Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) versus Sulu gunmen in Sabah: Lessons for Singapore

Info Ops: Honed through experience from the Emergency fighting communist propaganda and military operations worldwide, the Malaysian Armed Forces are aware of the need to backstop military operations with an info security and psywar campaign plan.

A week ago, Malaysia's defence information officers were busy ramping up publicity for the Malaysian Army's 80th Anniversary celebrations - a happy occasion that culminated in a massive show of force by Tentera Darat Malaysia (Malaysian Army) in Port Dickson.

After a weekend on duty, their pace of work increased dramatically with real operations in the East Malaysian state of Sabah.

Ongoing operations by Malaysian security forces against Filipino gunmen in Lahad Datu, Sabah, mean that it will be sometime yet before IOs from Cawangan Perhubungan Awam (Public Relations Department) at Kementerian Pertahanan (KEMENTAH, the Malaysian Ministry of Defence) can enjoy a restful weekend.

Info warrior: A Malaysian soldier captures the action during a capability demonstration at Port Dickson on Sunday, 3 March 2013. The amphibious landing and special forces hostage rescue demo was staged as part of celebrations to mark the Malaysian Army's 80th anniversary.

The exposure to real ops in Sabah will reward Kementah's IOs with firsthand experience managing hearts and minds operations during an unfolding operation that has international dimensions. Add in the timing of the yet-unamed operasi, which was triggered during the run-up to the Malaysian General Elections, and the IOs entrusted to handle media ops will get a chance to learn invaluable lessons in calibrating domestic political considerations during an unfolding operation other than war (OOTW).

While it is early days yet before defence observers can compile a credible blow by blow account of the assault, here are some preliminary thoughts on the situation:

1. Malaysia's security operation in Sabah sorely needs a name - one would hope an inspiring one - that would rally Malaysians behind the Malaysian Armed Forces and Royal Malaysian Police. That single moniker, Operasi (name to come?), would serve as a through-driver that is far more effective than Bernama's (Malaysia's national news agency) cumbersome description of the operation in Sabah against Sulu gunmen.

Still on psywar: Malaysia's mainstream broadcast media, RTM, worked commendably fast in producing the clip with rousing martial music and TV footage aired at the end of tonight's news bulletin that cavassed support for Malaysia's Fallen Heroes. This is the type of psychological defence response that the Malaysians are good at, having picked up valuable lessons from the British during the Emergency years.

2.  The casual attitude to personal protection equipment by Malaysian soldiers and General Operations Force field police has been noted by defence observers. During the three-week long standoff against a force whose high end guesstimate claims has 200 gunmen and even after blood was shed, Malaysians deployed for security duty do not seem to care much for their personal protection.
* Body armour is rarely seen. When worn by some officers, the body armour appears to be of the soft body armour type (NIJ classification IIA/II or even lower) which is not designed to withstand full metal jacket projectiles discharged from firearms or mortar rounds.
* Headgear in the form of ballistic helmets is almost never worn. And let's not even go into protective eyewear like goggles.

This apparently cavalier attitude during live ops is baffling when measured against mountains of defence science literature which underline how lives can have been saved from ballistic protection.

If the officers are content to deploy for ops unaware of the life-saving potential of ballistic protection, then this indicates a failure of the curriculum in Malaysia's military education system.

If the officers are aware but sent their men into action ill-equipped, then the AAR should perhaps look at how to address the shortfall in such equipment.

Medical reports on the Malaysian security forces killed in action should indicate the cause of death, whether by penetrations from firearm projectiles (if so, the estimated calibre), shrapnel or non penetrating trauma caused by blast damage. A no-BS report would reveal the possible root causes of casualties during the Sabah operation and could suggest the type of protection needed to reduce wounded in action/KIAs during the next op.

3. Concomitant with the above observation is the poor quality of firearms used by the Police General Operations Force. Their M-16 5.56mm rifles are aimed using iron sights. There appears to be no option for optical sights (for example, a Picatinny rail) that can improve marksmanship or, more importantly, allow Malaysian police officers a rudimentary night-fighting capability.

4. Even after a deadly ambush, it is noteworthy that armoured vehicles appear to be in short supply in Sabah. Vehicle patrols by the police there continue to be mounted in unarmoured Land Rovers and trucks. Again, this begs the question what happened to lessons learned during the Emergency?

