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“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

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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Rashid's strategy is so wrong, but it is all right - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Malaysiakini : “You have the army of mediocrities followed by the multitude of fools. As the mediocrities and the fools always form the immense majority, it is impossible for them to elect an intelligent government.” – Guy de Maupassant
COMMENT | Many people have been emailing me asking me what I thought of Bersatu's vice-president and former Election Commission chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s “by hook or by crook” election strategy.

Apparently, this kind of thinking is verboten (forbidden by the authority) in this New Malaysia. Maybe I’m wrong, but maybe Rashid knows more about Malay politics, the Umno base, and how to win in dodgy elections than his critics give him credit for.

I read everything Nathaniel Tan writes, but arguing that Umno did not fail because of a few bad apples, but instead from a culture that corrupted every level of the party’s leadership is misguided. The reality is that Umno did not fail because of some systemic meltdown; it failed because Najib Abdul Razak did not play nice with current Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Furthermore, the leadership was in denial of how unpopular Najib was among the base. If the Umno leaders had paid attention to the grassroots, they would have understood that a certain segment would be more than happy to shift to Mahathir because they viewed the autocracy of Najib and his family detrimental to the ‘Malay’ community. If Umno had rejected Najib instead of propping him up, I doubt we would be having this discussion.

Speaking the truth

Rashid was just saying what most Bersatu political operatives are thinking. He was not saying anything controversial. He was merely speaking for the leadership and the base, even though the narrative is that he was just speaking in his personal capacity.

You really think that someone like Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has a finger on the pulse of the agitated Malay electorate, or the guts to acknowledge the Umno system without resorting to the kind of euphemisms that people like Rashid have no time for or, to be honest, understand?

In questioning Rashid’s appointment as a vice-president, lifetime Bersatu member Zaeinal Abidin Omar asked: “Some of us members have gone through the forest and bushes in our struggle for religion, race and country, is Rashid prepared to do that?”

Think about that line for a moment. What the hell does "struggle for religion, race and country" mean, anyway? Well, it means perpetuating a system of privilege and discrimination to maintain hegemonic racial, political, social and economic power. There has never been a struggle of emancipation from government handouts and religious orthodoxy. In fact, the struggle has been to ensure that both are sustained – even if it means a change of government, just not ‘Malay’ politics.

Umno did not fail the Malays. It never intended for them to succeed. This is why when Malay power structures talk about reform, they never consider egalitarian ideas that could generate a level of sophistication and independence among the base, but rather fall back on protectionist strategies that perpetuate the theme that the community can only be saved by political parties formed to address their specific needs.

This is why lawyer Siti Zabedah Kasim (photo, below), for instance, points out – rightly – the “Nazi” aspects of these religion- or race-based parties, because both are in direct opposition to democratic principles.

Rashid is an insider who knows how to win over the base in a political environment that was created and nurtured by the Young Turks of Umno, of which the Najib regime was the logical outcome. Read the propaganda coming out of Pakatan Harapan and it is all ahistorical, concentrating on Najib, but never addressing the basis of the corruption of the political elite.

Look, Umno members are jumping ship. Special Affairs Department (Jasa) members are welcomed into Bersatu. The appointments of Bersatu members to key positions in GLCs. The polemics of Bersatu Youth in wanting the resignation of a coalition minister. All these are vintage moves known and supported by the Umno base.

Winning strategy

Bersatu political operatives and propagandists have been sending me materials that demonstrate how well-received Rashid’s “by hook or by crook” strategy is within the corridors of Malay power coalescing around Bersatu.

One political operative reminded me that Bersatu has enemies everywhere. “Look, Commander, not only do have we to deal with Umno and PAS, but we also have to worry about the situation in Sabah and Sarawak. We do not have the luxury of time. We need to establish Bersatu as the face of Malay power or Harapan could be in serious trouble.”

And here’s the thing. Nearly every Bersatu political operative who speaks to me sincerely seems to have the best interests of Harapan at heart. Sure, they may cause trouble with the other Malay power structures, backtrack on election promises, and engage in the very behaviour and tactics that defined Umno, but all this is in the service of ensuring that Harapan does not fail.

Similarly, the people I have spoken to view what Rashid said as a viable strategy – perhaps the only strategy – to ensure the success of not just Bersatu, but also Harapan.

A Bersatu grassroots activist, who I usually call on because she gives it to me straight, told me that it is easy for the other Harapan components to criticise Rashid. It gets them good press and makes them seem like heroes, like young Syed Saddiq. But, the “beloved” (and she means it when she says this) prime minister not only has to ensure that Bersatu is a viable party, but also that “Harapan does not mampus (die)”.

She continues: “What Rashid said was not about corruption. What he meant was that unlike Umno, Bersatu would ensure that whatever funds are used will be used properly and not just stolen by the divisions' heads. This also is a kind of reform, right?

“Please lah, see how all the ministers are going to Cameron Highlands now, making all sorts of promises. This is what he (Rashid) is talking about when he said using government resources.”

Okay, I said, if your rural heartland base needs to be better informed, then why not begin the process of dismantling the system – political tactics included – which separates them from the urban Malay voter? “You want us to win or you want PAS or Umno to win?” she replied.

Think of it this way. When a young leader like Syed Saddiq talks about helping out the poor Malays, what does anyone really think this means? Does it mean that the government wants to help these so-called poor Malays become independent from the system? Are they going to see that these so-called disenfranchised Malays from the Umno system are informed and make decisions which have nothing to do with race and religion, but instead think of themselves as part of a greater cultural whole? I do not think so.
As long as the government does not change direction when it comes to the systemic dysfunction of race and religion, winning “by hook or by crook” will be the strategy of choice for Malay power structures and their non-Malay enablers.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:48 AM   0 comments
Looking back on Malaya’s first year at the United Nations - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, January 07, 2019
Malaysiakini : "Ours is what is known as a plural society, in which three major races with different outlooks on life live side by side, and which nationalism has brought close together in brotherhood and unity towards a common goal."– Ismail Abdul Rahman’s inaugural speech at the UN General Assembly, 1957
BOOK REVIEW | Mohamed Tawfik Ismail and Ooi Kee Beng’s book about Malaya’s first year in the United Nations – specifically Malaya’s first permanent representative to the UN and first ambassador to the United States, Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman – is a more than just a compilation of notes from a bygone era.

Malaya's First Year at the United Nations: As Reflected in Dr Ismail's Reports Home to Tunku Abdul Rahman is, without doubt, a useful rejoinder of what actual nation-building is, at a time when political operatives were playing for stakes higher than just political survival – the creation of a nation. Attempting to forge a country from the embers of a once great empire is one thing; drafting a coherent foreign policy for a newborn nation quite another.

