabah Standoff is an understatement.
Malaysians and the Philippine government obviously underestimated these battle-hardened small group of warriors. You can really see how the government knows little of these warrior race when the President himself calls for their peaceful surrender. Hah, he will have better luck in growing his hair back than having this people to listen to his orders! These people have pledged to die, as their ancestors did so during the Spanish and American times when they fearlessly defended their territory over the colonizers.
These men sailed to Sabah with no more than 200 forces and managed to make a form a threat despite their meager resources. Despite being exposed to Malaysia’s military prowess over the years and fully knowing the great odds against them, they remained defiant and determined even when bombs started to fall.
Unless a quick and efficient diplomatic solution will be reached, Filipino-Muslim blood will spill down on Sabah’s rich soils. And if I were a Tausug, I would gladly die fighting for my rights than go home and be treated as criminals by the Philippine government which didn’t hesitate to label me as a ”terrorist”.
I’m not advocating war or the continued determination of these people to reclaim Sabah using guns and arms. I’m just sad that so many lives are lost, so many lives are affected, and so many Filipino-soldiers have made sacrifices that aren’t really necessary, or could have prevented. We can resolve it in a peaceful way, but not on an overly submissive way (As of writing this, the Foreign Affairs Secretary had just labeled the Sultanate’s men as TERRORISTS. I mean, Malaysia has every right to say so, but having your own government condemn you as such???! What, are they trying to appease Malaysia or something? Are they scared OFWs in Malaysia would lose their jobs or suffer discrimination? These Malaysians are not like the unforgivable Chinese, they are only interested in living their lives in peace and normalcy as you and me)
I’m just trying to say to the present administration, those Tausugs in Sabah have more balls than you guys have. I hate to see brave men die while the spineless cowards run this country.
I am dismayed to hear that about a thousand Taisug troops will be sent to Sabah as reinforcements. Must you continue to send these loyal men to inevitable deaths? The Moros (Filipino-Muslims) may have more experience in guerilla fighting than these Malaysians but believe me, if they lost patience, they will do whatever means necessary to eliminate the threat to their sovereignty.
On the other hand, It also comes as an interesting note to how the issue reveals all those juicy secrets hidden deep in the jungles of Southern Mindanao, like how Malaysia seems to fund MNLF with armories and weapons. Malaysia also trains these Muslim commanders and soldiers in modern warfare and such.
Sabah standoff also reveals a political and geographical element which lies dormant until now. Sabah is a land where the government of Malaysia isn’t really that much felt, much like the Bangsamoro land in Mindanao. It is a far cry from the sophisticated and sleek capital, Kuala Lumpur and cities in Peninsular Malaysia. It is eerily similar to the situation in Mindanao where towns are run by clans and private armies, leading to the under-development state that persists until now.
It would be worth noting that Filipinos from Mindanao and Malaysians from other parts of Malaysia have come to live in Sabah and established themselves as Sabahnese. All they want is peace and to be left alone. Already, the economy of Tawi-tawi is being affected by the standoff. Sabah is the closest neighbor when it comes to trade and commerce. No matter how we look at it, war’s greatest victims are the innocent people who managed to make out the best of the harrowing circumstances around them.
I just hope this will end soon, with minimal bloodshed on both sides as possible. But with this kind of leadership, I think it’s going to be a long, long crusade for a peaceful and bloodless conclusion of this standoff. Don’t judge me, I am just blaming the current administration as it is blaming the former one (which is, all the time)