Saturday, February 19, 2011

IS OUR MILITARY READY TO TAKE OVER A CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT?

Egypt is now governed by an interim military government that is headed by Defence Minister Field Marshall Mohamed Tantawi. He pledged to hand over the country to a democratically elected government, but short of detailing a time frame for the handover. A six months period for the hand over is demanded by the protestors, but I think this time frame is not possible.

The priority of the interim government seemed to “focus on restoring security, restructuring the police force and instituting economic reforms and welfare”. The state constitution has been suspended and a new constitution is being formulated. Some members of Mubarak’s cabinet are still active within the interim government and the demand by the protestors is to see that all ministers of the Mubarak’s regime leave.

As of now little is known as to the effectiveness of the interim government, and the course it shall take to bring back some semblance of civility and security. With regards to the state’s economy, it is unclear as to the measures taken to revive it.

Egypt’s Emergency law that has been in place throughout the entire period of Mubarak’s rule, and was a cause of the people’s protest is to be lifted, but with a caveat i.e. “as soon as the current condition of protest is terminated”.

Any change of government that is the result of a force resignation or takeover would normally follow a ‘witch hunt’ against those known to be corrupt and had abused their position while in power. As of now, three former ministers are under arrest and will be investigated for corruption and other abuses. Several others have been barred from leaving the country. I do not know whether Mubarak and members of his family will also face prosecution for alleged corruption and other criminal charges. I believe they will.

In terms of foreign policy, the interim government had affirmed that it shall honour all treaties concluded during the Mubarak’s regime, especially those affecting the US and Israel. Mubarak was known to have acted like a stooge to the US, because the former’s dependence on financial aid from the US, including the supply of military hardware. Israel thinks that for as long as Egypt remains dependent upon US for financial support, Israel is assured of its security. It was also reported that the US government has allocated US150 million to Egypt to finance rehabilitation of the country that had suffered substantial dislocation and destruction during the 18 days of public protest.

Now the question in the minds of many is whether our country will ever experience a similar tragedy as the Egyptians. My guess is that we may not see this happening in the immediate future, but it will certainly happen if the government continues to ignore the causes that had led to the civil unrest in Egypt. The causes are obvious i.e. rampant corruption, repressive laws and laws that are seen to be selective, abuse of power by the police and government officials, rising poverty level, rising costs of living and a high unemployment rate.

One cannot deny the fact that the causes mentioned above are to be found within our society today, nor can one claim that Malaysians are not like Egyptians; hence it is unlikely that Malaysians will rise against the government. Put them on a hunger trail or just ignore the causes mentioned above and I can assure you that this will spark a people’s unrest. Therefore, the assumption that a people’s uprising in Malaysia will not happen, needs serious rethinking.

And if ever a similar tragedy is to occur in this country, and if the government is finally forced to hand over the reins of government to the military, will our military leaders today be ready to assume the responsibility to govern during the interim period? I would just leave this question to be answered by our current military leaders, and to tickle their thoughts at such a possibility, and what all need to be done if the military is forced by circumstances to govern one day.

I do not know how the government and in particular the military will react to what I have mentioned above, but I believe it is better that the military ready itself, rather than be caught without knowing what to do. I think the Public Order Manual (POMAN) that was used in the 50’s/60’s is no longer applicable today. Anyway, POMAN has nothing to do with teaching the military to govern.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

20 comments:

EAGLE said...

Dato', wishful thinking and no way sir! Will make sure- will kick the generals with the assistant of the soldiers!
Our Military leaderships quality are questionable! Mostly incompetent and you sure know that sir!
But they can try their luck if they want to and let see!

Encik said...

Dato,im very sure d army a not prepared , they are good in organising , protocoling ,golfing .some of them a good but BODEK kurang being left . Dato tbaru ada dgr ke , tanye2 kee, ada team lama team baru . TD jgn la tumpang semangkok bkempen bila ada PRK ;contoh d Bagan Pinang N9 . Cerita memang la tak terlibat BERKECUALI tapiiiii....Cuba buat kajian baik Pegawai maupun Lain2 Pangkat bila bheti tau pencen 80% sokong PR .

maurice said...

It is the last course of action when nothing else fails in order to save the country from total anarchy.The military will have to step in whether they like it or not.In such a scenario, the constitution will be suspended and the citizens will be subjected to military law and justice.Military law could reduce cases of rampant corruption as such activity could be considered as treason.People will think twice before committing corrupt act as they could face death by firing squad.

TENGKU RAZALI said...

the top military personnel are in colloboration with the corupted politicians ,so how to implement martial law

TENGKU RAZALI said...

dtk,i believe the present leadership are not capable lots but the present officers group will take over one day

maurice said...

A military coup d'etat is different matter.Common phenomena in African country.Our MAF is very nationalistic.The MAF is loyal to the King and country. So the chances of a coup d'etat is very remote.

A military government on the other hand is only applicable during war time.Hence when the British took back Malaya from the Japanese, the British created the BMA (British Military Administration) to administer the country.

Martial law can be imposed by the ruling Government if the situation warrants it.In Thailand martial law is imposed in the South to allow the Thai Army a free hand in dealing with the insurgency there.

If Malaysia faces armed insurrection to take over the country by force martial law can be imposed to defeat it, whereas a state of Emergency is sufficient to deal a low intensity threat like the CPM Insurgency.

Even if martial law is imposed, the civilian government will still be in full control.Only through coup d'etat where the military topples the government by military force can the Generals be in full control in the affairs of the state.

nazaucis said...

