METRO CORNER; Notes from Malaysia

Manila Bulletin, February 2, 2006 | Go to article overview

METRO CORNER; Notes from Malaysia


Byline: ERIK ESPINA

To this day, MILF/secessionist leaders still have to specify what form of government they will establish in a seceded Southern Mindanao in case victorious in this war of attrition; or if granted by government the next best thing a" a Federal State a" before they surely will declare independence or be confederated into greater Malaysia. This is the grim question red blooded Filipinos (Muslim or from Mindanao), captivated by such asong,aa must pose versus such radical Islamic leaders. For the choices look very unforgiving and intolerant. This, if they swallow the apromiseaa hook line and sinker e.g. a hereditary monarchy similar to Middle Eastern States? A highly theocratic and anti-woman rule similar to Iran? An authoritarian or single party government like Libya?

Fair warning to the deluded. Before said countries forged the evolutionary or final outcome of their government, graduations of internal and bloody discord among Moslem brethrens had to be fought. So the question needs to be asked a" are the various Filipino "tribesaa (practicing Islam), and the Lumads now politically courted by said secessionist leaders, willing to pay the expected and treacherous cost of self-rule? The cauldron for a revolution within Southern Mindanao, in case said fundamentalist dreamers succeed in peddling a Bangsa Moro State is predictable. The numerous and illegal arsenal possessed among local clans, tribes, Islamic liberation movements, etc. will decide what group will eventually emerge to dominate and govern the new territory. But at what price?

Interestingly, MILF/secessionist leaders (who also have an alliance with the CPP/NPA) are comfortable with Malaysia as the third party in the ongoing GRP-MILF peace negotiations. Although, I suspect, Malaysia is not exactly a disinterested peace broker, because the hidden agenda is to weaken our republic (by pushing for federalism) given the unsettled question of Sabah and the potential for future trouble with history perchance repeating itself. Perhaps, Southern Filipinos (Islamic) must be informed of how governance works in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia has one of the toughest Internal Security Acts (ISA) dating from the 1960s. This was the time the country was locked in a bloody struggle against the Communist Movement who wanted to establish a Malay Peopleas Republic. In the 12 years war 4,668 civilians died. …

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