Articles, Opinions & Views: What’s Dr M’s apology got to do with it? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Death or Glory
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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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What’s Dr M’s apology got to do with it? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Tuesday, January 02, 2018
Malaysiakini : COMMENT“Never apologise. Never explain. Just get the thing done, and let them howl.” - Agnes Campbell Macphail
I have no idea why people want or need an apology from former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad. I received a barrage of messages when the “apology” first surfaced, with the usual commentaries of how it was long overdue and how the opposition could finally move forward.
Then the old master qualified his apology – Malay custom, he said – and the same folks who were relishing a fresh start, got into a funk.
What I do not get is this. When Mahathir was committing all these wrongs he is supposed to be apologising for, he was also getting elected with a significant majority by a diverse polity of Malaysians, who did not seem to care about all these ideas Pakatan Harapan is pushing now.
At any time when Mahathir was supposed to be doing all those bad deeds that he needs to apologise for now, the people of Malaysia could have voted the completely corrupt alliance out, and took a chance on whatever the opposition was offering. Failing that, they could have denied the Mahathir regime its two-thirds majority as a sign of dissent. This never happened. I would argue with each electoral victory, Mahathir was demonstrating that he had nothing to apologise for.
I know many people who are slavish supporters of the opposition these days, who praised Mahathir and condemned the opposition as being only able to “complain” back in the day. Even when I was part of the state security apparatus and had contact with opposition figures, activists and people who were sanctioned by the state, their main complaint – no, not complaint; lament – was that the majority of Malaysians were not with them.
They were on their own, eking out support from truly marginalised groups, fighting the system that a majority of Malaysians was in support of. Even PAS members, who I paradoxically got on with, could not understand why with all the corruption and state-sanctioned oppression, the majority o Malaysians voted in the Mahathir regime in record numbers. Put it this way: The way that people were voting, the rigged system was redundant.
When the former prime minister says this - “Whether I admit I have done wrong or not is a different matter,” this is the key. I keep telling people that the reason why Mahathir will never apologise sincerely is because deep down inside, he believes that he has not done anything wrong. He believes that what he did was necessary to create the kind of country that the majority of people wanted to live in, and that these so-called “Asian values” he and his ilk were pushing trumped anything else the West had to offer.
Furthermore, by embracing the former prime minister, who many in the opposition have called a tyrant, dictator and worse, the opposition has acknowledged that the man, his methods and his legacy – the last part is the most important – is the means by which to “Save Malaysia”. In other words, the opposition has validated his tenure and openly acknowledged that without him, there will no removing Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Last year, when I wrote this – “Making a pact with the former prime minister and Bersatu is merely by ‘any means necessary’ and to argue otherwise, to make the argument that the ‘reform’ agenda is still on the table is mendacious, considering the fact that the Najib refuseniks have been blatant in their old Umno strategies of garnering the Malay vote, which is what the opposition claims is the utilitarian value of Mahathir” – I got a whole lot of flak from opposition types who claimed I was muddying the waters.
Now the opposition can waffle on about “controls” in place to keep Mahathir in check, but is there any evidence of this? Is there any evidence that the opposition is a cohesive alliance operating under a system of rules and regulations that ensure what they say matches up with what they do? I would argue there is none. However, nobody really cares about this anyway. People who have decided that Najib has to go – and I am one of those people who think that BN has to be benched – are willing to believe that Mahathir really wants to change the system.
Of course, the former prime minister has been hitting all the right notes. He has talked about bringing back the independence of our public institutions. He has talked about separation of powers, and most importantly he has made the opposition comfortable, at least in public, with his leadership. There is also another way to look at it. Some people close to him have told me that he believes that his crusade against the current Umno grand poohbah is a kind of apology. An apology by deed,if not by word, of all that he wrought during his tenure as the longest-serving strongman in Asia. They keep telling me, why would a ninety-something-year-old man attempt to wrest power from his old power group merely to prop up his son?
After all, here is a man who has not only championed the “Malay” community, but also vilified it. Here is a man who has never been politically correct about race relations in this country. Here is a man who, despite all he has done, could just wash his hands off of the whole country and retire to whatever nook his long tenure has enabled him to build.
Put it this way. If Mahathir and the opposition win this election and undo even a quarter of what he had wrought, that would be better than even the most sincere of apologies.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:05 AM  

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