Salam,
Do not worry,there will be no takeover by the Mil.We are vastly different from the Arab states.Most demonstrators here are paid by few anti establiment elements and some of them did not understand and confuse why they demonstrated.Only lazy people are jobless here and some trouble makers who passed sweeping statements [they are entitled to their opinion] here and yet shamefully wallop their pension,langsong tidak mengenang budi dan bersukur/berterima kasih.

maurice said...

The protection of the rakyat and avoiding unnecessary loss of lives are most paramount when dealing with aggressive crowds in any Public Order Operation.Non-lethal means must be used to the maximun to disperse hostile assemblies.Officers and rank and file must be inculcated with the moral value to respect the lives and properties of fellow citizens.The MAF should conduct courses for its officers and rank and file in this core human value so that it does commit the mistake of killing its own fellow citizens should it be involved with Public Order operations.

Mohd Arshad Raji said...

Dear Maurice,

We should take a lesson from Libya. I think Ghaddafi has made the biggest blunder by using the military to his side. He will lose the battle.
On hindside, I think Mubarak was wiser.

Mej. A R Ramachandran (Retired) said...

I am sure our leaders are capable, having been exposed to MPAT,INTAN,NDC etc. The only unknown factor would be the conscience. This is to say that, once the job is done, the Military leadership ensures return to constitutional rule and steps aside like a big brother. Note that in the MENA countries, the military reacts differently to the current turmoil. Why? This should be now a course of study for our fellows in uniform.

maurice said...

Dear Dato,

It is reported that Ghaddafi has very few friends and the only country willing to offer him safety is Zimbabwe.

He has strong support from his tribe and should he play the tribal card, Libya could be engulfed in a civil war.

Killroy said...

Dato'

It will happen when the Malays are quarrelling each other!!

Kay Stanford Jr Kastum said...

Never thought of that. But don't every country has some sort of protocol to follow in such situation?

wira said...

I can forgive you as a blogger for suggesting the unthinkable. Depicting the MAF as possible military governors of our country is to me a very sick joke indeed.
Dato, Melayu tak akan menderhaka!!
Not in a thousand years..
So the powers that be, wipe the smirk from your faces...

ben sungib said...

Dear Dato',

In my opinion, if that does happen, the military is ready to take on. Our present Chiefs are professional soldiers and the years of service they have clocked have gained them vast experience in both military and civilian matters.

However, I beleve the military will not do it single-handedly. It is by no means a sign of weakness or incapability on the part of the military to assume the responsibilities to govern during the interim period. On the contrary, I think the military would like to emulate the government's policy of power sharing. Remember how successful MAGERAN was when it was established soon after the May 13 69 debacle? Or how successful RASCOM was when it was formed to eliminate the communist insurgents in the Sibu/Kanowit/Kapit areas. We have this workable 'model'to fall back to if the need arises. What need to be done, as I believe it could be out-dated by now, is to improve on it.

I hope I am not off-track.Thank you.

maurice said...

Dear Killroy,

I agree with you, it could happen if not for the existence of other communities which act as a countervailing force to such attempts.We have to be thankful for this for this what has kept our country going.

Kamal Sanusi said...

Dato'

It is noted that some would say our military officers are professional namely the senior rank. However, how professional the lower rank are especially the new Lt, Capt and so on. Let alone the LLP.

Frankly speaking currently I would say there is no different between those senior officers and politician.

Therefore, I could not say either our military is ready or not to take over a civilian government. Their capability & professionalism (not to mention patriotism) as compared to those days is questionable.

Nevertheless, I pray to God that we will not facing the same situation in Mesir, Libya or Bahrain. BUT It will happen one day when people feel that they are being victimized by the leaders and could not take it anymore as what being experienced by those countries.

Enough is enough in remembering the suffering we face during our war with communist.

benadam said...

Dear Dato’ and friends,

Will it happen as “hypothesized” here?

Personally I have my reservation, even if one that is based on the prospect of the military filling the vacuum to assert the Malay supremacy. To me the whole notion of the military playing that role is rather simplistic in its orientation. It begs the question on plausibility i.e. the spirit by which this notion can materialize must be clarified especially in terms of its mediating variables.

I have no definite answer to this but some consideration in terms of its mediating variables that comes to mind is:
a. The esprit de corps elements intra and inter-services.
b. The Malay/Non-Malay “expert” in key units of the services/arms e.g.
communication, logistic, intelligence etc…etc
c.Police-Military rivalry because the military and police must work hand in glove here.
d.Leadership quality.

To me unless and until the above and some others that can be thought out, the proffered possibility of it happening and effectively working can only rest on shaky normative suppositions.

komando said...

FRIENDS - It would be a disaster !

How many true professionals do we have wearing uniforms today, no matter what the rank is?

Have we not seen, heard and feel, they have all towed the line!

May it be in the Military or Police!

The deciding factor is the lower ranks...that is my take...I may be dead wrong...the facts are clear plain and simple...no need to be a PROFESSOR IN POLITICAL SCIENCE or Scientists in Politics!

Chris said...

When the government system is in trouble, the armed forces especially the army is compelled to restore public law and order in the country. The question of the armed forces walking into the system is not realistic as we have a government system similar to the British system of government where all government agencies are subservient to the the political system, unless the governing politicians cannot handle governing the country anymore and the armed forces is required to take over for the interim period. I think, as was rumoured, the government did request the army to take over the situation during 5/13/69 but declined as the NOC formed then was more than adequate, with late Gen Tun Ibrahim as the executive head. I believe our system of government has a very solid organization and foundation; cannot imagine at this point in time to think of chaos in our country and obliging the armed forces to step in as an interim govenment.