Articles, Opinions & Views: Should you 'migrate' from Malaysia? - 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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Should you 'migrate' from Malaysia? - By Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, October 02, 2017
Malaysiakini : Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble,
An' if I stay it will be double,
So come on and let me know. - The Clash (Should I Stay or Should I Go)

COMMENT | Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim stirred the hornet’s nest (and God bless him, I say) when he urged young Malays to migrate and the usual cries of “stay and fight” could be heard throughout the echo chambers, which is the alternative press. Lordy, the whole issue reeks of hypocrisy that I want to spend more time on the Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) website because, at least there, the editors justify everything in the name of the kind of Islam they advocate.
By the way, my friends at Isma, if some random dude brings his fugly dog into a self-service launderette and this apparently goes against the dogma of the Islam you advocate, then the answer is not Muslims-only launderettes but ‘No Pets Allowed’ signs. See, problem solved. You are welcome.

Anyway, back to Zaid (photo). Here is the gist of what he wrote – “So I urge young Malays to plan their lives properly. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Malaysia is a sick Muslim country that teaches you the wrong things.
“News are classified by the government as fake or real, depending on whether they like them or not. Corruption and abuse of power are glorified, while beer festivals are held up as an example of evil. Muslim scholars don’t like gays and liberals, although gays and liberals are God’s creations too. “They will continue to make you intellectually poor by stifling you, giving you no freedom to grow and develop your minds. London is the place for you to migrate to. Many Malays are already making their homes here. Bring your family out and join them.”
Please note the words, “young Malays”. Now, how many times have we seen non-Malays telling their young to leave the country for the very reasons Zaid articulates? How many times have we been witnessed to confessionals by non-Malays who have left and met with a chorus of approvals and anonymous posters slagging off the country? How many times have we heard of non-Malay politicians, activists and do-gooders holding PR (permanent resident) status in other countries? How many Indian Malaysians have their PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) cards “just in case”?
Indeed, when young James Chai wrote his piece about staying put in Malaysia, the Malaysian social network scene was filled with non-Malay folks who took a collective dump on what he wrote and again talked about how this country was an Islamic manure hole (or heading in that direction) and the non-Malays should abandon this ‘no hope’ country.
So why it is when Zaid advocates something mainstream that non-Malays tell their young to do and for the same reasons, we get anguished pieces of how “people should stay and fight”?
I do not know about other Malaysiakini columnists but I get a whole lot of mail, most often in Malay, from young people who are in the front lines and do not get the help they need from politicians who seem more interested in dethroning PM Najib Razak rather than ensuring our rights are defended.

When people make statements like “stay and fight for our rights”, I genuinely have no idea what these vague pronouncements mean. As long as we do not have politicians like Zaid, who make their views clear and demonstrate a propensity to not engage in the strategy that the opposition thinks will get them into Putrajaya, the more the efforts of the children of folks like Malaysiakini columnist FA Abdul will be in vain.
Lunatic voice of reason
When you are a Muslim like Zaid going against Islamic state-sanctioned groupthink, you cannot change your social settings on your social media account, because his acts of defiance are more than just proudly wearing a Metallica T-Shirt in a mosque but actions that could cause him his freedom. It is one thing to not conform to the norms in your social circle and another to defy the mainstream political norms of the country, go against the rather dumb strategy of your political alliance of choice and remain the lunatic voice of reason in a sea of political opportunists.
Fa Abdul’s children are the beneficiaries of the compromises older Malaysians made because we blindly followed establishment narratives of what this country is. Fa Abdul’s children continue to deal with these problems because we do not question the narratives and strategies of the opposition.

All this, of course, brings us back to the question: should Malaysians abandon this country? So, yeah, people say stay and fight for their rights but the real question is, are there political parties that do that? Are they Malay/Muslim politicians and their non-Malay/Muslim allies who Malaysians could point to and say, “They are the line in the sand against Islamic and racial extremism”?
If you want people to stay and fight for their rights, you must be able to demonstrate that staying and fighting is something that is worthwhile. We are not yet at the stage where you can point to incremental changes (elsewhere) and say that this is progress. We are a developed country with narratives that are evidence that religious and racial plurality is something we had, but lost like many Islamic state narratives in countries all over the Middle East.
Do not for one minute think that just because you are living in an urban bubble that your safe spaces are immune from the transgression of Islamic extremists. What you consider safe spaces is, in reality, a boxing-in strategy of extremists interested in playing the long game.
The problem is that this goal of saving Malaysia from a kleptocracy does not deal with the real issue of Islamic extremism and ‘ketuanan’ politics. People do not leave their homelands because they have corrupt politicians. People leave their homelands because of religious and racial extremism. Malaysia has not reached that stage where our lives are at risk. However, this does not mean that we should be foolish enough to believe that that will not happen.
We have had racial riots. We are now a target of the Islamic State. We have a compromised ruling establishment and an opposition strategy that is to conform to the game Umno has played all these years and people hope that this will change if they get federal power.

People who ask Malaysians to stay and fight should ask themselves: will Malay/Muslim politicians go against the conventional Islamic groupthink to safeguards these “rights” that would really save Malaysia from becoming just another statistic in a failed state column?
Add to these non-Malay politicians who would support the efforts of these Islamists in the name of Asian values or the social contract. People often say that politicians are using religion to divide this country, but nobody wants to acknowledge that, especially in the peninsula, there are many Malays who believe in the Islamic dogma that the state advocates and also support the various Malay power structures and brokers in the opposition.
If you want people to stay and fight for their rights, you have to make it clear that those rights are not negotiable and “fighting” for these rights means not engaging in politics that erode these rights.
Look, Malaysians just want to live in peace, but if the people insist on turning this country into (in Zaid’s words) a “sick Muslim country, which teaches you the wrong things”, I do not think it right to ask young Malaysians not to migrate if you can’t back up your fighting words with actions.
posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 10:50 AM  

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