Look but could not see

Saleh Mohammed, Kuala Lumpur | .

We have been attacked top, bottom, left, right and centre.

These happened through ravages of nature and of course, humans. Can't blame God for the natural disasters because "Corruption  has  appeared  throughout  the  land  and  sea  by  [reason  of]  what  the  hands of  people  have  earned  so  He  may  let  them  taste  part  of  [the  consequence  of]  what  they have  done  that  perhaps  they  will  return  [to  righteousness] "Surah ar-Rum 30:41". The ones created by humans were caused by professionals and amateurs.

On 5 Nov 2014, mud flood and landslides in Cameron Highlands claimed five lives. Almost immediately, federal authorities pilloried migrants. I do not understand what have the migrants got to do with a disaster resulting from environmentally unfriendly developments. Until today, we have not heard the authorities detailing how to tackle illegal economic activities in the highlands and it is very disturbing. Not very sure what happened to the investigation papers.

The rains came and caused severe flooding in the East Coast and four other states in Peninsular Malaysia. By end Dec 2014, at least 21 people had been killed and almost a quarter of a million people displaced. It seems it was out of the norm and our planning was not ready for it. On hindsight, should we be ready for the norm only? There were also controversies on insurance companies paying for compensations. Six months later, some victims are still housed in tents.

A tourist group decided to be in their birthday suit atop Mt Kinabalu and the mountain shook when a powerful 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck. The earthquake was caused by movement on a SW-NE trending normal fault. Again, on hindsight, recommendations were then made to equip guides with a walkie talkie and to widen the current helicopter landing pad on the summit of Mount Kinabalu..

A Malaysian airliner was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine last year. The Netherlands is now discussing with its allies for an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected because of the sensitivity of the issue in terms of legal and political complexities.

We will skip MH370 because until today it is a mystery at a time when humans could detect types of gases in far away planets and stars and also remote-control plants and equipments from hundreds of miles away. Not forgetting the thousands of satellites circling the globe.

Let us continue praying for those who lost their lives in the above incidents.

Our borders and shores have been intruded. Not once but many times. In the Lahad Datu case, immediately statements were made by the authorities and they are conflicting. Just like what happened in the initial days of MH370 incident. Clearly, the chain of command is not visible. Soldiers then had to be transported to Sabah but military transport aircraft (MTA) is lacking. Whilst we can afford Scorpene submarines, we do not have sufficient funds to purchase MTA.

Justifying that Sabah has a long coastline is a good excuse some fifty years ago. Modern technologies and equipment with the help of locals could identify pirates’ favourite landing spots. We also have JKKK/JKKKP and the Special Branch. If only they are really put to good use they can easily help identify these spots too. A lot of money have been promised to be pumped in but we have as yet to see the results. There have been four more incidents in Sabah (15/11/13; 2/4/14; 12/7/14 and 14/5/15).

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) still has an advise against all but essential travel to all islands off the coast of eastern Sabah.

Up north, we also experience intrusion.

In May, our police discovered 139 grave sites in 28 detention camps in the deep jungles of Wang Kelian that had been operating for two to three years. Another was discovered 100m from border at Hutan Simpan Mata Aye in Perlis which can accommodate some 300 people equipped with a surau, clinic and kitchen.

Tan Sri Razali Ismail says local officials are working with human trafficking syndicates and it's time we come to grips with recognising that the transnational crime is huge in ASEAN.

In the past there were no sincere efforts to solve this problem and human trafficking has been allowed to flourish for years. The Kedah Rohingya Society in Malaysia (RSM) deputy chairman seems to know the main agent behind the human trafficking camps. Again, if only the JKKK/JKKKP or the Special Branch   had been diligent as they did to arrest IS suspects, we could have solved this problem two or three years earlier. The Forestry Department may not have visited this area for a long time. 

Taking on the favourite subject of Tun M, it was drummed upon us in college, many many years ago - monitor your company's gearing ratio; do not take short-term loans to finance long-term assets; do not take a new loan to pay-off existing loans of an acquired company that have its own repayment terms and when you take loan to pay cost of finance and pay tax, it is a sign of disaster coming.

It may be the present generation was taught, under current business and political practices, it is acceptable to be bold and daring… to break new ground and do things differently. Or as J. Paul Getty says, if you owe the bank $100 that's your problem, if you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem.

Our currency is under pressure and the justification is, it is so for others in this region. But when others in the region had lower growth rates, we 'mendabik dada'. Is it because we cannot buck the trend but then our southern neighbour is doing fine.

Our journey towards developed nation status has now been changed to high income nation. The nation may achieve this but a good majority will still be in the low-income group. They will be taxed if they want to consume something of quality which they could ill-afford. It may be a long time before this group can enjoy quality products and before that, make do with what you can afford and that is the quality of life of many of our citizens.

More recently, an oil tanker Orkim Harmony was hijacked not by pirates but by amateurs. Our navy and MMEA committed eight vessels and four aircraft for the search. A few days later it was spotted by an Australian airforce P-3 Orion aircraft. The tanker was shadowed with a navy ship and was redirected to Indonesia's Natuna Island. Aircraft from RMAF and RAAF were tailing it from the air.

A subsequent MMEA report said the pirates had fled the ship and three Malaysian navy ships and two aircraft were hunting the fleeing pirates.

I do not know how to assess the above episode especially when it was carried out by amateurs and the people tailing it are the RMAF, MMEA and the Malaysian navy.

By the way, a smaller oil tanker "Orkim Victory", which belongs to the same shipping company, was hijacked about a week earlier in almost the same area.

They must have looked but could not see...

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