Side Views

National scandal – Lim Mun Fah

Once again a Chinese tourist was abducted from Sabah. Yes, again!

Indeed the word 'again" epitomizes the vulnerability of Sabah's marine defence, the loopholes in the state's security, the woes of the state's tourism industry, the deeply planted worries of the state's residents, as well as the indignation of all Malaysians.

It is not just a scandal for Sabah, but a crying shame for the entire nation.

Are you kidding me? Just one month and now we have another tourist kidnapped from our territory.

Goodness! Why a Chinese national again?

Is it Abu Sayyaf again?

Public reactions have been a concoction of varying sentiments: shock, disbelief, frustration, anguish, humiliation...

More than a hundred Chinese passengers on board MH370 are yet to be located while the young female Chinese tourist abducted from a Semporna resort is yet to be freed. And now we have the Chinese manager of a fish farm snatched away.

Many Chinese nationals have cancelled their travel plans to Malaysia after the MH370 and Semporna kidnapping incidents. So far no bookings have been received from Chinese travel agencies.

There were a total of 1.6 million Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia last year but according to estimates, the number will likely shrink by 400,000 to 800,000 this year.

With another Chinese national now kidnapped in Sabah, it is foreseeable that Chinese tourists will shun the country while other nationals might review their travel plans. To be honest, no one wants to visit a country that fails to guarantee foreigners' safety.

This is not the first time Filipino terrorists have kidnapped hostages from Sabah in demanding exorbitant ransoms from the government. Last November, a Taiwanese couple was assaulted on Bon Bon island off Sabah. The husband was killed while the wife was abducted, to be released only after a large sum of ransom was paid to the kidnappers several months later.

In April 2000, some 21 people were kidnapped by Filipino militants, including 12 foreigners. The kidnappers released the hostages after US$20 million (RM65 million) was paid by the Philippine government at the mediation of Libya.

Last February, armed Sulu terrorists breached our territorial waters to stake a claim on their '"ancestral land" culminating in bloody clashes with our military.

Have we done or learned anything after all this? Why do the terrorists roam so freely into our territory even after the formation of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom)? Why do our security forces appear so helpless in fending off these intruders, allowing them to do whatever they wish in our country?

We remain so helpless and powerless in the face of such blatant provocation from these lawless militants. We have not only surrendered their insatiable ransom demands but also the confidence of Malaysians towards this country as well as our international reputation and image.  –, May 10, 2014.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.