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In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God


Which must always come to pass

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He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?


Have you always turned the other cheek?


To My Church have you been true?"


"No, Lord, I guess I ain't


Because those of us who carry guns


Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around


Except to calm their fears.


If you've a place for me here,


Lord, It needn't be so grand,


I never expected or had too much,


But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Gov't schools teach wife beating, Chinese schools teach science by Mariam Mokhtar
Monday, September 24, 2018
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | The rakyat did what was right for Malaysia, but some ministers in Pakatan Harapan give us cause for concern. A change from Umno-Baru/BN to Harapan is not like changing clothes.
It is a requirement of change that we deal with all the problems which almost destroyed the nation, but change also means tackling head-on, the issues which some of us term "sensitive". So, how's this for double standards? When critics and columnists censured Umno-Baru, and singled out their leader, the disgraced, former prime minister, Najib Abdul Razak and his wife, the former self-styled 'First Lady of Malaysia' (FLOM), we were described as courageous and "talking the truth".
Today, we realise that Harapan's politicians only want reporters who are "yes-men". The rakyat voted for change. We demand politicians with high standards of integrity, honesty and principles. Many of us are unhappy about nepotism in the various political parties. Despite acknowledging our views about this, Anwar Ibrahim and his inner circle, pushed ahead to engineer a by-election in Port Dickson. Manipulating the electorate is not change for the better. He should unify and strengthen his party, instead of being distracted by the race to the top.
Columnists (and cartoonists) recall a time when their work was not published by independent newspapers, for fear of the authorities. Today, many publishers still pander to the ruling party, and the voices of the opposition and critics of the new administration, are largely unheard. Little has changed in the media.
We cannot undo 61 years of mismanagement, misrule, corrupt practices and injustice in 100 days. It may take several terms of office. Already, power has got to the heads of some Harapan politicians, who act like Umno-Baru Version 2. It is the rakyat's responsibility to censure misbehaving Harapan politicians. Those who hold public office must observe a code of conduct.
The Deputy Home Minister, Azis Jamman (photo), was accompanied by his aide, on a visit to have his eyes checked, when the aide took an upskirt photo of the optician. The aide was sacked when his sexual indiscretion was publicised. An aide is for work, not personal use. Don't blame Harapan's critics, if BN were to seize back control.
Safeguard the children
The Deputy Prime Minister, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (photo), who is also the Minister for Women, has failed to protect and safeguard the rights of children. How many children will suffer, before drastic action is taken to stop paedophiles from giving Islam and Malaysia a bad name?
Would she marry off her granddaughter to a 40-year-old man? Will she advise Muslim families to practise birth control, to stop them from having large families? In the second child marriage, the parents exchanged their daughter, one of 13 children, for a dowry, so their child could escape the poverty trap, as the second wife of a man, who is old enough to be her father.
Yesterday, we learnt that a single mother will be whipped for selling her body in exchange for money. Her husband had failed to pay any alimony. This story of the single mother, prostituting herself, to support herself and her children is not new. It has existed for decades. Wan Azizah is in a strong position to act to change the fortunes of single mothers. We used to criticise Umno-Baru ministers for the same failure.
The ex-husband who abandons his wives and children, without paying maintenance, should be severely punished. Men who abandon their wives and children are becoming the norm. Some refuse to divorce their wives, leaving them in a bind, if they find a new love.
It is not just about love and marriage. The syariah laws pertaining to inheritance need an urgent review. Single women are also at risk when their parents die. If they predecease their parents, their money and property will go to the baitulmal fund, if they have failed to make a will.
The two-tier system of civil and syariah laws has to be disbanded. Men find the loopholes in the syariah laws and take advantage of them.
Overhaul the education system
The Minister for Education, Maszlee Malik, has failed to overhaul the syllabus for Muslim children in schools. An examination paper showed how young Muslim adults are told that wife beating is acceptable; furthermore, men are taught how to beat their wives in the Muslim way. Elsewhere, a new wife is told that she cannot leave the house without her husband's permission. She is not a slave.
A few years ago, a teenager said that in her school, sex education was about the many ways of preparing delicious rice dishes for her husband. Sex education is not about the ability of the wife to be a whore in bed, a cleaner and a good cook. The root of the matter is how Islam is practised in Malaysia. Our interpretation of the Koran has been hijacked by certain warped mullahs.
Wan Azizah cannot look over her shoulder to see if her husband approves of her actions. If she does, then she is not fit to be a minister. Like her, the other Muslim ministers, like Maszlee and Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, need to lead the way and overhaul the system, where Muslims are concerned.
Malaysian children who attend Chinese, and International schools focus on science, technology, IT, and the creative arts, to expand their minds. Malays in government type schools, and tahfiz schools, are returned to the stone ages, where males are taught how to control their women.
A vote for change on May 9, was not a vote for Umno-Baru ministers to be replaced by Harapan ministers who would continue with the old ways. It was certainly not a vote for ministers to do nothing, but hide behind the cloak of religion or male superiority. On May 9, the rakyat voted for a radical overhaul of the way Malaysia was governed. Unfortunately, we must now question, if some in the Harapan government are capable of administering this change.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). Blog, Twitter.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 1:00 PM   0 comments
Is Malaysia a secular country? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