The authors do more than just compile notes from Ismail – Tawfik’s father – to then-prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. What they manage to do is construct a convincing narrative of the nascent foreign policy of this country.

Ismail considered his notes as something made “on a personal basis,” and would stop if they were not found to be useful. The book is a basic guide to the international political scene of the time and Malaya’s tentative steps in this arena, informed by the work of Ismail and others.

Meticulously researched, the side notes, appendices and bibliography of Malaya's First Year at the United Nations fills in the blanks to Ismail's sometimes mundane notes on the grind of networking and establishing a presence among international powers and the slowly fading colonialists of the era.

From the start, the authors make it clear that Ismail’s basis of foreign policy – supported by numerous sources – was that of an independent line. Malaya’s “stand on international problems should not be influenced by the policies of other countries big or small” – a policy which made sense, but would be difficult to maintain in the treacherous world of Cold War politics.

Treading carefully

Which is why when Ismail condemned China’s occupation of Tibet, for instance, he also had to defend this country against accusations that it was a stooge of the US. Just two years before in his maiden speech to the UN general assembly, Ismail made reference to the Malay proverb, "Gajah berjuang, rumput yang berasa" (when elephants clash, it is the grass that is destroyed) when discussing the effects of colonial knavery on occupied regions.

What this demonstrated from the beginning is that Ismail believed that Malaya's foreign policy should not be aligned with that of colonial powers or other independent countries. He understood that smaller independent countries had to tread carefully when dealing with bigger, more powerful political hegemons.

You have to remember that back when Ismail was formulating his ideas, Southeast Asia was a hotbed of colonial activity. The Vietnam conflict was percolating with the malfeasance of the French, who had drawn in the British and the ‘quiet Americans’ – slowly turning into ‘ugly Americans’ – with cold warriors slowly drawing up their misguided plans in Washington’s corridors of power.

Imagine what it was like for a new democracy like Malaya finding its footing on this stage. Ismail, though inexperienced in foreign service, more than made up for it with a work ethic and a desire for knowledge which seems to be lost on the current crop of political operatives.

Ismail was not afraid to discover new ideas and made it a point that all major newspapers should be available to him every morning, so he gets multiple perspectives on issues facing the US and the world. He was an exacting superior who demanded the best from his staff only because he knew how high the stakes were.

Making contacts with plutocrats, politicians, ambassadors and various special interests groups was part of the job. The nuts and bolts of establishing a presence, but more importantly, establishing a country as more than just a former colony – an independent state with a nation-building agenda competing with other agendas in the region – was the basis of his work.

A new democracy

I have no idea if these personal notes were useful to Tunku Abdul Rahman, but if you ever wondered what real foreign service work entailed, then this is it. It more than then just socialising.

It is about gaining insight into a foreign country, while providing context for your own. Ismail’s ‘diary’ of Malaya’s first year at the UN is evidence that he, inexperience notwithstanding, had a natural instinct for foreign service.

Ismail’s anecdotes are more than just entertainment. It gives you a sense of how foreigners viewed us as an emerging democracy, but more importantly, how he was paying attention to the US and what it could offer to Malaya. They were the “new capitalists,” as opposed to the “old capitalists” of the paling British empire.

One example is his tour of the southern states in the US with then-first secretary Lim Taik Choon, during which they visited a Shell refinery. “Although it bears the name of Shell, and a large share of its business is owned by the Royal Dutch Oil Company, which is a majority shareholder of Shell International, it has its own independent management.”

Ismail and Lim also took a tour of the Kaiser Aluminium factory, where they met one Mr Weekly, who they invited for a drink in their hotel. They talked about race relations in the south – Weekly being a northern gentleman with a southern wife – which neatly dovetails into his experience at a horseracing track, where Ismail discovers segregated toilets. Fortunately for him, he is not stopped from entering a Whites-only latrine.

And this is what is fascinating about this book. Ismail goes from explaining the complicated processes driving an aluminium reduction plant, dives into the racial politics of the south, and how, near the end of his New Orleans stay, he is troubled by a discussion with a taxi driver who claims that there is no need to justify his reasons for hating Blacks.

This is what makes this book extremely readable. If your preference is geopolitics, and how Malaya sought to define itself in that era based on the perspective of Ismail, you will find Malaya's First Year at the United Nations a guide which will lead you to further research.

If you are interested in the travelogue aspect of this book, Ismail’s “notes” are a clear-eyed tour of the politics and people of the US. Both aspects are equally important because they give you a sense of the times he was operating in.

Malaya's First Year at the United Nations ends with an epilogue, which goes back to the nuts and bolts of domestic politics. The most interesting part of this chapter is a letter by then-deputy prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein.

Razak had just secured a low-interest loan from the Sultan of Brunei “in order to implement some of the short-term projects for the rural areas before the elections.” The letter, among others, discusses the nearing election, which was “getting warmer.”
And with that, we are back on familiar terrain.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 1:18 PM   0 comments
Why is Harapan continuing to use BN’s muzzle? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, January 05, 2019
Malaysiakini : "Among the most important objectives of Pakatan Harapan when it was struggling to overthrow the kleptocratic government of former premier Najib Abdul Razak was the restoration of the rule of law." – Dr Mahathir Mohamad"I have always been of the view that the Sedition Act ought to be repealed." - Ramkarpal Singh
COMMENT | Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's latest missive on the rule of law is not so much about Pakatan Harapan’s commitment to said principle but, in this writer’s opinion, more of a veiled threat against the royal establishment. Is writing this seditious? One can never tell.
That is the point of pernicious laws like the Sedition Act and the other laws that civil society groups and political operatives from Harapan like Ramkarpal Singh and Latheefa Koya (amongst others who have made public statements) are objecting to and demanding that Harapan keep its election promises of repealing such laws.
These laws are enacted to muzzle the public but, more importantly, are vital tools in the “fear box” to remind the public that whatever they say or do against the state is always under scrutiny. You can never tell what you say or do, is seditious or an illegality because these laws are there for the convenience of the ruling elite rather than any kind of traditional normative values or reasoning of a functional democracy.

