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Old 23-08-2014, 20:19   #166
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

Truly scary stuff.
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Old 24-08-2014, 00:17   #167
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

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Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
Well it looks like have convinced no one.
Nonsense, you've prompted considerable and valuable thought.

You've making the mistake of judging the impact of your statements by reading the comments of CF members who are comfortably snug in WEIIRD-land (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Individualistic, Rich, and superficially Democratic).

I thought one of the valuable fruits of the discussion came from Lake Effect, who distinguished between crime afloat and genuine piracy.

I think we should take Lake Effect's contribution further and distinguish between:

(1) crime afloat, which largely happens inshore and is sometime opportunistic;

(2) inshore kidnap for ransom (KFR), the focus of pbmaise's posts; and

(3) offshore piracy, which can include KFR (as in the case of Somali pirates)
but aims more usually at theft of high-value cargo.

What pbmaise has done is highlight what the mainstream news media of WEIIRD-land has not: that KFR has become a significant activity. It's funded terrorists in Syria and Iraq. And it's now significant business in the Coral Triangle, particularly in parts of the Philippines and East Malaysia.

East Malaysia has been rocked over the past 12 months with militarized attacks by Tausug groups, based in the Philippines, seeking to re-claim sovereignty over North Borneo aka Sabah. Those Tausug/Suluk groups, having lost on the battlefield, are now seeking to rebuild their war chest. And KFR is the easy way.

Other groups in the southern Philippines have seen the success of Tausug/Suluk KFR. It's an easy model to copy.

Several governments have been complicit paying ransom to the KFR gangs. All while publicly not acknowledging that they have paid ransom. When pressed, govts have instead uttered weasel words such as they merely paid 'board & lodging'.

And success breeds more of the same KFR.

pbmaise's anti-KFR pledge is a way of making his local contacts aware that although his boat is big, kidnapping him for ransom may not be fruitful for the KFR gang and might result in economic punishment for the local community.

Absent other alternatives, it's worth a try.

Al
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Old 24-08-2014, 00:23   #168
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

That should be WEIIRSD land surely? Why should anybody be put down for being any/all of those anyway?

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Old 24-08-2014, 00:32   #169
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

Oh Coops...Stop being such an optimist.
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Old 24-08-2014, 00:36   #170
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

Not really being an optimist, just cannot see the point of putting other members down in such a way. But I guess it is being optimistic in thinking that, so fair call.

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Old 24-08-2014, 00:54   #171
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

I think one definition missed out on is pragmatist.

I don't know Alan Mighty's resume but I have an idea of pbmaise's.

He's been in the Philippines a very short time, has figured out what has been going on for the last 50 years or so and has the solution in hand.

I won't stack my resume up against anyone. I have been around here 30 years and I still don't know what's going on half the time.

I do know that at the end of my 2nd year in the Philippines I told my (US based) boss that I wanted to quit because none of the projects I was responsible for were getting done to my satisfaction. He simply stated, "You can't change culture. Go back. Do what you can. Take it seriously but don't let it eat you up. Take pride in the progress you do make."

Had a happy 4 years after that.

One of the things that got me was a lot of equipment was disappearing and getting pilfered. The customer ended up purchasing some replacement equipment that was originally theirs (by serial number) when I ran it up the chain demanding an investigation I was pulled aside by someone I respected (a local) and he said, "Dan you have no idea who is involved and what's going on. Leave this alone or you could seriously end up dead."

The familial and political ties in the Philippines are quite complex.
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Old 24-08-2014, 20:09   #172
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

Very good post Dan.
Pragmatically speaking.... wherever you are..... you need to maintain a low profile, accept the local way of doing business, never take sides or stand up on a stage with anyone.

The Don Quixote's of the cruising world will always attract a greater share of adventure or unnecessary drama , while missing the whole point of traveling through different societies.
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Old 24-08-2014, 20:14   #173
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

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The Don Quixote's of the cruising world will always attract a greater share of adventure or unnecessary drama , while missing the whole point of traveling through different societies.
+1
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Old 24-08-2014, 20:22   #174
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

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East Malaysia has been rocked over the past 12 months with militarized attacks by Tausug groups, based in the Philippines, seeking to re-claim sovereignty over North Borneo aka Sabah. Those Tausug/Suluk groups, having lost on the battlefield, are now seeking to rebuild their war chest. And KFR is the easy way.

Other groups in the southern Philippines have seen the success of Tausug/Suluk KFR. It's an easy model to copy.

Several governments have been complicit paying ransom to the KFR gangs. All while publicly not acknowledging that they have paid ransom. When pressed, govts have instead uttered weasel words such as they merely paid 'board & lodging'.


Al
Totally exagerated!
To an outsider this reads much more serious than the reality.

Years of petty smugglers between southern Philippines tribes and Sabah got ramped up into a political indigenous rights stunt....
The good news is that this drama has prompted the Malaysian government to take a much tougher stand in dealing with their nearby Filipino cousins.