A quick lesson in the history of Islam
Malaysiakini : “My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow men.” – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
COMMENT | The same day Malaysiakini runs a piece about DAP’s Lim Kit Siang saying in Sydney that he has no doubt that Malaysia is a secular country, the fabulous Siti Kasim asked our Education Minister Maszlee Malik why there is a ‘ wife-beating’ question in an Islamic Studies exam paper, followed the next day with a rationalisation of ‘ death to apostates’ in a revision book.
Meanwhile, the affable Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu is determined to counter the bad rap of Islam but offers no other narratives that would give the religion in this country a better image, and PKR’s Wan Ji Wan Hussin – labelled a deviant by the former Umno regime – is attempting a discourse within his religion, which as far as I am concerned is a good thing, even it would probably not gain much traction with the mainstream Malay political elite.
And of course, a woman in Terengganu faces whipping for supporting herself through prostitution because her husband has not paid alimony.
Is Malaysia a secular country? The old maverick who is now prime minster (again) certainly didn’t think so. He referred to Malaysia as a fundamental Islamic state, and reminded people back in the day that it was not a ‘moderate’ Muslim country. Perhaps his thinking has changed in this “new” Malaysia, but I do wonder if any of the Malay political operatives from Pakatan Harapan would endorse Lim's message that “constitutionally” we are a secular country.
Besides the Malay political operatives from DAP, Lim’s message would carry more weight – and would be true in some sense – if a majority of Malay political operatives from Harapan endorsed the elder statesperson's message. I will wager that there will be no such endorsement from the mainstream political class, and I will also wager that this statement will sooner or later be used as a weapon by the Islamists in this country.
The mainstream Malay political class in Harapan will make some sort of weasely statement confirming that Malaysia is a moderate Islamic state which respects the rights of all peoples, and the base will just forget about this incident, with more news of the plagues on house Najib offered as bread for the circus.
‘As close as we can get’
What would these statements sound like? Well, they would sound like the feeble statements made by DAP’s Syahredzan Johan when he said this – “And as for the recent caning of the two women (in Terengganu), we have come as close as we can get to a government saying the laws (that led to the prosecution and caning) are wrong.” Really?
That is your pitch to young people that Malaysia is a secular state, that the Harapan government came as close it could, that caning two women for sexual acts that the religion of the federation deems immoral is wrong? This is the best you can offer young Malaysians as to how the political apparatus of the DAP defines a secular state?
So if two young gay Malays come home and are caught (most probably in the privacy of their home) by the religious police for engaging in sexual acts deemed immoral and are punished for it, what they can be assured of in this so called secular country is that Harapan will come close to deeming such actions by the religious apparatus wrong? Which is more dangerous, "not spooking the Malays" or "coming as close as we can to get the government to say those laws are wrong"? (The latter, by the way, is my new favourite phrase.)
When we talk of Malaysia being a secular state, we are talking to an urban audience, which laps this kind of horse manure up. We are certainly not talking to the so-called rural heartland, not to the Malay vote base of Bersatu, Amanah and PKR. And we are certainly not talking to the those who voted for Umno and PAS.
That’s the divide, right? Secular is what divides non-Muslims (and those Muslims who are demonised for thinking the same way as the ‘nons’) and the theocratic political mainstream Malay power structures.
When Syahredzan (photo) talks about the blurring of lines between politics and religion and that the government is concerned about this, everyone assumes he is talking about the machinations of Umno and PAS. But really what people should be worried about is the syariah-compliant guidelines being cooked up by the Harapan regime. Of course, all this is supposedly done to protect the rights of Muslim women, and not as a means of societal control.
Or how about when Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Fuziah Salleh, talks about how the Harapan government is committed to uplifting the Syariah Court system – "In relation to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 and other relevant laws, we are looking at them in more detail and … we are committed, ready to amend the act in empowering the Syariah Court as a whole," – which I referenced in my piece of how some of my Malay friends think public caning is a good idea.
What is the most dangerous aspect of all these manoeuvres? Many Harapan supporters will make any excuse, when Harapan Malay and non-Malay political operatives engage in the Islamisation process in this country. They minimise when they should be dissenting. You know why? Because although they have no problem attacking PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim when he cautions against not spooking the Malays, these people do not want to spook the Malays either, lest their non-Malay political operatives get kicked out of office. They allow Harapan to get away with things that they never would allow the Umno state to get away with.
Secularism isn’t about theory
Everybody writes about how the Federal Constitution is supreme, but is it in practice? You could mount an argument about why the public caning of those two women went against the constitution, but what does this mean in practice? Absolutely nothing. And secularism is not about theory. It is about practice. Sure, there are variations of secularism, but where it counts, it means that the religion of the federation – which is ridiculous if you make the claim that yours is secular country – does not in practice trump the constitution.
Have the mainstream Malay power structures in Harapan come out with a statement recognising the supremacy of the civil courts over the syariah courts? No, they have not. A couple of months ago, when I asked what was Harapan’s Islamic agenda, I referenced the flash points that we should pay attention to – “These days, it would seem when it comes to these types of provocations, the ruling establishment is silent. Since Harapan took over, we have had provocateurs at Kampung Manjoi, a prime minister hopeful telling us not to spook the Malays, a mufti telling a deputy chief minister of a state to leave the country if he loses a rigged debate, and of course, a Malay politician threatened with death because of the fake news that she wants to destroy an Islamic institution.
We are supposed to believe that this is a normal situation? We are supposed to not draw attention to this because the hard work of ‘saving Malaysia’ means we have to put up with this horse manure?
So please don’t tell me that there is a blurring of lines and that the Harapan government is monitoring it. I would argue that in many instances, it is the Harapan government which is doing the blurring.
I would also argue that they do this because the non-Malays who used to be that line in the sand when it comes to the Islamic state are now worried that dissent would mean going against the groupthink, and upset the balance of power that this ‘new Malaysia’ desperately needs.
Actually what this new Malaysia needs are Islamic counter-narratives that would ensure that the secular road is not closed to us. But of course, the political operatives in Harapan do not want to gamble on other Islamic narratives.
Their supporters are too blind to notice that it is not Umno/PAS that is defining the narrative, but rather the Harapan establishment ceding ground because the base allows it. The strange thing is. I do not blame the majority for wanting their Islamic lifestyle (or should that be Arabic lifestyle?). But why am I am resisting? Why am I fighting this?
Because I remember a time when it was not like this. I remember a time when religion did not divide us, and my Malay friends were not so afraid – not afraid of their religion and certainly not afraid that their religion would be conquered by the non-Muslims. You could say that I am not fighting for some sort of utopia, but for a past where one could make a credible argument that we were a secular country.
What did LP Hartely say? “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”
They certainly did.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 12:37 PM   0 comments
Suhakam can’t be rights advocate if told to marginalise LGBTs - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Harapan, being politically and ideologically similar to BN, does the same thing any authoritarian regime would do: discipline, punishment, and control.” – Maryam Lee, 'Making sense of GE14 from a dissenter's POV'
COMMENT | When Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad reminds Suhakam that our value system is not the same as the West, this is complete horse manure. Are there differences in what we as Asians value than that of the West? Sure, there is. You could make the argument that what we value as a community, regardless of race and religion, differs from the West. So, there’s that.
But when it comes to the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) issue, what separates us from the “West” is that we are bare naked hypocrites. Indeed, all you weaselly politicians are big stinking hypocrites. And anyone who supports you in this thinking is a big stinking hypocrite, too.
When the Wikileaks cables scandal erupted many years ago, tongues were waging of the gay politicians within the then Umno establishment. Does anyone really know of the gay politicians in the now Harapan establishment? What about the grassroots level operators who are gay? What about the propagandists from Harapan – DAP, PKR, Bersatu, even Amanah – who are gay?
All these gay people helped create your new Malaysia and you have the audacity to lecture Suhakam about not following Western values? But forget about that. Even in the old Malaysia, there were gay people who were part of the gravy train and who had no problem weaponising sexuality to destroy people, especially if they were part of the opposition or who sympathised with the opposition's values.
In fact, whenever the state wants to demonise an opponent, they usually claim that the opponent is attempting to propagate Western values when it comes to issues which at the core are about freedom of speech or expression, sexuality being part of the latter. You know what really bothers me about this whole issue? It like this. First, the establishment attacks people who have very little say in society. They attack them along racial or cultural values lines because they know they have the support of other “religious” people. They know they can get away with it because people do not really care.
Then they move on. They always do. Take these attacks against lawyer/activist Fadiah Nadwa Fikri. You really think that the attacks against the LGBTQ community and Fadiah are not part of a larger narrative of social/political control? The difference between the two is the reception of the public. In Fadiah's case, what she dissenting against finds some currency in the way how some people think of state power when it comes to history and the royal institution. So, the establishment is careful in the way how they handle the Fadiah issue.
But when it comes to the LGBTQ community, they know that people generally do not care for obvious religious or cultural reasons. They also know that their hypocrisy will not be unmasked on a political level because while political parties rely on gay people, they know that nobody wants to rock the boat in case the balance of power is threatened. So, all that is left are gay activists, and nobody cares much for them or their cause.
Meanwhile, people are licking their lips at the situation the former Umno grand poohbah Najib Razak finds himself in, and the prime minister gets to remind a human rights organisation to marginalise certain people based on their gender or sexuality. The state security apparatus gets to mess around with an activist who is challenging the official narratives, pedophiles have a field day because child marriage laws allow them some leeway in their perversion because religious people are more involved in the sex lives of consenting adults than the grooming – see what I did there? – of children.
Messy issues
Come on, how many lawsuits and state-motivated legal harassment against opposition-now-establishment politicians have been dropped? How many legal suits against media practitioners who were supposedly pro-opposition have been dropped? You think this is a coincidence? If the state wants to disentangle itself from what it did before, it can. The reason why Fadiah is attacked is the same reason why the LGBTQ community is attacked. Because this is what the state condones.
In Fadiah’s case, you really think that whoever these goons are that lodged a report against her, does not have the backing of the state? What I mean is, it is convenient for the state that a police report was lodged and the state security apparatus investigates because then they do not have to deal with the messy issues that Fadiah brings up. But what really bothers me is the hypocrisy. The former prime minister rewrites his own history all the time, so why shouldn’t the average citizen, do the same.
Similarly demonising the LGBTQ community is easy because then the state does not have to answer questions of how the religion of the state has played a part in how various communities are at each other’s throats and how the religion of the state has hampered the growth of a community which we are told are in constant need of state intervention. Remember the syariah-compliant guidelines for the private sector? Here’s what I thought of it -"This is how it starts – innocently enough. Hidden behind a message of fairness is actually the tools for compliance. Guidelines eventually become dogma, and because they think people will not notice – most often they do not – they encroach into our public and private spheres uncontested."
People always forget that things start small. Brazenly telling a human rights organisation to marginalise a certain segment of Malaysian society or the state security apparatus investigating an activist in violation of promises to respect freedom of speech and expression is the larger narrative of state control. That’s how the state manages to divide us. First, they attack easy targets, then they normalise fascism by rejecting counter-narratives.
This piece ends which a question Fadiah asks - “Does that mean the change on May 9 is just an illusion?"
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 10:33 AM   0 comments
Harapan’s enemy within - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Success sometimes may be defined as a disaster put on hold. Qualified. Has to be.”
– Nadine Gordimer, ‘Get a Life’

