Sunday, June 6, 2010


Since Monday 31st May incident of the Israeli commando raid on MV Mavi Mamara that was part of a 6 vessels Gaza bound flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for the Palestinians entrapped in Gaza, the local mainstream media, both electronic and print, has been abuzz reporting almost minute by minute, the development surrounding the incident that have left 9 dead and 60 injured.

On board the MV Mavi Mamara were 12 Malaysian volunteers who represented various NGOs, besides a number of other international volunteers. There were also 6 other Malaysian volunteers on board MV Racheal Corrie that was seized by Israel, and all have since been released. The government had also dispatched the Foreign Minister to Jordan to ensure the safety of all Malaysian volunteers, this despite having an Ambassador in that Kingdom.

What caught my attention is the reaction of some Malaysians (politicians included) that I term as overzealous, relegating local thriving issues to the back burner. The nation is now hotly debating serious economic and social drawbacks that are likely to impact the well being of the Malaysian population in the new future, but this issue somehow does not appeal to the mainstream media. Even the unsettling ‘prediction’ by Senator Idris Jala recently that this country will go bankrupt in less than a decade from today, is not well received by some from within the government itself. His prediction they say is off tangent to reality.

And setting aside the massive financial debacle by some large corporation like the PKFZ and more recently Sime Darby, the government finds it expedient to shove up the issue of the Israeli raiding incident as a prominent national issue that overrides the economic and social woes that Malaysian will be expecting. Even UMNO Youth leader Khairy who had completed a month stint with the army territorial is ready to fight to save Palestine from the marauding Israeli commandos. I just wonder if the one month army stint was enough for Khairy to shoot straight with his rifle.

I had just read that the returning Malaysian volunteers will be received by DPM Muhyidin Yassin at KLIA, and I am sure he will be accompanied by a motorcade of ministers, deputy ministers and senior government officials, besides the car load of UMNO supporters (Puteri UMNO likely to be included) with welcoming banners to add colour to the fiesta. And the welcoming party does not end there. The volunteers will then be driven to meet the PM presumably for a cup of tea, but hopefully not to the garlanded and be officially accorded national heroes.

In my 34 years in the army, I am yet to see any returning component of the military that had successfully served with distinction on UN Peacekeeping missions all over the world, returning home to be received with such exuberance, pomp and splendor on a scale accorded to the returning Malaysian volunteers. When I returned from UN Peacekeeping mission in Cambodia on July 4th 1993, after 15 months duty, my returning troops was received by the 7th Brigade Commander, Brig Gen Abdullah Ghani only.

We were not at all disappointed. At least we had a Brigade Commander who cared.



Arunzab said...

These 12 Malaysian volunteers were indeed 'very brave men' and I would say that they should indeed have been garlanded and be officially accorded national heroes.Perhaps you did not know the ordeal they went through.
1.Tidak de benar mengunakan tandas salama 12 jam.
2. tidak diberi makan dan sumbat dalam pusat perthanan salama 24 jam.
3 Senapang diachu ka kepala.
4. Tangan diikat.
Can you imagine they survived all this horrifying ordeal with battle scares and returned to tell their tale. These are true 'Heros' by any standards.

norzah said...

Dear Dato,
I've been following your blog for a long while but have not made any comment since there was nothing much that I could add to your well-grounded views. This time I'm writing not to disagree with the overzealous reception to be given to the volunteers who had undergone a traumatic experience in the Gaza, but to stress the fact that the mission failed and all our efforts and jubilations mean nothing to those we wanted to help. We're celebrating the return of our civilian heroes maybe but forgetting the fact the Israelis had insulted us and almost the entire free world again without receiving any appropriate retaliation or punishment for their atrocities. The US and UK are completely silent on the recent high-handed action of the Zionists.
The OIC and the Arab League had so far not done much to help resolve the Palestinian issue. The combined military forces of the entire Muslim world
could not match the military power of Israel, what more with the US and UK behind them. So forcing Israel to withdraw from the Gaza is just out of question. What else, therefore, can the Muslim of the world do? Can't the Muslim population of more than 1.5 billion plus a great number of people of the non-western world who don't agree with the Israelis, do anything to stop them from being so high-handed and even non-human in some of their actions? Is cursing, condemning and protesting against them all that we could do, though we know that they mean nothing to the Israelis?

benadam said...