Its chief aim is to instil a "them vs us" mentality through fear. These laws do not apply to them – unless they betray the party and not the state because to the fascists, the party is the state – hence we get examples like the persecution of someone like Fadiah Nadwa Fikri  (photo above) for saying things that the ruling political elite have said themselves .
Consider this – “Let us not be precious. The ruling elite over the decades has curtailed the power of the monarchy. The last attempt was a brazen power grab by the former Umno regime through the National Security Council (NSC) gambit. The current Pakatan Harapan grand poobah has done his fair share of rabble-rousing when it comes to the power and the role of the monarchy. When it is convenient to defend the institution of the monarchy as a sacred cow of Malay/Muslim politics, political operatives jump up and down attempting to outdo one another in burnishing their ethnic and religious credentials.”
Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy is correct when he claimed that laws such as Sosma and Poca that would ensure safety and security were “deceitful at best”. What these laws really ensure is political hegemony. What I have argued and so have many other legal and security professionals, academics across the ideological divide – some of whom were detained under these laws and political operatives – who were also detained – is that there are enough legal provisions to maintain safety and security provided a professional and impartial state security apparatus does its job without resorting to such immoral, undemocratic measures.
Far-right elements
There is this meme spreading around Harapan supporters, who now think that these laws are needed to curtail the religious and racial excesses of the Malay far right. These people are delusional. Since Harapan has come into power, what the state has done is to capitulate to these far-right elements instead of using these so-called laws which are claimed to be needed to preserve safety and security of all citizens.
Remember when people talk of the sensitivities of "all" races, what they really mean is the primacy of the sensitivity of the majority race. This is why such laws are only used against people who are a threat to political hegemony and what is needed is fear and a quick removal of certain voices from contemporary discourse.

Forget the recent examples of some of the statements made by political operatives and ethnic nationalists which could be considered “seditious”; all we have to do, is look at something like the Gugusan Manjoi incident, and realise that these laws will never be used against instigators who commit robbery and vandalism of private enterprises in the name of religion. Indeed what these people got were not harsh measures from the state but rather sympathetic noises from the ruling elite. A recap:
“This would have been an ideal opportunity to discuss regulations on these so-called Islamic NGOs and a revamp of state and federal religious bodies so they do not encourage an atmosphere where religious extremists harass legally-run business and expect no sanction because they claim to be religious people.”
Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin claimed this recently: “If the current laws are not maintained, there will be those who think they are free to do anything and threaten the country through gangsterism and terrorism.” What if anything was the Gugusan Manjoi incident if not gangsterism and a kind of terrorism? Did we see the political establishment claim that these laws were needed so that religious extremism like the case above could be dealt with? Did we see the political elite coming out in droves, crying “safety and security” "lock these people up", using the laws they promised to abolish? Did anything like that happen?
I have often argued that terrorism – especially religious terrorism – should be dealt with as a criminal enterprise and there are enough laws to handle such crimes without the need for special laws that in reality threaten democratic first principles and institutions. Indeed even in the West such laws are used to stifle dissent.

In the Seafield temple riots, the police were given orders to investigate under these laws, even though there was supposed to be a moratorium on these laws. How is that working out? I guess using these laws against Indian rioters demonstrates that these laws work because they provide safety and security for a certain demographic.
So if you think that the state will use it against the provocateurs, gangsters and terrorist of the far right, you are naive. But the good news is that you will be in good company. Perkasa's Ibrahim Ali does not want these laws removed and so do the Malay religious and racial far right. Why do you think this is?
Because they know – some of them from experience – that these laws will not be used against them from religious or racial transgressions against the state but rather political transgressions against Malay power structures. For the rest of us Malaysians – Malays and non-Malays – they will be used to stifle dissent against political, social and religious orthodoxy.
Look, we are a country which bans books, that offer alternative interpretations of Islam which go against official state narratives. Which side do you think these laws would be used against, when it comes to narratives that the state deems dangerous to the Malay polity when it comes to flashpoint policy issues?
While lawyer lawyer Syahredzan Johan – who is also the political secretary to Lim Kit Siang - acknowledged that it would be easier to remove the law than attempting to modify, the reality is that all these euphemisms of removing certain aspects and other such nonsense is merely political speak, for not doing anything to honour election promises.
This is bad enough but it also means not honouring the memory and sacrifice of those who have been abused with these laws. Before the election, this was a non-issue, in the sense that everyone in Harapan was going on about the evil Najib regime and his pernicious laws. Now it is a different story.
Please keep in mind that if you believe in a flawed system, if you believe that a compromised system will go after those who you think deserve such treatment, believe this, the system will eventually come after you.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 8:59 AM   0 comments
PKR's infighting will be the downfall of Harapan - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Malaysia :"I see a bad moon a-rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin'
I see bad times today.” - Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Bad Moon Rising”

COMMENT | The mistake some people make is to choose sides when it comes to the camps in PKR. This is problematic because when proxies from either camp highlight issues affecting the rakyat, the issue gets lost in a quagmire of partisan posturing.

The fight within PKR is not some great ideological divide, as some participants would have you believe. It is rather about craven political moves to secure hegemony. There is nothing radical that the winner of either camp would inject into mainstream Malay politics. This is really a game of knaves.

Someone once asked me who do I prefer, PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali or vice-president Rafizi Ramli. I said, in a perfect world, they would be working together. Both have demonstrated a remarkable ability to remain relevant and contribute to Malay politics in a way that is – unfortunately – essential in running this country. Azmin plays it close to his chest, while Rafizi puts it out there.

People forget that these two leaders managed to hold it together even though they were at odds with each other. While I may have disagreed with Azmin holding onto PAS as Selangor menteri besar far longer than he should have, the moves Rafizi made to further his agenda in PKR were just as self-defeating.

Internal squabbling

While internal party conflict is not new, what is new is the context of this fight. PKR is a Malay-led political party struggling to define itself, even more so now with Bersatu in the mix. As a political party for all Malaysians, its Malay leadership is tearing the party apart, with the aid of non-Malay loyalists.

That’s the realpolitik of it. Which is also kind of juvenile. Think back to before the elections, when PKR was in a kerfuffle because of seat allocations – “Admittedly, Azmin claiming that he had no knowledge of the candidates' list before the big reveal by Harapan bigshots was dodgy and furthered the narrative that it was amateur hour at PKR HQ, not to mention it had a whiff of mala fide. Also the tears flowing at the press conference of Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei (photo) were self-defeating as was Batu incumbent parliamentarian Tian Chua’s rejoinder to whoever to be careful."

I just want to see who emerges when the dust settles. Demonising Azmin and going all creamy on Anwar and his camp may make good copy, but the reality is, this squabbling in PKR is damaging the idea – that dream, really – that a multiracial political party can survive in Malaysia. Scratch that – the idea a multiracial political party led by Malays can survive in Malaysia.

A non-Malay political operative from PKR who has chosen – so far – to remain, above the fray (or since, as he says, nobody has really noticed that he was elected) shakes his head whenever he talks about the camps in PKR. “We were given the keys to the kingdom and we are squabbling in the courtyard,” he said. Another political operative said that Azmin is spooked, which is why he is making overt statements in the press or through his proxies. “Look, whatever you say about the PKR elections, his camp did better, right? So why shouldn’t the spoils go to them, this sounds crass but where is the fairness?” the political operative said. “…And, Azmin's team has more influence, so this is politics, right?"