COMMENT | Opposition political operative Nazri Abdul Aziz’s contention that he does not foresee Umno coming into power anytime soon but that an alliance with PKR is possible is an interesting comment for a variety of reasons.
Nazri the brigand/politician understands the game far better than most Umno political operatives, and with the party now in a state of post-traumatic stress, his maverick nature goes unchecked while the rest of his ilk run around like headless chickens.
Part of it is because Nazri is just at adept as slaying Malay sacred cows as he is nurturing them. He understands that Umno was merely the gravy train, and his rhetoric now is that since the train was derailed, why not just commandeer a new one for the betterment of the mainstream Malay political class?
Could this be part of the psy-war that Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin claims are the recent moves by Umno to form alliances with PKR (among others), the perceived weak link of Harapan?
It could be, but the reality is that as long as the Malay vote, unlike the Chinese and Indian votes, is not secured by the Malay power structures in Harapan, there will always be plays by Umno to destabilise the coalition, or even better – align with an insecure power structure.
An old friend, who was an early supporter of Dr Mahathir Mohamad joining the opposition, made it very clear early on that the goal of removing then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak was paramount. The old maverick had intentions of reforming the system, but not Malay politics – a system which, my friend claimed, was too far down the road to reform.
This friend now acts as consigliere to one of the numerous powerbrokers attempting to shore up Malay support for the Bersatu base. While I think that the attempts by Umno to destabilise Harapan with these manoeuvres are worth paying attention to, I also think that what will ultimately cause more damage to the coalition is the kind of culture that sustained BN for decades before they were voted out.
Internal schisms
Critics of PKR used to say that the party had Umno DNA, so it must be strange to have Bersatu in the mix now, which its founders claim is a pure uncorrupted version of Umno and its original intent. Or is that original sin?
The influx of new grassroots members from Umno into Bersatu does pose a problem for the new government. The aforementioned consigliere tells me that these new members join because they believe that Mahathir and his men will take care of their interests, and because of the anti-PRC narratives (which has some blowback on the local Chinese population) and the peals to race and religion, they truly see Bersatu as the new Umno. “They do not really understand the reform agenda,” my friend says, because while they believe that Najib was a “thief,” they did not get that it was the system that needed to be reformed.
This, of course, poses a problem, especially to those Bersatu members (the intellectual cabals as I call them) who truly desire reform; the civil servants who do not understand that it is not their job to support Bersatu, but to serve the people; as well as other Harapan members involved in their own schisms, and struggling with the new reality of being the government instead of rabble-rousers, which was in some ways much easier.
This does not take into account Umno potentates like Mustapa Mohamed who are told that they have to show some kind of "difference" if they are to be accepted into the New Malaysia coalition which is Harapan. All of this is just drama for people who are enjoying all the schadenfreude they ever wanted from the slow demise of Umno not realising that sub rosa moves are being carried out to shore up support for a Malay base. It is one thing to use race and religion when your opposition partners keep quiet because they do not want to rock the boat on the way to Putrajaya. It is another game entirely when policy decisions are based on race and religion, and your partners have to keep silent because of their bases.
However, this is just one aspect of the problem. The internal schisms within PKR also contribute to the lack of trust in the Malay community, because for all intents and purposes, the squabble between the Malay powerbrokers in PKR is a sign of weakness that they cannot defend what Malays are told to be scared of losing.
The fact that Bersatu has to cannibalise from Umno is also a sign of weakness from diehard grassroots Umno supporters, who now view the current prime minister as some sort of hate figure.
Mix this with the machinations of PAS who – depending on whose rear ends they are kissing – are resurrecting the ‘Mahafiraun’ narrative for a new generation, but with unknown variables, because we now have Umno members who truly see the old maverick as a traitor to race and religion.
As one DAP political operative confided in me, “Only god knows what the real relationship is between Malay powerbrokers in Harapan is.” She says that some confuse a "unified front” with sycophancy, and what is troubling is that political operatives are acting the way BN political operatives did, instead of in accordance to the new paradigm, as was promised.
Paradise lost
Always remember that Mahathir was much beloved before Anwar Ibrahim’s fall from grace, and that the current prime minister always seems to grow a personality cult wherever he plants his flag. Some folks actually forget his long record of political dysfunction, and use his long “experience” as prime minister as some sort of fig leaf in their partisan fervour.
DAP’s Charles Santiago echoed this sentiment when he warned of the growing “yes men” culture in this new administration. “The cabinet is largely dependent on Mahathir, and that’s a mistake,” the Klang MP said in an interview, days after Mahathir’s public admission that he was not happy with the ministers he appointed four months ago. Santiago said that while ministers must toe the line, they should also have the courage to question their big boss. “If Mahathir says no, then you have to question and ask why. If you just say, ‘Mahathir wants it,’ then it shows you’re weak.”
This, of course, is to be expected. BN is a victim of its own success. For years they coasted on the fact that Malaysians were comfortable with the system. While Harapan (as yet) cannot claim to enjoy the same support as BN at its zenith, the reality is that the fear of some of some in Harapan of alienating the Malay base is resulting in all sorts of screw-ups.
Coupled with this is their confidence that the Harapan base is with them, and that there is practically no opposition but Umno, which is a dangerous brew of insecurity and arrogance. Does all of this sound familiar? The insecurity of the Malay base coupled with the arrogance that their base – non-Malays included – will support the ruling hegemon?
Another DAP political operative echoes my belief that the disconnect between the rural and urban youths and their predation by Malay power structures – using race and religion for the former and the Bangsa Malaysia Kool-Aid for the latter – will come back to haunt Harapan.
The predation of young people by Malay powerbrokers using race and religion and the enabling of non-political operatives is straight from the Umno playbook. As one young Malay activist/journalist (and who took exception to my last piece about Anwar), plying his trade online told me, that people do not really need to worry about Umno joining the new establishment because if the “Umno culture” (which also means the complicity of non-Malay power structures) carries on, this would do far more damage to any kind of reforms that are needed in this country because it would that people accepted the old comfortable ways of BN.
So while Umno may still pose an external threat, a culture that is slowly growing in Harapan has to exorcised.
As always, the more dangerous adversary is the enemy within.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 2:51 PM   0 comments
Anwar - the man who would be prime minister - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, September 17, 2018
It should have aptly been titled , The Snake Who Would Be Prime Minister !!! This I got via WhatsApp : Preparing your own funeral Lawyer-activist Siti Kasim was correct to call voters to reject PKR Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar Ibrahim is no angel and some of his recent utterings becomes worrisome for many of us looking forward to a New Malaysia. His previous track record too when he was a BN minister & DPM isn't exactly brilliant and had in fact, contributed to the many disasters we see in our poor education system today.
And apart from this Anwar Ibrahim has always been pro UMNO, so when he becomes PM be assured many UMNO morons will be back in Action.. To me a leopard cannot change its spots. Same with Anwar Ibrahim. I'm apolitical but I do support Mahathir and his government. When Anwar was the Education Minister in the late 80s it was him that started the pro-islamic movements in Universities that trickled down to schools.
