One of the two French Scorpene-class attack submarines delivered to Royal Malaysia Navy and now based in Sepangar, Sabah. The two submarines, KD Abdul Rahman and KD Abdul Razak were launched respectively in 2007 and 2008. Malaysia sent would-be submariners to France for training as early as 2000 but have been deploying submarine trainees to the UK Royal Navy as early as the 80s.
Malaysia has become very aggressive in the installation of its navy bases in Sabah right at the tip of Mindanao or within spitting distance of our shores and right on disputed territory - in Teluk Sepanggar, Sabah!
The Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia, TLDM) have set up no less than five major naval bases in that region of Borneo alone, one in Sungai Antu, Sarawak and four in Sabah: in Labuan, in Sandakan, in Semporna, and in Sepanggar where Royal Malaysia Navy HQ Region II is currently located.
What is also interesting is that your ordinary Sabah tourist map did not readily feature Sepanggar at all until the last couple of years or well after the submarines were launched. Malaysia decreed prior to the purchase of the first 2 submarines from France (a 3rd submarine is already in the pipeline) in 1998-99 that the location of the future subamrine base - Sepanggar - should not figure in tourist maps.
And I have no doubt they will readily use these submarines to ward off any and all attempts by the Philippines to recover Sabah, militarily or diplomatically.
Naknampucha! RP must get cracking before these Malaysians begin to annex Mindanao!!!
By Anne de Bretagne
for the Philippine Sabah Claim Forum
08 January 2011
*Photo shows Malaysia defence and navy officials in Malaysia submarine base in Sabah.