Articles, Opinions & Views: Harsh reality of the new Najib refuseniks party by Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
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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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Harsh reality of the new Najib refuseniks party by Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
Friday, August 05, 2016
Malaysiakini : “The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.”
- Confucius

COMMENT When I interviewed former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he still believed Umno was worth saving
He said, “So the thing to do really is to change the people, not change the organisation. You can change the organisation slightly in order to avoid abuses, but no matter how well you word the constitution, the laws, the rules, there will be people who will abuse, interpret it in a different way and abuse the provisions. So we are seeing people who want to change the organisation structure, but the fault is the people who run it.”
The facts on the ground change, and because the refuseniks working in concert with a terribly fractured opposition have not been able to dislodge Chairman Najib, other stratagems have to be employed.
With this new party fronted by former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, it is clear that Mahathir no longer thinks that Umno is worth saving. While I have no problem with this sentiment, I think it strange that the former prime minster claims that it is the people running Umno who were at fault but creates a new organisation with some of those same people who were running Umno.
Commenting that there was no salvation amongst the Najib refuseniks, I took exception to Muhyiddin’s contention that Umno had lost its fighting spirit - “What fighting spirit is he talking about? Until recently, Umno has never had to fight for anything. An ineffective opposition, electoral sleights of hand and the reality that Umno buys its way out of every problem, has made Umno a cartel answerable only to itself.”
Now I have no problem with politicians having a road to Damascus moment. Indeed, when another former deputy premier, Anwar Ibrahim, had his and his subsequent tribulations, my scepticism went hand in hand with the optimism he generated by his actions and rhetoric. In those early days, he was much better at building bridges and despite what his detractors claim; he redefined the political landscape and made the opposition a viable alternative to the Umno regime.
However, Muhyiddin’s newfound political activism is a little different. While Anwar made it clear that he wanted to supplant Umno by creating a Malay-dominated multiracial party, Muhyiddin “wanted to exhaust all internal party channels to voice their criticisms against the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak" before burning his bridges. In other words, he was not interested in changing the system but merely waiting to see that if he could still work the system. This has always been about redefining ‘Malay’ power structures with Umno as the centre of gravity.
New platform?
Others may have a different view but keep in mind that my standards were never that high. I never wanted a Utopia, I just prayed and still do that we do not become another Karachi. Which brings me to what student group Challenger leader Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and newly-minted Gang of Seven member said, “We need a new platform now. The most important thing is that we want to form a new party that will not repeat mistakes made in the past."
Syed, a young and articulate Malaysiakini columnist, has written many thoughtful and progressive pieces on the Malaysian political landscape and no doubt, and he will elaborate on his role in this new political party but... Here is the thing though. The sight of seven Malays attempting to portray himself or herself as some sort of vanguard by forming a new party does not really inspire confidence or indeed is anything remotely revolutionary.
Indeed, the only reason why this party came to be is that the Najib refuseniks did not gain any traction within Umno. Removing Najib as prime minster is a goal but not the only goal.  Former prime minister and now party chairperson Mahathir said, “If Najib is there, the opposition will suffer. If Najib is there, even Umno will suffer, the whole country will suffer. I think the opposition is not supporting me, they are interested in removing Najib. I have the same interest. It is okay to work together - only on that issue, not on other issues.”
Having the same interests and “not repeating the mistakes of the past” are mutually exclusive. I would argue - and having read pieces by Syed Saddiq - he seems more interested in the latter, which ultimately would put him and anyone else interested in the same at odds with most Umno people and the greatest irony of all, most members of the opposition. Hinting at the shape to come of this “new” party, the former deputy prime minister said, “This party will be more democratic, progressive, dynamic, with Islam, fight for the people including the Malays and so on” which sounds comfortingly like the model of that old Umno car which needs to be changed.
There has always been a dearth of dynamic Malay leadership and while I welcome anyone stepping up, ideally they should bring something new to the game. The last time I referenced ‘Malay’ leadership, I wrote, “This would mean Malay politicians and personalities getting off their backsides and actually working the ground and mobilising support. It would mean ‘Malay’ leadership acting maturely and not descending into juvenile behaviour in an attempt to be perceived as ‘Malay’ or ‘Muslim’. It would mean Malay leadership putting aside their differences, acting in the best interests of their community instead of their political parties, and coming together - to borrow the prime minister's word - in a 'Malay tsunami' against the regime.”
However, attempting to create a new Malay power structure - and I am assuming it is a new Malay power structure - when there are already numerous alternatives in place using the same Umno is unproductive. We do not need another oppositional political party that advocates the removal of Chairman Najib. What the Umno refuseniks need to do is work with the opposition without causing any more political fissures.
Do I think it is a good idea to work with Mahathir? Absolutely. At this moment of time, he is the de facto opposition leader of this country no matter what his detractors claim and he brings with him a wealth of experience in dealing with Umno that could be very useful to an opposition that does not even seem capable of organising an orgy in a brothel. However in its quest to remove Chairman Najib, the opposition has a history of helping build political Trojan horses that are used against it.
Anyone remember ‘PAS for All’?
However, if the idea is not to repeat past mistakes, the route is the same. Work with the opposition and advocate policies that are anathema to Umno but which would benefit Malaysians, which includes the disenfranchised Malay polity. Radicalise the Malay community by advocating ideas that would make any red shirt clad Malay nationalist quiver with rage because it comes from former Umno power brokers.
The problem here is not a dearth of platforms but rather a dearth of new ideas. Ultimately, removing Najib would prove easier than not repeating past mistakes.
posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 7:42 PM  

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