The radicalization of the Malay Muslims was the brain child of Anwar Ibrahim. The removal of the crucifixes in Mission Schools and school badges, the replacing of nuns and brothers in mission schools, the conversation of Christian school to national type ,the acquisition of church lands, was some of his agenda, the starting of pro-islzamic ideology and terrorism in UiTM also started with Anwar Ibrahim.
The removal of Scattered Hindu temples (Kg Rawa in Penang case) and the introduction of headscarf in schools, Government department stopping services during Azan magrib and discrimination to non Muslim public servants were some of his doings... Now ask yourself this question can a leopard change its spots. Do you think this man will be an honest worthy PM.
East Malaysian have already rejected Anwar when the question was asked, "Why did you give the go- ahead to remove our crucifixes from our Mission Schools and school badges. Anwar could not answer. His fanatic action of yesterday speaks for itself today. Anwar was power crazy then what makes you think he has changed.
Think again people a leopard cannot change its spots. VERDICT: ANWAR should never become PM of Malaysia. He'll be a disaster to this country. So if you're a non-muslim and voting for him is just like preparing your own funeral..........- Major D Swami (Retired)
Malaysiakini : “If I want a crown I must go and hunt it for myself.”– Rudyard Kipling, 'The Man Who Would Be King'
COMMENT | With DAP secretary-general and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s endorsement of the Port Dickson gambit of Anwar and his merry men after the blessings of the current prime minister, the PKR leader finally gets his chance to make his move closer to the ultimate prize of sitting on the throne of Putrajaya.
While I have made many public statements against some of the things Anwar has said and done, I never understood the vitriol spewed against him and his claim to the stewardship of this country. If anyone has earned the right to the highest office of this country, it is Anwar.
Let me be very clear, I have been relentless in my criticisms of his words and deeds. However, I still remain one of the few people who think that Anwar should have his time in the hot seat. I should be the last person writing an article like this, but the events of the past few weeks have muddied the waters when it comes to politics in this country, and I think Anwar and his crew, especially a political operative like PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, have been given a bad rep.
Of course, I have never had a problem venting against them, but my main issue with this Port Dickson gambit is why didn’t Pakatan Harapan come out earlier as an alliance and support this move, instead of having this drama which served nobody, certainly not the people who voted them in?
The fact that all this had to play out the way it did should tell rational people about the kind of moves made against Anwar, and the narrative that Anwar is a power-hungry political operative who does not really care about this country, unlike certain political operatives whose sins were washed away just before May 9 and have been given a free pass.
The political machinations of the elite who decided to use this opportunity to play their power games and manoeuvre various people into possible positions of power is typical 'Malay politics', but scapegoating Anwar and his faction is mendacious when everyone is attempting to get theirs.
Is Anwar power hungry? Impatient? Which political operative is not? Some folks are now dismissing the fact that Anwar was a political prisoner. The reason why he has to resort to such tactics is because his rights were flushed down the toilet by the Umno regime and by some of the people who are now attempting to save Malaysia in the first place.
Say what you like about Anwar’s so-called lust for power, but there have always been political operatives who have stood in his way using legitimate – but most often illegitimate – means to hamper his democratic right to assume the highest office in the land.
When it comes to Islam, can anyone really trust that the Malay political elite would not cave in to the extremists? While Anwar says things that I disagree, as yet he is not in a position to do anything like the other Malay powerbrokers in Harapan. And look at some of the statement emanating from them.
Would this change if he is in a position to actually do something about Islamic extremism in this country? He certainly has said things which coddle the Islamic elites in this country but so have the majority Malay powerbrokers in Harapan. This, of course, is my main concern when it comes to Anwar. Truth be told, it is a concern of mine for most Malay political operatives.
The old maverick has a reputation for coddling but also confronting Islamic extremism in this country. Can we say the same of Anwar? This is what concerns me about Anwar assuming the highest office in the land but since as I said, the other Malay powerbrokers – with a few exceptions of course – are not exactly the egalitarian types, what difference would it make?
Multiracial party
Fellow columnist James Chai may have laid it on a bit thick, but I understand the sentiment. Anwar did not inherit a ready-made opposition, he had to cobble one together to wage war against the Umno hegemon, which at one time included the current prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is an extremely influential operative in Harapan and who has his slavish devotees.
While the various alliances were flawed, what Anwar managed to do was demonstrate that people working together even if in a compromised fashion, could wreak havoc on the Umno hegemon. This should not only count for something, it means that the "hope" people have sprung from the moves the post-Umno moves he made.
Anwar did not start a Malay-only party because as the current prime minister says, this is the reality of this country. He started a multiracial party, cobbled together an alliance with the DAP and PAS, and in perhaps the best moment of his political career denied BN its coveted two-thirds majority.
However, why replay the greatest hits of a man some say has no role to play in this new Malaysia? Because part of it is wonky thinking on the part of some of Anwar critics. For instance, when Anwar has this ‘que sera, sera’ (whatever will be, will be) attitude when it comes to a future working possibility with Umno, it is all part of mainstream Malay politics.
How could anyone take exception to what Anwar says when Bersatu is openly accepting former Umno powerbrokers and regular Umno members to shore up its base. Anwar's qualified acceptance of Umno leader Nazri Abdul Aziz's support should not surprise anyone, especially those who understand that Nazri always had convivial relationships with many political operatives in the then opposition.
Anwar’s daughter, Nurul Izzah, says she takes charges of nepotism positively, but really, why should she? The opposition is riddled with nepotism most often at the highest level in the form of powerbrokers and political dynasties placing their pawns for future political power.
This is not solely an Anwar problem but the way how some folks talk, it is as if they are blind to what is going on around them. Admittedly, I played a part in this whole PKR is the weakest link in Harapan narrative, but I also have said, I would take the open fighting in PKR over the nefarious backrooms deals or fascist diktats of some of the other parties in Harapan.
While I am not taking sides when it comes to the whole Rafizi versus Azmin Ali fight, it is far better for voters to understand the power plays at work and pay attention to what these camps say and do when it comes to reform principles for this country. Remember folks, when politicians do not wash their dirty linen in public, we end up supporting their soiled agendas.
Granted, the way that Port Dickson MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah gave up his seat and the murmurs of approval by Anwar made this whole Port Dickson gambit sleazy, but that is politics.
There are many elected representatives who do not care about the people who voted for them and probably are using their seats as stepping stones to profit from the bureaucracy when it comes time to reward their ‘sacrifice”.
If the power elite really approved of this succession plan then they would have made it clear – that at least one political operative was a seat warmer for Anwar to re-enter politics or failing which, come up with a unified statement that they approved of the Port Dickson gambit before various political operatives waged a media war.
Seeing as how the opposition did not believe that they could win May 9, the former may not have been possible, but after winning, they should have made it clear that Anwar was in play for the top job instead of feeding the narrative, relying on the base and the schisms within PKR, to wage a very public war on the Anwar clan.
