Articles, Opinions & Views: For ‘bangsat’ and negara - 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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For ‘bangsat’ and negara - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, July 02, 2018

Malaysiakini : “Trust no one." - Deep Throat, The X-Files
COMMENT | Wong Chin Huat’s piece on why Malaysian’s cannot afford Umno’s abrupt meltdown was nerve-racking because it would be dismissed or worse ignored during this moment of great political euphoria.
With Umno’s accounts being frozen and DAP’s Lim Lip Eng asking if MCA and MIC’s accounts should be frozen too, it brings to mind what Heinrich Heine observed: “We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged.”
The two big takeaways from Wong’s piece is that the destruction of Umno would cause an infusion of Umno blood into Harapan or would radicalise a Malay base which voted for Umno and PAS. Wong is correct on both scenarios, and as I have argued in numerous pieces – much to the consternation of my editors – the existential threat facing this country is Islamic in nature.
How long Harapan can maintain the middle ground when it comes to this issue remains to be seen. There will eventually come a time when either Umno or PAS or both demand that Harapan demonstrate its Islamic commitment, and it remains to be seen if Harapan can withstand such assaults, or if the supposedly all-powerful non-Malay component members stand up to this kind of religious intimidation.
Crippling the opposition may seem like a good strategy for the short-term, but I do not think it is incumbent on the government to offers incentives for Umno or the opposition to remain a viable alternative. What the opposition has to do is come up with narratives of their own, and while some think Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is senile for talking the way he does, he’s right when it comes to the realpolitik of power.
While Umno frogs crossing over to Harapan means a temporary infusion for the various Malay power structures, the reality is that the demographic who voted for these frogs may not cross over themselves. Indeed, in the short-term this may seem like a win, but the only thing it does is breed resentment which almost always leads to radicalisation.
Saying “it’s the economy stupid” is axiomatic. As long as Harapan maintains a grip on its fiscal responsibilities and the economy is viable things should go smoothly. All these ethnocentric rumblings will be on the backburner. Indeed, regardless of any provocations thrown up by Umno – in whatever form it is in – or PAS, nobody would be in the mood to rock the boat.
However, economic and social reforms should go hand in hand with reforms on religious institutions and whatever else that maintains an ethnocentric grip on the majority. Umno may just be a vehicle, but the reality is that the ketuanan system is more than just a political party. The system confronts us when the current Harapan grand poohbah talks about how the Chinese are rich, or when Anwar Ibrahim warns us not to “spook the Malays.” The system also includes those non-Malays who enable such narratives because this is the new Malaysia.
More and more, it seems that the only opposition we will have is an Islamic one. Whoever controls Umno – the newly minted president may be removed from the board – will realise that PAS is the only viable candidate when it comes to regaining power. In fact, an Umno bereft of most of its 1MDB-tainted funds is a kind of tabula rasa for a reengineered radical Malay right.
With Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the helm and the Abdul Hadi Awang faction in control of PAS, the opportunities for mischief are great. Attempting to cripple this Islamic alliance by the Harapan regime will results in more blowback than profit. The PAS people I have spoken to are biding their time until Hadi and his coteries get their just desserts. Make no mistake, they are not some progressive element within PAS, but rather the more virulent kind of Islamists whose ideology – if one can call it that – is intoxicating for a variety of reasons, but chiefly because state stupidly encouraged such nonsense for decades.
Controlling the narrative
Here is where I disagree with Chin. While I do not know if Malaysians have really ever wanted a colour-blind system, I would argue that Umno did impose its brand of ethnic nationalism on the Malay polity – the most successful purveyor of which is, of course, the current Harapan grand poohbah. The problem now is that PAS is free to control the Islamic narrative unless the Harapan state imposes its own.
For someone like me, a non-Malay, the only acceptable narrative is a pluralistic one. A marketplace of ideas that should keep us safe from the machinations of the deep Islamic state, Umno and PAS and yes, maybe even Harapan. The problem with this is that it probably won’t work because there would be very little political will for something which gives more freedom to Malay-Muslims because they will not be easy to control. People should be concerned. When PKR, DAP and PAS joined forces, it opened up whole other avenues for the Islamist party. Look how that turned out. Can you imagine an Umno and PAS combination?
As it is, if the Merdeka Center poll is taken at face value – and why should it not – there is a base in Umno which views cooperation with PAS as something beneficial. And here's the kicker: they were always there, except that the political elites of Umno kept these burners low.
The outcome of this Umno election is tricky. The new/old power structures could subscribe to their moderate Malay base and make strategic deals with PAS when it comes to the rural heartlands. This is because most urbanites only think these people are ignorant and backward and don’t give a crap about them, except when it comes to the old maverick convincing them that the alternative coalition will look after their “rights.”
Harapan has to get its act together. It has to undertake major reforms in the way how they deal with the rural heartland. They have to reform institutions which Umno used to spread its poisoned narratives, but more importantly they have to stop with this nonsense that this is a new Malaysia, all the while sending contradictory messages to its diverse base.
More important still, the political operatives from Harapan should stop making inane comments about Umno and PAS. If there are allegations to be investigated then let the so-called independent bodies do the work, while Harapan political operatives get down to the hard work of saving the country instead of taking pot shots at the old regime. Of course, it would be worse if Umno dissolves into Bersatu. Then this would just leave PAS and a Malay base which now understands that Umno could never be trusted and that PAS was right all along.
Furthermore, who knows if the political careers of these frogs is sustainable. Of course, some people think that the Umno base are all waiting for dedak, and they will doubtless be sorely surprised when a resurgent Malay right rears its head.
Racial and religious tensions in this country will be on the rise, and will only get worse if and when Mahathir steps down.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 10:12 AM  
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