"... a violent confrontation between the Royal Sulu Army and Malaysian security forces could undermine the final stages of the Malaysia-mediated peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mindanao. In the worst-case scenario, there is fear it could also trigger a revival of militancy by the Moro National Liberation Front, which signed a peace accord with Manila in 1996." - Malaysia, Philippines: Ethnic tensions are at the centre of a standoff, Stratfor, 26 Feb
Critics are a dime a dozen in the Lahad Datu invasion incidence. Even (df) Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who held many important portfolios but Home Affairs when he was Dr Mahathir's "blue eyes", thinks he knows how to do the job better than the Home Minister.
But with the details that we now know come greater clarity and a little bit of wisdom. There are more - much more - at stake here. The easiest and fastest way to resolve the so-called arm conflict would be through violent. But with the benefit of hindsight, I think everybody would agree that if we had the bloodlust of some politicians who disagreed with Hishammuddin Hussein's diplomacy and non-violent approach towards the armed Sulu invaders, there would have been a massacre of old and starving men and women in Lahad Datu.
It would have been great PR (public relations) disaster.
The might of the whole human rights world would come down on us.
We would have been so embarrassed to be Malaysians.
Clearly, and whether Anwar likes it or not, it's a coming-of-age in Lahad Datu. For Hishammuddin, too.
Read Terence Fernandez's Bloodshed: An Absoiute Last Resort (Malay Mail, Feb 25)
Also read Lahad Datu, Sabah Oil and American Interest