Is the press a contributing factor in this fight, a grassroots PKR activist asked me. I answered that political operatives use the press to wage their wars, and the latter is always in need of juicy copy because nobody seems interested in the real stuff.

A 'slaughter'?

I like the preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin and have written favourably about him before, but him saying that Anwar is going to be slaughtered soon by Azmin is the kind of rhetoric that escalates the conflict.

Even if was true, the fact is by saying it, you are demonstrating that you are on the losing end. A confident opponent does not announce his or her vanquishing before it happens. I do not know about anyone else, but I do not want a weak coterie leading a political party because, in the long term, this would be more damaging to Harapan. And this is what the other camp is doing. Painting themselves as weak.

Similarly, Azmin bitching about the new PKR appointments demonstrates that he is spooked by the possible challenge to his ascension. And yes Azmin's camp has the numbers and this is the time for magnanimity, not moving in for the kill.

If Azmin played it right, he would have used this opportunity to close ranks, instead of openly challenging the choices of his party’s president, thus presenting himself as a shrewd leader instead of an usurper. If he doesn’t like Anwar's choices, then by all means take a shot against the king, but he should remember not to miss.

Here and now
And really, what is wrong with Azmin crowing about his achievements over Anwar? Look, even Rafizi (photo) has achievements which are more contemporary to his president’s. Rafizi, and Azmin, are both relevant in a way that seems to elude Anwar.

Politics is essentially a ‘what have you done for me lately’ game, and Anwar – for various reasons – has been out of play. These days, Anwar, unfortunately, says things that spook the non-Malays, while someone like Azmin has been elevated to higher ground, thus commanding a better position.

Maybe this is the deeper implication of this fight. Is Anwar relevant in this political climate? While the Harapan grand poohbah has his loyal and public admirers, Anwar does not, unfortunately. Nor does he have a legacy which he can shake off, unlike the old maverick. In other words, Anwar’s 'sins' are never forgiven, while Mahathir’s seem to be.

And who are the other interested parties in the schisms of PKR? Who benefits most from this squabble? There are people in this government and outside of it who never really liked or trusted Anwar. They view his ascension to the highest office of the land as something calamitous.

So what do they do? They stoke the fires. They start memes that make Anwar look bad, but most of all, they align themselves with personalities so people are always asking, what the hell is going on?

And this is really why the fight within PKR is going to be the deciding factor in the longevity of the Harapan regime.

If, for whatever reason, PKR splits apart, the Harapan regime is in trouble. Trouble in the sense that there will be even more truculence in Malay power structures. When this happens, history has shown that it will affect our democratic institutions.

Honestly, at this point, I do not think that Anwar can maintain any sort of equilibrium between the camps. There seem to be no cooler heads in PKR, because the camps are determined to wipe each other out. Anything Anwar says or does comes off as self-serving, while Azmin has to contend with being the villain out to destroy the Reformasi movement.
Meanwhile, the vultures circle above.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 10:57 AM   0 comments
A neo-BN New Year - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, December 31, 2018
My favorite pic of "Our Great Leader"
Malaysiakini : “For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." (Little Gidding)TS Eliot
COMMENT | Another new year is upon us. I know some people feel as if Pakatan Harapan is the new BN. I have pushed this narrative in nearly all my writings. I desperately sound the alarm bells that Harapan is becoming neo BN – but I do not do this out of spite.
I do this because I come from a generation that saw how BN evolved. A generation that witnessed alliance politics morph into something ugly but more importantly, saw how the public supported a corrupt system out of pragmatism or fear or just plain self-interest. I remember when Lim Kit Siang and the opposition were decimated in one election, and how those of us who were rooting for him were shocked that people did not vote for at least the DAP, which offered something else to the politics that were tearing us apart. However, this is the past. Admittedly, things have changed.
These days I see articulate young leaders toe the party line. I see young leaders more interested in maintaining party discipline, egged on by the base who assume that they speak for all Malaysians.
I see a kind of fascistic patina slowly forming around young leaders more interested in inter-party ascendance than inspiring people – young people especially – that things can change if only you worked hard enough for it. Hate to break it to you but playing the political party game works well on social media but it doesn’t inspire people – especially young people – to vote for the change they want.
It is pointless chronicling the whys and hows of the fall of Najib Abdul Razak. When the old maverick claims that Bersatu was needed in the removal of Najib, I think it is more complicated than that. I think he was needed for the removal of Najib. Dr Mahathir Mohamad always knew how to play the political game better than his comrades in Umno. If Najib had just listened to him, I doubt we would be having this conversation. However, the removal of Najib is more than just the legacy of the old maverick.
It demonstrated that a ruling coalition could fall. I want young people to take note of this. From what I gather, young people are infatuated with the old maverick and while I understand this, I hope the young people who were standing in the sidelines in the 14th general election now understand the future of this country – and more importantly, the power they could wield in determining this future.
Going through my files, I reread an article in the BBC earlier this year about the power young Malaysians have but do not wield. It is an interesting article, not only because it neatly condensed many of the data points that I have put forward concerning the youth vote in this country but it also reminds us that young people have the power to change things.
“If this is genuine lack of interest, it is reflected in one poll by Merdeka Center, an independent Malaysian polling organisation which last year looked at how young people in West Malaysia felt about politics. Merdeka Center found that as many as 70 percent of them do not believe that their vote will bring about tangible changes in the government and don't think their elected representatives really care about people like them.”
Young voters are the key, even if they do not care. Look, while I think that DAP, PKR, and Amanah are making an effort, I also think that there are many young people in Bersatu who know that things need to change. I mean, look at someone like Wan Saiful Wan Jin. Smart guy, but he has to conform to the politics of Bersatu, which is an early Umno pastiche.

