Articles, Opinions & Views: Is the opposition at odds with civil society by Commander S Thayaparan (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Photobucket
Death or Glory
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
 
Articles
Photobucket
Opinions
Views & Articles
Nuffnang
Miscellaneous
No Atheists
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

Photobucket
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."

Links
& Infor
xxxx
Glorious
Malaysian Food
xxx
&
Other Stuff
xxx

xxx

xxx

XXXX

xxxx
Advertistment
XXXXXXXX
Advertistment
Is the opposition at odds with civil society by Commander S Thayaparan (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, January 06, 2018
Malaysiakini : “It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” ― Samuel Adams
COMMENT | A young reader ended his opening salvo of a lengthy email exchange with – “Sir, you were part of the problem.” I began the first of my responses, with – “Son, I am still part of the problem.” I get that young people are frustrated. They look around and they see old men with their old poisoned dreams leading the charge for a supposedly better future.
Amongst other issues, this young man wanted to know if I was familiar with the writings of Hafidz Baharom and his piece – "Don’t vote if they don’t change" – and what I thought about young people not voting, and why it is that the opposition seems to be at war with activists and civil society groups. Well, as to the first part, I read everything that Hafidz writes. I already made my case as to why I think not voting is not an option. Mind you, I am not saying that Hafidz is wrong; just that I really want to see what happens if Pakatan Harapan takes control of the federal government. Does this sound flippant?

Here is the thing. In all my writings, I have made it clear that I do not think that corruption is the existential threat facing Malaysia. I think extremist Islam is. I want to see if a Harapan-led government with a strong non-Malay/Muslim voice stems the tide of what I believe will eventually destroy this country. That is why I am voting. Others, of course, have different reasons.
As for the opposition seeming to be at war with activists, many people who are involved in “civil society” (honestly, I am not familiar with the current nomenclature) have written to me describing a hostile environment when it comes to activism and oppositional politics. Things have become worse, with the ascension of the former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the bête noire of many activists – for good reason – as the captain leading the charge to oust current Umno grand poohbah, Najib Razak.
Many long-time activists infused with fresh talent, who assumed that Harapan state governments would be more conducive to change, tell me that most times getting the “meeting” is easier than it is with the BN regime, but actually getting things done, is more or less the same. Often, they are admonished to not "bite the hand that feeds them," which seems like a common rejoinder these days.

There was a time when activism and oppositional politics were not mutually exclusive. There was a time when “civil society” and oppositional personalities worked closely to highlight issues that former minister Zaid Ibrahim termed the “real stuff.” I suppose that is the double-edged sword of civil society making “tremendous progress since 2008” as articulated in the "birds of feather" declaration.
I do not think civil society made tremendous progress. I think the opposition political elite made tremendous progress buttressed by civil society groups, who did not really understand the nature of the beast. There is this assumption that just because the politics of civil society groups and oppositional political parties aligned, there was some sort of understanding. Politicians say a whole lot of horse manure to get elected and count on activists to pass their message, but once elected rely on their bases (partisanship) to stay elected.
Crypto-Mahathiristas?
The rise of a credible opposition and contender to the throne of Putrajaya meant not that issues or principles were taking centre stage but rather the rise of a new cabal of political elites who were just as interested in maintaining power as their political opponents. What made it even more tenuous for civil society types and activists was that the alternative press and social media which was “issue driven” become partisan echo chambers, where party affiliation trumped anything else. In other words, if you are not with us, you are against us.
Many activists are in support of the “birds of feather” declaration. Actually, I know many people who belong to diverse “civil society” groups who support this initiative. Indeed, there is nothing in that declaration that any rational person would disagree with. Yet many opposition supporters write to me asking me to tell these “selfish” people not to rock the boat and destroy Harapan’s chance of removing the corrupt Najib and his cronies from power.

I know a few people on that list. I do not say this to name drop, but only that “selfish” is not a term I would use to describe them, ever. Furthermore, many of those groups in that list do far more constructive and productive work than some state administrations and definitely the federal government. To dismiss, mock or vilify what they say, especially if you (like me) have a different view, I would argue is, well – and I really dislike using this word – unpatriotic.
That is the only word I can think of especially when what these folks are reaffirming are democratic and egalitarian principles that would actually save Malaysia. If only political parties, like Hafidz writes, were not “too chickenshit to actually stand for something contrary to public opinion, and would rather coast along for fear of losing their vote base, while trying to convince the conservatives to vote for them.”
Someone asked if I was a “crypto-Mahathirista” since I had penned two pieces, essentially arguing that Harapan should commit to the game they want to play. I write too plainly to be a crypto anything. You can disagree with what I write. You can accuse me of many things but waffling or obscurantism is not on the list. So while I disagree with Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong, it is not because I think he is wrong but it is because for this election, I am committing to the game that I keep telling Harapan to commit to.
Lastly to answer the question in the title of this piece. It is not that the opposition is at odds with civil society. It is the opposition has become part of the establishment.
The establishment is always at odds with civil society.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 7:48 PM  
0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home
 
ARCHIVES


Previous Post
Links
Links To Rangers
Military Related Links


XXXX
xxxx
xxxx
XXX
XXXX
World
xxxx
Advertistment
Advertistment
XXXXXXXX
Advertistment
XXXXXXXX
Advertistment
XXXXXXXX
Advertistment
XXXXXXXX
Advertistment
XXXXXXXX
Advertistment
XXXXXXXX
Advertistment
XXXXXXXX
Advertistment
XXXXXXXX
Powered by



BLOGGER

© Modified on the 12th January 2008 By Articles, Opinions & Views .Template by Isnaini Dot Com
<bgsound src="">