Lahad Datu Conjectures


So sometime in February, armed invaders landed in Sabah and attempted to claim east Sabah as their own. They called themselves the “Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo” and said that east Sabah belonged to them. The Malaysian BN Government surrounded Kampung Tanduo (or Tanduo Village in English) and gave them two weeks to leave the country, but did not specify what would happen if they chose not to.

The invaders chose to stay put.

According to some local sources, on the 17th day of their “stay” in Sabah (aka March 1, 2013), a small group of their fighters attempted to leave the cordoned area. They fired at the security forces around that area, killing 2 policemen with mortar fire and injuring another two more. There was a short gun battle that apparently ended with 10 dead on the Sulu side, and 2 on Malaysia’s.

That was what happened on Friday. Bear in mind, this is what we have been told so far. There is apparently a gag order on the media about this. Wiki does have a pretty good link to the story.

After that happened, these thoughts ran through my head:

  1. There are a lot of illegal immigrants in Sabah. Nothing has been done about them over the years despite the pleas of Sabah.
  2. A large number of them are Tausangs, who are apparently Sulu people. Some say about 8,500 of them
  3. It would be completely realistic to expect the Tausangs to “rise up” in retaliation for their comrades being killed.

Yesterday, March 2, 2013, there was a gun fight in Semporna, about 150km from Lahad Datu. Some sites claim that the people who fired on the policemen were actually on their way to attack the Lahad Datu police station. However, the official news report says that the gun fight was unrelated to what is happening in Lahad Datu, because our boys in blue were carrying out an operation to find and confiscate illegal firearms.


Anyone who’s read political thrillers and the like can take a conjecture as to what is happening next. The chances of there being a full out invasion in Sabah is very high, aided by “sleeper” agents who have entered Sabah over the years. Considering that both the Philippines and Malaysia have elections scheduled for this year, there is speculation that this incident was also orchestrated to embarrass certain parties.

From a reddit thread I read yesterday, there is speculation that this was orchestrated by an opposition component (Philippines is scheduled to have elections in May). In Malaysia, there is wide speculation that it was orchestrated by the BN government to delay General Elections, which must be called in the next few months, barring an Emergency.

So what do I think may happen?

The invaders may rise and overwhelm the Sabah population. War is declared. Elections are delayed for Malaysia, continue as scheduled for Philippines. The war may spread to Sarawak. Indonesia may take the opportunity to reclaim Sarawak.* Borneo Brunei (thanks for spotting this, N4vin!) decides that West Sabah belongs to them and stakes a claim.

Basically, widespread chaos.

But hey, what do I know, right? I’m just a keyboard warrior.

Who is utterly pissed and feeling frustrated at what is happening in Sabah. I have friends there, damnit!

Additional points:
Badí‘ Yee Tzyypirng aka ‏@badiyee on Twitter points out that there is a 5 Defense Pact for Sarawak. Should Indonesia attempt to annex Sarawak, they will be smacked.