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“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

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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Apa lagi Cina mahu redux - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | "Kumpulan pentadbir kerajaan baharu yang dipimpin PH pada hari ini mengamalkan dasar 'lead by example' dan saya yakin ia menjadi tarikan untuk mereka menyertai kita terutama Bersatu... kita tidak sekat asalkan mereka tinggalkan budaya lama," - Ahli Majlis Pemimpin Tertinggi Bersatu Mohd Redzuan Yusof (above)
The liberal intelligentsia in this country plays the same kind of game the far right in this country play. Both use race to detract from objectively examining policy decisions and political rhetoric. The far-right makes everything about race, while the liberal intelligentsia attempts to erase “race” from the discourse. The latter enabled by this nonsensical Bangsa Malaysia claptrap.
Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof's recent statement that the Malays have conceded too much to “racists” is the kind of “Apa lagi Cina mahu” Malay politics that passes as brilliant political strategy in this country. The context of this was the “khat” issue, but it could be used for any issue when it comes to Malay race-based parties.
Blaming Sin Chew and Dong Zong are political moves but underneath it are the simmering race tensions that people often ignore in favour of political bromides. When Redzuan, for instance, say something like this - "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is also mine."  - this is the essence of racial supremacy.

This should not be dismissed as communal distrust because every policy of the government of the day is meant to firm up support of the majority race. Race and religion is front and centre when it comes to policy consideration. To argue otherwise, to make it seem as if there is a political alternative is mendacious.
Electoral strategies and governmental policies include the major component of race. So this idea that we are suspicious of each and not trusting one another is not something which should be dismissed. There are legitimate reasons why the various communities do not trust each other and to solely blame politicians, as the left and well-meaning "moderates" tend to do, is misguided.
I wonder what kind of response Redzuan will get from his fellow cabinet ministers? After all, what non-Malay Malaysians want is an equal share of the pie. So yes, since nothing is really “mine,” what non-Malays want is what is rightfully “ours”. Therein lies the rub. Mainstream Malay political dogma is about protecting the entitlement programmes, the state-funded educational opportunities and the vast civil service which is considered employment for the majority race.
When non-Malays say we are “all Malaysians” what does this mean? Article 153 (which is often misinterpreted, but that is not the point) and various other provisions in the constitution divide us along racial and religious lines. There is no mainstream ideological basis for this contention, nor is there any evidence that the political class supports such a notion.
When a politician like Redzuan reminds non-Malays to read the Constitution, he is not asking us to “read” the constitution in the literal sense, but rather he is reminding Malaysians of the fictitious social contract. That non-existent document whereby the non-Malays have to remember that we are the "guests" of Malays, much like how Zakir Naik thinks the old guests should go back to wherever they came from if they question the new quest's motives.
The Apa lagi Cina mahu strategy is not meant for the Chinese. It’s meant for the Malays, who also need to be reminded that their economic and religious security is dependent on Malay power structures, and no matter how much non-Malay power structures attempt to appease the Malay majority, the sole guardians of everything “Malay” belong to the Malay political class, no matter which political party they are from.
This is why making statements of how Harapan should save Utusan - a Malay power structure mouthpiece - is ridiculous and viciously cynical. If you want to save Utusan you would hand it over to those Malays who would turn it back into that "pinko" rag that the British distrusted all those years ago.
While the non-Malays are right to fear that their private and public spaces are going to be intruded on by the state on racial and religious policy decisions, the Malays are right to fear the egalitarian policies would take away their entitlements and their preferential treatment.
A caveat to this last part, said preferential treatment is heavily reliant on class. Hence, what we get are class-based resentments which have nothing to do with actual policies and decisions, but everything to do with corruption and governmental malfeasances. See the Tabung Haji, Felda and other numerous scandals involving “Malay” institutions.
But as one Bersatu politician told me: “Do you know what would happen if we decreased the number of Malay participation in the various programmes if we moved to a needs-based approach? You are a realist, Thaya, what do you think would happen, if Malays suddenly realised they were not getting the lion's share of everything?” There is that I suppose.
