Articles, Opinions & Views: So what if Utusan is anti-DAP? - 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

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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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So what if Utusan is anti-DAP? - By Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, August 28, 2017
Malaysiakini : “We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.” ― John Stuart Mill, 'On Liberty'
Ketuanan Melayu
COMMENT | So, Utusan Malaysia has “congratulated” Malaysiakini on its supposed immunity to state sanction because of its readers' comments that are "wild and slanderous." While I happen to think that many of the comments Malaysiakini chooses not to highlight are indeed “wild and slanderous,” this is the natural consequence of free speech.
To argue that Malaysiakini is immune from state sanction misses the point. Malaysiakini and its editors have been subject to state intervention countless times and the most recent intervention was when Malaysiakini was merely reporting the news.
In defending Malaysiakini during this latest assault on the free press, I wrote – “When simply reporting what was said is considered offensive, obscene or false, the whole charade that this is a democratic country comes tumbling down like a deck of cards. When a journalist is barred from reporting what was said or done, this truly becomes the ‘see no evil and hear no evil’ profession that old-school journalists have been struggling against for years.”
Of course, going after readers' comments is like shooting fish in a barrel. The fact that establishment propagandists often times use racist and slanderous comments of certain anonymous subscribers in their propaganda pieces seems to escape this establishment paper. It apparently also escapes these subscribers who then wonder why race relations in this country are so bad.
In an environment where competing racial narratives are the norm, readers' comments, either pro-establishment or pro-opposition, are train wrecks where people express their true feelings under the cloak of anonymity. While rancid racial discussions are sometimes punctuated with nuanced asides, the reality is that people want to express themselves without filters because mainstream politicians and demagogues do so in the mainstream press without filters or sanctions.
Utusan’s claim that Malaysiakini is pro-DAP is about as useful as not acknowledging that Utusan is anti-DAP. By this, I mean that Utusan and Malaysiakini both have their biases which are ultimately irrelevant so long as the state does not favour one over the other. Since the state does favour Utusan, this leaves Malaysiakini as one of the few 'independent' – even if allegedly pro-opposition – media outlets in the country.
Do not take my word for it. Here is what Utusan Malaysia’s deputy chief editor Mohd Zaini Hassan said in a forum organised by Biro Tata Negara: “In our style of writing, we have facts, spin and one more – blatant lies. From the point of psychological warfare, let’s not follow ‘blatant lies’, let’s not write lies. Spin we can; no matter how we spin a certain fact to be biased in our favour, that’s okay.” Furthermore, the editor said: "But we over here, I apologise for having to say this, if there is no money, things don’t work.”
But it goes beyond that. To the best of my knowledge – and I am sure the editorial board would correct me if I am wrong – Malaysiakini has never silenced establishment politicians from promoting their agendas on Malaysiakini. This is markedly different from the mainstream news outlets that routinely silence voices that do not conform to official narratives.
Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)’s Nora Nordin claimed that Malaysiakini was creating an uneasy atmosphere in society by not filtering the comments published on the website. This, of course, is total horse manure. It would have been better if Utusan Malaysia and these experts pointed out what these unfiltered comments either by subscribers or Malaysiakini writers were that caused this uneasiness in society.
Since Utusan has chosen not to give examples, allow me to point to the anti-DAP narratives of Utusan. In a piece titled "Kebencian Dr M Untungkan DAP," the writer, makes the pro-Umno claims that:
1. Former prime minister is betraying “ketuanan” ideology by aligning with the DAP.
2. The DAP is attempting to supplant Malay leadership in this country.
3. Malay “leaders” aligned with the DAP are in fact beholden to the DAP.
4. Malays would ultimately be serfs in their lands even if they have the title of “tuan,” because of the fracture within the Malay community.
Whether this causes “unease” in society depends on what demographic you are attempting to reach. While some folks would find this offensive, obviously the people who subscribe to these views believe that this is the existential threat facing their community.
Meanwhile I have my own take on 'Malay' politics which no doubt would cause unease in readers of Utusan Malaysia - the red-shirts and the futility of Malay privilege – “What is lost and what Umno fears are remnants of a Malay polychromatic past, which emblems like flags and literature are slowing resurfacing which reminds the Malay community of their diverse past. How this lost past is slowly being reintroduced into the community and influencing the Malay community is beyond the scope of this piece and perhaps beyond my ability to articulate.” The problem is not that people are saying things which some find upsetting; the problem has always been that the state favours one narrative over another. When we are forced to communicate in such an environment, only the worst from either side are given prominence.
I do not really blame Utusan for doing what it does. But what really bothers me is when the so-called progressive forces in this country attempt to silence dissent and tar anyone who disagrees with the opposition as Umno stooges. That is really the most disturbing aspect in this propaganda war.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 3:52 PM  
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