Will Anwar be the kind of prime minister that his supporters claim he would be? Who knows? Like I said, I am not worried about his reform agenda because apparently, even the old maverick wants reform.
Now the powerbrokers of Harapan are getting on board the Anwar Express but the fact is that all this was unnecessary. Heroes and villains have been created when the reality is all this is because some people cannot stand the idea of Anwar becoming prime minister.
Are their concerns legitimate? It would be if reforming the system was a top priority, but this is about personality politics and those "not loyal" to Anwar merely means their loyalties lay elsewhere.
When people say they do not trust Anwar, all I can think, is that you trust other politicians? What I am worried about is Anwar’s infatuation that religion is the lodestar for the Malay community, but this should not detract from the fact that he is no pretender to the throne.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 1:37 PM   0 comments
My reply to Bersatu’s Rais Hussin - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Turkey’s Christians are facing increasing persecution. We cannot forget them
Malaysiakini : “But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.” ― Patrick O'Brian, ‘Master and Commander’
COMMENT | In responding to my piece critical of his piece, Rais Hussin makes a couple of fundamental errors regarding my position on the issue of the Uyghur Muslims. The first is his claim that I wrote that Malaysia is still practising some sort of "apartheid” system. This is objectively false. In fact, I argued the opposite.
Here is what I wrote: “People have stopped using the term 'apartheid' when they talk to me about the institutionalised discrimination because they understand that I go a bit bonkers. The last person who used it got testimonials from a South African friend of mine, which he submitted in one of the truth and reconciliation committees. But I digress.”
Indeed, in numerous other articles pre and post-May 9, I have made it clear that use of the word “apartheid” to describe the systemic discrimination that non-Malays face in this country is morally reprehensible. This is a matter of public record and, of course, there are many readers of Malaysiakini who disseminate my articles elsewhere who disagree with me.
The second error Rais makes is claiming that I do not think it is in “the ambit of Malaysia to speak out against the atrocities of the Rohingyas nor Uyghurs.” This again is a willful misreading of my piece.
Here is what I wrote: “We could argue about the means they take to ensure their security but is this really a productive discussion since we cannot fall back on any first principles that would legitimise our criticism against the PRC?”
In other words, I am of the opinion that China has every right to defend itself against what it views as “internal” threats and if we do criticise them, our criticism would carry more weight if we relied on first principles, a history of rejecting extremism and a contemporary commitment of ensuring an egalitarian Malaysia.
I have no idea why Rais would bring up the New Economic Policy (NEP) and the narrative of correcting whatever perceived “imbalance” between the various ethnic groups in this country. In my piece, I made it very clear that the alleged systemic discrimination that the Uyghurs face was not the same as “bumiputera” rights or the manifestations of those rights through state power.
I was very clear that only people in Malaysia who face the kind of discrimination that the Uyghurs allegedly face are the Orang Asal and I reminded my Chinese and Indian brethren of this reality:
“Malaysians should educate themselves on the realities of these people when it comes to how the majority deals with minority ethnic communities - beyond the Chinese/Indian dialectic. Then you will discover the real horrors of what some communities go through.”
This is the reason why I highlighted the issue of the systemic discrimination faced by the Orang Asal, which is far more severe than anything the “other” minorities face in this country. You see, we have, for the most part, a political apparatus which deals which our grievances, whereas the Orang Asal are most often left to the mercy of the state and whoever that controls it. So there’s that.
Now, Rais further claims that it is “shocking” that a retired naval commander whose “first moral duty” must include rushing to the aid of sinking vessels, would go against any attempt to highlight the plight of the Rohingyas and Uyghurs.
This is a straw man argument. I have never been against highlighting the plight of any marginalised communities, foreign or domestic, but I have always been critical of those who “champion” certain causes because of the hypocrisy of their conduct.
Cruel, inhumane treatment
With the Rohingyas for instance, I questioned the motives of PAS and Umno for holding that convenient solidarity rally. I discussed this here: “For example, where was the large-scale demonstration when the bodies of five Orang Asli children were discovered in the jungle when they ran away from school fearing abuse? Where was the large-scale Muslim outrage to this tragedy?”
Then, of course, there is the double speak when it comes to domestic security and Muslim solidarity, which I discussed here: “Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed explained that Malaysia was willing to accept more refugees but was concerned of the possible influx of 'sympathisers to the militants'.
“This kind of doublespeak is mendacious; on the one hand, we have state-sanctioned operatives wanting the Umno state to expel Myanmar’s diplomats and citizens and on the other, the acknowledgement (by the state) that armed resistance against the Myanmar regime is something that the Umno regime is concerned about.
“This kind of balancing act is what emboldens extremists who have always viewed Malaysia as a transit point for regional and global terrorism.” Furthermore, in various pieces, I have not only highlighted the way the state mistreats various refugee groups but also highlighted the contributions of NGOs (like Tenaganita), various political operatives and journalists who write about these "refugee" stories that most Malaysians have very little interest in.
As far as I am concerned, it is these people who highlight the plight of refugees like the kind Rais mentions and the indifference of the state. It is they who do the hard, thankless work of genuinely attracting public interest to the plight of these disposed peoples. When I talk of people who have been subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment, I do not have to look to other countries to feel outraged. I only have to look at what is happening in the dark places of our homeland.
For instance, how many people like the Rohingyas and Uyghurs have been trafficked or killed in this country? How many minorities from other countries have vanished in this country? Would it matter what religion they believed in?
This is why, as someone who was attached to the state security apparatus, I want the Pakatan Harapan regime to unearth the Wang Kelian tragedy:
“The Harapan regime should expose the slavers and killers of Wang Kelian, discover what happened there and inform the public of the real nature of the corruption of our state security apparatus. They should expose how deep the rot goes when it comes to the abuse suffered by disenfranchised people, migrant workers and the rest under the boot of those colluding with crime syndicates.”
Talking about these unwanted minorities on our shores is far more important than replaying the current prime minister's greatest hits or going on about a foreign dictator beloved by Islamic reformers in this country or even mentioning the Roma. I am a simple sailor whose first moral duty when serving the state security apparatus was to ensure the safety and welfare of the men under his command.
I would like to think that I did not abandon that professional credo when I retired.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 5:37 PM   0 comments
Uyghur Muslims: Another rabbit hole we should cease burrowing into - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
There is mass persecution of all minorities in the 57 Muslim majority countries, without let up from time immemorial. They blatantly practice Apartheid. Quran 3:110
I pity those who are NOT people of the book. More than 80 million Hindus were slaughtered during the conquest of India. Most of their murderous descendants reside in Pakistan. Do I need to say more? The ancient Buddhist University of Nalanda was ransacked and destroyed by an army of the Mamluk Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate under Bakhtiyar Khilji in c. 1200 CE.. Which the Congress Party negates.