Much less drama and violence than on the US/Mexican border.
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Old 25-08-2014, 04:33   #175
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

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Totally exagerated!
To an outsider this reads much more serious than the reality.
Thanks for the calibration.

So a military attack by more than 230, one that got its own entry in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Lahad_Datu_standoff, followed by multiple Kidnap for Ransom attacks on tourists resorts, fish farms and the like, and with the Malaysian military and police now (in August 2104) surrounding and preparing to demolish a settlement of 900 households ... all of that is exaggeration that reads more serious than the reality?!?!

Right! Glad for the correction.
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Old 25-08-2014, 05:31   #176
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

I can understand how it reads far worse than it really is, but I spend a lot of time there and you need to appreciate the back story.

The number of filipino Moslem illegal immigrants living in Sabah is huge and many have become a valuable and necessary part of the workforce.

The tribal and cultural links of Borneo/ SW Philippines does not recognise today's' borders.

The Sabah Malaysians have been struggling with how to delicately manage this influx of illegal immigrants into the more affluent Sabah, for years.
(Same issues as Mexicans)

Frustration abounds as these IE's account for the vast majority of oportunistic and drug crime in Sabah.

Plans to build special community housing and to relocate them from the squatter fishing/smuggling camps you see all over (including KK) has been hotly argued over for the last 10 years.

Now recent claims of "Royal Ownership" by a Philippine family resulted in a failed revolt attempt last year to make this a political struggle of indigenous rights.

The Malaysian government is now breaking up the huge squatter's camps of Filipinos spread all over Sabah. Starting on the east coast.

The Philippine Government sits back and laughs at this mountain out of a molehill disturbance...since it adversely affects their closest and more accomplished tourism competitor.

I also think it is a bit of payback to Malaysia for quietly supporting the moslem Mindanao battles against the Philippine central government in Luzon.

When I talk to the local residents in Sabah... Malaysian/Filipinos/Expats alike.... all view this as a disturbance rather than the organized revolt many media reports suggest.

But.... opportunistic attacks can happen if a sailboat was to gunkhole for months on the east coast of Sabah.

I feel perfectly safe on the west coast.
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Old 25-08-2014, 05:45   #177
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

If I asked people to take that pledge before getting on my boat they would think I was kidding. If I told them I was not they would think I was insane.
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Old 25-08-2014, 06:05   #178
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pirate Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

One good thing about this discussion is we are hearing from boots on the ground, so to speak, rather than arguments from armchairs.
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Old 25-08-2014, 11:15   #179
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

All sailors I speak personally to on this issue tell me their families are also told to pay nothing.

I have heard similar lines like "drop it" and "you have no idea who you are dealing with". It occured right here. A sailor was rear ended by a car driven by one of these powerful jerks. The police told him he was at fault and a judge took him aside and gave him the same caution. He dropped it knowing he could never win in local courts.

I have been told local attorneys fall victim to strange "random" shootings.

When walking mornings through New York City, I wish people a cheerful hello. It might surprise you to know New Yorkers rate high on my list of friendly people.

The lowest of the lows of all cities I tested is perhaps the worlds's safest, big city, Singapore.

By far the most pleasant and joyful days of my, admittedly short, cruising years has been here in S.E. Asia. When I arrived in Borneo, I kid you not, I felt like everyone was trying to actively make me feel welcome.
In the Philippines, very little children run up to me and touch my hand to their foreheads. Small kids dart out with fist extended in some sort of modern Power Ranger greeting.
Adults here always offer me whatever they are eating or drinking.

These are the people that are told all their lives to be afraid of bullies in their community.

Goto Noonsite and read my report about how to enter the Philippines. There is a good reason the entire immigration departments on three islands know my name. I set a nasty trap for that immigration officer that requested me to pay a phony fee. I paid him and accepted the "official receipt".

What he didn't know, despite how well I made it clear, was I both knew his actions were illegal and that money would be returned.

How many of you received a call to come to the immigration office, and watched an official reach into his own wallet to hand you money?

Anyone?

How many of you published your experiences for other sailors to read? Were among the those that used to pay the bribes? He had to have come up with the idea to give "official receipts" from one of you.

I know some of you have been fighting and exposing to the light corrupt officials that hold us ransom. Your actions have helped open up ports. Your actions have brought more business to areas where officals are no longer corrupt. You have reduced our fear to sail.

Those of you that paid the bribes did the opposite.

Remaining in fear, hiding, paying, and low profile around bullies is their confirmation you are....











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Old 25-08-2014, 11:29   #180
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Re: Take the Anti-Piracy Pledge

P.S. I could have asked for that immigration officer to be fired. I didn't.

If any immigration officer asks you for money on check into the Philippines. Look him squarely in the eyes and say,

You don't know who you're dealing with.

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