Articles, Opinions & Views: Harapan should stop playing the victim card - 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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Harapan should stop playing the victim card - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Malaysiakini : "A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority."  ― Henry David Thoreau, 'Civil Disobedience'
COMMENT | Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy’s piece 'Harapan being bullied by extreme forces' could have been a clarion call for reform from a political insider but instead ends up playing the victim card. That does nothing to further the progressive agenda in this country. Of late, Ramasamy has been shining a spotlight on issues which deserve public attention and this should be commended.
However, Harapan is developing a habit of blaming everyone but themselves for their political inertia. It has gotten so bad that now it seems that every time Harapan announces a new policy direction, they are just waiting for the Malay far-right to object so they can scupper their plans. The matriculation fiasco is a fine example. Ramasamy did right when he highlighted the racial inequality of the matriculation programme. It doesn’t matter what you may think of this programme, what is important is that it is just another example of the blatant discrimination that non-Malays face in this country.
After all the false starts, backtracking and weasely retreats, what Harapan could have done is adjust the odious quotas to reflect the reality of the diverse ethnic demographic and honour a campaign theme of racial equality, even if it is just baby steps. Instead, the Harapan establishment - in the usual way BN used to - decided behind closed doors that not spooking the Malays was a better strategy than abandoning discriminatory practices. The DAP Youth varsity affairs bureau correctly pointed out that merely increasing the intake invites a host of variables, none of which are good for either the education system or for young people.
I do not really think anyone thinks highly of the matriculation system but the irony here is that it is a cogent example of the racist policies that have been mainstreamed in this country. The real problem – besides the substandard education the majority in this country receives, despite the preferential treatment – is described by former academic-cum-politician Kua Kia Soong here – “The reality is that even within the national education system, non-bumiputera suffer discrimination such as in access to scholarships, special schools and tertiary institutions. For decades we have witnessed the annual spectacle of non-bumiputera with straight As being rejected for entry into the courses of their choice at public sector universities.”
Pandering to Malay anxieties
What does this say about Harapan when it is perpetuating this system? Anwar Ibrahim, the prime minister-designate, always seems to be in a hurry to assuage the anxieties of the Malays. What does this mean in the context of this matriculation fiasco? It means that the Malays want this discrimination – 90/10 – and an egalitarian direction would be anathema to them.
Anwar is really telling us that the Malays he wants to vote for Harapan do not care about equality. All they care about is their community hogs the lion share of everything while the non-Malays should be grateful for being allowed to participate in the political process. Is this the kind of Malay base that Harapan wants?
This victim card is unfortunately just another red herring. When Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali says that Harapan should be championing the bumiputera agenda without "apology”, what do you think he means? Well, he most certainly means that dodgy educational initiatives like the matriculation programme should be a 90/10 affair but more importantly, that Harapan should be the purveyors of Umno-like policies which further supremacists' racial and religious narratives.
When Bersatu propagandists claim that the difference between Umno and their party is that the latter is not corrupt - that’s the only real objective difference; that of egalitarian versus racist policies is non-existent. It was so much easier before the elections when Harapan could talk about its progressive policies and blather on about their manifesto when they really did not have anything to show for it beyond fancy polemics.
Show that you're different
Honestly, what were the policy initiatives that changed the narrative when it came to race and religion in this country which differentiated Harapan from BN? The DAP in Penang were busy increasing the religious funding to prove that they were not a threat to the Malays. PKR was busy attempting to redefine the narrative when it came to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as some sort of benevolent strongman who could save this country from the clutches of an evil kleptocrat.
The non-Malays – including this writer – were sceptical but hoped that a Harapan regime would at least make an attempt to course correct the direction this country was heading in. Now we have the youth and sports minister saying that if Harapan pushes reforms too fast they could lose the next general election. Wait a minute, weren’t these reforms essential so that our country would not become a failed state?
People talk about the recent sandiwara (shadow play) between Mahathir and the monarchy but forget that it is Harapan which is proposing new laws with stricter punishment to protect the sanctity of the monarchy. This, of course, did not go down well with me – by enacting legislation to further protect one idea and cavalierly talking about increasing the severity of the punishment, what Harapan is actually doing is further codifying ideas that are sacred cows to the racists and bigots of this country.
Are extreme forces to be blamed for these new laws or could it be that the Harapan regime is gingerly walking down a fascist's path because they seem far more interested in courting those who believe that racial and religious superiority is a good foundation to build public policy on? The more Harapan continues to play the victim card, the more they will bleed when it comes to non-Malay support. Even worse, it makes them look weak to the very base they want to entice from Umno-PAS. Someone once said, there are no victims, only volunteers.
Ain't that the truth.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 3:41 PM  
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