5. The tit-for-tat cyber attacks, said to have been the work of computer hackers from Manila and Kuala Lumpur, are a sign of things to come during a Period of Tension (POT) or OOTW (which is what the Sabah operation has evolved into). Singapore Inc must therefore prepare itself for such a virtual world onslaught as part of its business continuity plan. It should perhaps also study options to pay back with interests anyone who opens an account with Singapore Inc using cyber attacks.

6. At a more basic level of security preparedness, it would be ill-advised for the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to display the level of tolerance shown by the Malaysians during this episode. A three-week standoff against armed intruders said to have conducted active operations on home ground and shed blood is a trigger point Singov should never desensitise itself to.

Our circuit breaker must be designed to trip much faster so that a swift and decisive response can be unleashed.

Ta'at Setia!

You may also like:
Singapore Armed Forces versus cynics and critics in the halcyon days of peace. Click here


Anonymous said...


I concur with points 2 and 3 but the units you are seeing in the media and commenting on is the VAT 69 and GOF. Army units, up till yesterday, was not widely potrait as the government still wants this to be a police affair.

The poor operational discipline and lack of proper equipment shows how these two units have deteriorated since the signing of Hatyai accord 24 years ago. These units used to be the premier counter insurgency units of Malaysia but post communist insurgency, the seem to have lost their skill. Not suprising considering the GOF was mostly consigned to border duty and anti piracy operations (it was renamed to GOF from Police Field Force to reflect change of their duties) while VAT 69 has become focused on counter terrorism. Both units do suffer from serious investment though.

The army units, from what I can see, display very good operational discipline. Now that they are being brought forward, you might see more pics of them. But this is really not a conflict for the army. The process of converting them to conventional warfare is far too advanced.

The biggest "failure" in this incident is actually the Special Branch. They are usually quite adapt at nipping these situations at the bud but their failure to do so in this instance need to be thoroughly reviewed by the Malaysian Police.

This looks like the beginning of a long insurgency.

David Boey said...

Dear All,
Just learned that the Malaysian operation is codenamed Operasi Daulat.

Best regards,


David Boey said...

"The army units, from what I can see, display very good operational discipline."

Dear Anon 12:47 AM,
I agree with your observation.

Intend to point this out in subsequent reports on the Malaysian Army's 80th anniversary.

If this turns out to be a "long insurgency", as you have surmised, I hope the level of cooperation between MAF and SAF can mirror how both our police forces - PDRM and SPF - cooperate and work together.

Best regards from south of the border,


Anonymous said...

Malaysians in Sabah already know once of this day will happen since their ex PM M allowed pinoys to go into Sabah. But their did not expect to be this soon.

And the first two VAT officers to get killed is said to be an ambush by the sulu faith surrender. The other five death was cause by a road side home make bomb make by the pinoys who are resident PR/Citizen of Sabah and the Sulu Militant. Both working together in the name of Pinoy, Not malaysian.

This is a very importance and good lesson to be learn by all Singaporean. When an outside force getting strongest and strongest by days, it will somehow start to show it present and will not stay silence anymore.

That's why i always do not agree to what alot of singaporean said about letting PR/ New Citizen to serve NS from the beginning. Cos this is what worry me the most. Did singaporean think of our own "Nation Security" in the very first place before asking PR/new citizen to do NS with us ?

We need to rethink again. There are many other things which i cant say openly dul to XYZ. But what happen to Sabah and the citizen of Malaysia is a Real Good Lesson to be learn by us. It started to happen to them.

How about us ? When ? Only time will tell. The only way to stop this from happening is to cut down the immigartion or it will be way too late for all of us. Sabah lession is just one case which happen near to us. There are many more during the past.

Don't let this happen here or else, it will hit this nation and all of us harder then sabah or any other country elsewhere. But i do know, there will be ppl who do not agree from what i said.

Anonymous said...

* Body armour is rarely seen.

2. A serious challenge associated with body armor is its excessive weight, and it increases heat stress exhausts the human body within a short time, even under normal conditions. A G.I that suffered heat exhaustion and heat stroke from the American war can second that. Besides, even the Singapore Armed Forces discourages its soldiers to put on a layer of cloth (e.g. T-shirt) underneath its top during an exercise in the woods. I guess you've never made it to Basic Military training in Singapore.

3.4.5 Their M-16 5.56mm rifles are aimed using iron sights. There appears to be no option for optical sights (for example, a Picatinny rail) that can improve marksmanship ... bla ... bla ... bla ... armoured vehicles appear to be in short supply in Sabah... bla ... bla ... bla ... Singapore Inc must therefore prepare itself for such a virtual world onslaught bla ... bla ... bla ...