Why bother about the Chinese Uyghur when they turn against their own country? The Chicoms persecute the Christians too. Mao Tse Tung a godless bastard once said "Religion is the opium of the people". Rais Hussin for your take, People who live in glass houses should not throw stones". Or you cannot see the beam in front of your eyes but you can see a flea across the ocean. Capiche? 

Malaysiakini : “And what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite.” - Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray<
COMMENT | The last time Rais Hussin mentioned the Uyghur Muslims (as I remember it) was in the context of Zakir Naik. Free Malaysia Today reported him as saying, “Rais said he personally could see no wrong in Naik’s activities and speeches. Deporting him would be akin to deporting Uighur (Uyghur) Muslims to China, he said, referring to a request by China for the extradition of 11 Uighur men who entered Malaysia illegally last year from Thailand.”
Seriously? It’s one thing for Muslims to champion the cause of persecuted Muslims in other countries, but comparing the realities of the Uyghurs to an alleged money launderer and religious provocateur?
Ever since I started writing for Malaysiakini, I have made it a point to refrain from writing about international issues. I do this because I am a firm believer in taking care of the business in our backyard, instead of pontificating about the alleged transgressions of others. However, I sometimes have to step into the fray.
And really, equating the alleged systemic discrimination of the Uyghurs to the Shoah? Remember when Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar was jailed for six months for making the same kind of claim with regard to the disenfranchised Indian community? Here is what DPP Noorin Badaruddin said: “The words used by Uthayakumar such as ‘mini genocide’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ at an international level gives the impression that grave crimes and racial oppression were committed.” This should tell us something about what is acceptable and what isn't when it comes to making careless statements.
Opposition supporters, now Establishment supporters, have been writing to me, decrying this op-ed piece by Rais Husin. How can he say such things when, in our own country, the non-Malays are oppressed, they ask? People have stopped using the term “apartheid” when they talk to me about the institutionalised discrimination because they understand that I go a bit bonkers. The last person who used it got testimonials from a South African friend of mine, which he submitted in one of the truth and reconciliation committees. But I digress.
When we talk about systemic oppression like the kind Rais (photo) talks about, we only have to look at the reality the Orang Asal find themselves dealing with when it comes to Malay/Muslim hegemons. Not only have their land be taken away from them, their very culture and identity have been robbed by conversions – sometimes forced – and the ongoing machinations of the Muslim state. Of course, the kind of persecution these people face is rarely talked about in the mainstream media.
Back in 2005, Malaysiakini highlighted one such case of forced conversion among the Orang Asal in Kelantan, with this allegation made by a convert, Hassan bin Ain: "Hassan believes more than 500 had converted to Islam out of the 2,600 Orang Asli in Kuala Betis.
"Over 60 people got duped into converting to Islam the same way as me," he added.
"Hassan also claimed that more than 10 physically-disabled, ill, aged and mentally-unstable Orang Asli were allegedly dragged out of their homes by force and registered. "One day, my son and his friends who were on their way to play football at a nearby field were stopped midway by MAIK officials and made to recite the kalimah shahadah (declaration of testimony) on the spot. Each boy was then given RM400 and a sarong with a white kopiah (skullcap)," he said."
Discovering the real horrors
Malaysians should educate themselves on the realities of these people when it comes to how the majority deals with minority ethnic communities - beyond the Chinese/Indian dialectic. Then you will discover the real horrors of what some communities go through. Add to this the concept of racial and religious superiority of this Muslim country and it makes it pretty difficult for someone to mount a rational, credible defence of the plight of Muslims in foreign countries. Or at least it should. Unless, of course, the point of raising the plight of Muslims in other countries is just window dressing?
And really, Islam is not the only Abrahamic faith that the faithful outside of China get worked up about. As reported in the South China Morning Post (Want to escape poverty? Replace pictures of Jesus with Xi Jinping, Christian villagers urged):
“Thousands of Christians in an impoverished county in rural southeast China have swapped their posters of Jesus for portraits of President Xi Jinping as part of a local government poverty-relief programme that seeks to transform believers in religion into believers in the party.” This of course was met with international condemnation, even from gorups here in Malaysia but not from the officials of the then Umno state. I am just waiting for my Hindu friends or people who read my articles for some sort of grievances against China so, that they too can “champion” some sort of Hindu related cause against the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
And China has every right to be worried about Islamic extremism. We could argue about the means they take to ensure their security, but is this really a productive discussion since we cannot fall back on any first principles that would legitimise our criticism against the PRC?
Just last year, Foreign Policy magazine wrote report about how the Islamic State (IS) is attempting to curry favour with China’s repressed minorities: “A 2016 study from New America, a Washington-based think tank, found 114 Uighurs from Xinjiang joined the Islamic State. Xinjiang furnished the highest number of foreign ISIS fighters from any one region of the world outside of Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, the study found.”
In my article about the Rohingya rabbit hole, I cautioned that this sort of Muslim solidarity should not be something that the Najib administration engages in and which should not be replayed by the current Harapan regime. “The idea that the IS is going to make Southeast Asia as the main theatre of operations is widely acknowledged in intelligence circles and security agencies regionally and internationally. We have to remember that the region provides ample opportunities based on religious and ethnic conflicts for the Islamic State to latch on to.”
What does all of this mean? Our relationship with China is already fraught because we made stupid deals and, as usual, demonised the Chinese government. Not only that, we continue demonising the Chinese community here because it makes appeals to the sensibilities of the political elite. And I m not only talking about the Malay/Muslim political elites.
Now, of course, we use this issue of the Chinese Uyghur Muslims as some sort of fig leaf to demonstrate that, as a Muslim nation, we stand with our brothers overseas, not realising that such proclamations make it so much easier for foreign groups to view Malaysia as some sort of safe house to plan and launch terror activities against the Chinese interests here and elsewhere.
This goes beyond an op-ed piece by a political operative. There are homegrown activists groups, religious figures and the numerous little tributaries that plead the case for oppressed Muslims in other countries based in Malaysia. Some of these groups are even funded by our tax ringgit.
Besides the obvious danger that these groups may pose, all of this really detracts from the hard work of getting this country back on track, and of course, makes a mockery of attempting to change the mindset of the Malay polity, which is apparently one of the agendas of this new administration.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 8:34 AM   0 comments
Indian M'sians do not need a party to represent them - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, September 10, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
COMMENT | Indian Malaysians do not need a political party to look after their ‘interests’. I am not saying this in some politically correct Kool-Aid way, but rather the with the grim judgement of history backing my statement.
While the MCA may have made strategic mistakes in the way how they handled the Umno/Malay hegemon, an argument could be made that they managed to balance the expectations of Chinese Malaysians against the ketuanan ethos, laying the foundation for the community’s independence from the discriminatory ‘malaise’ system.
What do I mean by independence? I made two points in one of my earlier articles about MCA’s decline:
1. What is really destroying MCA is not DAP propaganda, but the acceptance by a large voting demographic of the Chinese community that no representation in the government is better than MCA representation.
2. Corruption, systemic discrimination, the erosion of religious freedoms and the dysfunction of public institutions have become important issues cutting across class lines, but more importantly, act as a common ground for a certain section of the voting public looking for an alternative – any alternative – to Umno-BN.
The first point is not new to Indian Malaysians. MIC was more of a force of subjugation for the community rather than the unintended emancipatory role that MCA played.
The reality is that the Indian community is neither a potent economic or electoral force when it comes to determining the political process in this country.
While the original Hindraf movement managed to galvanise the Malaysian political scene, much to the consternation and protestation of the mainstream political class, it fizzled out for numerous reasons, and become a mockery of its original intentions.
In mainstream Malaysian politics, Indian representatives are reminded not to make noise because they are beholden to Chinese and Malay votes to sustain their political careers. Since I do not want to prolong old feuds, I won’t cite the numerous times, political operatives have made this clear in numerous tweets and speeches.
But if this is indeed the case, what is the point of having an Indian political party? Minister in the Prime Minister's Department P Waythamoorthy’s (photo below) announcement of a new Indian political party could not come at a worse time. Not to mention what a dumb idea it is for the minister in charge of national unity and social wellbeing to lead a race-based party with no purpose except the dodgy agenda of uplifting the Indian community.