Honestly, I tried to give Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (photo) the benefit of the doubt but if someone like Wan Saiful had brought the kind of American-inspired conservatism to Bersatu, which is what he did when he was in Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), this would have been a good thing. Bersatu, whether we like it or not, has the best chance to lead the way but if it continues down this path, we are going down the crapper.
Jostling for power, contracts
Change does not take time. Political will stalls for time. We can move forward slowly or you could convince people that you are moving, but walking slowly on the same spot. I keep getting these clips of the old maverick saying that the education policy needs to change. I keep seeing young and old political operatives in Bersatu talking about how the Malays cannot rely on the tongkat and Bersatu needs to lead the way.
I have heard all this before. Maybe you have too. Take education for instance. Firstly, why doesn’t someone give Azly Rahman a job sorting this mess out, but more importantly, if Bersatu and Harapan have the political will to slowly remove the tongkat and change the education system, they would make some good faith gestures.
First, they would recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC). Then they would do away with Malay-only institutions. They would recognise the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd) for instance, and not in various political ways, propagate the "do not spook the Malays" meme.
What we are hearing from the supposedly closed-door Bersatu AGM is the same game of federal control, of power, through proxies. This is why people are jostling for power, contracts and positions. Decentralise power, which would allow state-level affirmative action programmes for all races. I bet my last ringgit that more Malays would benefit from these programmes than non-Malays, if that is the fear of Malay and non-Malay political operatives.
This way you could name the new agenda the Best Ultra Malay Initiative – BUMI – and nobody would care if everyone was getting the help they need, regardless of race. But everyone knows what separates Bersatu and the far right of Umno and PAS - polemics not policy.
And while I am bitching about policy, this 1am closing time for nightspots in the Federal Territory is the dumbest and I would say a mendacious policy of the Harapan regime. Interfering in business – the price of KFC too high, really? Is it mendacious when you claim we have a trillion ringgit debt?
There is a whole host of small businesses attached to nightclubs, not to mention the traders who service the after-hours crowd in local fare, that would be affected by this malicious rule.
What Harapan is doing is destroying part of the culture of this country. Big City culture and what they want to do is to turn it into what some parts of this country are. Remember this day, because no matter what some people say about closing hours in the West, what we have here are sub rosa moves by the Islamist to slowly impose hegemony, Harapan style. This is just the beginning.
Who knows what the following year will bring in the permutations of Malay power. Frogs jumping, political opponents having lunch, internecine conflicts among Malay brokers in the major parties.
In this climate, do you blame people for feeling jaded and thinking that nothing changes?
I have two hopes for the new year. The first that young people discover the power they wield. And the second that the people who supported Harapan pressure the government so it does not become another BN.
Have a productive new year, Malaysia, whoever you are.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 11:07 AM   0 comments
Vizu Polls On Our Great Leader, is finally being removed from this blog Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Remember, this polls
What would you consider the former PM of Malaysia Tun (Dr) Mahathir Mohamad to be?
This will be his legacy when he kicks the bucket. Well, apparently the last day for Vizu Polls is on the 21st December 2012. So as not to screw up, I have removed it with effect today.
A total of 16,254 people responded.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 11:04 AM   0 comments
The ugly propagandisation of Adib's death - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, December 29, 2018
Abasir : Parts of what I had commented elsewhere may be worth repeating here. I did not know the late Adib or how he would have taken his unintended "martyrdom". But let me tell you how I feel about this shameless utilisation of a dead man by unscrupulous, self-serving muslims. Hundreds (or is it thousands) of innocents were mercilessly killed by marauding mobs 50 years ago between May 13-16 1969 and they remain unknown and unmourned except by close family and friends.
While the exact number of those butchered has been buried by those who actually enabled the rampage and profited politically by it, none of those cruel deaths then evoked the same (or any) kind of high profile, televised and mass-communicated mourning we witness for Adib today. Instead what followed then were sponsored "durian parties" organised to kill off the stench of the blood and gore in and around KL.

As for today's serialised grieving which has become de rigueur for politicians and their well-heeled benefactors to demonstrate, could it be they, as well as those inclined to follow rabble rousers into the streets, have all developed a deep sense of moral outrage and have become that much more empathetic and moved to a steady stream of tears by man's inhumanity to man? Or is the truth slightly less dramatic and more plausible? 

Would I be wrong to declare that the ethnicity of the fallen Adib and his alleged tormentors have as much to do with this spasmodic lamentation as the absence of any such weeping following the death of Teoh Beng Hock when in the custody of his Malay captors? Or the six Indians killed by Malay hordes in Kg. Medan in 2001? Or should we assume that in Bersatu's "New Malaysia" such ostentatious expressions of photographed grief will now be the new norm regardless of who is killed by whoever? Seriously, the country is sicker than it has ever been and this charade is the best indicator of the inglorious end that's in store.

Falcon : Perhaps Commander sir, we should also ask these self appointed political race based bourgeoisie fascist narrators what about those missing pastors? Is that question not important as well in their self serving self righteous world?
Malaysiakini : “This inquest is a good thing and it can bring justice for Adib, in fact, that is what we want, justice for Adib.” - Mohd Kassim Abdul Hamid (Adib's father)
COMMENT | While the father of Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim approves of the inquest into his son’s death, numerous parties have chosen this opportunity to propagandise Adib's death in furtherance of racial and religious agendas. Acting Umno president Mohamad Hasan, for instance, criticised the move for this inquest claiming rather bizarrely that an investigation into the cause of death was not the same as figuring out who killed Adib.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia are puzzled over this need for an inquest and took the opportunity to claim that attorney-general Tommy Thomas was “confused”. Did movers and shakers on the far right – including those in Pakatan Harapan – show the same concern for those firefighters who drowned or the boys who were brutally killed in a religious school? Of course, while everyone claims that this case is not about race, the reality is that it is. The propagandisation of the death of this firefighter brings up some uncomfortable questions. For instance.
Would Adib or his family approve of the racist remarks against a minister in the cabinet? Would Adib or his family approve of that hateful rally on Christmas day? Would Adib or his family approve of the provocateurs using the memory of Adib to incite hatred against the other communities here in Malaysia? Please keep in mind that the statements made by Azwanddin Hamzah are in reality waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Because that is what threatening to attack a police station is. What do you think the “Royal” in PDRM stands for?
Then, of course, there is the Arabic text of “Allah” and “Muhammad” in the flag plus the insignia of the PDRM which means that by attacking a police station, Azwanddin is also symbolically attacking, disrespecting or inciting rebellion against the state-sponsored religion which is Islam.
What do Umno or the Muslims Lawyers' Association think of this? When P Uthayakumar made statements which were deemed treasonous against the state, he was hauled up and jailed. Why isn’t Azwanddin (below) being investigated for waging war against the Agong and why not for sedition too since nobody seems interested in the moratorium Harapan has imposed on this law? I guess activists are easy targets, but when someone actually threatens attacks against a royal institution, we should just let this slide.
Why hasn't the palace made a statement condemning this attack against its sovereignty and “advised” the state security apparatus to take action? I have no idea if Adib or his family approve of these things. I have no idea beyond the pathetic attempts by politicians to use Adib’s death to either wage war against the Harapan regime or to demonstrate that the Harapan regime – especially non-Malay political operatives – sympathise with the family and the sacrifice of this young man.
I would like to think that like any decent Malaysian, Adib would not have approved of people using his name as a means to spew racism against a current cabinet member. I would like to think that like any decent Malaysian, Adib would not have approved of a mob using the religious holiday of a minority to spread fear and hate. I would like to think that Adib, like any other decent Malaysian, would not approve of his name being used to wage war on the PDRM, which is waging war on the king, and insulting the state-sponsored religion.
You useless politicians
But this is Malaysia. We have Bersatu which claims that only it can protect Malay rights. When people say that Adib is a hero for all Malaysians, the question becomes, are all Malaysians equal in this country? Heroes transcend the banalities of race and politics, the truly great ones anyway - so let's not play this game.
Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Geras) president Abu Bakar Mohamed said that he did not agree with the treasonous and racist speech made by Azwanddin. Really? If you did not believe in it, why hold this rally on Christmas Day? Why demand the resignation of a cabinet minister when there are no grounds for his dismissal? Why use race and religion as a pretext to wage war against Harapan when the fact is that the Harapan regime is desperately attempting to contain this situation?