Yes indeed. The friendly Muslim neighbours around Singapore knows of the hardware capability of The Singapore Armed Forces -- just like how they know how Letitia carries Boi-Boi's army backpack to camp.

These is the sort of boastful & short-man syndrome comments that makes those that have served feel humbled and not ashamed of their service to the country. You make it sound as though this conflict is some sort of a computer game in your parents basement. I wonder how on earth you got the job as a Defence Correspondent at The Straits Times!

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:07 - oh come on.

You make a fair point with regards body armour, but your last paragraph is a piece of work, man.

Anonymous said...

i hazard a guess and am complimenting the MY gov. They allow 3 weeks to "fester" maybe due to politically sensitive nature cos their opponents are also fellow Muslims? They need to show politically that they give chance to fellow Muslims? But it was very unfortunate that lives were lost on the MY side... and now the MAF move in on a moral high ground due to the above 2 factors... (?)

Whether its intentionally planned or situation just unfold is anybody's guess.

Anonymous said...

I believe the 3 weeks to "fester" has got nothing to do with religion. There are rules of engagement to follow, unless the perpetrator comes from a rogue nation that doesn't recognize diplomacy or the existence of a UN council.

If you know what the the GGK (Malaysia Special Force) does to its candidates who wants to don the green beret, you'd realize that its candidates has to go through a process of searching for food that is forbidden for consumption in Islam. Besides, the bullet doesn't recognize any religion of the human kind when it hits you.

And yes, they have non Muslims that have made it through the GGK selection process. They even have a Chinese crew in their submarine. Something Singapore should learn if it doesn't have any Muslims in their SOF outfit.

Anonymous said...

i think the day we can design and make our own very cutting edge classified weapons and operational source code ( not that we don't but still need to source from outside)and need not rely on outside supplier whom are sensitive to such demography, i believe you will begin to see more participation in classified units. No?

snowfox said...

Operation Codename: "Operation Sovereign"
Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=173488958

"casual attitude to personal protection equipment"
- Suspect it is due to the part, that the people are locate far from the front.

- Their "Heighten" poses are just poses for the camera.

"Vehicle patrols by the police there continue to be mounted in unarmoured Land Rovers and trucks."

After Mogadishu, Somalia, 1993 battle, in which the Malaysian lost a few IFV in the rescue.

Doubt the Malaysian forgotten the importance of being well armored.

Rather, the Malaysian are responding accordingly to the threat level (Praying it is true)

Hope that it will not Happened.
That a Certain Asian Country manufactured Anti Tank Weapon, used against the Malaysian AFV(s).

KLC said...

I read your article with interest, as always, and I would agree with you on most points. However, there are some that I don’t and my reasons are as follows.

Having used both the M16 and Steyr AUG (which was one of the first modern assault rifles with a built in optical sight) in the jungle, I can testify to the lightness, reliability and usefulness of the M16 over that of the Styer. Jungle firefights are usually at relatively close range and the iron sights of the M16 are more than sufficient for that. In fact, I knew one of the members of the test team that initially evaluated the Steyr for the Malaysian army and they had rejected the Steyr in favour of retaining the M16.

However, due to the politics of Malaysia which seems to see the Defence Ministry as a cash cow, the results were over turn and the Steyr was adopted to replace the M16. Well, it has come full circle and now the Steyr has been replaced by the M14, a descendant of the M16.

As for night sights, in the dense jungle of Malaysia it can get so dark at night that you can hardly see your palm in front of your face. A Malaysian commando officer who was in an evaluating team for night sights for the commandos, told me that night sights were almost useless in the jungle. Almost hardly any star or moon light filtered through the dense tree tops foliage for the night sights to amplify them. However, at sea, there was so much light at nights that the night sights “lit” up the area like it was daytime.

I would agree that it would be a great life saver to have proper military specs bullet proof vests for our soldiers. However, that has to be balanced against its weight and impact on operational effectiveness in the jungle. US Marines used to train with Malaysian soldiers on a regular basis and they always carried a backpack which not only stuffed to the limit with the latest equipment and electronics, including vests but weight almost as much as one of our light soldiers. These Marines were not only supremely fit and muscled but jogged everywhere, even to the loo!

