Articles, Opinions & Views: Will Rafizi-Johari’s guilty verdict galvanise the Malay vote? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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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

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 Rafizi-Johari’s guilty verdict galvanise the Malay vote? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Malaysiakini : “It’s been six years and most of you would have forgotten it. Such is life - we move on.” – Rafizi Ramli on the National Feedlot Corporation scandal.
COMMENT | As someone who has publicly agreed and disagreed with Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, I have to say that I was impressed with his ‘no regrets’ take on the guilty verdict of his Bafia (Banking and Financial Institutions Act) trial. I sincerely hope that his message is disseminated to the demographic that needs to hear it most but more importantly, I hope that former bank clerk Johari Mohamad who exposed these “secrets” also pens a letter as to why he did it and what he had hoped to achieve.
It is important that the Malay community hears from someone who whistle-blew because it shifts attention away from the professional politician and centres the discourse on the average rakyat who did something, for whatever reasons, because he believed that it would benefit the public. This makes the personal political and we should understand by now, this is a potent tool in the arsenal of winning hearts and minds.
Already the establishment spin is out - painting Rafizi’s actions as that of a man who would abuse the most scared of our banking laws, a manipulator of whistleblowers and someone who for the sake of martyrdom, attempted to sabotage the economic interest of this country. Rafizi who has been on the forefront of governmental malfeasance when it comes to institutional corruption - be it land deals, Tabung Haji or the myriad other scandals he has exposed - plays well with the urban educated demographic but does he resonate with the demographic that Pakatan Harapan claims it needs to take Putrajaya?

Corruption scandals are complicated. People do not have the time to sift through the minutiae of records and public documents most often written in legalese. The struggle to convey all of this in digestible segments to disenfranchised/rural communities whose “interests” are confined to local issues is an obstacle for most Harapan political candidates.
People always say, why do these rural folks keep voting BN when it is evidently against their self-interests? If there is one thing that these corruption scandals expose is that the system is designed to exploit and “rob” from the very community that Umno claims to want to defend and uplift. If exposing the plunderers of the Malay community was really an example of Malay righteousness, then someone like Rafizi would probably be the biggest defender of Malay interests and self-preservation in this country.
However, because he attacks the institutions and power structures deemed “Malay”, he is instead cast as the interloper working with ‘pendatang’ power structures to destabilise Malay privileges and rights in this country. His exposes are deemed treachery and his collaboration with the “enemies” of Islam and political power structures deemed anathema to Malay supremacy constantly puts him on the defensive, which is where Umno wants him to be.

Much like how W.E.B Du Bois’s in ‘Black Reconstruction in America’ expounded on the concept of “whiteness” as a “public and psychological wage” - this idea that whiteness elevated the status of poor whites over blacks, giving them a perceived superior status (which in reality had tremendous value), whereby they supported the land-owning/political class which exploited them while enriching themselves - the idea of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ and the so-called codified Malay rights and privileges acts as a counter intuitive, if effective means, of gaining support from an electorate always in fear of losing their status – real but worthless* – in a changing geopolitical landscape. See my thoughts on this here. *(Worthless in against the traits of self-reliance and economic savvy of other communities forced to be independent through historical and cultural legacies).
Our system of entitlement
What the corruption scandals that Rafizi has really exposed is that the Umno regime is the economic crutch of the majority Malay community. Forget about the kool-aid that this is a not a racial issue; it is.
What these scandals, be it land scandals, religious institutions scandals and the plethora of “dirt” Rafizi has managed to unearth, is that the system of entitlement, either directly or indirectly, meant to help the disenfranchised of the Malay community for whatever reasons has been abused by the Umno state. And yet this is not enough, or at least history demonstrates that it is not enough, to actually weaken the Umno state.
When it comes to communal economic interests - the country has been through some trying economic times - the demographic that sustains and enables the Umno regime have kept them in power. So this idea that if the people are hurting in their wallets, they would decide to vote against purveyors of race and religion is suspect. This, by the way, is not an invitation to discuss the racial politics of Harapan.

Of course, the Umno regime wants to portray the naysayers as economic saboteurs - they claim that detractors want the economy to fail in their quest for power - but the reality is that the systemic abuses by the state is weakening the economy. While economists practice their voodoo, either in support of Harapan or in support of the Umno establishment, the demographic that both needs to elevate them to power continues to support - thus far - a system which disenfranchises them, yet tells them that they are the masters of the land.
Hence the more corruption in land deals, religious institutions and other “Malay” institutions discounting those public institutions which are deemed “Malay” institutions by right-wing types, the more Malay supremacy is portrayed as under threat even though in cases such as these, it is Malay politicians and outliers who expose such corruption in the system.
Interesting side not. The graft allegations and childish back and forth between the MCA and DAP is another example of how the system distorts the issue of corruption, and encourages minority communities to cannibalise each other in service of the greater Malay hegemon.
I have no idea if the guilty verdict of Rafizi and Johari would galvanise the Malay polity to the unjust manner in which powerbrokers in the hegemon have value - economic, social, legal - over the rest of the community but if the narratives of the establishment hold, as they have done in the past, the guilty verdict of these two men will just be another in the long line of silencing dissent in the Malay community.
The only other alternative for so-called oppositional Malay power structures intent on playing this game is to increase the psychological and public wages of the Malay community.
This, of course, would be a guilty verdict on the political process of this country.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:00 PM  
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