Interestingly there are other Malaysian who did not share the DPM's assertion that "the entire nation supported the effort of the volunteers". Someone of standing mentioned to me at a seminar a few days ago, that the volunteers's so-called mission "is the mother of all stupidity". I was alittle stunned but based on Pak Norzah eloquent comment on the issue that matters, I am begining to wonder if the whole effort is truly a mother of all stupidity.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear All,

Didn't I tell you....all were accorded HERO status.

Arunzab said...

Next it is time to roll out the SPs and PGBs for our 'national heros'

SysOp said...

Dear Dato',

It's a hypocrite by the standard...

For me personally, I don't support the aid mission as it's more on mass media brouhaha.

The better way is by forcing Israel to end the blockade @ economic sanction by using tactical force. OIC should have their own tactical force to ensure no OIC members being block or sanction by either Israel or US.


Malaysian said...

Can we "global society" solve Palestinian and Israelis conflict? If we can't even solved our racial problem I'm not sure if Isreal/Palestine problem will ever be solved? A lot of problems in this world can be solved if we're compassionate to each other. I don't care who is right or wrong but killing any fellow human being is wrong. The fellow human (Jew/Palestinian) that's killed is a father, mother, son, daugther of somebody else. I'm not a soldier maybe I'm just naive.


Malaysian said...

While Pakatan and BN condemn Israel, we continue facing corruption problem. Sometimes I felt Pakatan needs to focus our internal problem! We're not big player in UN.

Problems we must solve:
1. House if more and more expensive in Malaysia especially Klang Valley. We must solve our housing problems. It seems as though only the rich can afford to stay in KL! I'm not against the rich but we must have balance society where the rich and poor live in the city.

2. Gambling industry is a very lucrative business and I'm curious if there is any corruption within this industry. Just curious ...

3. Job creation. What is the government planning to save our manufacturing and IT jobs since more and more jobs being ship to China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India.

4. Defense. Do we have the capability to safeguard our oil and gas.

5. How can we reduce our deficit? Can we stop supporting GLC that's failing?

pendita said...


Hari Pahlawan yang disambut secara tahunan (31 Jul)sudah memadai bagi hendak menghargai pahlawan-pahlawan negara (ATM/PDRM).

Masalahnya, ia tidak `dirasai' dan `dijiwai' oleh seluruh masyarakat Malaysia.

Siapa yang hendak disalahkan.

Capt's Longhouse said...

dear dato,

,,,our true malaysian heroes are the unknown soldiers and police hutan personnels that i can still remember flying them back injured/dying or blown up by booby traps. They are our Malaysian heroes !..truly indeed.

,,, Think about what makes your hero special. Ask yourself: What makes him/her unique? What specific accomplishment has he or she achieved that is truly remarkable? What impact has their work had on others ?.

,,,a dead soldier has nothing to say yaa. Perhaps we retirees can speak on their behalf.

WIRA said...

I consider these 12 people both brave and stupid. They are certainly no heroes.
Brave because they dared confront the might of the Israeli Defence Forces in their own backyard and stupid to even think that the IDF would not act because they are concerned about world opinion. They are obviously wrong on both counts.
Why didn't they go overland via the Eqyptian side. Ha,ha,ha, they would have been confronted by the Eqyptian Army who woulld also stop them from delivering the aid. But, at least, the Eqyptians would not have shot them, but detain them, most certainly.
Herein lay the 'real politic' of the Middle East conflict.
Even other Arab states are not supporting the so called suffering people of Gaza. So, where do we Malaysians go from here?
Continue this humane but naive adventure and be drawn into the simmering but potentially explosive Sunnah-Shia rivalry there?
Anymore volunteers?

benadam said...

Dear All,
After all is said and done of course the White House and Obama remained a staunch zionist fan.The lady in question too mak a U-turn!!! Just read this in the Washington Post:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Dear Dato'

Heroes indeed!

I fully agree with Dato' that we Malaysians seems to always get our priorities wrong! We consistently failed to see the elephants right in front of us, but have night vision capability for the ants at the other side of the room!