However, on operating exercises, they used to be left far behind because of the weight of their backpacks and their lack of stamina in climbing up and down hills, swamps, bamboo thickets, rivers, streams and other obstacles in the jungle. In other words, their operational capacity became more and more marginalized due to the weight they were carrying. They always ended up shedding their stuff at base camps in order to emulate us, which was to travel as lightly as possible. These US Marines had forgotten one of the most important lessons of the Vietnam war, which was to travel as lightly as possible in a jungle environment.

Most of all, like many officers who were trained by and operated with officers and NCO who were veterans of the Communist Insurgency, we moan the deteriorating effectiveness of the present Malaysian soldier and GOF. It was not that long ago when they were amongst the best in the world for CIW but not now. Peacetime training and conditions is a major cause but another is the increasing politics of the military and the Ministry of Defence post.

One major gripe would be the ban on alcohol and dry camps from the late 1990s onwards, which was imposed even on the Rangers regiment, an imposition from the increasing religious polarization of the country. I’ve had junior officers tell me that the present “dry” environment of the military breeds better officers and soldiers of yesteryears. I politely tell them, that the “wet” or boozed officers and soldiers of yesteryears were the ones who scored all the victories over the Communist Insurgents and could run rings around the present generation anytime!

Anonymous said...

Body armour is only relevant if you believe that preserving your life is in your own hands, as opposed to being the will of a higher being.

Anonymous said...

Guys, lets hope and pray that MAF success on their objective, generally we know that Defence procurement by malaysia is decided by politician. Even US soldiers are not properly equipt, remember when Dick Chenny was question by a soldier on armoured humvees? Be it ur singaporean or malaysian, all that are here shuld focus on one thing, ending this as soon as possible which i doubt so.

Our region is occupied with insurgency in every corner, Thailand, Phillipines , indonesia and now Sabah, As on the source code secrecy and of unit, its has been proven that loyalty and trust does not mixed with race and religion, Malaysian police that was killed by the sulus are muslim are they not? When Gulf war 1, it pitches muslim against muslim. The leaks of secrecy is brought by greed and lust not brought about by race or religion

Anonymous said...

I agree with KLC March 6, 2013 at 3:19 PM but point out that in this case, the militants have been localised and the photos show police and soldiers manning a static perimeter. They should be wearing lifesaving protective equipment.

Wengkit Tan said...

Hi David,

Your comments did not include the political/ religious aspects of the issue. The Malaysian army can't go in firing on all guns without first exhausting the diplomatic solution. Bear in mind that the Sulu gunmen are muslim, and the majority of voters in Malaysia are muslim. Layer upon the fact that the elections is around the corner, it is clear that a great deal of tack is required.

If the Japanese or the Chinese do as you would have suggested, we would have seen the start of World War 3 a few months ago.

If you observe the dressing of British soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan, you'll notice that they try to dress down (in berets etc) so as to project an image of friendliness to the locals. This is what you call pacification.

I am amazed that you have not considered any of the above pacification tactics.

If Singapore faces such an issue and go in all guns firing at the first instance, the longer consequences may be more troublesome than the immediate difficulties. But then again, Singapore is in a different situation, it is surrounded by a predominantly muslim population. Singapore does not quite have the same political and religious constraints as the Malaysian army or government faces.

Anonymous said...

A different ball game now with MNLF joining the fight.

N the light naval cordon is a surprise.

The M'sian should had put their submarines to good use for surveillance.

Anonymous said...

This neatly explains what a jungle fighting load should be like. It also raises questions for SAF infantry.


On the other hand, EVERYONE wears full armour in Afghanistan even when on foot. Even the Australians who go without vest or helmet in their own desert.

The Thais march light on the Burmese border but are fully protected when on duty in Bangkok because they are in static positions. The Malaysians should do the same once the Sulu group has been contained in a perimeter.

Anonymous said...

52:8 It is a proud day for Malaysia

Anonymous said...

52:8 .....what's that......some segment of a video clip?

Anonymous said...

David, how do you like this article being re-posted on Asia1?

Anonymous said...

Dear David,

It has become apparent that the front line muscle for the Malaysians are not the elite RDF of the MAF. They are light infantry at best but how well trained and well equipped for the role, that is subject to debate. The only SOF I have seen depicted seem to be guarding the VIPs so the grunt work well is being done by the Malaysian Grunts

Carrying full body armour in HOT, high and hot and humid conditions are a different kettle of fish. That said and done, it is a small operational area and perhaps FBA will not impede operations but that is again subject to debate and it is not so clear cut. The current kill ratio as it stands seems to indicate a high degree of success with a step by step , methodical approach using firepower, the lack of FBA not being seen as a major factor.