Let us take education for instance. I am against vernacular schools because they do nothing to foster the kind of interactions that are needed to form some sort of social cohesiveness in society.
However, the way national types schools have become mired in religiosity and race-baiting, not to mention becoming a petri dish for all sort of governmental policies, I can understand why non-Malays would not want their children to be part of this system and choose the vernacular alternative. I understand why some parents choose to privately educate their children. Or how some parents send their children to live with relatives so they could use the home address for one of the better national schools.
We need to openly talk about issues like race and religion without hiding behind dodgy concepts. And it is the progressive forces in Malaysia who should be defining the discourse, not the political class which needs to protect the power it has accumulated. This would explain, why non-Malay politicians have such a hard time pushing egalitarian policies, but it would also explain why they see political capital in the status quo remaining.
All that has changed is the spin that non-Malays should buy into the social contract because Malaysia is under new management, which is what Harapan politicians are offering its non-Malay base now.
When liberals go on about how Dong Zong or Hindraf are “racists” – something DAP supporters used to say about Hindraf, Waythayamoorthy and Uthayakumar, – I always wonder what planet they are on. Sure, the polemics of race-based interests groups bother me too but to pretend that we are not living in a country where race is embedded in nearly every policy decision be it, social, economic or political, is far more damaging than what mainstream Malay politics or the far right does.
A non-Malay activist wrote to me in a blithering rage asking what more does someone like Redzuan want from the Chinese community. I replied that she was missing the point. Redzuan does not want anything more from the Chinese community. He merely wants the Chinese community to play the same game they did when they were supporting the MCA. He wants the DAP to play the same role as the MCA did. He wants the status quo.
Redzuan is leading by example.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:19 AM   0 comments
Dr M, spare Sabah, Sarawak the sermons by Francis Paul Siah
Monday, August 19, 2019
Our so called "Great Leader"
Malaysiakini : COMMENT I have said in the past that when we need to speak up and tell our prime minister some hard truths, we have to do so with respect.
It is true that there are some politicians for whom we have little or no respect, but this is Dr Mahathir Mohamad, our elder statesperson who is 94 years old, not a man of 30 or 40 whom we can whack as we please without any remorse if they go off track. Unfortunately, of late Mahathir has been seriously vilified by Malaysians, including some of my fellow Sarawakians, rightly or wrongly. To many, the writing is clear on the wall. His time as prime minister is up.
In an online chat group, a friend recently challenged me after I called for decorum in the language used against Mahathir, asking what respect I still hold for the prime minister after all the misgivings against him, his dictatorial decisions and for allowing racial and religious taunts to prolong, in particular.
This did not come from a politician whom we could brush aside as an adversary, but an ordinary professional whom I know has zero political ambition. Things are not looking rosy for Mahathir indeed. I only have sympathy for the grand old man. Surely, a man of 94 should be spared such animosity and spite, hate even. My worry is that the longer Mahathir stays on in the job, the worse it will be for him. Only Mahathir himself can decide whether he wishes to be spared more public attacks, ridicule and misery.

What is my beef with Mahathir now? His statement on Friday that the 'Sabah for Sabahans' and 'Sarawak for Sarawakians' mentality was unhealthy, adding that everyone should think of themselves as Malaysians and not individual territories. "We may live in Sabah, Sarawak, or on the peninsula, (but) we are Malaysians and we talk like Malaysians," he had said, stating his disapproval.
I’m sorry, but I have to express my disapproval too, for the slogans were coined for good reason. The prime minister must practise what he preaches. Mahathir is the one who has to lead by example by thinking that he is a Malaysian first and not a Malayan. If he thinks that the 'Sabah for Sabahans' and 'Sarawak for Sarawakians' mentality is unhealthy, then the prime minister must also discard his 'Malaysia for Malayans' mentality.
