National security is prime concern this Merdeka! (Posted on 11.57am Aug 31, 2001)

No one can deny that we celebrate our 44th year of independence in an atmosphere of true happiness, determination and success.

The majority of us are also united in our resolve, prepared vigilance and alertness to face any quarter that threatens our democracy and our way of life. Under a stable and efficient Barisan Nasional government, we have been assured of security for our beloved nation as proven through the quality of governance in the past 44 years as an independent country.

I said we are in a state of vigilance because we are repeatedly hurt by people we once considered friends. They are the people who have now betrayed our confidence as they try to destabilize our beloved nation for their narrow political aims and agendas in and out of the country.

These people have failed to realize the sacrifices of our founding fathers and generations of Malaysians, led by our efficient and visionary leaders. Together, we had developed a nation that was previously dependent on agriculture to an industrialized and developing nation. Today, Malaysia shines out like a lighted beacon to the envy of many developed
and developing nations!

We have been put under renewed and consistent attack by economic predators and well financed media houses, lobby groups, and, sadly aided by a minority group of frustrated politicians. But we have overcome their slandering claims and their efforts to destabilize our nation for their own narrow political gains and agendas!

Meanwhile, we are filled with anxiety because a misguided minority have now decided to destabilize a peaceful, tolerant multiracial and multi-religious nation with their own antidote of religious militancy.

To make matters worse, there is a minority among us who not only blindly join the fray and threaten to destabilize our nation through social disorder, riots, and other terrorists acts. Sadly, they also partake in similar ventures in several neighbouring countries, including those in Africa and West Asia!

Kudos to our security intelligence for their fine efforts in gathering enough information to facilitate a preemptive strike against these forces to protect our nation.

However, one area that continues to cause serious threat at breakneck speed is the presence of foreigners, mostly Indonesians, in Malaysia. They number over a million though the Home Ministry sources claim a 'conservative 600,000 of these illegals in the country.

Of late, we are confronted by reports of robbery, rape, murder and other criminal activities that have sent shocks and shivers down the spine of law abiding and peace-loving Malaysians.

I was made to understand that, according to recent Police records, more than 2,000 crimes were reportedly committed by foreigners, mainly Indonesians!

We also read of a husband made to witness the brutal gang-rape of his wife, we heard of our children being kidnapped by housemaids and forced onto the streets of Indonesia as child beggars, and we are confronted with the brutal slaying of a housewife by her 18-year-old housemaid. Now, we are tormented by the presence of Indonesian militants and religious teachers holding Malaysian permanent resident status but engaging in various activities to destabilize the nation.

It is therefore imperative for us, as we celebrate our 44th year of independence, to welcome the proposal by the Ministry of Home Affairs to impose heavier penalties, including whipping, to check the influx of illegal immigrants in the interest of national security!

In fact, the proposal should include local councils and their enforcement officers to stamp any aid that allows the illegal movement and entry of this human trade!

As our beloved Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, had stated time and time again and more recently after his African state visit, that we need not be apologetic nor defensive for our political and security decisions. We just need to protect our nation's interest!

There is neither justification nor a need for any quarter to cite the much talked-about Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 when what we are concerned here with is the all-important concerns on national security, which overrides other petty concerns of the detracting groupings!

Ultimately, our nation's survival and stability rest on our shoulders, and the time has come for us to take bold steps to protect the rights and interests of the majority - the tolerant and peace-loving Malaysians.

This is the call for the 44th Malaysian Day celebration, that we continue to support a government that has repeatedly delivered on its promises. Let's stand by our national leaders as they take affirmative action that is needed to safeguard our nation's security. It's the only way to safeguard our Malaysian way of life!

Dr. Jacob George
Subang Jaya