They might not have used LGBs, their FA-18s dropped MK 82 dumb bombs, their scouts did not have MINI RPVs, their sigh were plain iron, but they have gotten the job done, hut by hut using basic infantry skills with no technological enhancements, the light amour and vehicles in the perimeter were nothing fantastic , the mortar team providing support had no digital fire control etc etc but they did the job and well.


Anonymous said...

Everyone's an arm chair general, but who's qualified to talk?

Even the warfighters themselves don't sound too smart.


Anonymous said...


“What you see over there is right,” he said, pointing to several Thai soldiers who carried virtually nothing but two canteens, a small pouch, a rope and a weapon. He said the U.S. Army had recently learned some hard lessons at an exercise in Singapore, in which “we didn’t move 700 meters and we had 11 heat casualties.” -- Stars and Stripes.

Obviously this article bolsters my point. (That some of you folks here have never been in the outfit or merely amateur computer geeks) I'm out of this short-man syndrome Singaporean blog.


Anonymous said...

Above, you are too sensitive. If you are right, why are the ATM soldiers wearing proper protection?

It is the GOF and even VAT 69 who are ill equipped without helmets or proper ballistic vests.

Anonymous said...

David, I am part of the SAF's older generation "2G" soldiers. Some points - given a jungle warfare situation, I would rather move as light as possible, preferable with ammunition, some rations, maps (GPS)and comms. When I trained in Brunei, we didn't even use helmets. I would wish for a carbine with iron-sights.
The current "3G" army with its equipment, appears to be for high intensity conventional conflict in urban environments. I do not think the SAF engages in classic jungle warfare anymore. Manoeuvres and drills in the jungle, maybe. But not jungle warfare. We no longer have the old school jungle cadre.

Anonymous said...

Above, you are right that SAF does not do jungle warfare now. But my opinion is it has never trained seriously for it at any time. The training is only enough to operate in forested terrain for some days.

Anonymous said...

Moving light in jungle warfare is the smart thing to do given its humidity where a soldier will quickly experience lethargy. The malayan and vietnam vaterans knows best. For engaging protracted patrol ambush operations in tropical jungle condition it is very important to be mindful of the above. For troops like the GGK who do combat patrol and almost certainly looking to engage and doing this fir prolong period is different from the standard infantry units that were rush in to give flank and rear security and backup force. These latter personnel can then suit up for defence guide and combat support duties. No? But kudos to the MAF hard training of the GGK forces.

Wrt the sensitive nature of the demogeaphy i posted earlier, i suspect this condition us base on an agreement with our supplier whom we are greatful to help us all these years. Not even a certain powerful country wants to provide us with such sensitive proprietary systems. But i am opptimistic that the relationship in our immediate neighbiurhood and in our country... the younger generations are more open (?)

Xenotzu said...

What the Malaysian army is doing now in Sabah is what we do best, although I must admit that we seem to be quite rusty in some ways. At this level, its pure and basic field craft where all the most modern equipment does not matter as much as a well-trained and determined solider in the field.

To be blunt, although the hardware that a present Singaporean NS solider has access to is probably amongst the best in the world and certainly the best in South East Asia, sadly, the same cannot be said of the present NS soldier.

From what I could gather about the BMT that a NS undergoes now, it is probably not comparable to the hard, perhaps sadistic but realistic grind of military training which turns a raw recruit into a soldier capable of withstanding extremes. I may be wrong but I believe that the NS training in the 1970s seems to be equivalent to the present training of the Malaysian army.

The rational for such hard if perhaps brutal training was simple. Gruelling training makes soldiering easy and could mean the difference between life and death in a combat situation. This was ingrained into me during my training by NCO's and officers who were combat veterans of the communist insurgency. In fact, some of these officers also had experience serving with the UN in the war zones of Somalia and Bosnia.

In a combat situation, no matter how good your hardware is, it is the software that makes all the difference in surviving and accomplishing your mission. Training makes all the difference. General Rommel put it simply "Sweat saves blood, blood saves lives".

I had the pleasure of corresponding with an American who's a Singaporean citizen now, with 2 sons who completed their NS stint. We discussed about NS training conditions and he said that basically, NS training was soft and conditions very comfortable. In other words not realistic or rigorous enough. I respected his comments because unlike me, he was a combat veteran who had served as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.