For 56 long years, it has all been about Malaya and worse, that only the interests of Malayans of a certain race were given priority. It has reached a point where Sabahans and Sarawakians just did not feel a sense of belonging in Malaysia. The 'Malaysia for Malayans' mentality is not only unhealthy, but also dangerous in a multiracial and multireligious country like ours because Mahathir is the nation’s powerful chief executive.

The recent pronouncement by Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin (photo) that 'Malaysia is for Malays' cuts a deeper wedge, especially when the prime minister did not tick off the mufti for his racially stinging remark. What about Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin’s 'I am Malay first, Malaysian second' declaration some years ago? No one chided him.
So, I have to ask Mahathir to spare us his sermons of thinking like Malaysians when he did not bother to tell others the same thing in the past. Please, don’t preach to Sabahans and Sarawakians now. It smacks of double standards. It is even hollow.
It’s disappointing that an elder statesperson like Mahathir is still unable to see the growing disillusionment among Sabahans and Sarawakians against many of his 'one-man' policies, both past and present.
One recent example is his decision to set up Bersatu branches in Sabah and Sarawak, even against the wishes of Pakatan Harapan allies in the Borneo territories. Don’t blame the people of Sabah and Sarawak for feeling that Mahathir’s desire is to see Malayan parties in control of their homeland. The powerful Bersatu chairperson has insisted that his party must have a presence in the Borneo territories even when support is minimal.

Why? Because to a leader like Mahathir, Malaya must always be in charge. Sabah and Sarawak will have to take and follow instructions from Malaya. This is something we resent and will no longer tolerate.
In a way, the 'Sabah for Sabahans' and 'Sarawak for Sarawakians' slogans are our way of telling Malaya that we have had enough of playing second fiddle for the past 56 years. We have to chart our own destiny now, with or without Malaya’s approval or support. If Mahathir really wants Sabahans and Sarawakians to have a sense of belonging in Malaysia, he should know what to do first – stop pushing us against the wall.
As it is today, Malaya has many issues to resolve. The controversies surrounding Zakir Naik, khat, Dong Zong, Selangor conversion bill and the sex video are all Malaya’s creations. We do not have such problems in Sabah and Sarawak. Those are Malaya’s issues to resolve so don’t burden Sabah and Sarawak with them.
In fact, if Mahathir and other Malayan leaders were able to think and act like Malaysians, we would not have to face such disturbing issues of race and religion in the first place. Who is responsible for perpetuating and prolonging them? Why is the most powerful man in the country today dilly-dallying in putting an end to these contentious issues once and for all?
And that is my way of telling our grand old man some hard truths with the utmost respect.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 7:35 PM   0 comments
The last thing DAP or Harapan needs is a gag order - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Malaysiakini : “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”
– Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks
COMMENT | You know what the real crisis in Harapan is? The fact that more Pakatan Harapan politicians do not speak up. If DAP members follow the “internal memo” by Lim Kit Siang urging them to voice their grievances through the proper channels – especially when these concern other coalition partners – this would sound its death knell.

Part of this is optics. As a political party which has accused the MCA of being “running dogs” for their Malay partners, the sight of your own members mewling in the corner does not look good. Better to yap in the open even if it means getting return fire than becoming what you claimed would never happen to DAP.
Secondly, it is cathartic. The people who voted for Harapan wanted change. They were told that this could happen even though the coalition was partnering with the main architect of old Malaysia. When the Grand Poohbah starts acting up, the sight of politicians putting up a fight is exactly what a dejected base needs.
So when DAP central executive committee member Ronnie Liu, for instance, warns of creeping Mahatharism, and gets blowback from Bersatu members, or when Klang MP Charles Santiago (photo) – who like Second Deputy Penang Chief Minister P Ramamsamy is becoming the conscience of Harapan – does a very public tango with the old maverick, this is a good thing.