Do the people who attended this rally really care about Adib? They obviously do not care about the PDRM because they were willing to attack a police station if their demands were not met. When Azwanddin made those threats and the people cheered him on, they all became terrorists attempting to attack an institution of democracy.
Here is an important question. If the "rioters" at Seafield USJ25 are being hauled up and charged, why not those who endorsed the attack on a police station? Why weren't there numerous arrests of people who attended that rally?
Look, I do not care if this terrorist (Azwanddin) used racist language against de facto unity minister P Waythamoorthy. He can say whatever he likes. He can demand the resignation of Waytha and he can certainly hold a rally on Christmas Day when he knows that people are celebrating love and fellowship. What he cannot do is wage war against the king. What he cannot do is threaten to attack our democratic institutions. What he cannot do is demand the government accede to his wishes or he will attack a police station.
But maybe he can do this. Maybe he can wage war against the Agong. Maybe he can threaten the safety of police officers. Maybe he can threaten death and destruction and get away with it.
And what would happen if these rebels attacked a police station? What would happen if the personnel in the police station defended themselves against this attack? What would happen if lethal force was used and some of these agitators were killed? Whose responsibility would this be? Would Azwanddin take responsibility? How would Adib's family feel about their son’s name being used for an attack on a police station? Or would people just blame the Indian minister?
You useless politicians, you created this mess. When Bersatu and the other morons demanded the resignation of Waytha, you validated the beliefs of people like Azwanddin who are confident enough to wage war against the king by threatening to attack a police station.
All these Malay political operatives and activists who use Adib’s name to further their racist agenda, do they really care about the state of our firefighters? They threaten to attack police stations but do they really care about the level of training, the sometimes dire facilities and systemic problems facing the PDRM and the emergency services? They do not give a hoot about all of this, only that they would use the name and memory of a dead firefighter to advance their fascists agendas.
No matter how you try to spin it, the legacy of Adib, especially among rational, thinking Malaysians, is one of divisiveness and political opportunism.
The Malay far-right, with the assistance of Bersatu and other Harapan political operatives, in attempting to make him some sort of martyr, saw to this.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 10:40 AM   0 comments
My picks for the top 5 newsmakers of 2018 - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, December 24, 2018
Good one Commander! A very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and all the people you love. 🎉🍻🥂🍷🍸🍾🍺💐🥃 God bless!!!
Malaysiakini :“Show me a hero, and I'll write you a tragedy.” – F Scott Fitzgerald, Notebook E
COMMENT | This year, when compiling my top five newsmakers and news stories, I thought I would do something different. These are not the obvious choices of top newsmakers, and comprise those who got lost in the toxic brew of dashed expectations and cynical political manoeuvrings of the news cycle.
I am loath to give politicians any more publicity, even on my meagre platform. As far as I am concerned, the Pakatan Harapan government has no excuses for not carrying out their reform agenda.
They have controlled states, and supposedly have the experience, but what we have been witness to is an endless succession of politically motivated stalling tactics, embraced most often by partisan fervour.
I would like to think these five newsmakers remind us of who we are, but more importantly, where we are as a country. The fact that this list includes three people who are not with us anymore is – or should be – a stark reminder that who and where we are at the moment means that we should stop dreaming about a New Malaysia, but open our eyes and confront the Malaysia before us. In no particular order, here are my picks for the top five newsmakers.
M Indira Ghandi
Supposing someone kidnapped your child, what would you do? Supposing this was done on religious grounds? Supposing the state chose not to help you because it needed to reinforce the primacy of the state sponsored religion? What would you do?

Even now, the state refuses to codify laws that would put a stop to such kidnappings, hiding behind legal precedents in a cowardly manner to safeguard religious and racial interests. 
I honestly have no idea how M Indira Gandhi and her family continue with their long struggle to find their missing family member while the state claims ignorance. How do politicians live with themselves? How do their supporters rationalise their anointed inaction? There will be no grand gestures for someone like Indira and her family. They are alone in New Malaysia.
From my vantage point – “What do we get? We get a law minister who more or less washes his hands of this case. We get someone like Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran, who did a lot for this case, but who now says dumb things like he not being able to be 'directly involved in the case,' and that it would be "improper to interfere in another minister's portfolio."
Fadiah Nadwa Fikri
The continued attacks by a state which is slipping into a kind of fascism is shocking not only because of its hypocrisy – which is expected in a fascist enterprise – but also because the state understands the danger posed by people like lawyer and activist Fadiah Nadwa Fikri.

Most often politicians are gutless. They hide their cowardice behind concepts like pragmatism and consensus, but the reality is that they are just as invested in the system as the foes they demonise.
Fadiah’s dialectic – as with that of Maryam Lee, for instance – is the finger to the establishment and its partisans who view change as detrimental to their interests. I believe we will see more persecutions by the state against individuals like Fadiah.  But the reality is, that if more people speak up like Fadiah or support Fadiah, then there could be a New Malaysia.
From my vantage point – (Fadiah in her own words) "Any attempt to break the fortress built around this existing system in order to democratise the space for people to assert their political existence is often met with harsh criticism and rebuke. As a result, the power to shape the future and direction of the country remains in the hands of the privileged few, thus further alienating the voices of the many, in particular the marginalised. Genuine democracy which seeks to place people at its heart therefore remains out of reach."
Pastor Raymond Koh
Not just the pastor Raymon Koh but also, Amri Che Mat, Joshua Hilmy and his wife, Ruth Sitepu. Who made them vanish? Why isn't the Harapan state interested in discovering who made these Malaysians disappear? I suspect that the truth may be too shocking for the rakyat.

What is extremely worrying is that if state actors were involved, they are operating with impunity.  What would happen if more people vanish? How would the Harapan state handle this? Are there secrets that should be left buried or does the truth set us free? The disappearance of Koh is a festering wound that points to something deep and malicious in the corridors of power.
From my vantage point –“Whoever these people are they were confident that the narratives of the state security apparatus would shield them from whatever repercussions of the former Umno state and, here is the important part, may very well shield them from the sanctions of the Pakatan Harapan regime.”
Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim
Who was Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, the young man who died carrying out his duties? We will never know. As we will probably never know of the people who carried him to safety. These people are not part of the narrative.