The Palestinian Vs Israeli conflict is one issue that has defied the world from even before the state of Israel existed.It's complexity is not easily understood nor easily resolved.The number of players involved in it only further complicate the issue.

At the core of it is the question of the very existence of the state of Israel! My question is:Would Malayans be any different from the Israeli when Soekarno wanted the idea of an independent Malaya/Malaysia from Indonesia scrapped ?!

In my book, the activists,Malaysian ones included, were misinformed and misguided fools for doing what they did. Firstly for entertaining the idea of breaking the joint Egyptian-Israeli blockade;and secondly for defying the Israeli orders not to proceed with their plan to land in Gaza.

It is also obvious that the activists went prepared for violence with the Israeli. Their claims that the Israeli were guilty of;other than boarding the ship in international waters; shooting at the activists upon boarding the ship,has so far been unproven.What has, from the Israeli video and later photos from the activists themselves,been proven is that the Israeli soldiers were set upon and badly bashed up by the activists first.What story does the fact that only Turkish activists and only 9 of them were shot dead tells?

The malaysian activists' time and effort would have been better and more productively spend if they were to use it to help address the glaring issues on the Malaysian home front! Heroes they certainly are not.

I wonder if my taxes has been spend to bring these Malaysian activists back. If so, that would be even more painful.

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Dear Dato',

I'm not surprised these 'heroes' will be awarded SP/PGB/KPK next year. Then the government might consider giving allowances for JPP, PTU & KPK.

mask said...

Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Irans nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.

In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.

To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdoms air defences will return to full alert.

The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way, said a US defence source in the area. They have already done tests to make sure their own jets arent scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.

Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Irans nuclear ambitions. We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing, said one.

The four main targets for any raid on Iran would be the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, the gas storage development at Isfahan and the heavy-water reactor at Arak. Secondary targets include the lightwater reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete.

The targets lie as far as 1,400 miles (2,250km) from Israel; the outer limits of their bombers range, even with aerial refuelling. An open corridor across northern Saudi Arabia would significantly shorten the distance. An airstrike would involve multiple waves of bombers, possibly crossing Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Aircraft attacking Bushehr, on the Gulf coast, could swing beneath Kuwait to strike from the southwest.

Passing over Iraq would require at least tacit agreement to the raid from Washington. So far, the Obama Administration has refused to give its approval as it pursues a diplomatic solution to curbing Irans nuclear ambitions. Military analysts say Israel has held back only because of this failure to secure consensus from America and Arab states. Military analysts doubt that an airstrike alone would be sufficient to knock out the key nuclear facilities, which are heavily fortified and deep underground or within mountains. However, if the latest sanctions prove ineffective the pressure from the Israelis on Washington to approve military action will intensify. Iran vowed to continue enriching uranium after the UN Security Council imposed its toughest sanctions yet in an effort to halt the Islamic Republics nuclear programme, which Tehran claims is intended for civil energy purposes only. President Ahmadinejad has described the UN resolution as a used handkerchief, which should be thrown in the dustbin.

mask said...

Israeli officials refused to comment yesterday on details for a raid on Iran, which the Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has refused to rule out. Questioned on the option of a Saudi flight path for Israeli bombers, Aharaon Zeevi Farkash, who headed military intelligence until 2006 and has been involved in war games simulating a strike on Iran, said: I know that Saudi Arabia is even more afraid than Israel of an Iranian nuclear capacity.

In 2007 Israel was reported to have used Turkish air space to attack a suspected nuclear reactor being built by Irans main regional ally, Syria. Although Turkey publicly protested against the violation of its air space, it is thought to have turned a blind eye in what many saw as a dry run for a strike on Irans far more substantial and better-defended nuclear sites.

Israeli intelligence experts say that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are at least as worried as themselves and the West about an Iranian nuclear arsenal.Israel has sent missile-class warships and at least one submarine capable of launching a nuclear warhead through the Suez Canal for deployment in the Red Sea within the past year, as both a warning to Iran and in anticipation of a possible strike. Israeli newspapers reported last year that high-ranking officials, including the former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, have met their Saudi Arabian counterparts to discuss the Iranian issue. It was also reported that Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, met Saudi intelligence officials last year to gain assurances that Riyadh would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets violating Saudi airspace during the bombing run. Both governments have denied the reports.