It means that there are politicians in Harapan who want a New Malaysia as opposed to a Neo-Malaysia. In fact, this is what is keeping the Harapan flame alive, which is slowly sputtering out. Some people ask what is going on with Harapan. The answer is simple. That manifesto which some people want to burn is not worth the paper it is printed on. Nobody really had a plan – if the old maverick is to be believed – because they did not believe they could win. So all those reforms that everyone bought into – including this writer, who not only endorsed Mahathir but also Harapan – have only ourselves to blame.
But this does not mean that the game is over. You can still reform the system even though you did not think you would win. The problem is that politicians who want to do something are being stymied by those who are afraid to drain the swamp and worry about the return of Umno. Don't they realise that they are slowly replacing Umno with Umno?
Part of this was the political narrative and take-no-prisoners dialectic of the then-Harapan opposition. Where everything the Umno regime did was going to destroy Malaysia, and post-election the narrative has been “well maybe not really destroy Malaysia, especially if we can work it out” type ploys that has angered a vocal section of the base.
Take the Lynas backpedalling, for instance. Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok (photo), after jumping on the Lynas bandwagon, says this about the extension – "Isn't that enough to tell you that we gave a chance to Lynas to improve and fulfil the conditions?”
Really? Can you imagine if Kok had said this before the election? Maybe saying something like this, putting forward a nuanced argument would have mitigated the feelings of betrayal that some people have about Lynas. Instead, the Harapan opposition implied that the Najib regime was complicit in the possible deaths of Malaysians due to radioactive waste.
So bravo to those seven DAP members – Lee Chin Chen (Bilut), Young Syefura Othman (Ketari), Kamache Doray Rajoo (Sabai), Chow Yu Hui (Tras), Chiong Yoke Kong (Tanah Rata), Woo Chee Wan (Mentakab) and Leong Yu Man (Triang) – who did the right thing and spoke truth to power.
At least if the mandarins in Putrajaya do not want to fulfil their commitments, there are DAP members who are making their stand clear. This is important. Maybe it will not change anything and God knows, the next racial and religious provocations will push broken promises to the background, but at least people who vote for the DAP still have some hope that there are politicians in the party who will honour what they say they will do.
Whatever your view of Lynas, what Bentong MP Wong Tack is doing is correct. Holding the government of the day – one that he is a part of – to account. The only way out of this for Harapan is to admit that their propaganda on Lynas was wrong, and to work with detractors to correct whatever dangers this project brings to Malaysia and be transparent in the process.
Part of this is the supporters of the old maverick who jumped on board Harapan and now want things to go back to how it used to be. The so-called power sharing formula, which was not really about sharing but was in reality about acquiescence.
The role the MCA used to play with Umno. The narrative that non-Malays should be grateful that they have a place in this country and it is always about compromise, which means the non-Malays have to step aside and play along to the greater agenda of keeping the Malays in a single party through various social and economic policies.
R Nadeswaran in his last column wrote, “We, the people, wait for the answers with bated breath”. This is the question to ask. When politicians state their stand, either because they are forced to or because of their principles, they are answering the questions the rakyat is asking.
Asking people to conform to party politics or party discipline is what screwed up old Malaysia and it is what is screwing up New Malaysia. If the best thing that this New Malaysia has to offer is that politicians are bucking party politics and not toeing the establishment line and voicing what the rakyat who voted for them want of a new Malaysia, this would be one of the better moments of the Harapan regime.
It is unproductive laying the blame squarely on Mahathir. In fact, this is what the MCA and MIC did, with S Samy Vellu in an interview with Malaysiakini going so far as to say that the old maverick made unilateral decisions and did not give a damn about the cabinet.
What is important is that politicians stand up to him and what they believe in. Asking people to channel their grievances through proper channels is exactly what the old maverick wants. This is a stratagem from the Old Malaysia playbook.
My advice to politicians from Harapan who want to create a new Malaysia or at the very least plant the seeds of a new Malaysia, is do not be quiet. Be vocal about it even if it means going against the party and the government. This is especially important for the younger elected representatives of Harapan.
