Articles, Opinions & Views: The last great political fight for Zaid - 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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The last great political fight for Zaid - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, April 04, 2018
Malaysiakini : “The whole world keeps asking: ‘What has gone wrong with Malaysia?’ In other words, they are asking what has gone wrong with Malays. How do we respond to this?” – Zaid Ibrahim’s speech (translated from Kelantanese Malay) to 300 Kelantan Pakatan Harapan party workers in Kota Bharu, March 20, 2018
COMMENT | I really do not get it. Why isn’t DAP offering Zaid Ibrahim a seat? Why am I reading about possible young candidates going on about the reasons why they as – non-Malays – feel marginalised in this country instead of someone like Zaid, who – considering his maverick status – has played well with others (this time) when we are told that this is going to be the ultimate electoral brawl within the Malay community.
It just does not make sense. Pakatan Harapan – whoever they are – tell us that Bersatu is needed to secure the rural Malay vote and it is filled to the brim with former Umno acolytes attempting to present an image of reformasi. Meanwhile, PKR is floundering and has yet to shed its “weakest link” image of Harapan. Amanah is attempting to discover how exactly it fits in this coalition and the DAP is busy ensuring that MCA and Gerakan are footnotes in history.
There are very few Malay politicians like Zaid. Who knows what brought upon this change from Umno political insider to mainstream political outsider. That is a big leap to make. From Umno embracing you, to everyone thinking that you are that crazy uncle who makes politically incorrect (in the Malaysians context) utterances in public.
The opposition needs a Malay politician like Zaid. After all, the opposition has many Malay politicians from the Umno mould. They have politicians from the PAS mould as well. Rare is the Malay politician who understands that this conflict is not about saving Malaysia but rather is an existential conflict within the Malay community.
Think about this. Umno, Bersatu, PAS, Amanah and even PKR, when they talk about the Malays, the belief is that the system is needed to save them. Zaid is a Malay politician who thinks that there is something wrong with the system. When I was editing his book, one of the questions that frequently cropped up was, “Do you really want to put this in the book?” “This” was slaying sacred cows types pieces that played well with non-Malays but which I believed will alienate his Malay audience. Zaid’s answer was always the same.
“It’s reality, Thaya” or something like that. And when you think about another Malay politician, the former Umno strongman now Harapan PM-designate, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, also revealed “truths” about the Malay community when he led Umno and the sycophants lapped it up. These days, of course, they use it against him but the Malay community despite what the Umno state wants you to believe has always been in conflict.
There is a discourse going on far away from the mainstream urban/English-dominated media. Young Malays from both sides of the political divide send me materials – sometimes poorly translated, but hey I asked – of the political discussions that are going on, away from what we think is the Malay discourse. Zaid’s name always crops up. He is divisive, which is a good thing because unlike the majority of Malay politicians who are easily dismissed, the ad hominems sometimes spewed at Zaid gives way to discussion on what it means to be Malay in this country.
Forget about the opposition narrative that Bersatu and Mahathir are needed to save Malaysia because of the demographic they apparently can get for the opposition; there is another narrative, a politically incorrect one – depending on how you view such things – that only a Malay can say and do things in this country when it comes to addressing his or her community. Actually, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) man, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, said more or less the same when he joined Bersatu.
Departing from script
I do not want to get into the merits or lack thereof of this type of thinking but let’s face facts. Whenever mainstream Malay politicians talk about their community, they stick to the same script and attempt to pay homage to whatever political correct ideas because they need the non-Malay votes because as yet – as yet – they do not command the majority of the Malay vote.
Meanwhile, Zaid departs from script. When he does, nearly everyone gets upset with him and I am talking about political operatives from his own coalition. And it is troubling. Umno uses what Zaid says to target the opposition. Meanwhile, the opposition predictably wonder what adverse effect his words has on the community they are trying to placate.
Nobody ever stops to think, that maybe if there were more Malay politicians like Zaid and the mainstream oppositional politics nurtured such people, they would not have to worry about being targeted by Umno or worried about the Malay vote because there would be a demographic within the Malay community who values what he or people like him advocate.
The system wants to destroy Malay politicians like Zaid, and by system, I mean the political system in general and not only the Umno state. Why? Because if more Malays subscribed to what Zaid advocates and then more Malaysians subscribed to what he advocates, then racial politics would slowly lose its appeal. What would political parties do then?
I reference this when I argued that Zaid is a relevant Malay even though some claim he is out of touch with the Malay community – “I have to ask, what does out of touch mean, exactly? That he warns them that a dogmatic approach to religion cannot withstand the vicissitudes of the modern world? That institutional integrity protects them from the powers of the state? That entitlement programmes have not benefited them if they have to rely on them forever?
“That Malay right is a sham that protects the political elites but not the average Malay citizen bereft of political influence and money? That race-based policy which favour one race is morally suspect? That modernity means more than just aping Western culture or that tradition means more than just aping Arab culture? Does all of this make Zaid out of touch with the pure simple people that Umno claims they want to ‘uplift’?”
About the only thing I disagree with is this idea – his and others – that if fielded, it needs to be in a Chinese-dominated urban seat. This will not prove that DAP is not a Chinese-centric party, it will just prove that the Chinese will vote for an “acceptable” DAP-endorsed Malay candidate. No, if Zaid really wants to signify a new political narrative, he should face off against Umno powerbrokers with the full support of the DAP – his party – and Harapan beside him.
This, after all, will be his last great political fight but before that, the DAP should allow him to enter the ring.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:56 AM  

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