LAHAD DATU – How the 200 insurgents could have been neutralized by our Rangers

Lahad Datu – How the 200 insurgents could have been neutralized by our Rangers


Could the Lahad Datu incursion be neutralized sooner and more efficiently? Was there a better choice that Najib could have made? If so, how could it be achieved? The answers to the three questions are yes, yes and yes it could be achieved.

The insurgent were comparably just a small rag-tag group, ill-prepared and ill-equipped. They did not have any heavy weaponry, just M16s, Armalites and AK47s with limited rounds of ammunitions and had not a single hand grenades, let alone night vision goggles. They did not even set booby traps around the perimeters. They were in fact just sitting ducks, ready as target practice.

We could have sent in the Rangers to finish the job and here is how it could be done. Those Rangers who have served our country must surely know what ought to be done. Najib simply made a bad decision, and the minor incident is now unnecessarily morphing into an over-blown warfare.

This is how it should be done.


Two platoons consisting of 30 personnel each totaling 60 men are needed. Each platoon will comprise of the following:

  • Commission Officer – Commander in-Charge
  • Batman
  • Radioman
  • 1 Sergeant
  • 2 Corporals
  • 3 Lance Corporals
  • 6 Privates 1st Class
  • 15 Private 2nd Class
  • Medical man

Complete with standard weaponry, apparatus and issues. Don’t miss the flares and night vision goggles in case of emergency. Any of them amongst the Sergeant, Corporals and Lance Corporals are also snipers.

Action Plan

  • With enough back -up and logistics (army trucks, armoured personnel vehicles, food and medics) the two platoons must be dropped to as close as possible to the location of the insurgents (Ground Zero), about 500 metres is the best. The insurgent may know the Rangers’ presence, but our Rangers know how to stay “invisible”.
  • Let the Rangers do their job. The two platoons will be on foot and each platoon shall be split into four Squads. (Thus 8 squads).
  • The four Squads from each platoon will move in this formation; one on the left, one in the center, one on the right and one follow from behind. Each Squad shall stay about 25 metres apart, with each member at a distance of 5 metres from each other (still within each other’s sight to be able to see the hand signals). Be watchful of booby-traps and our Rangers are always vigilant for them.
  • The Rangers will move stealthy; it will take one hour to move a distance of 10 metres. This in effect will make their movements unnoticeable; the enemy observers will have a hard time in finding them. They shall crawl if need be. Our Rangers have been able to come so close to their enemies without being noticed such that they could even hear the enemies’ conversation!
  • They need to reach as near as possible between 25 metres to 50 metres of Ground Zero, within the remaining daylight vision range and reach the destination just before the sunset. After reaching the designated area, they will observe the Ground Zero activities, and look for more booby traps. (Which apparently there was none in the Lahad Datu incursion!) By night fall, the eyes of our Rangers will have adjusted to the dark situation, and for any experienced Ranger, it will be bright enough for them to see; the ground will looked silverish to them!
  • They shall observe the activities amongst the insurgents; know who is the leader – In a nucleus group surrounded by the rest of the insurgents. Our Rangers can conclude the findings by their body language; someone giving the orders and someone just nod his head on receiving the orders. The one giving orders is the leader and the one who nods is the right-hand man or second in-command.
  • Our Rangers will position all the eight Squads and each member of the Squad will dig in to be at a position of advantage; with clear line of sight of as many insurgents as possible, a place to hide/shield and be on the blind-side of the insurgents. Our Rangers know how to be at the blind-side of the insurgents who were backing the sea.
  • Then wait until 4 am in the morning; the time when the body is at it’s lowest state of awareness. Our Rangers have been trained to be alert at this time of the biological clock.
  • When all are in place, the Commanding Officer will give the order to start shooting, but for every Squad of four men, only two will be given the order to shoot first while the other two will observe the reactions  and the scenes unfolding for their next turn to shoot. All in split seconds!
  • At the same time the Squad members will spread out from their formation and form a concave attack formation focused onto the insurgents. In splits seconds, the first shooting will follow up with grenade launchers as our Rangers come close to them.
  • The trick is to shoot the right-hand man of the leader in the first shooting. This will be done by the snipers. This will disrupt the line of command and communication between the leader and the rest of the insurgents. Do not shoot the leader because he has to be caught alive and then taken in for interrogation.
  • This attack could last several hours, but by then the insurgents could have finished their ammunitions and may either surrender, retreat but most probably be defeated!


Of course they would be waiting for our Rangers and will shoot back, but by attacking as planned, they could be attacked in the state of un-readiness.

Of course they will have their recognizance groups too, so that is why our Rangers have to move stealthily and be “invisible” and not get observed, even if the insurgents could detect or see our Rangers, they would not be able to figure out the actual number of Rangers we sent, thus just two platoons and spread apart to avoid a crowd, and use the nightfall to our advantage. There is no need to send a battalion but a group of 12 VAT69 is simply suicide!

If all hell-break loose before daylight or before sooner as planned, then our Rangers must retreat, use the night vision to move quickly, then call for air-strike. Use the relevant colour flares to pin-point the exact location of the insurgents, use radio contact and timed the attack precisely (allow 15 mins) so that our Rangers are at a safe distance. This is where timing and precision bombing are needed most. Surely our Royal Malaysian Air- force can be depended upon to do that!

Unfortunately Najib and Hishamuddin did not refer to our Generals; they trusted the PDRM top brass who by the way are just their errand boys.

We lost the opportunity to resolve the incursion swiftly and cost-effectively with minimum possibility of lost of our soldiers’ lives. Najib and Hishamuddin are responsible for the debacle and due to this, things will get out of control; just look at the newspapers showing all the fire-power and military personnel that have to be used now. It is an unnecessary “sandiwara.”


3 responses to “LAHAD DATU – How the 200 insurgents could have been neutralized by our Rangers

  1. keyboard warrior..puii

    • This is based on experience. Najib is a politician, he is not a general, but should have entrusted the generals to do the work. Keyboard warrior eh? Well some great events have been executed by a stroke of a pen.

  2. Good article. You seem very familiar with the tactics and workings of the Rangers. Not an ex-Ranger are you?

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