Articles, Opinions & Views: Rohingya row - a rabbit hole we should cease burrowing into - 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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Rohingya row - a rabbit hole we should cease burrowing into - By Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, September 11, 2017
Malaysiakini : “Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.” - Oscar Wilde, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’
COMMENT | If you are easily “triggered”, please stop reading this article. The cause célèbre amongst ethno-nationalists and liberal types is the plight of the Rohingya refugees. In the former, their support is based on religious solidarity (with the exception of the ruling elite, more on that later), and the latter, as a means to dispel perceptions that they are Islamophobic (the quote that begins this piece is aimed at this group).
Both sides are hypocritical and are a danger to the security of this country where race and religion are used to bolster support in diverse political bases and external stimuli could be the basis of homegrown terrorism.

Those interested should read my piece here, where I alluded to the regional implications, not to mention the hypocrisy of the Umno regime when it comes to the “plight” of the Rohingyas – “The plight of the Rohingya is more than just misery porn from Umno and PAS political elites. To treat it as just another propaganda tactic to bolster Malay/Muslim solidarity and detract from financial scandals hides the very real security issues this country faces.”
The reality is that the Rohingya issue is essentially an issue of identity politics, political and religious malfeasance. There have been numerous “oppressed” peoples who have sought shelter in this country and because they were not “Muslims” they offered no political or religious capital. What we are dealing with here is not solely a question of humanitarian crisis, but especially in Malaysia, the more important question of regional stability.
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 double speak 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 acknowledgment (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.
Nur Jazlan is only half right though. While the possible influx of seasoned combatants is something the government and the people of Malaysia should be worried about, the more important question is the radicalisation of refugees that come here for sanctuary but find themselves pawns in a domestic game of Islamic one-upmanship, and of course, the greater international Islamic extremism with designs on this region.
Add to this the radical homegrown elements that use Malaysia as a base of operations and who have successfully managed to radicalise disenfranchised youths (here and abroad), and you have a possible cocktail of violence that threatens to consume not only the country but the region. Think about this for a moment.
Vortex of hate and violence
When we hear of “foreign” fighters fighting for the caliphate, we view Malaysians as dupes who for whatever moronic reasons are sucked into a religious vortex of hate and violence which is anathema to most people in this country. The reality is that there is a growing trend of Malaysians who are power brokers in these death cults, who use the “oppression” of their brethren as an excuse to wage holy war in foreign lands.
Take this case, for instance. The New York Times ran a fascinating piece – "He aimed to fight in Syria. ISIS had a broader plan: Southeast Asia" – about a young Indonesian (Yoki Pratama Windyarto) who was recruited by a Malaysian (Mahmud Ahmad) and was eventually “martyred” in the Philippines.
“Dr Mahmud appears to be senior to anyone operating in Indonesia, meaning whatever the intergroup frictions, all recognise a chain of command within the ISIS hierarchy that they are obliged to obey by virtue of their oath,” the report says.
So, this idea that the authorities and some groups wish to play up that people involved in terrorist activities here in Malaysia are merely misinformed or taken up by “ajaran sesat” is false. This deflects from the real issue of that there are extremists in the country who are not only enablers of terrorism but also proactive in recruiting and waging war on behalf of their Islamic State (IS) masters in foreign lands.
Furthermore, we have a huge undocumented Bangladeshi population here in Malaysia and this too should be of concern because homegrown Bangladeshi extremist groups have also shown interest in fighting for their Rohingya brethren. So, while the state frets of the possible influx of militant sympathisers, what about the Bangladeshi sympathisers who could already have deep roots in this country?
What of the radicalised Indonesian terror cells operating here and in Indonesia? Is it not possible, even inevitable, that these not-so-disparate groups would find commonality in waging war against various countries in the region, inviting violent retribution which would engulf Malaysia and disrupt the peace and stability that we are always warned not to take advantage of?
Next target - China
Then, of course, there is the China angle. Recently the Foreign Policy magazine reported that the IS pledged to attack China next – “The Islamic State is now setting its sights on China, releasing on Monday a half-hour video in which they pledged to ‘shed blood like rivers’ in attacks against Chinese targets. Experts say it’s the first threat the terrorist organisation has levelled against China.
“‘Oh, you Chinese who do not understand what people say. We are the soldiers of the Caliphate, and we will come to you to clarify to you with the tongues of our weapons, to shed blood like rivers and avenging the oppressed,’ an IS fighter said in the video, which was analysed and translated by US-based SITE Intelligence Group. The video showed fighters, including heavily-armed children, praying, giving speeches, and executing suspected informants.”
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 this mean for a country like Malaysia? With the Najib regime making deals with China – for the record unlike many others, I have no problems with these deals – this makes the situation of coddling Islamic extremism on one hand and attempting to restrain Islamic extremism on the other, a very stupid strategy.
China has its own issues with its indigenous Muslim population and the call for jihad is already heard in China, and in Malaysia, you can bet your last ringgit that the slaves of these death cults would not make a distinction between PRC interests and Chinese Malaysian interests.
It definitely means that PRC interests here in Malaysia could be soft targets for Islamic extremist groups or their outsourced thugs to wage a proxy war against PRC in this country. It means that we have to be extremely wary of committing ourselves to situations where the blowback could be disastrous to the majority of the citizens of this country.
This regime has to realise that Muslim refugees in this country could be prey to homegrown extremists and the other disparate militant foreign communities which the state coddles by virtue of their religious beliefs.
Failure to understand this is more damaging to the country than the 1MDB scandal.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:29 PM  

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