MANILA: A hard-hitting article in The Manila Times has charged that Malaysians are funding the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group by raising ransom money for the release of kidnapped Malaysians.
It also excoriated the Philippine Government over the Abu Sayyaf kidnappings and for allowing Malaysian agents to “trample” on Philippine sovereignty.
The opinion piece written by Rigoberto D Tiglo raised the question as to whether the Malaysian Government thought Filipinos were stupid.
Tiglo said the Philippines had become the only country in Asia where a known terrorist group received huge ransom money by kidnapping foreigners.
With funds available the Abu Sayyaf will find it easier to recruit additional fighters, acquire more powerful weapons, and bribe local officials to provide sanctuary for their future hostages.
The writer asked why “our Government hasn’t even protested the Malaysians’ payment of the ransom undertaken through its intelligence service, operating in our territory”.
“That is so reflective of the stupid, incompetent Government that we have. Shouldn’t it undertake an intensive investigation into how the Malaysians could operate so freely in the country, violating our anti-ransom policies and consequently boosting the strength of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf with more funds?
“Shouldn't the Government find out which local channels were used by the Malaysians to make the ransom payment? Malaysia is mocking our sovereignty by operating in our territory to pay ransom to terrorists plaguing our land, and (President Benigno) Aquino doesn’t seem to mind it. Or has this Government become close buddies with the Malaysians, who had promised Aquino they would handle the MILF to agree to a peace pact?
“What kind of a country have we become that even our neighbours trample on our sovereignty?”
The Northern Filipinos, the majority of whom are Catholics, have always harboured deep resentment towards Malaysia, not just for their failed attempt to claim Sabah, but more for what was seem as Malaysian interference in their domestic affairs in the southern Philippines which is dominated by Muslims.
While the Malaysian federal government had and have been generally scrupulous in its relationships with our neighbours the same couldn't be said for our 'local' warlord(s). Let's see what Wikipedia has to say about the late Tun Mustapha Harun, a former (3rd) CM of Sabah:
During Mustapha term as a Chief Minister of Sabah, he has a vision to make Islam as the majority religion in the state. Thus to achieve it, he was actively harbouring Muslim refugees from the Philippines more so with his similar ethnic background relations with the Muslim refugees.
Mustapha was also believed to have aiding the Moro in their struggle for independence by providing arms and training facilities in Malaysia.
His action were tolerated by the Malaysian government because he was consistent in delivering Muslim votes as well for his continuous backing for the Malaysian government which he was later succeeded in making Islam as the main religion of Sabah.
However, as Malaysian government wanted to maintain good relations between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the Philippine central government, the Malaysian government cannot raise the plight of Muslim minority in the Philippines.
Due to this, Mustapha planned to secede the state of Sabah from Malaysia but his intention failed after he was removed from his position in 1975. The Philippine central government then retracted the Sabah claim in 1977 as a reward for Malaysian government action to stop supporting the southern Philippines Muslim rebels.
Mustapha wanted to secede from Malaysia as part of his pompous design to form an Islamic Caliphate together with Mindanao, of course with him as its 1st Caliph. The same old story of Numero Uno.
The situation back in the Peninsula then was no better at the Malaysian (Kelantan) - Thai border where Thai Muslim terrorists-separatists frequently run across the border to seek refuge with their Muslim kinfolk.
While the federal government was not actively supporting the Thai insurgency, it dared not object to those Thai Muslim terrorists hiding safely away in Kelantan and as rumours had it, training there and being supplied up too. In other words it not only did a 'cyclop' but a myopic cockeyed one too, wakakaka.
It was also rumoured that the Thais paid us back in spades, turning their eyes away from what the Malaysian CTs were doing in southern Thailand just as what the Thai Muslim terrorists did on our side of the border. They played the Graeae to our Cyclop, wakakaka.
In Greek mythology the Graeae, also called the Grey Sisters, and the Phorcides ("daughters of Phorcys"), were three sisters who shared one eye and one tooth among them
The common denominator in our less than proper (though indirect) complicity in neighbouring states on both sides of Malaysia had been Muslim terrorism.