Can you imagine the fireworks between Pakatan Harapan Indian political operatives and this newly formed Indian party? Isn't there enough infighting between the various political fiefdoms in the Harapan establishment without having the Indian issue become a flashpoint for disunity?
Hard truths
While the current Harapan grand poohbah claims that it is time for the Malays to face some hard truths, the same could be said for anyone attempting to profit from MIC's political demise.
But you know what really bugs me? Whenever these Indian political operatives claim to want to set up parties and organisations to look after the interests of the Indian Malaysians, it is the community which is vilified online.
You really think that after decades of MIC and various groups claiming to represent them, the disenfranchised among the Indian community have not learned that mainstream establishment politics have no interest in their welfare?
They understand that racial and religious politics, either from the then-opposition or the former Umno establishment, are part of the systemic discrimination they face.
So when political operatives talk about the ‘Indian community’, what they’re really talking about – or what they should be talking about – is a specific subgroup (maybe even a specific sub-ethnic group) who are disenfranchised.
Human Rights Party’s P Uthayakumar (photo) has made this point many times before, and this whole idea of ‘Indian representation’ is a political red herring designed to further the interests of specific groups along racial lines.
I have written about this here – “Besides in the realpolitik sense when people talk about Indians, who they are really talking about is the disenfranchised in the Indian community. The urban educated class, most probably opposition-leaning, have very little interest in the community beyond the usual confluence of religion and other festivities. Furthermore, as a community, there are divisions along religious lines – Christian and Hindu – and of course, sub-ethnic groups, which sometimes translate into political affiliations.
How can you help the disenfranchised of the Indian community? Anyone who makes the claim that we should “help everybody” and not look at the race, are the biggest buffoons in this racialised political setting and should be ignored.
As long as Bersatu and its enablers are around, the ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ Kool-Aid should not be used as an excuse not to have specific racial programmes targeted at disenfranchised minority groups.
I once wrote about how MIC could have helped the disenfranchised of the Indian community: “As the smallest faction in the power-sharing community, MIC could have done so much for the disenfranchised in the Indian community who were their base. The fact that the Indian community is scattered all over the country was an advantage.
The MIC could have strategically tailored their welfare programmes to individual states, and come up with a coherent strategy to solves issues facing the Indian community in a holistic manner, because the base is small.”
If establishment political operatives really want to help the disenfranchised among the Indian community, this is not such an immense hurdle to overcome. There are many committed grassroots-level groups operating on the premise that the disenfranchised are emancipated through education and technical skills. This is the key.
All this talk of creating another political party is just another way to create BN redux. It reinforces the idea that the only comfortable narrative is that of each race being represented in the political process.
Disenfranchised minorities know this for the lie that it is.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:27 AM   0 comments
Fear and loathing in Putrajaya redux - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Malaysiakini : “Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.” ― Laurence J Peter, educator and author
COMMENT | While the White House is in a state of fear regarding the anonymous op-ed piece in the New York Times about the dysfunction in the Trump administration and the so-called “resistance” attempting to stymie the US president’s more egregious agendas, the opposite thing is happening in this country.
While I am not someone who makes excuses for the Harapan administration when it comes to their reform agenda, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is correct when he says that there are officials in Putrajaya who are purposely stalling the administrative policies of the new regime. There are a couple of points worth considering.
The first is the lack of experience of some of the ministers appointed. Much has been said about the “Call me bro” youth and sports minister, the education minister who wants more responsibility - or is that prestige? - but has no real reform agenda when it comes to one of the more important portfolios of this country, the defence minister who likes to cook, and of course, the finance minister who can’t seem to get enough of exposing the scandals of the past administration and nodding to whatever the prime minister says.
Fulfilling campaign promises is one thing but more damaging is a lack of vision of many of these ministers. Besides Gobind Singh Deo (photo) who seems to actually have a vision of what his Communications and Multimedia Ministry can accomplish and Transport Minister Anthony Loke, who you may disagree with some of the things he has done - at least, they are doing things when it comes to their ministries and not attempting to define their ministries by their polemics against the former regime.
While this is an important point, it should not detract from what I consider the bigger point - and what the prime minister rightly points out - the sub rosa moves by bureaucrats to hamper the progress of Harapan regime. I have been doing my own snooping around, calling contacts serving and retired, and there is a definitely a conspiracy of sorts to destabilise the Harapan government from within.
One example I put much stock in is when serving and retired state security personnel tell me that there is a movement within the Defence Ministry to “contain” the popular Mohamad Sabu (photo). This means different things to people but the general idea is that reform within the security services comes with the price of exposing the corruption, collusion and god knows what else, which ironically could prove to be a threat to national security.
Can you imagine what would happen if forces domestic and foreign, ever discover how compromised our state security apparatus is? So we get all these “investigations” which go nowhere and an inexperienced minister who is grappling not only with his administrative duties but also his political ones, believing that things are running smoothly.
In reality, the petty fiefdoms in the state security apparatus are making moves to conceal buried secrets that could not only bring them ruination but everyone in the food chain.
Infighting within
Furthermore, some minions actually resent that there is a new government. This resentment, depending on the cabal, is based on racism or religious bigotry. Years of the Biro Tatanegara (BTN) horse manure has created a culture that views any “interloping” by non-Malay political operatives other than from BN as trespassing on the provinces of the ‘ketuanan’ types.
No doubt, the propaganda of a New Malaysia rattles their precious sensibilities and these people are ever ready to demonstrate that the bureaucracy can strike back. One recently retired government official told me that these people not only resort to stalling but also hiding relevant documents, misdirecting new and inexperienced aides and attempting to portray everything done by the new Harapan regime as a “witch hunt”.
This, of course, does not take into account what I call the deep Islamic state and their operatives, who are considering working with the committed Islamists within Pakatan Harapan and carrying out their obligations for their handlers within Umno. Whispering into the ears of easily-rattled Harapan political operatives of the precarious nature of the Harapan alliance when it comes to the Malay vote, they advance an Islamic agenda which is at odds with the supposed “secular” agenda of the new Harapan regime.
However, if you think that this is all Umno’s fault, you are naive. The infighting within Harapan contributes immensely to the hampering of the reform agenda. My comrade, Malaysiakini columnist Hishamuddin Rais (photo) may have ruffled some feathers when it comes to his writings, but he is more often correct than wrong when it comes to the machinations of the political elites.
There are elements within the bureaucracy who have decided to take sides and the infighting within Harapan plays out in how policy is carried out in Putrajaya. Various fiefdoms have erupted like boils within various ministries where busy factotums carry out the agendas of the Harapan political elite and this sometimes includes frustrating rival factions.
As one frustrated political operative lamented that she has to watch her back when it comes to the bureaucracy because not only has she to worry about the flotsam and jetsam of the former Umno regime, which includes agents of MCA and MIC, but she has to be wary of not stepping on the toes of her political higher-ups who are wrestling for dominance in various ministries.
A still serving low-level bureaucrat in Putrajaya candidly told me that he is impressed that Harapan has been able to accomplish some of the reforms they promised because with all the crap thrown their way by their infighting and elements from the previous regime, it is remarkable that they are able to function.
Another source said, if only Mahathir was younger and had the support of a committed base, he would whip the government into shape. He has preoccupations which are political in nature which are hampering what he needs to do with the government, this near-retiring source claims.
This, of course, is all part of the political culture in Malaysia which is Umno-based and something that people in Harapan, who are actually interested in reform, have to contend with. Coupled with their inexperience, they find it difficult to navigate the bureaucracy which is at war for itself and with itself.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:12 AM   0 comments
Some of my Malay friends think public caning is a great idea - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, September 05, 2018
Malaysiakini : “There is not eternal damnation, the only rewards and punishments are right here in this world.” - Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, ‘The Madman and the Nun: and Other Plays’