Don’t worry about losing elections. That’s beyond your control and the fact is, you thought you would lose the last election. Maybe if you did something, young people or people who had never bothered to vote before, would feel inspired to vote, instead of thinking nothing ever changes.
Besides the political terrain for the moment means that power would be disused, and who knows if the far right can organise anything beyond marching in the streets because of the blunders the Harapan government makes and not the by any strategic brilliance of the far right.
Do not worry about offending your coalition partners. Do you think Bersatu Youth cares if it offends its coalition partners or disrupts the grassroots and activists that political parties use? If they are doing something that you believe is Old Malaysia, do not be sucked into that mess.
In other words, speak up for Malaysians who voted for you and not just your political party.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:47 PM   0 comments
Zakar Naik a clear and present danger - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Malaysiakini : “A liar is always lavish of oaths.” - Pierre Corneille
COMMENT | Let us get one thing out of the way. The non-issue with Zakir Naik, the alleged money-launderer and religious instigator, is that he and his supporters believe that his freedom of speech (and theirs) trumps the non-Muslim’s freedom of speech in this country. This is par for the course in this country.
The real danger this English-speaking religious provocateur presents to this country is that he could radicalise a specific class of racial and religious provocateurs, galvanise the far-right and influence Malay power structures into acting against the interests of the country in the name of religious supremacy.
In numerous articles, I have elaborated on the phenomenon of “external” religious agents of influence whose agenda is to undermine “native” Islamic practices in the service of disparate Islamic groupings intent on establishing some sort of Islamic caliphate in the region. The use of proxies and other “useful idiots” – a Russian term – is well-known and well-documented.
Furthermore, credible defence journals, non-partisan think-tanks and the collation of reportage by independent journalists, not to mention the pronouncement of radical Islamists, indicate that Southeast Asia is the new theatre of operations for radical Islamic groups. This is beyond dispute.
Ever since Zakir Naik was given refuge in this country, he has meddled in the politics of this country, furthered racial and religious divisions, opportunistically sided with Muslim power groups in this country and furthered nativist narratives meant to ferment dissatisfaction in non-Muslims communities and goad them into a confrontation with Malay/Muslim power structures.
When challenged on this, Zakir Naik engages in sophistry, fabulations and lying to deflect from the fact that his words and actions are designed to spread a particular type of Islam which are at odds with the norms of this country. He has been aided and abetted by Malay political power structures who have used him to further narratives that appeal to certain sections of the Malay/Muslim community who believe that Islam is under siege in this country.
Keep this in mind. This is a country where we are still absorbing the fact that pastor Raymond Koh and social activist Amri Che Mat have been taken by the state – see the Suhakam conclusion. This is a country where religious-political operatives demonise liberals, the LGBTQ community, Christians and Chinese education groups as a threat to Islam.

In this political and religious terrain, the authorities let Zakir Naik wander around, a religious zealot who has said that some apostates deserve the death penalty. In questioning the religious agenda of Pakatan Harapan when it comes to Zakir Naik, I wrote – “These days, it would seem when it comes to these types of provocations, the ruling establishment is silent. Since Harapan took over, we have had provocateurs at Kampung Manjoi, a prime minister hopeful telling us not to spook the Malays, a mufti telling a deputy chief minister of a state to leave the country if he loses a rigged debate and of course, a Malay politician threatened with death because of the fake news that she wants to destroy an Islamic institution.”

Supporters of Zakir Naik, and they are a legion, have attempted to paint – as usual – opposition to his vile rhetoric as attacks against Islam. The fact that this supposed religious confab in Perlis has the likes of Ridhuan Tee Abdullah and Vinod Kalimath, both Naik loyalists and converts to Islam, points to the tone of these religious proceedings.
Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin in asking the organisers of the Perlis event to drop Zakir Naik (for his own good) qualifies his objections because of people with “ill intent”. Now, this is a religious operative who has said horrible things about democratically-elected representatives who have spoken out against Zakir Naik, hence his words should be taken for what they are.

Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin
While I am a proponent of free speech, kudos to Perlis police chief Noor Mushar who said that Zakir Naik was welcome in Perlis but he could not give speeches willy-nilly without informing the security apparatus because, "We are a multiracial country and the sensitivities of others have to be taken into consideration."
A couple of months ago I asked the DAP why they wanted a friend like Asri - “The finance minister is meeting with a religious leader who, when he was chiding the DAP for not making its stand clear on P Ramasamy who was accused of being a supporter of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), said: 'I could also see this hate and anti-Islam (sentiment) in Ramasamy, which is a trait of the LTTE.'”
My article got a response from Syahredzan Johan, Lim Kit Siang’s political secretary, babbling on about how "New Malaysia" is about building bridges and reaching out to those who you may disagree with. How is that working out for the DAP, Syahredzan? Those cheap words by political operatives babbling on about "New Malaysia", seems reprehensible considering that Zakir Naik loyalist Asri is backing the plays of an alleged money-launderer and racial and religious provocateur like Zakir Naik, who lodged police reports against non-Muslim government ministers for doing the job they were democratically elected to carry out.
I have no idea what kind of “grilling” was taking place in Bukit Aman when Zakir Naik was summoned to answer questions. It is obvious that he has run afoul of laws that restrict certain kind of speech in this country. If a non-Muslim had said what Zakir Naik said, would there be any doubt of the outcome?

And that is the question, right? Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed has said that Zakir Naik’s permanent resident status is dependent on the outcome of police investigations. Exactly how there could be any other outcome beyond the fact that he did say those words, has a history of denigrating other religions, has a history of attacking the non-Muslims in this country and generally causing trouble everywhere he goes? What else could the state security apparatus come up with except to toe the Zakir Naik line and claim he was misquoted or misunderstood?
Remember this is a man who the religious czar of this country, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, found “inspiring”. Zakir Naik is a man who has made a career of making anti-Semitic statements and proclamations that it is better to support a corrupt Muslim leader than a law-abiding non-Muslim leader. This is inspiring to some people?
Harapan should expel Zakir Naik from Malaysia. I say this not as someone who is offended by his speech. I have heard it all before from the natives of this country.
This is a preacher who could radicalise middle-class English-speaking Muslims who would commit acts of violence because they believe that Islam is under threat from the non-Muslims in this country and weak Muslim leadership.
Act now before it is too late.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:29 AM   0 comments
Neither Mahathir nor Kit Siang are villains - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Broken Promises By Lying Scumbag Politicians
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | Racism and religious bigotry will continue to dominate our life while top leaders weaken the nation with scandals, corruptions and mismanagement. – Liew Chin Tong
In claiming that the “khat” fiasco is the worst crisis the DAP is facing since GE 14, and blaming it on a “post-truth” milieu, what Chin Tong is doing is relying on misdirection, instead of getting to the root of the problem. Attempting to paint Sin Chew and Utusan as Malaysia’s version of Fox news is the kind of post-truth rhetoric that is getting the DAP into trouble.
You do not get to play the “post-truth” card when you have the prime minister of Malaysia claiming that the Harapan manifesto was just an empty campaign promise because Harapan believed they could not win. You do not get to play the post-truth card, when you have backpedaled on so many issues, which before the election were touted as the kind of issues that would save Malaysia.
Liew is misdirecting again when he claims that the folks with “contrarian” views on the khat issue, are branded as traitors to the ethnic cause. You cannot have a contrarian view when the view is the establishment view. People who think that khat is a great idea are not positioning themselves as contrarian. They are supporting the Establishment. The people who do not think that khat is a great idea, who apparently have very little say on the matter, are the ones with the contrarian view.
Stop conflating the DAP base with the rest of Malaysia – which means that a majority of Malays think that khat is a great idea – and they fall into line with the liberal intelligentsia who cannot help themselves, but write about how wonderful khat or Jawi is.
