Najib, our security apparatus not an Umno division - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, April 02, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.” ― Lysander Spooner
COMMENT | What I despise more
than religious extremism – the existential threat to our country – is
the way in which politicians propagandise the military. Check that. What
I despise more is when the military top brass canoodles up to
politicians. Nowhere is this more evident when armed forces chief Raja
Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor urged our security apparatus to be
loyal to the government headed by the Umno grand poobah.
The government does not pay for all those “entitlements” that the
state security apparatus gets. Those are paid for by our tax ringgit. We
live in a country where non-Malays are routinely demonised for not
showing loyalty, but the reality is that the security apparatus in this
country is a bastion of racial dysfunction by design. It was not always
so. Read the public comments of retired brigadier-general Mohamed Arshad Raji as to the “issues” non-Malays face in the armed forces.
In the West, politicians go on bended knee and proclaim how they are
grateful for the military service men and women do for their country.
Civilians of a certain political persuasion or those who feel the need
to burnish their patriotic credentials make asinine statements of how
they are grateful to the service these men and women provide to their
All of it is just a load of horse manure. Politicians in the West do
not give a damn about the men and women in the security service. What
they give a damn about is the military industrial complex and using the
security apparatus as a means to instil toxic patriotism, but more
importantly, as a means to extend empire. Citizens who go about how
grateful they are really do not care that social programmes that these
men and women rely on after service are often whittled away in political
Here in Malaysia, it is the opposite. The state security apparatus is
told to be grateful to the government. Public institutions are deemed
“Malay” institutions even though they are funded by our tax ringgit, and
so non-Malays are wary of the state security apparatus, especially when
the Umno state uses it to sanction citizens who are just exercising
their democratic rights.
The Terengganu top cop, for instance, gets to claim that Terengganu is gangster-free because of its Malay majority, and the deputy prime minister gets to say that a shoot-to-kill policy
is what is needed because most victims of violent crimes are Malay,
hence the community needs to be protected. This of course does not take
into account the numerous corruption scandals, deaths in custody and the
host of other issues that make it impossible for the average citizen,
no matter his or her “race”, to have any faith in the state security
What of our military? Six years ago, when the military voting fiasco
first surfaced, I was shocked and deeply embarrassed by the antics of
then armed forces chief, Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, and so in a piece which
directly touched upon a whole host of issues plaguing the military, I wrote
– “Do not believe anyone who tells you that the security apparatus of a
state, or any state anywhere in the world, is ‘apolitical’? The armed
forces do the bidding of its elected civilian masters. But what they
don't do is engage in the political process on behalf of their political
Have you ever noticed that it’s the top brass that makes all these
ridiculous statements? The upper echelons of the state security
apparatus are always currying favour with Umno potentates for obvious
reasons. The reality is that the rank and file indoctrinated by years of
government propaganda are slowly beginning to realise that they are
merely pawns in a game that they do not understand but realise they are
on the losing end of.
Marginalising the opposition
So while the Umno grand poobah talks about how the opposition, or more accurately the DAP, is going to bring ruination
to those scared military and police institutions, the average service
man or woman is desperately trying to survive in an ever-changing
geopolitical landscape which has a direct impact on their lives.
Umno thinks that by marginalising the opposition when it comes to the
military and the police force, they can secure their claim over these
people. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality that a
number of ex-service personnel have joined the opposition. The reality
is that more and more retired personnel are talking about the issue
faced by the state security personnel to still serving men and women in
the state security apparatus and lay the blame on Umno’s doorstep.
They do not do this because they unpatriotic or are in cahoots with
the opposition but because they genuinely feel that after decades of
Umno rule, the state security apparatus and the numerous other outfits
connected with it are in dire need of reform.
If Umno’s tactics were really that effective, there would not be a
chorus of voices emanating from the military and state security
establishment wanting not only a change of administration but a reform
of the system so that our state security apparatus could face the
challenges which is about to confront our country.
Honestly, what I find really troubling is the number of state
security apparatus people who are involved in terrorist activities, not
to mention criminal enterprises. Who knows how many military and police
personnel owe their allegiance to elements other than the Umno regime?
There is no point strutting around in military drag and proclaiming
that we are the best in the world when recent events have demonstrated
that we are woefully ill-prepared to deal with incursions and we have
got by with luck and service people who are still committed to their
While some state security personnel are power-hungry petty tyrants
who want to play the system, there are far more honest people who can’t
wait to get out of service and use whatever opportunities they have
coming to them and start anew. I know because I speak to far too many
young people in our armed services who can’t wait to get out.
And that is the problem with institutional corruption. Sooner or
later, people realise that they do not owe any allegiance to
institutions or traditions which has been corrupted. It’s a sad day when someone like Lim Kit Siang has to say that the DAP will defend
the Royal Malay Regimen, because the only thing the state security
apparatus needs defending from is the machinations of the Umno state.
The quest to save Malaysia should start by reforming our state
security apparatus. As luck would have it, you have in a young Bersatu
member – Wan Saiful Wan Jan – someone who may have some ideas on how to