COMMENT | As quoted in the press upon his acquittal of graft charges, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said something rather queer. Of the people who throw “malicious lies” - is there any other kind of lies? - he claimed that their fate would be decided by God Almighty. Really? Then I suppose there is no need for libel and slander laws, not to mention the fact that he has taken up cases against those who have spread lies about him before.

However, those who invoke their god, either for reward or punishment are a dime a dozen here in Malaysia. Speaking of those who speak on behalf of higher powers, this brings us to the public caning of the two women in Terengganu for same-sex relations or illicit sex, or both. Malaysiakini columnist Mariam Mokhtar in her latest piece about unshackling the enslaved Malay mind claimed anyone who does not have a Malay friend is part of the problem.
Having a Malay friend to drag to a forum or starting simple discussions is apparently how the non-Malays can help unshackle Malay minds after years of indoctrination by the Umno state, the continuing efforts of the Pakatan Harapan state and, of course, the manipulations of preachers of the state-sanctioned religion.

I cannot speak for the rest of non-Malays, but I have many Malay friends. Some of my Malay friends, depending on their economic and social level, believe that their privileges either hamper or have been a benefit to them and their families. Some of them claim with so many children, they need all the help they can get.
While the old maverick talks about the wonders of birth control and our rubber industry, the same does apply to population control when it comes to the vote base, I guess. Of course, my friends - Malay, Chinese, Orang Asal and Indians - do not necessarily have to share the same beliefs as me to be considered friends. Do people only mix with other people who share their beliefs?
And do you really think that only Malays think that their minds are shackled or that their religion shackles their minds? Would you say the same to a religious Christian, Hindu or Buddhist who does not share the same religious dogma as Muslims but in reality, when it comes to cultural and social norms, they have exactly the same religious/cultural prejudices? So really, some people do share the same religious dogma; it is only they do not have the power of the state to back up their prejudices.
And does anyone really think that all Malays have not used the quota system, or whatever benefits they get from the state, to break free from their economic brackets? This is why this whole issue of rights and privileges is just a red herring, especially for politicians - both Malay and non-Malay - who use it for political gain.
So the Malay mind gets unshackled, but unshackled to what? Voting for political parties who do not use race and religion to further their political goals? Can anyone name such a political party. I can but nobody is interested in them.
When it comes to religion, it gets even worse. I have lost friends who disagree with my take on religion, specifically Islam. While others share my views when we talk in private, when it comes to public discussions they disassociate from me and my views. Some friends just wait for the day when the demographic overwhelms the non-Malays and then my views would not matter at all.
Mental shackles
Take this public caning for example. Some of my Malay friends who are religious claim that this strengthens the position of Islam in this country. It is a useful political tool and reminds the non-Malays who voted for Harapan that the Malay political actors in the coalition will defend Islam. These are folks who voted for Harapan and not the dreaded Umno and PAS people.
They are also supportive when they read how the Harapan government wants to uplift the shariah court system - "In relation to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act and other relevant laws, we are looking at them in more detail and … we are committed, ready to amend the act in empowering the syariah courts as a whole," Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Fuziah Salleh said during the oral question-and-answer session at the Dewan Negara sitting yesterday.
Honestly, when Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa (photo), the so-called moderate face of Islam in this country, says that all was in accordance with the caning - procedural and spiritual - and the only issue he had was the public spectacle, this should clue you in on how the political process in this country is weighted in favour of the religious imperatives of the Malay/Muslim political elite and the fear of not spooking the Malays of the non-Malay/Muslim Harapan base.
A good Malay friend of mine, who opposes the caning, says that it was a good thing that the female officer was masked – (my friend, who is a woman, used a word that rhythms with itch to describe the masked punisher) because there would be repercussions if anyone from her family (which includes people which the state and the state-sanctioned religion disenfranchises) was canned in public.
My friend is someone the religious types would say has lost her way because of her childhood on the streets, a criminal record, promiscuity and a long hard road to redemption in the form of a law degree she uses to help other people who have been screwed over by the system.
Honestly, this public spectacle is a tool to confront the Islamic elements in Harapan, to force them to take a stand, and you know what, the religious and secular elements in Harapan failed miserably. Where is the outrage from those who before May 9 would somehow find a way to blame the Umno state working with PAS as purveyors of fake Islamic values?
As usual, Klang parliamentarian Charles Santiago (photo) seems to be the only political operative speaking plainly and making his stand clear. Of course, this is not the official stand of the political alliance of this new Malaysia. It sure as hell is not the stand of the people who support them, who think that they should not fall into the trap set by these Islamic extremists, and never for one moment, stopping to think that there are Islamists within Harapan who want exactly the same thing and are enabled by the power-hungry non-Malay components of Harapan.
It does not get any clearer than this - “The new Pakatan Harapan government, which was voted in on the premise of inclusion, must, therefore, repeal all laws that criminalise homosexuality without any delay,” said Santiago.
All we get is silence because Amanah is supposed to be the progressive face of Islam and so far, all they have managed to do is get their knickers in twist about the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community, while PAS has managed to talk about everything from corruption charges against the Harapan political elite, the GST and the numerous other issues which should be how Harapan is changing the course of the Islamic narrative in this country.
Terengganu Bar Committee chairperson Sallehudin Harun said that the public would get a clearer picture. Notice he did not say Muslims but rather the (general) public. Why is this? Because this was a spectacle for the non-Muslims. This was to show that their political leaders are political hacks who would not do a damn thing when it comes to extremism in this country.
The subtext is this. First, these political operatives cannot help the Malays progress from their so-called mental shackles. Second, after the laws get through with the disenfranchised of this country, it will come after the smug secure urban electorates.
That is the message, folks. Besides a few outlier voices, the mainstream politics of Harapan when it comes to this issue is hear no evil, see no evil and enable such evil when it is politically expedient.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 3:22 PM   0 comments
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