A Wise Decision

KUALA LUMPUR: The story below from Bernama is self-explanatory. As I had mentioned before, we lacked a lot of things to affect a rescue attempt this far away from home. Only a few nations does have the capability and we cannot spend billions just to prepare for this type of operation.

It is better to spent money on things that has a higher degree of priority and needs like body armour for the whole army, patrol boats for the navy and SAM to the air force. Just do like the French did, pay them the money and blast those pirates to ….

Government Not Considering Military Action To Rescue Hostages

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 9 (Bernama) — The government is not considering military action to rescue the crew members of the two MISC Bhd vessels held hostage by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, in the waters of Somalia and Yemen if the situation worsens.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government was optimistic that it could find a solution to rescue them.

The hostages were currently safe, he said when asked by reporters whether military action would be used to rescue the hostages.

The two ships with 65 Malaysian and nine Filipino crew members on board were hijacked on Aug 19 and 29.

Najib said he was getting daily reports on the situation but could not reveal any details as yet.

“We cannot reveal the efforts that we are making to the public because in this ICT (information communication technology) era the pirates there will get to know about them. They are also monitoring what we do here.

“We don’t want to compromise the safety of the crew of the two MISC ships. So, we will only announce our move when it is successful,” he said.


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About Marhalim Abas 2184 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Why do we have the RDF/PAC, ostensibly a rapid intervention force with operational/strategic mobility?
    The RMAF has 15 C-130s on the books and they have annual DROPEXs delivering entire battalion groups. We have done this for >10 years….. But all this has been for form since the battalions are effectively restricted to foot marches once on the ground. Something that has not been seen as an issue in all this time despite the historical antecedents like Arnhem.

    And what of Gerak Khas, who theoretically are the tip of the spear in counter-terror/ asymmetrical warfare? As our Tier 1 asset, they have the BOWSTRING/PAGODA mission. If this doesn’t fit the mission profile then I have no idea what will.

    CARAT, FPDA and all the bilateral/multilateral exercises should have prepared us for working in cooperation with our long time security partners. I am entirely confident that if Malaysia requested assistance from the US that they would get substantial and tangible assistance from UAVs to AC-130 support directed by combat controllers. This would fill many of the log, intel and combat support gaps we might face.

    All the time and effort we have spent on the IOC, the rhetoric should translate into cooperation from fellow IOC states like Yemen and Saudi to offer up forward operational bases and basic infrastructure.

    My fondest hope is that I am proven wrong and that we effect a safe recovery of our nationals and if possible our vessels. That my pessimism is unfounded and that like Entebbe 30+ years ago we defy the odds and triumph over wicked men.

    Yet I fear that we have simply not honed the edge of our sword to the razor-like sharpness needed to do so. That we have squandered our blood and treasure without gain these years…. with perhaps the exception of the RMN.

    They alone seem to have risen to this challenge and shown the fruits of two decades work. PASKAL, the Fleet Air Arm, NGPV….all coming together despite the obstacles and setbacks. In a more perfect world (and according to the development plan) we would have a sub on station and plenty enough amphib capability.

  2. Lest we forget, it is 191 hostages. Should we need to rescue our people, we are obliged to liberate all currently held. No mean feat……

    Marhalim: The large numbers was the main reason that I prefer that we pay the bloody pirates, I know it will encouraged them but with our own limitations it is the best option. To secure that many hostages, that may well be separated in different locations, a rescue is a huge gamble…..

  3. We need to call….the A-Team. *theme music*

    Ultimately it may come to that. We cannot leave our people to languish in that place ad nauseam. it ia the fundamental duty of any government to look after and protect her citizens, even at great cost and risk. Do this right and the government of the day will bask in the adulation of the public.

    Where there is a will, there is way. One has to think outside the box.


