Articles, Opinions & Views: The only Malay opposition - 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

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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 only Malay opposition - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, June 18, 2018
Kerismuddin
Malaysiakini : “Most countries have only few honest politicians and this is just like having a body with only few good organs functioning!” – Mehmet Murat İldan
COMMENT | Wee Ka Siong’s allegation that moves are being made “to unseat the sole Chinese opposition MP from MCA and to prevent him from raising issues pertinent to the Chinese and the multi-racial Malaysian community” is worth considering in this so-called post-racial milieu that Pakatan Harapan is pushing. The voting patterns of the Chinese
community and the vilification of the MCA online points to the near impossible task for the party to effectively mount a counter-narrative as the ‘Chinese opposition' in Parliament.
As for the allegation that this is an attempt to unseat Wee, I think there is some truth in that. However, this is not some dastardly plan, but rather politics as usual. In the new paradigm, every effort has to be made to destroy the ‘Chinese’ oppositional representation in Parliament, because what would be left is only the ‘Malay opposition’.
‘Chinese opposition’ here means a Chinese race-based party, which is anathema to the Kool-Aid that we are living in a post-racial Malaysia, and where Umno is the last bastion of a racist ideology. The new reality demands that a party like MCA is vilified for being a race-based party, but Bersatu gets a free pass because they were needed to win the Malay votes. Of course, the only person who was needed was the current Bersatu grand poohbah. It would have been interesting if Dr Mahathir Mohamad had joined PKR, to see how he and his coterie would have reshaped the party.
Even with the thorn of Bersatu being a Malay-based party in a supposedly post-racial coalition, the illusion can be maintained because people want to believe. Mahathir, for all the demonisation of him by multiracial parties when they were the opposition, is now hailed as the messiah – so long as Harapan does not have to deal with issues that touch upon race and religion. Financial scandals are the best gifts Umno gave this new coalition.
Getting the party started
The fun will not start until Umno settles its power struggles. As long as Umno is embroiled in internecine conflicts as to which faction controls Umno, and Harapan has all these wonderful financial scandals to unearth, there really is no real Malay opposition in this country. Remember that PAS is also included in the Malay opposition, and the reality is that these two parties cannot strategise until Umno decides who leads it.
Of the PAS-Umno dynamic, I cautioned - “With Umno out in the cold, who defines Islam now? PAS, for so long on the receiving end of a federal-funded Islamic bureaucracy and propaganda campaign, for the moment defines the Islamic narrative in this country. “Now that Umno is the opposition and a babe in the woods when it comes to opposition politics, they are subservient to PAS who have demonstrated that they are willing to go at it alone, if need be.”
Furthermore, the new Umno grand poohbah has to be someone who leads with the support of the majority of the party. He cannot be someone who is holding on to dear life, while the factions wage war around him. 
Umno political operatives who I have talked to tell me that they realise how damaging this infighting is. The new political landscape demands that they have disciplined political operatives working in coordination, and not simply shooting from the hip. Besides public comments from Umno potentates like Johari Abdul Ghani, there is a feeling, especially among younger members, that this is the perfect opportunity to reform the party. These younger members view Bersatu’s narrative that Umno has betrayed the Malays as a legitimate criticism, and that reforming the Malay agenda for the new reality of old style alliance politics is the way to go.
Underestimating the ‘Malay opposition’
It would be a mistake to underestimate the Malay opposition when it finally gets its act together. Always remember that Mahathir is a personality that partisans gravitate to for whatever reason, and if he is not in play, the Harapan regime will be in a whole lot of trouble, when it comes to combating the strategies and narratives of this new Malay opposition. Always remember that it was because Mahathir could not dislodge Najib Abdul Razak from Umno that this whole Harapan deal came about. If Mahathir had managed to remove Najib than things would be very different.
Thinking Malays in Umno – and it would be stupid to think that the party is bereft of these kinds of political operatives – rue the day that they did not oust Najib and present a new face to their base. Clinging on to Najib was a mistake they will never forget. The royalty incident is a good case in point. The reality is that the royalty had overplayed their hand by getting into the business of messing with politics. While A Kadir Jasin may have been collateral damage when it comes to the issue of royalty, the rakyat, which include a sizeable number of Malays, are beginning to question this sacred cow. The rising cost of living brings forth such questioning.
And questioning sacred cows is important if we are to dismantle the ketuanan ideology, which unfortunately many Harapan political operatives still cling to. While it is too early to tell if one component of the sacred ‘three Rs’ of Malay politics has been removed from play, Malaysians who want a secular democratic framework to work with should be optimistic that messy though it is, some things are slowly changing.
Race and religion
This does not mean that we are out of the woods. Race and religion still play an important, vicious role in politics. Be it the mendacious nature of the racial political of Harapan in denying that there are serious racial divisions in this country, most of which are constitutionally protected, or the ‘don’t spook the Malays’ narrative which Anwar Ibrahim was brave enough to utter, we are not honestly dealing with racial and religious issues in this country.
Kicking this can down the road while folks are enamoured by shiny financial scandals is short-sighted, and in my view, dangerous. This makes the Harapan regime vulnerable. Public statements by presidential hopeful Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah that Umno remain a Malay-based party are rational. After all, the people who voted for Umno obviously believe that race matters. This goading by Harapan political operatives that Umno needs to change is rather dumb, considering Bersatu stares them in the face every single day.
The Malay opposition will define itself by offering a virulent counter-narrative when it comes to issues of race and religion. They will attempt to force the Harapan regime to demonstrate how committed they are in their secular principles, and of course their egalitarian principles – if they are committed to these at all.
Add to this the perception that the ketuanan types will project that the ‘Chinese-based’ element of Harapan is pulling the strings will no doubt come into play, and it will be interesting to see how equal power sharing translates in this new milieu.

How does Harapan deal with the Malay opposition? While I have been dismissive of Bersatu youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, his response to ‘bazaar-gate’ is something that points the way to how his party could redefine the Malay agenda.
By projecting itself as the party for small business owners, working-class Malays and the reformer of the Malay civil service – better pay, better working image, ‘regaining maruah’ – this would ensure that the Malay political narrative is defined by Bersatu along utilitarian lines by the Malay political operatives in Harapan, and not the Malay opposition led by Umno and PAS.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 11:51 AM  
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