Articles, Opinions & Views: The problem with the #UndiRosak movement - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
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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

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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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The problem with the #UndiRosak movement - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Friday, January 26, 2018
Malaysiakini : “‘But if you don't vote, you don't get to complain ah!’ I hear this snarky comment every other day. This comment has never gotten to me because it's just ridiculous.” – Maryam Lee
COMMENT | Well, as someone who wrote an article titled, ‘If you do not vote, do not complain’, I really think that my proposition is not ridiculous. While young people below the age of 21, of course, have a right to complain, their complaints only mean anything in a democracy when they vote. When they turn their complaints into action by ticking a box every few years, it demonstrates that not only are they affirming the democratic process but also their complaints are not the whining of immature adults but rather issues that they believe affect the communities they are a part of. Spoiling your vote is the equivalent of a hissy fit.
Furthermore, if vote spoiling is “statistically insignificant”, then why bother advocating it? I mean, are you seriously telling people that ultimately the act of vote spoiling is meaningless, but do it anyway? I get it when people say that there is no difference between Umno/BN and Pakatan Harapan – it is something that I have said a few times – but what exactly is gained by telling people to spoil their votes even though you know that whoever follows your advice would not influence the election in any significant way?
Surely, there are better ways to start a conversation about how Harapan should start getting their act together. I attempt to do this nearly every week and frankly, it gets somewhat lonely. If more people think that Harapan needs ‘reformasi’, they should voice their concerns in the echo chambers, then the discourse would not be about how terrible Umno is but more of how Harapan should stand for something instead of becoming Umno/BN-lite.
I would understand if by spoiling your vote or not voting, this would hurt both coalitions, but the reality is that this whole movement is about giving the finger to Harapan, which - intentionally or not - gives Umno an easier time to achieve victory, again.
As someone who routinely gives the finger to Harapan, I still see no reason for Umno to gain more influence or maintain more influence merely because the opposition, well, sucks. If Umno is going to win this election, I want them to fight every inch of the way to Putrajaya because maybe if they have to do this, they would understand that people are not going to give them or their policies a free ride, not merely because the opposition sucks.

If the current Umno grand poohbah with all the systemic electoral malfeasance manages to overcome Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Harapan, Umno would feel invincible and believe they have a mandate to carry out whatever they perceive benefits themselves. If they do manage to win more easily because people spoil their votes or not vote at all, this would embolden them further because they realise that Malaysians would rather they remain in power then vote for a flawed opposition.
I mean, the Umno hegemon does not give a damn about the progressive ideas people who want to spoil their votes or are considering spoiling their votes have. The Umno base certainly does not care about these progressive ideas. The only coalition pushing for any sort of progressive ideas is the opposition. I get that by aligning with Mahathir and his race-based party, the former prime minister’s baggage becomes Harapan’s baggage. This does not sit well with some people. Many opposition-leaning people are seriously thinking about sitting out on this election. Add to this the #UndiRosak movement and what we have is the perfect storm of a Trump of our making.
Devoid of bargaining chips
If you really believe the opposition needs to be taught a lesson and that there are values and principles that should not be compromised on, there are better ways of getting the attention of the opposition than by spoiling your vote or not voting.
Not voting is not going to hurt the opposition, what it is going to do is hurt progressive movements in this country and their supporters who are voting for the compromised opposition hoping that a change in government, even though a superficial one, is the first step to bigger changes.  Is this movement an urban thing? If it is, imagine if more people decided that not supporting the opposition in urban areas is a good thing. Urban areas are the few lines of defence against the Umno hegemon.
Think about it, as long as the opposition has control of urban areas, the hegemon would be denied access to cash cows but more importantly, a semblance of racial and religious moderation would exist in terms of policy in this country where people are losing the war against the religious extremists. Even in urban areas, there are movements to ghettoise the Malay population and discourage ideas that would make it easier for religious extremism to tighten its grips on the urban Malay community. If the opposition were denied votes in the urban areas, there would be no point in engaging in other ways in the democratic process because the Umno hegemon would understand that the oppositional forces in this country have no bargaining chips whatsoever. This is what any publicly supported opposition to the hegemon is. Bargaining chips.
Plenty at stake with rural votes
Let us talk about the rural areas. Imagine if you are a rural voter. You are told by Umno and the state-sanctioned religion that the opposition is under control by the Chinese community via DAP. That the 92-year-old man leading the opposition is a traitor to the Malay race because he has rejected Umno for whatever reasons. You are warned that voting for the opposition places your race in servitude. You are not the most informed of the electorate because that is the way the system is set up.
With all this pressure, you vote for the opposition anyway, and discover - if the opposition wins – that your world does not end. You discover that the Chinese are not going to enslave you on your own land and that your race and your religion are not in danger.
Now imagine if by discovering your world would not end – it may not improve either – you come to the realisation that you do not really need Umno or the opposition for that matter. You discover that the Chinese community was not the bogeyman that mainstream Malay politics makes them out to be. You discover that what race-based parties tell you or your religion tells you do not define your aspirations as an individual.
Are people really saying that this first step, no matter how faltering, is not worth encouraging in rural polities and that people should spoil their vote or not vote?
Does this seem rational to anyone?
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 8:56 PM  
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