‘Invasion a tragedy, not a blessing, Hisham’

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is criticised for calling the Kampung Tanduo invasion ‘a blessing in disguise’. 

Luke Rintod, FMT

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s recent description of the tragic Kampung Tanduo incident in Lahad Datu as a “blessing in disguise” has angered Sabahans.

Roundly condemning Hishamuddin’s comment, local lawyer-politician Peter Marajin said the Umno vice-president had “insulted all right-thinking Sabahans”.

“Does it mean that all this while Hishammuddin was harbouring the thought of this kind of thing happening in Sabah given that the so-called Sulu sultan and the Philippines government have yet to drop the Sabah claim?” asked Marajin.

The lawyer from Kota Belud also questioned the logic behind such comments, which now seemed to validate earlier rumours that the Tanduo incidence was meant to ensure Sabahans were cowed into sticking with the ruling Umno-led Barisan Nasional.

“Is this what he means by a blessing in disguise? I for one would never want this armed, violent, illegal and barbaric intrusion into my beloved land in the first place.

“So this incident would never be a blessing in disguise. This is downright insulting and insensitive to Sabahans,” said Marajin.

Hishammuddin had allegedly uttered such comments in a press conference after attending a breaking of fast with Malaysian soldiers and officers at Lok Kawi army camp near here on Sunday.

Hishammuddin had reportedly said that the Tanduo stand-off had taught Malaysia a lesson that a globalised world which knows no borders can bring new threats to the country.

“What we recently experienced is a wake up call which has made every quarter aware that threats to our country in a world full of new threats because of globalisation also needs to be addressed in the form of cooperation from all.

“I view the intrusion as a blessing in disguise. It taught us a lesson…,” Hishammuddin had said.

The armed intrusion in February this year saw 72 lives lost, including 10 Malaysian security personnel.