Articles, Opinions & Views: Why M’sians could not be bothered to choose sides - By Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
Death or Glory
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In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

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

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

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

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

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

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

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

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

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

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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Why M’sians could not be bothered to choose sides - By Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Malaysiakini : “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am - not stuck in the middle, but hovering above the entire farcical spectrum, weeping as I behold my fellow man's devotion to political illusion and self-destruction.”  ― Robert Higgs
COMMENT | DAP’s Syerleena Abdul Rashid asks, “Are we on the right path?” in considering the greater mystery as to why some people have not chosen a side. First off, in order for people to choose a side, it would mean there has to be a difference between each side. Such a difference is usually profound and easily identifiable.
In partisan politics, which is an illusion (in case you did not know), each side would point to certain issues that set one apart. Partisans would then claim that these issues, sometimes major sometimes peripheral, are the only thing separating right from wrong. The smarter ones link them to some sort of ideology and this becomes easier for identity politics to get in the way of facts. Every issue becomes a Manichaean struggle and people become invested in the side they choose to support.
Some would argue that this is a good thing and that most democratic systems are built to encourage just such behaviour. We get some of this in Malaysia and the really funny part is that the so-called intellectual propaganda organs of the Umno establishment have begun investing in the nomenclature of the American right to describe the conflict between Barisan National and Pakatan Harapan.

Turn the question around, and ask why Malaysians do not care which side wins and perhaps you could get a clearer picture as to why some folks do not choose a side. Syerleena (photo) seems to think that the reason why people are apathetic is because the opposition has not done enough to “educate” the people as to their goals and agendas.
The irony, of course, is that while Syerleena acknowledges that social media has fuelled the rise of the opposition, she cannot seem to understand that maybe people are informed about the policies of the opposition. It is just that they do not see anything worth voting for or worse, stepping out of their comfort zones and vote for something other than what has made this country with all its problems worth living in for decades.
Let us take this whole issue of corruption, for instance. People know that politicians are corrupt. They realise that corruption exists. Commerce in this country is based on cronyism and bribery (I am painting in broad strokes here, so do not get your knickers in a twist) and this has worked fine for decades. The whole idea that this country will become a failed state just because Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is allegedly a crook, thief and robber just does not make sense to some people when for decades, the crooks were running the show and most Malaysians voted for them.
Now, the opposition says that this is what is destroying Malaysia and Malaysians need to reject a corrupt government. They make this claim with the Umno leader who for decades the opposition has said was evil incarnate – former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. So, what gives?

The opposition always says that people are not “educated” and that if they only knew the “truth”, they would understand why we need to change the government. Perhaps people know the truth and they believe that it is safer for whatever reason not to vote because it would not make any difference, especially now that the opposition has joined forces with the very man they claimed was destroying this country – how many times has this country been destroyed? – and attempting to engineer a revival that would see the system not only rejuvenated but also redeemed. Perhaps some folks do not want to be a part of that.
Now before you go with "do not blame the opposition when the situation gets worse if BN remains in power," here is the thing though. The situation has got worse and will only get worse, and the opposition has not demonstrated that it could change the situation. Attempting to make the claim that every election is apocalyptic does not make people more inclined to vote for you when they know that the day after would probably be the same as the day before, no matter which side they choose. Life goes on.
Running dogs
I will give you another example. Take MCA, for instance. People say they are running dogs of the Umno establishment. The implication being that if they just stood up to Umno, this would make them acceptable. If non-Malay rights were infringed and the MCA went against Umno, they would be doing their job.

Now let us look at the opposition. The opposition keeps reminding us that they need the Malay vote, the heartland Malay vote to be more specific – although my own reading is that maybe the urban Malay vote may not be totally locked down but I digress – and that people should not harp on certain issues because this would jeopardise possible votes from the Malay heartland.
Maybe, and I am just spitballing here, the people who could not be bothered to choose a side, understand that this is not really about their vote. This is about appealing to special interests and as long as their vote either is taken for granted or is less than the vote of some rural constituent, the better option is to abstain not out of spite or apathy but because no matter what, this urban dweller will survive or has the option of leaving.
In other words, if people, whatever side they choose, do not feel as if they are all in this together, it would be way better to stand back and watch the drama unfold.

Finally, the issue of Islam. People are afraid. People who have a stake in voting for the opposition are afraid. This is anecdotal but you have no idea of the hundreds of emails – I am not joking – I get from Malaysians (many of them Muslims) who curse the day they allowed PAS into the mainstream by supporting the opposition. They are repulsed by the idea of non-Muslim politicians in religious drag haunting mosques and giving oxygen to ideas that are anathema to secularism.
You would be surprised at how many young Muslims yearn for something other than what the establishment (both government and opposition) offers but have no alternative to turn to. People mock PSM for being an “Indian” party or a “mosquito” party, but let me tell you I have seen young Malay activists that perhaps do not have the polish of their urban counterparts but who know exactly what is going on in Malaysia, unlike the urban politicians who tell naive opposition supporting electorate what they want to hear.
In other words, if people could not be bothered to pick a side (your side?), the problem is not the people but the side. Give them solutions or ideas that are genuine and you will start a movement.
Just sayin'.
posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 4:14 PM  

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