The death of Adib has been used by politicians in Harapan, Umno and PAS as a means to carry out the old agendas that are running this country. The propagandising of the death of the young firefighter is perhaps the most shameful act in this new Malaysia. It has stripped bare the politicians who claim that they have the interests of the rakyat a heart, but in reality have only their own.
It demonstrates the lie, that non-Malays are equal citizens of this country or in whatever political structures they cling to. This is a horrendous legacy for a young man, whose family deserves better.
From my vantage point – "The real perpetrators of this crime are going unpunished. The people who attacked Adib should be brought to justice. No doubt about it. However what of the people who caused this riot? What about the people who paid Malay thugs to trespass onto a place of worship? What of the state security apparatus which failed to provide a credible answer to response times to contradict eyewitness reports?"
J Soosaimanicckam
A young man wants to serve his country. He comes from a community which has been portrayed as not interested in serving the country. Remember what veteran newsman A Kadir Jasin once said - "Perhaps there is wisdom in getting more Chinese and Indians to join the armed forces so that they too can die for one Malaysia.”

How the Naval Establishment reacts to the death of J Soosaimanicckam has been shocking. There have been no grand pronouncements by interested parties, because nobody cares that young men die in service. 
This is not a non-Malay thing. This is a Malaysian thing. Young Malaysians – Malays and non-Malays – have died in the system for a variety of reasons and nobody cares. Nobody cares because politically, it means very little. 
This is even more dangerous in Malaysia because the system is set up along racial and religious lines, and the establishment has a history of cover-ups and denials. As long as the system is set up this way, I would be very careful in encouraging our young people to serve the state security apparatus. Some people may not like me saying this, but someone has to.
From my vantage point – "This kind of thinking is the foundation on which corrupt systems thrive. These deaths and the corruption endemic in these types of systems carry on because the public is more interested in the scandals and corruption of the political elite. The death of Altantuya Shaariibuu holds more public interest than the murder of servicemen."
Next up, my top news stories of the year. Merry Christmas Malaysia, whoever you are.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:11 AM   0 comments
Scapegoating Waythamoorthy is another temple riot crime - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Friday, December 21, 2018
Malaysiakini : COMMENTTherefore, PAS demands that Waythamoorthy accepts full 'social and moral' responsibility and resigns with immediate effect. – PAS
Read that quote again. What PAS is attempting to do is pin the blame of the death of a firefighter and the temple riots on an Indian minister of the current government. PAS just stopped short of saying that P Waythamoorthy is legally liable for the death of Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim and the riots at Seafield, USJ 25, Selangor. Meanwhile, Penang exco Afif Bahardin said that Waytha had failed to forge unity and that there were better Malaysians that could handle the job. Bersatu Youth national security bureau chief Mahathir Mohd Rais offered a garbled message: "Yes, we are united but if unity that was supposed to be your priority and portfolio is being made secondary, history could repeat itself and we will sink just like those before us.” Of which the meaning eludes me but I assume he meant that Waytha had spooked the Malays.
To understand Takiyuddin Hassan’s moral compass, please refer to my piece dismissing his odious argument that, “'Muslim converts suffered for the past 10 to 20 years' – What does this really mean? The civil courts ostensibly apply to all Malaysians equally. This idea of conflict with the syariah courts is merely code for the reality that the syariah courts favour the Muslim. So, it is not justice that the Muslim is seeking but preferential treatment conferred by religion.” Afif Bahardin claimed that there are better Malaysians who could assume the mantle but failed to note that Waytha’s so-called failure was disputing the false police narrative at the time that the riots were caused by two groups of Indians. Since when is correcting falsehoods a threat to unity?

Professor P Ramasamy as usual points to the mendacity of those asking for Waytha’s resignation, “Should Wathyamoorthy and other Indian leaders resign for making a correct analysis of the situation and for correcting the police?” Khairy Jamaluddin, on the other hand, claims that Waytha has managed to bring the "people" together in unity over calls for his resignation. Yes, all stripes of racial supremacists in Pakatan Harapan, Umno, PAS and Bersatu are swarming around like bees attempting to get him fired. The fact that KJ even sarcastically claims that Waytha and Maszlee Malik are assets for the opposition just goes to show you that people like KJ are using the death of a firefighter for political gain. 
Same goes for Bersatu Youth leader Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who no doubt has to boost his racial and religious credentials and finds an easy target in Waytha. The next time racial tensions flare up, I wonder if the new minister - if Waytha is kicked out, that is - will be held to the same standards as Waytha. Mind you, all he did was counter the false narrative of the police. We can be reasonably sure the next minister will just keep his or her mouth shut and allow falsehoods to continue in the name of unity.
The question people should be asking is why are some political operatives calling for the resignation of Waytha. The answer, of course, is that scapegoating this Indian minister allows them to shift the focus away from the cause of the riots and score points with their far-right base. It re-establishes the narratives that disharmony was caused by the non-Malays and that the ruling regime, in this case, Harapan, is the cause of racial and religious disharmony in this country. This is what happens (they claim) when non-Malays have too much power in the federal government.
What does this official narrative sound like? When it comes to the state security apparatus and Indians, for instance, it sounds like something from the mouth of former Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, one-time Home Minster. Zahid once said about 28,000 of more than 40,000 gang members were identified as Indian Malaysians and there was nothing wrong in arresting them. "What is the situation of robbery victims, murder victims during shootings? Most of them are our Malays. Most of them are our race,” he said. "I think the best way is that we no longer compromise with them. There is no need to give them any more warning. If (we) get the evidence, (we) shoot first.”
Make no mistake So do people understand why questioning the narratives of the state security apparatus the way Waytha did is verboten to people who are calling for Waytha’s resignation and the probable heads of all these Indian minsters? We are talking about ideology. Facts do not matter when it comes to ideologies based on racial supremacy.

