Articles, Opinions & Views: Raging against human trafficking - 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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Raging against human trafficking - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Human Trafficking
Malaysiakini : To us, good journalism is about telling stories that matter, that make a difference, that hold people accountable, that give a voice to those who don’t have one. And that can mean anything from urban poverty in Malaysia to disaster education in Japan. - R.AGE
COMMENT | I have been following The Star’s R.AGE group of young journalists for some time. Admittedly, the growing pains of this outfit were painful to observe in the early days. However, I always thought The Star was on to something when they started this.
The recent nomination of the team’s work for a Peabody Award (the second) under the category of “Public Service” is something they should be congratulated on, but more importantly, everyone should help spread the word on the subject matter of their documentary.
Concerning the subject matter of their documentary, I am biased. I consider human traffickers the lowest of the low when it comes to a criminal enterprise. Check that. I consider politicians who are in league with these criminals as the lowest of the low. I even despise the term “human traffickers”. These cretins are “slavers”.
The R.AGE team’s documentary and feature story on the web of predators, survivors and business connections from Bangladesh to Malaysia highlight the corruption of the system and the reality that activist groups like Tenanganita have been confronting for decades.
What this documentary about human slavery does is juxtapose the personal and the apathy of a consumerist society on the plight of a group of people who are more often seen as a threat to stability and social cohesion than victims of capitalist imperatives which sustain a fast-changing economy.

Here’s is an excerpt of the scam that young people from Bangladesh are sucked into, from reportage by R.AGE: “The most common lie the agents told is that college students can work part-time in Malaysia on a student visa, and that’s the crux of the scam. "In Malaysia, dozens of victims we spoke to said this convinced their families to take out their life savings, to sell land, to loan money, even, just to pay the agents, thinking they could earn it back through part-time work. Saddled with debt in a foreign country, and with an agent who could easily get you arrested and deported, these would-be college students are then forced to work illegally as cheap labour (often in dangerous construction sites), all the while facing constant exploitation.”
However, this is more than just a special interest story, that peculiar news genre meant to tug at your heartstrings. The R.AGE team has a more specific agenda which is to expose the black economy that sustains legitimate commerce in this country. A detailed overview of what these “agents” do in this country should be the starting point for the relevant local agencies to open investigations into various crimes if they were interested in pursuing such objectives, that is.
The team interviews an agent, who is connected to a “Datuk” who supposedly owns a college, but who is not present at what the agent thinks is a business transaction. The agent boasts since 2013 he has brought in 8,000 Bangladeshi students and proceeds to give a low down on how this vile business works: “He can secure foreign workers for us by using the college to issue them student visas.
“What’s more, he can keep them in Malaysia for up to 10 years by enrolling them in a succession of courses, from basic language courses and diplomas all the way up to a PhD. “It just depends on whether you can pay the cost or not,” he says. “Everything to do with the visa, I’m handling, so you don’t have to worry. If you agree, and you have no objections, I can process it tomorrow.”
Like all engaging documentaries, this one finds the journalist investigating nearly every aspect of the slavers trail, from, the streets of Malaysia, to Bangladesh. In Farmgate, the epicentre of this dark business, an agent boasted that he has contacts with the Malaysian Embassy, and a genuine agent claimed: “Small colleges, institutes and language centres (in Malaysia), they are involved in this business. They are the main ring leaders. They need the students, they need the money. Whether (the students) come for study or for work, it doesn’t matter.”
This goes far beyond stereotypes of bad people doing evil things, but rather the complicity of state actors and criminal enterprise in sustaining a slave labour workforce that supposedly benefits the economy of this country.

There is another worrying aspect of this story which is not explored by the R.AGE team, but which has been a preoccupation of mine. When we talk about human slavers, an aspect that is often missed is the reality that if the system is so compromised when it comes to moving people in and out of the country, how dangerous could it be for non-state actors to smuggle extremists into this country using the same pipeline?
Cells of religious extremists could be smuggled into the country and they would be unwittingly aided by elements in this country who assume that everything is business as usual. I doubt there is a vetting process when it comes to the types of victims of these enterprises.
The work of these young journalists should be highlighted. Congratulations to these young journalists for their Peabody nomination (you are in an interesting company).
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 7:34 AM  
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