Articles, Opinions & Views: Sorry Najib, but the genie is out of the bottle - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
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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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Sorry Najib, but the genie is out of the bottle - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, July 30, 2018
The Genie is out of the bottle
Malaysiakini : "That will be my message to young people out there. I felt empowered at 18, that I could do anything, that I will not allow fear to dictate my actions." - Nurul Izzah Anwar
COMMENT | The grand Umno poohbah, now opposition leader, says that the “public” – read, Malays – are unhappy with the Pakatan Harapan government. If that is the case, there would be thousands on the streets, like what happened with the numerous rallies when BN lost the popular vote in 2013.
Remember that. Thousands on the streets, even though we lost, going to post-election rallies. That is rakyat power and not these snivelling NGOs and Rais Yatim (of course) reminding the government of Malay rights.
About the only thing I agree with our current Malay opposition leader – I say Malay, because Umno and PAS only care about the Malay vote - is that Lim Kit Siang should stop stalking him. I mean this with the utmost respect, Mr Kit Siang, but there is neither a need to remind people what a kleptocrat Najib Abdul Razak is, nor is it necessary to remind people how toxic his politics – our? – politics is.Instead of studying every word Najib says, effort should be spent on describing how Harapan intends to remedy the mistakes of the long Umno watch. There is no need to fire up the base anymore.
What someone like Kit Siang should be doing is expanding the base and the way how to do this, to inform people of the reforms that Harapan is in the midst of that would change the lives of Malaysians for the better.
If there is anything to talk about, of course, do talk. Because continuing screeds against Najib is best left to political pundits and not elder statesmen. Kit should be starting conversations on the possible changes in Malaysia and ensuring that political parties in Harapan do not revert to the days of Najib's Birkin Bag democracy.
The Malay far right is like Cardinal Richeliue. All you have to do is give them six lines written by the hand of an honest man, and they will find something to hang him with. In politics, there are no honest men. Hence the Harapan political operatives should be mindful.
Of the Malay opposition I wrote this: “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.”
Corruption and religious hypocrisy
While Najib may claim that Kit Siang is equating Islam with kleptocracy, the reality is that corruption and religious hypocrisy go hand in hand. That has always been the problem with the way how the DAP has attempted to use Islam in politics. My advice has always been to stay away from religion.
Embrace your secular position and defend it without having to rely on religion – any religion – to make your case. Speak up against religious harassment but do not attempt to define religious beliefs in line with your political agendas.
While I may bitch and moan about what Harapan is doing or not doing, the reality is that, for once, there is a bigger democratic space in the Malaysians political and social landscape, where the state will not stamp its boot on your throat at the slightest provocation.
The only people who are unhappy with the Harapan government are the far right instigators who think that when someone, for example, like Nurul Izzah Anwar (photo) wants to clean house with a TVET programme. They smell the fear in each other that their corrupt practices would be made public.
Anecdotally speaking, I think the average rakyat knows this. They know they have been screwed for so long and they understand that the government is attempting to do things to rectify the situation. That's the baseline. A small amount of cautious goodwill that should not be conflated by the social media outpourings by the Harapan faithful.
Khairy Jamaluddin may hope that the PAS/Umno Sungai Kandis tango is a one-off thing, but we all know that this is the new normal for Malaysian politics. But here’s the thing. The genie is out of the bottle. Malaysians understand now that regime change is possible. And however you self-identify, there’s this feeling that the rakyat can hold the government accountable. The genie of regime change is out of the bottle.

Umno miscalculated with PAS. Whenever I speak to PAS political operatives and activists, I get the sense that the base is fired-up. For once they think they really have the upper hand. PAS may have split the Malay vote in the last election but they know that this cannot be the strategy forever. PAS is testing the waters with Umno, knowing full well that their base is divided on working with Umno.
Slowly shifting to Bersatu
Sooner or later Umno is going to fall before PAS. Look, even the most unsophisticated PAS member knows that PAS is offering something to the Malay voting demographic. Religion. What is Umno offering?
Umno can’t say it is the protector of race and religion anymore because everyone who had a role in propagating that has been slowly shifting to Bersatu. People like me may complain about the religious and racial politics of Harapan, but the reality for a majority of Malaysians is that this sort of equilibrium is something they are used to.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's (photo) nose may twitch whenever he thinks he smells some sort of transgression in the Malay social and political terrain but the reality is that most Malays will eventually settle on the fact that the new ruling coalition will look after their rights, much like Dr Mahathir Mohamad did when he ran Umno. That’s not a rat he smells – those are Umno establishment rats abandoning ship.
The best part about this whole new Malaysia is that, for once, the majority Malay community understands that the power they wield is not dependent on Umno. If the Malays were really spooked, there would have been hundreds of thousands at that rally with Rais Yatim. The young Malay vote is the key.
You see it in the way how former propagandists still ply their trade, aided by young extremist voices, new voices emerging questioning sacred cows that rattle the cage and the way how, for once, there’s a sense of real uncertainty when it comes to the Malay vote. This is a good thing.
There is really no point banging the drum on racial and religious issues. All it does is to remind young Malay voters how they have been screwed over by the system.
What Harapan should do is encourage young Malays through economic and social reforms, so they become suspicious whenever a political party claims that only their party can look after their interests.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:27 AM  
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