More than most, I think Americans who were combat veterans of the Vietnam War know very well that no matter how modern or sophisticated your military hardware is, in the words of their General Patton, "You can keep your atom bombs, your tanks and your airplanes; you'll still have to have some little guy with a rifle and a bayonet who winkles the other bastard out of his foxhole and gets him to sign the Peace Treaty".

As my son heads towards his NS in a few short years' time, I wonder if he will receive the type of military training which will turn him into a soldier capable of withstanding hardship and grind. I hope he does.

I have been told numerous times that the present training regime of the Singaporean NS is to suit modern conditions. Perhaps it does. However, a Malaysian veteran of the Emergency and Confrontation told me once, that he had nothing but the greatest admiration for the British National Servicemen who were deployed from cold and dry Britain to the hot humid jungles of Malaya.

Even though they were not used to the conditions of Malaya, the hard training they received in England and later in Malaya, helped them to endue and conduct search and destroy missions of communist insurgents in the Malayan jungle, which was itself essentially a platoon war. These British NS soldiers were the core of the military forces deployed against the communist insurgents during the Emergency.

I only hope that what I saw in Jack Neo's "Ah Boys to Men" regarding the difference in BMT during the 1970s and the present generation was just pure fiction and for entertainment only.

Anonymous said...

It's ok to debate the points put forth by David, but why sidetrack with comments about the state of the Singapore military or whether Singapore has a "short-man" mentality (whatever the latter is). Attacking the person instead of the point does nothing to advance your argument.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If you know what the the GGK (Malaysia Special Force) does to its candidates who wants to don the green beret, you'd realize that its candidates has to go through a process of searching for food that is forbidden for consumption in Islam. Besides, the bullet doesn't recognize any religion of the human kind when it hits you.

This is true: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=546889798664661

Anonymous said...

In Singapore, just need to throw a grenade and everything will sink to the sea. No need to fight.

AtapChee Fighter said...

Singapore problem is always look at US and adopt systems that may not be suited for local environment.

Case in point goggles. For what?

Jungle is not dusty like Afghanistan.

Same with body armour, extra barang barang for 3g soldier.

Operating environment so hot sial, think can be effective?

A balance is needed. Current de-emphasis on secondary jungle operations toward urban operations to me is a mistake.

Possible enemies may only be too happy to cede territory and urban axis to melt into the jungle and attack vulnerable supply lines...own time own target.

Considering they are fighting mainly lightly armed hit and run guerillas, the Malaysian approach seems flexible to me and pragmatic.

StaffSgtPukulHabis said...


NO need kiahsu vest.

This is called Kilat. Only thing missing is rokok one corner

Anonymous said...

I'd like to share some thoughts about the use (or lack of) Night Vision Devices and jungle warfare in the context of Ops Daulat.

IMHO, NVG could be a force multiplier for the MAF, since they can now bring the fight to the terrorists anytime of the day (and night).

During post mortem of the Ops, it would be interesting to see how much fighting was conducted by MAF in daytime and nighttime.

I agree that NVG is useless in dense jungle, but don't forget much of the fighting also occurs in kampungs and plantation, where NVG could be very effective for troopers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.05

The Malaysian security forces ( i use this term as the ops iinvolves both police and military) are not fighting a conventional engagement.

The remaining insurgents are moving around in small groups, hiding in difficult terrain and avoiding contact.

Night fighting is an unnecessary risk considering the group is now surrounded in a small (but difficult) area and would only increase the risk of friendly fire and the insurgents slipping away. Having said that, it is interesting to note the versions of Adnan that recently arrived on site.

Night vision and thermal imaging devices are definitely being used but for maintaininng the cordon at night.

Anonymous said...

Take two backpacks, insert a piece of plank large enough to cover your torso inside, then wear it, one backpack on your back and one backpack on your front. Then try to walk and run wearing those. That's how body armor is like. Even in Iraq, the high tech US soldiers sometimes remove the ballistic inserts to facilitae easy movement.

And the slow response. Blame the current weak leadership for those. As soon as the crisis unfold, the army commanders already have a forces standing by for deployment at their own initiative. They only waiting for green light from our dear leader. In fact, as soon as the Malaysian leadership recover their guts 3 weeks later and gave a green light, 7 battalions (around 6000 men and equipments) was mobilized to Sabah in 3 days.