  4. If this incident involves personnels other than MISC with that valuable cargo, would the govt care that much? (just curious)

    On the other hand, IMO expecting the gov to back up one’s business venture is not really wise. Sailing those pirate infested waters, it would be prudent to keep a few contigency plans ready. Arming ships (if that is legal and welcomed at foreign ports) would be one. Doesn’t need anything fancy, gpmg or even some hmg in hidden-slide-out-mount to protect ships from small boats. (i prefer pkm and kpv, muhahah.. cheap and idiot proof basic ruskie stuff, pricewise 2 kpv for 1 m2 maybe?). Hire small security detail to man those things, and you get a basic insurance against pirates. Or is it just my wishful uneducated thinking?

    btw, regarding the somali incident with our troops. Heard that the somalis (the commander?) came over to Malaysian camp to say that they are sorry for the attack on our troops. In a hindsight, back then we should just let the americans sweat it out in there, we shoulda claimed we’re unable to assist because we got lost somewhere, breakdown, out of gas or whatever.. betcha they would make a bigger movie than that blackhawk down p.o.s 🙂

    Marhalim: Merchant vessels are not supposed to be armed by all accounts although one can safely hide the guns if they really want to carry them on board. The problem is of course is how to maintain these guns with the discipline necessary to prevent any accidents.

    The CO of the Mal contingent that was involved in the incident said they had to get involved in the Mog rescue attempt as the order had come down to them. In a joint operating environment, one cannot choose to pick the fight all of the time….

  5. The thing that i cannot understand is why does it take so long. Imagine if any of the hostages is a relative of yours. Imagine the torcherous mental stress that you will feel.

    By now, we should have assessed whether we do have the capacity and the will to engage militarily. If we don’t then pay. The reported 10 mil ransom being sought is much lower than the revenue the vessels would be generating, had they be freed to sail.

    If we decide to storm-in then do it. Get the bandits alive so that we can trade, had any of our hostages are kept ashore.

    Demi Allah, every night and every day i can’t wait to watch / read the news. But our leaders all seem like too procupied with taking care of their chairs …. If by Hari Raya next week there is still no news, then the leaders are really clueless ….

  6. Pak Lah is now in charge of MinDef.

    Minggu depan baru buka fail, lepas tu sudah Raya. Lepas Raya, kena pergi parlimen, akhirnya dia akan ditumbangkan dari dalam atau luar. Lepas tu mesti ada kabinet baru (BN ataupun PKR) dan menteri kenalah buka fail lagi, dapat laporan dari RMN, MISC. Mujurlah kalau orang ni dapat dilepaskan sebelum Krismas.

    The Germans coughed up and had their ship leased within 45 days. Typical German efficiency. Of course I believe that all the ransom demands are horrendously under reported to make it seem more reasonable.

  7. Note the story below Bernama, but the only good thing about this incident, no news is good news…

    No Decision Yet About Joining UN Gulf Of Aden Anti-piracy Force, Says ATM Chief

    KUCHING, Sept 22 (Bernama) — Malaysia has not taken a decision whether to join a United Nations (UN) anti-piracy force in the Gulf of Aden, said Defence Forces (ATM) Chief Gen Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal.

    Abdul Aziz said although Malaysia had sent three of its warships to escort Malaysian commercial vessels sailing the waters, it did not mean that the ATM was directly involved in any attempt to combat pirates in the Gulf of Aden, located between Yemen and Somalia.

    “We are not involved directly with other countries’ security forces and if France asks for our help, we will discuss it, but so far, no official decision has been made,” he told reporters after breaking fast with ATM personnel at Penrissen Camp, here today.

    On Sept 20, France tabled a draft resolution at the UN Security Council meeting urging member countries to join forces in combating pirates in the area.

    Commenting on the fate of Malaysian hostages on two hijacked vessels belonging to the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC), Abdul Aziz said negotiations were ongoing to secure their release from the pirates.

    “We were informed by the National Security Council that all 65 crewmen are safe and we hope with the negotiations, they can be released soon,” he said.

    On Aug 19 and 29, two MISC vessels, MT Bunga Melati Dua and MT Bunga Melati 5 were hijacked respectively by unknown pirates in area.

    MT Bunga Melati Dua, with 39 crewmen of whom 29 were Malaysians and 10 Filipinos was heading to Rotterdam from Dumai, Indonesia while MT Bunga Melati 5 was heading to Singapore from Yanbu, Saudi Arabia with 36 Malaysian crewmen when they were hijacked.


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