Consider this. If Waytha is forced to resign, this would be another victory for the Malay far right. This would mean that Waytha does take moral and social responsibility for the death of Adib and the riots that occurred. And if Waytha is removed, this would mean that Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran and Land, Water and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar are as culpable, morally and socially as Waytha in the death of Adib and the riots at USJ 25.
That is if we are to believe Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki. However, do you know what is really horrifying in all this scapegoating? The real perpetrators of this crime are going unpunished. The people who attacked Adib should be brought to justice. No doubt about it. However what of the people who caused this riot? What about the people who paid Malay thugs to trespass onto a place of worship? What of the state security apparatus which failed to provide a credible answer to response times to contradict eyewitness reports?
It is sometimes much easier scapegoating Indian political operatives in the Harapan regime because, as I have argued before, they are low-hanging fruit. Non-Malay political operatives are caught in a bind. A defence of Waytha means that they are dishonouring the sacrifice of Adib or worse, they see no value in defending an unelected minister who has a history of dissent against their political parties and personalities.
Make no mistake. The real criminals in these riots, the people who are morally and socially responsible for the death of Adib, are walking around with no worry that the state will come after them. What they have are political operatives who propagandise the death of Adib in furtherance of racial and religious agendas to weaken a democratically-elected government.
Add to it, this democratically-elected government does not have the political will nor the scrotal fortitude to withstand these attacks but instead is looking for an easy way out no doubt fuelled by the very same ideologies of those attacking Waytha. To undertake otherwise would be to confront the nexus of crime between corporate entities, the state security apparatus and, most probably, political power. Not to mention confront an ideology that forms the basis of political power in this country. Much easier to just sack or call for the resignation of an Indian minister.
Ramasamy ends his piece with this, “Wathyamoorthy, on his part, must pluck up the courage to defend his stand on the temple matter. Don’t expect Mahathir to come to the defence.” I ended my piece when Waytha was attacked for his statements about Icerd with this, “In this new Malaysia, if you advocate egalitarianism or anything that stifles the discriminatory system (even if you are left holding the bag), you are on your own”.
Waythaya's scapegoating is another crime from the riots of Seafield. Here we know who the perpetrators are.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:53 AM   0 comments
There's something about Nurul Izzah and Latheefa - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Malaysiakini : "People are expecting a lot from us, so I always take my position that if you can't be that voice of conscience, then what good are you? I try my best to remind myself and everyone else of the key concerns." – Nurul Izzah Anwar
"PKR needs to realise that it is now part of the federal government, charged with no less a task than instituting reforms and properly governing the nation. Hence, it must uphold the highest and best democratic practices.” – Latheefa Koya
COMMENT | The resignation of Nurul Izzah Anwar from her posts in PKR and the government is an interesting development in this New Malaysia. While Nurul Izzah has made clear the reasons for this course of action, the rumour mills are in overdrive blaming the schisms within PKR for her decision.
Numerous people from both camps have been calling and texting me, hoping I would contribute to the narrative; I just tune all that nonsense out. As far as I am concerned, Nurul Izzah did the strategic thing in resigning. The current political climate is toxic. Not only are we witness to the reshaping of political parties for hegemonic agendas, we are also witness to a level of hypocrisy and sycophancy not seen before in Malaysian politics. Stepping out of the fray hopefully brings clarity.
Nurul Izzah is no ordinary politician. I do not mean this in some sort of messianic way that her supporters are wont to believe.  She is the daughter of a former establishment figure turned dissident turned political prisoner. Her parents – although some now claim otherwise – are the architects of the removal of Umno from power.
For better or worse, the story of her family is her story. There is no running away from that, as there is no running away from the fact that her parents are influential figures in PKR. 
This is not to say that Nurul Izzah did not do the hard work that got her to where she is today. Familial dynasties in politics is a brutal game unless you are Muhkriz from clan Mahathir, where your old man is thought to be the messiah who would save Malaysia.
Nurul Izzah occupies that heady terrain of young Malay leadership that will one day – very soon – determine the direction of this country. While people are free to speculate on the “real” reasons she has chosen this course of action, it is all smoke and mirrors anyway.
Stepping out of the fray
There is a deeper game played and strategically, Nurul Izzah made the right move by stepping out of the fray. By severing the strings from the levers of power within her party, hopefully she will now be free to criticise her party and the government when needed.
And, of course, we will all be waiting to see how Malay power structures and personalities settle after the dust clears in the ongoing unerklärter Krieg (undeclared war) between Bersatu, PKR and Umno. Remember, the factionalism within PKR is not solely confined to personalities within the party. The reality is that there are many interested cabals who have agendas of their own in seeing that the party remains chaotic.
It benefits other political parties when PKR president Anwar Ibrahim is always on the defensive. Not to mention Anwar having his own coterie of allies outside the party. Does Anwar carry self-inflicted wounds? Yes. However, we should not underestimate the machinations of others in the turmoil within PKR. 
With her resignation, Nurul Izzah can hopefully step away from all of this and concentrate for the time being on speaking up for the idealists in this country – because the pragmatists are bending over backwards for neo-BN policies and, of course, for the disenfranchised in this country.
And when I say 'disenfranchised', I mean those people who did not vote for Pakatan Harapan but who are shackled by the system. I mean the rural heartland who are agitated that they are out of the political process when they assumed they were the political process. I am talking about marginalised communities who do not have a voice in the system.
And who knows what permutations will come from young Malay political operatives? Anything is better than the diseased dreams of old powerbrokers clinging to power and hoodwinking people into believing theirs is the only way.
Partisan fury
Meanwhile, Latheefa Koya has again become the focus of the ire of partisans who claimed that her statement about the appointments of PKR state chiefs is disturbing – in particular, Anwar's heavy-handedness and the strong whiff of nepotism in Nurul Izzah’s appointment as Penang chief.
On Anwar’s legitimate claim to throne, I wrote this previously –“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.”
On Monday, Latheefa said: "After a scandal-ridden and disgraceful party election process, these appointments (of state chiefs) only further erode public regard and confidence in PKR.” 
This is echoed in statements made by Nurul Izzah in November – who acknowledged the strained relationships in PKR when the press caught her looking “distraught” after the party polls. “Of course anyone would be distraught. People should be focusing on strengthening our party, I don't like to see us having gone through such a difficult and arduous (voting) process, which is flawed.”
Of course, a flawed electoral process begets a compromised leadership, which begets a suspect decision-making process. It really does not matter if Latheefa belongs to a faction or doesn't make her allegiances – if any – public knowledge. What is important is whether what she is claiming is factual. And by the looks of it, it is. 
Already, anonymous cretins are making personal attacks, referring to her complexion and attempting to make this about an evil dark-skinned crone and a fair princess. This is the level that some anonymous Harapan cretins stoop to in the alternative press and on social media. These are the proponents of New Malaysia.
Greater transparency
Sometimes, transparency benefits certain parties or factions, but it most often benefits the people who want a different form of government and a different form of political party.
Only the most toxic partisan would use this opportunity to champion personalities, when the reality is that political operatives and their parties should always be scrutinised – because any quest to consolidate power necessarily includes manipulating democratic processes at the expense of the rakyat.
Someone asked me what I think of Nurul Izzah and Latheefa. I told her, I do not know them. I distrust most politicians, and these days, the stakes are much higher because Umno is imploding, and Malay power structures, for the first time ever, have to fight for their very existence. Anything can happen.
What I do think is that even with all this unfolding drama, Nurul Izzah and Latheefa are part of a solution, not part of the problem.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 3:13 PM   0 comments

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