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Updated: Malaysia's territorial crisis – Attack has begun

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Malaysia now has its own territorial crisis which has erupted into serious bloodshed. Like Thailand's unrest in the deep South, it has its origin in colonial times. Latest: Malaysian forces have launched an attack on the intruders. 

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Tuesday morning update

From a statement Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak issued this morning:

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak

“As an Islamic country that loves peace and uphold the struggle to end conflicts through negotiations, our effort to prevent bloodshed in Lahad Datu failed. Our security forces were attacked and our men killed. Malaysians, especially in Sabah, are worried for their safety.

The government must take action to defend the country's dignity and sovereignty as demanded by the people.

At 7am this morning, our security forces have launched an attack (on the intruders) in Kampung Tanduo.”

And this from Reuters:

Malaysian troops backed by fighter jets attacked an armed Filipino group on Tuesday, trying to end a standoff on Borneo island after violence that killed at least 27 people and sparked fears of broader insecurity in the resource-rich area.

Malaysian soldiers aboard an armored personnel carrier drive toward the site of the standoff with Filipino gunmen in Tanduo village, Sabah. AFP

The operation to seize an area occupied by about 180 Filipinos, dozens of them armed, began at 7 a.m. (2300 GMT Monday), a day after the government sent seven army battalions to Malaysia's eastern Sabah state to reinforce police.

Malaysian media reported local residents as saying they heard several explosions and saw fighter jets circling over the coastal area near the town of Lahad Datu.

uphold – to defend or keep to a principle or law; to show that you support something by what you say or do พิทักษ์รักษา ยืนหนัด
struggle – a very difficult task that you can do only by making a great effort ความพยายาม
conflict – angry disagreement between people or groups การต่อสู้, ความขัดแย้ง
struggle – a very difficult task that you can do only by making a great effort ความพยายาม
negotiations – formal discussions in which people or groups try to reach an agreement การเจรจาต่อรอง
bloodshed – a situation in which people are killed or injured, especially during fighting การนองเลือด
dignity – respect that other people have for you or that you have for yourself ศักดิ์ศรี
sovereignty – the right to rule a country or area อำนาจอธิปไตย อำนาจเด็จขาดเหนือพื้นที่
launch – to start something เริ่มต้น เริ่มทำ
intruder – someone who enters a place without permission ผู้บุกรุก
troops – soldiers, especially in large numbers กองทหาร
armed – using weapons  ติดอาวุธ
standoff – a disagreement or fight in which it is difficult for either opponent to win or achieve their aim; a stalemate สถานการณ์ที่ต่างเอาชนะกันไม่ได้
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย
spark – to make something happen, especially something bad ก่อให้เกิด
broad – wide กว้างขวาง
insecurity – having little confidence; uncertain; unstable  ความไม่มั่นใจ ความไม่มั่นคง, ความไม่มั่นใจ
resource – a supply of something that a country, an organization or a person has and can use  ทรัพยากร
operation – a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers การปฏิบัติการ
seize – to take control of a place or situation using military force  เข้ายึดพื้นที่
occupy – to be in control of a place that you entered by force as a group ยึดครอง
battalion – a large group of soldiers made up of several smaller groups known as companies กองทหาร, กองพันทหาร
reinforce – to make a group of police or soldiers stronger by adding more people or equipment to it เสริมกำลังเจ้าหน้าที่
media – radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group สื่อ
residents – people living in a particular area ประชาชนผู้อยู่อาศัยในบริเวณ

Malaysia's territorial crisis

Few people here seem to have noticed but Malaysia now has its own territorial crisis which has erupted into serious bloodshed. Like Thailand's unrest in the deep South, it has its origins in colonial times.

Much of the territory in Thailand's deep South was once the Malay Sultanate of Patani Darul Makrif, coming under full Siamese rule in 1909 in an agreement worked out with the British Empire.

