Articles, Opinions & Views: Will removing Najib redeem Dr M for Ops Lalang? - 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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Will removing Najib redeem Dr M for Ops Lalang? - By Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Malaysiakini : “That’s why he said this, ‘There are things I have done that you disagreed with. But let’s do this first, and if you think action will be required, I am willing to be called to account.’” – Lim Guan Eng on Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s response to Ops Lalang
Lord of all that he surveyed
COMMENT | On the 30th anniversary of Ops Lalang, I keep reading all these articles by former detainees about what they went through, how they coped but most importantly, how they moved on. There is a commonality in their stories, the security apparatus knocking on their doors in the dead of night, the sundering from their loved ones, the interrogations, the camaraderie between political detainees but most important of all, the bewilderment that their deeds warranted such a harsh response from the state.
I always wonder as someone who had served in the state security apparatus, the other side of the story. What is the story of the guards, the interrogators, the personnel who paid late night visits and carted off innocent people from their homes? How do they feel about this aspect of their duties? I have been asked the same questions before.
Now, of course, the architect of the event is the de facto leader of the opposition. Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed has been embraced by the opposition and now leads the insurrection against the Umno state. Those who were detained are high-ranking political operatives in the opposition and have since joined forces with the man they called dictator or worse in the hopes of overthrowing the current Umno grand poobah.
On an emotional level, I don’t think anyone can blame politicians for their ‘forgive if not forget’ strategy. After all, they were the ones detained. They were the ones who lost time. Those social activists who are not on the same boat politically are often times vilified for not getting with the programme. They are told it is a new day and it is time we move on from the past.
There was a time when social activism and political opposition were closely aligned but these days when mainstream politics is defined not by ideology or principles but rather the realpolitik of Mahathir, anyone bringing up uncomfortable truths is shouted down or vilified as attempting to “destroy” the opposition.

Last year, social activist Kua Kia Soong (photo) wrote a powerful piece on why Mahathir should apologise for Operation Lallang. The article highlighted not only the democratic abuses that went on his watch but also the financial scandals that for some reason did not make Malaysia a land of thieves.
While the laws enacted after the operation further eroded our civil liberties, the ones enacted by the current Umno grand poobah are even more disastrous for our country. So while I cannot make the case that the financial scandals under the Najib administration are worse than under the former prime minister turned de facto opposition leader, I can argue that the clear and present danger to our liberties is the Najib administration.
Indeed, the Najib administration did not even need an Ops Lalang to enact these new laws. Last year when I wrote about the National Security Council Act – “However, this new law is perhaps the most audacious play of tyranthood by a sitting Umno prime minister. Not only has he militarised Umno, he has done it with very little resistance from the Malaysian polity.” – nobody, certainly not the opposition, was very interested in taking it to the streets.
Loss of moral weight
When I told a close friend and someone who has been detained by the state security apparatus during Ops Lalang that I was going to write this piece, he said, nobody cares. I can understand that. I told him, the Ops Lalang history (and certain personalities) have lost some moral weight when the perpetrators and victims collaborate on removing a common adversary.
More than the loss of moral weight, my friend reminded me that I am discussing this issue in highly partisan times where identity and personality politics trumps any discussion on substantive issues. Nobody cares because it is not that people have moved on but rather the people who should be leading the charge on issues such as these have to come up with elaborate justifications as to why they have chosen the allies they have. Not that they need these justifications for their supporters. Keep in mind that while the official narrative for Ops Lalang was the preservation of racial and religious equilibrium, the reality was that it was a means to maintain hegemony. The reality was that Umno was convulsing and something needed to be done to maintain order.

Kua quoted Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman (right in photo) - “The case alleging irregularities brought by Umno members was pending in court. If the judgment went against him he would have no choice but to step down. So he had to find a way out of his predicament. A national crisis had to be created to bring Umno together as a united force to fight a common enemy - and the imaginary enemy in this case was the Chinese community... Overnight, Malaysia has become a police state...”
Does removing Najib redeem Mahathir for his role in Ops Lalang? Of course, Ops Lalang is but one incident in the history of what Malaysia is today and there is very little doubt that what Malaysia is today, good and bad, is what Mahathir willed.
In the same interview that begins this piece, Guan Eng claims – “Sometimes you need a dictator to overthrow a dictator. It’s not what we want but under the circumstances, he would be constrained by the structure. In PH (Pakatan Harapan), all parties are equal, no single one is dominant. Everyone starts on equal basis. We work by consensus. Dr Mahathir agrees.”
Thirty years after Ops Lalang, a former detainee claims that the dictator who imprisoned him is needed to overthrow another dictator.
Did anyone see this coming?
posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 2:25 PM  

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