Opinions

Lahad Datu Conjectures

ALL THIS ARE MY OWN OPINIONS AND THOUGHTS. THEY ARE NOT FACTS. PLEASE UNDERSTAND BEFORE YOU RUN OFF YOUR ROCKER.

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.

OPINION AND IDLE SPECULATION BEGINS HERE

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.

Suzuki Swift Test Drive

So I finally walked into a Suzuki showroom today to check out the 2011 Suzuki Swift (GLX). Right after the drive, there were a few things evident:

The Swift is a really nice car. In person, it’s got a number of security features I like. Instead of having to dig out your keys, all you need is the key to be in your pocket, and you can open the car by pressing on the buttons on the door handles. Even better, you can open only the door you need, so if I’m driving alone, I can press once to open just the driver’s door instead of the entire car. Considering the scariness of Malaysian crime these days, it’s an advantage. Oh, and that single door thing applies to the boot as well. When I’m near the car, I can open just the boot instead of the whole car. It’s a pretty neat feature.

The boot space was surprisingly roomy and deep. I’m thinking that maybe it’d be big enough for a few bags. Note though, that it’s definitely smaller than my current Proton Iswara hatchback. It’s deeper yes, but it’s not longer. That means if I’m carrying longer stuff, the seats will definitely have to come down.

The seats were firm. Driving the car reminded me of getting my first Android smart phone; SO MANY NEW FEATURES TO PLAY WITH! I should have really taken my time to play with the car. The nervousness of going for the test drive meant that I didn’t spend as much time as I should to familiarise myself. The first thing that I did notice though were that I had a much wider range of view compared to my own car.

The side view mirrors were controlled by what looks like a joystick; twist left and right for their respective mirrors, then move it up, down, left and right for the angles. Nice. To start the car, press the brake and the Engine Start/Stop button simultaneously. The car jumped to life with a pleasant roar. Then it was time to actually drive.

The Swift has a 4-wheel brake disc instead of the usual rear brake disc, and it shows. The few times I pressed on the brake, it was actually rather hard and sudden. Definitely an improvement from my current car. Turning and pickup was quite good. The sound system was quite ok, by my standards. I’m not an audiophile, so as long as it plays music I think it’s good. The sound system supposedly has USB connectivity, and while I did notice it I didn’t get to use it. The USB connector was located under the audio buttons in a fairly sizeable recess behind the gear.

Which brings me to another point; unlike other cars I’ve driven before, there’s no indicator on the gear box to show you which gear you’re in. The displays are on the dashboard, where the odometer was. It was very disconcerting. However, this was offset by the fact that the gear hid the recess to dump your keys and wallet and mp3 player, so I might take it as an acceptable trade-off.

Mileage seems to be far better than my current car (well, the present ride is about 20 years old) at 500km per full tank, which works out to about RM60-RM70 (note: RON 95). The salesperson did warn me that the Swift doesn’t do as well as bigger cars when driving outstation, which was something I already expected. For in-town driving though, it handles well.

However, I did not really take the opportunity to really lean back and enjoy the seats. At first sit they’re hard and nice, while the steering fits well in my hand, but I’m still on the fence on that.

Price was about RM77,888 for the base model, which is what I would have gotten anyway (spending RM5,000 on the body kit which was basically all decoration is not my cup of tea) with a downpayment of RM8,000. I’m still thinking of this though, and I want to give the Ford Fiesta a try. We shall see.

I’m Alive

It’s Merdeka Day, so let me just say:

Dataran Merdeka - Malaysia Flag, Our Pride

Negaraku
Tanah tumpahnya darahku
Rakyat hidup
Bersatu dan Maju
Rahmat bahgia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita
Selamat bertakhta
Rahmat bahgia,
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita
Selamat bertakhta.

[Civicness] So is it in effect or not?

There are apparently two amendments made to the Evidences Act.

The first was about VA ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE OBTAINED UNDER MUTUAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL (something, probably got truncated due to Twitter’s character limits). This is the same law that was passed last year and takes effect today.

However, there is also this second amendment, which states:

if an anonymous person posts content said to be offensive on your Facebook wall, or if someone piggybacks your WiFi account and uploads a controversial document, you will be immediately deemed the publisher of the content and subject to prosecution under the relevant laws such as the Sedition Act.

The Sun originally stated that this second amendment will come into effect on June 1. However, according to Syahredzan Johan on Twitter, what comes into effect is a completely different amendment. I’ll be checking the headlines tomorrow to confirm.

That doesn’t change the fact that Nazri has said that this amendment will stay. The implementation has been stayed, but that doesn’t mean we can relax our vigilance. In fact, you should still sign the petition to stop this amendment from taking effect.

Bersih 3.0 Experience

I actually wasn’t planning on going to Bersih 3.0 yesterday. It was a very late decision made after realising I would be a horrendously big hypocrite for talking about the need for clean and fair elections without actually going for such a rally. Plus, unlike last year, I had no family obligations planned for today. Read More »Bersih 3.0 Experience