Malaysian Borneo, now known as Sabah, was once part of the Sulu Sultanate in the Philippines. In a strange agreement in 1878, the area was ceded to a British commercial syndicate for 5,000 Malayan dollars a year, a fee –  now 5300 dollars – the Malaysian government still pays although it considers Sabah to be part of Malaysia after residents there voted to join the new country in 1963.

Here is the latest from Sabah:

Two policemen check vehicles at a security check post in Bakapit village near Lahad Datu in Malaysian Borneo on February 14th. [AFP/Bernama News Agency]

Click button to listen to Sabah and rightclick to download

Seven killed in fresh clashes in Malaysian Borneo

LAHAD DATU, Malaysia (AFP) – Five Malaysian policemen and two gunmen have died in a fresh clash on Borneo island, police said Sunday, as fears mounted that violence linked to a deadly standoff with Filipino intruders was spreading.

The shoot-out late Saturday in the town of Semporna followed a firefight a day earlier between Filipino followers of a self-proclaimed sultan and Malaysian security forces that left 12 intruders dead along with two police officers.

The latest clash in Malaysia's biggest security crisis of recent years occurred when police were "ambushed" by gunmen, national police chief Ismail Omar told reporters.

Semporna is 300 kilometres from Tanduo village, where an estimated 100-300 people have been encircled by Malaysian police and soldiers since landing by boat from the Philippines on February 12 to claim the area for their leader.

The 74-year-old Manila-based leader, Jamalul Kiram III, claims to be heir to the Islamic sultanate of Sulu, which once controlled parts of the southern Philippines and the modern-day Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo island.

Malaysian officials called for calm but various reports painted a picture of chaos in the area.

It was not immediately made clear whether the Semporna attackers were still at large. Meanwhile Malaysian media quoted Ismail as saying police were pursuing yet another group of armed men in Kunak, another town in the region.

The new incidents sparked Malaysian fears of a wider campaign by other intruders or their supporters in Sabah, which has large numbers of Filipino immigrants – both legal and illegal.

The Philippine embassy in Kuala Lumpur issued a statement urging calm among Filipinos. "We feel and understand the anxieties felt by many of you at these difficult times," it said.

"This is not the time to undertake any action that might be misunderstood by some parties."

The situation is delicate for the Southeast Asian neighbours.

The Philippine government is looking to consolidate recent progress in mending fences with Islamic separatists in its partly Muslim south.

The government of Muslim-majority Malaysia, meanwhile, could face pressure at home if harsh action is taken against the Islamic Filipino intruders, which also could inflame Sabah's many Filipinos.

Following Friday's firefight Malaysian police threatened "drastic action" if they did not surrender.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, who has sharply criticised the intruders, has also urged them to give up.

But Kiram's spokesman Abraham Idjirani repeated Sunday his followers would not budge. He said the sultan would seek the intervention of the United States, which colonised the Philippines in the early 1900s.

"(Malaysians) want to hide the truth – that they do not own Sabah. It is owned by us," he said in an interview on Philippine radio.

crisis – a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point ช่วงวิกฤต
territorial crisis – a serious disagreement over who owns a particular area of land or sea
erupt – to start suddenly ปะทุขึ้น
bloodshed – a situation in which people are killed or injured, especially during fighting การนองเลือด
unrest – angry or violent behaviour by people who are protesting or fighting against something สถานการณ์ที่ไม่สงบ
origin – the point from which something starts or comes from ที่มา,  ต้นกำเนิด, จุดเริ่มต้น
colonial – connected with or belonging to a country that controls another country เกี่ยวกับอาณานิคม
sultan – the title given to Muslim rulers in some countries สุลต่าน, ประมุขของประเทศที่นับถือศาสนาอิสลาม
sultanate – an area of land that is ruled over by a sultan อำนาจหรืออาณาจักรของสุลต่าน
empire – a group of countries or states that are controlled by one ruler or government อาณาจักร
cede – to allow someone to take something away from you ยกให้
commercial – for business purposes เกี่ยวกับการค้า
syndicate – a group of people or companies who work together and help each other in order to achieve a particular aim สมาคม, องค์การ, สหการ , การรวมกลุ่มเป็นสมาคม
consider – to give careful thought to something before making a decision พิจารณา
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
clash – a brief fight between two or more people การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
mount – to increase เพิ่มขึ้น
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย
linked – connected เชื่อมต่อ เชื่อมโยง
standoff – a disagreement or fight in which neither opponent can do anything to win or achieve their aim; a stalemate สถานการณ์ที่ต่างเอาชนะกันไม่ได้
intruder – someone who enters a place without permission ผู้บุกรุก
spread – to (cause to) cover, reach or have an effect on a wider or increasing area or number of people แพร่กระจาย, แพร่กระจายไปทั่ว
shootout – a fight that is fought with guns, usually until one side is killed or defeated การยิงกัน
self-proclaimed – giving yourself a particular title, job, etc. without the agreement or permission of other people เรียกตัวเองว่า, ประกาศตัวเองเป็น
ambush – to attack someone after hiding and waiting for them ซุ่มโจมตี (จากตำแหน่งที่ซ่อนอยู่)
estimated – thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available ประมาณการ
encircle – to surround somebody/something completely in a circle ล้อมรอบ
claim – to say that you have the right to have or own something, especially land or property อ้างสิทธิ
heir – a person who will legally receive money, property or a title from another person, especially an older member of the same family, when that other person dies ทายาท, ผู้สืบสกุล, ผู้รับมรดก
calm – peace and quiet; without anxiety ใจเย็น,ไม่ตื่นเต้น, สงบ
chaos – a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess การจราจล
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
at large – not having been caught by the police ลอยนวล, ยังไม่ถูกจับกุม
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
media – radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group สื่อ
pursue – to chase someone or something in order to catch them ไล่ตาม
armed – carrying a weapon  ติดอาวุธ
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
spark – to make something happen ก่อให้เกิด
campaign – a series of actions intended to produce political or social change การรณรงค์, การกระทำการหรือวางแผนเพื่อให้บรรลุตามเป้าหมาย
immigrant – a person who has come to a different country in order to live there permanently  ผู้อพยพ, คนย้ายถิ่น
legal – allowed by the law ถูกต้องตามกฎหมาย
illegal – against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
embassy – a group of officials who represent their government in a foreign country สถานทูต
issue – to announce something officially ออกประกาศ
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
anxiety – an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future ความวิตกกังวล
undertake – to do เข้าทำ, ดำเนินการ
party – one of the people or groups of people involved in an official argument, arrangement or similar situation คู่กรณี
delicate – needing to be dealt with carefully; easily damaged ยุ่งยาก, ละเอียดอ่อน, ลำบาก, ซับซ้อน
consolidate – to bring together to form one unit รวมเป็นหนึ่ง
mend fences – to repair a relationship ปรองดองกันอีก
separatist – of a group of people who are trying to gain independence for the area they live in ผู้สนับสนุนการแบ่งแยก
pressure – trying to make someone do something by forcing, threatening, or persuading them in a determined way ความกดดัน,  แรงกระตุ้น, การบีบบังคับ
harsh – strict, unkind and often unfair อย่างรุนแรง
inflame – to cause very strong feelings, especially anger or excitement, in a person or in a group of people  ทำให้ลุกเป็นไฟ, ทำให้โกรธ
threaten – to say that you might do something bad or harmful, especially in order to make someone do something  ขู่เข็ญ คุกคาม ทำให้กลัว
drastic action – very strong action มาตรการรุนแรง
surrender – to give yourself up ยอมจำนน
refuse to budge – refuse to move from a position, in this case, to refuse to change your mind  ไม่เปลี่ยนใจ ไม่ยอมโยกย้าย
intervention – a situation in which someone becomes involved in a particular issue, problem, etc., in order to influence what happens การแทรกแซง

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Related search: Malaysian Borneo, Sabah, Sulu

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