The MCA are the ones with the contrarian view (when it comes to the Chinese community) when they were supplanted by the DAP, which just goes to show you the DAP's inability to get a grip on pushing a narrative.
Of course, facts matter. But it is not the definitional arguments of what is khat or what is Jawi is, but rather the fact that the Establishment view dismisses the view that khat (in Malaysia) has anything to do with religion, despite evidence to the contrary.
Does this mean that people who learn khat will suddenly convert? Of course not. It merely means that some politicians cannot bring themselves to concede that this has a religious component to it, and would rather bamboozle people into thinking that this is merely a secular educational directive.
Forget about all of that. What is important is not that the base is divided over khat, but rather that khat has become the flash point for all the backtracking and backpedaling that Harapan has engaged in, and for which the DAP has become the target because they were the loudest proponents of change.
The problem with partisan politics is its Manichean worldview that allows politicians to get away with almost anything. Pointing to the competing narratives of who is painting who as the villain, is one such example of this worldview.
It is not the press which is painting Mahathir or Kit Siang as villains, but rather the base and its Pavlovian response of wanting heroes and villains because it is easier than acknowledging that they voted into this mess.
Mahathir is certainly not a villain because he and Bersatu, we were told, were needed for the Malay vote. Mahathir gets to play the race card because the power brokers in Harapan wanted him to play the race card because it was to their advantage.
What people should be asking, is why these same politicians who claimed they could control Mahathir, are not doing so now? Why are they just letting the old maverick do his thing? Before the election that brought Harapan into power, various politicians from Harapan assured everyone that they could “control” Mahathir. Now when Mahathir does what he does, politicians wonder why some people think Mahathir is the villain.
The far right have always believed that Kit Siang is the villain, but the reason why he is getting into trouble now is not because he supports khat, but because he chooses to support it in a disingenuous manner. Saying Malaysians are distrustful of each other does not work when the sensitivities and cultural attitudes of the majority community have to be accepted, while the minorities cannot make the same claim.
That is the real issue. Not the far right, not the so-called deep state, not unknown political conspirators, but rather the fact that Harapan – the DAP – is not reacting proactively to issues which they claimed would save the country, but rather recycling BN era policies and being shocked when some people reject those policies.
What are the non-Malay ministers or deputy ministers doing in their ministries? Looking over past BN policies and attempting to replicate them? The new improved BTN. The new improved khat lessons. The new improved Lynas deal. The new improved China deals. The new improved BRIM and other BN era entitlements programmes.
Part of this was the ludicrous way Harapan framed the discourse before the election, but what is important is that certain reforms could have been carried out immediately, but instead Harapan backtracked. This is a stupid strategy.
Imagine if Harapan had carried out serious reforms instead of backtracking and backpedaling. Do you think that this khat fiasco would have blown up? People would have given the DAP, Harapan and Mahathir the benefit of the doubt because Harapan would have had a track record of actually carrying out serious reforms.
If Harapan had a track record of carrying out reforms – something which they could have done very early on – when this khat issue cropped up, nobody would say anything because with ICERD, the Rome statute, and the repeals and amendments of various acts and the start of needs based entitlements programmes, the Harapan government would have banked in goodwill that would have sustained them, instead of what is happening now, which is tiresome soul-searching.
The DAP continues to mischaracterize khat as something borne out of the cauldron of post-truth media, or that people who oppose it are factually incorrect or that opposition to khat makes you racially and religiously insensitive to the sensitivities of the coalition, all of which makes a certain segment of the base distrust the DAP even more.
If Dong Zong raised this issue in a post-reform milieu, people would have just rolled their eyes and got on with whatever capitalist endevours they were engaged in. Instead people got spooked when they were told not to spook the Malays, they got riled up with the red meat of the 1MDB scandal, they cheered and than jeered whenever the old maverick went up against the royalty or when he unilaterally backtracked on something that was supposed to save Malaysia. Mostly though, they begun to wonder what they signed up for.
You know why some people get angry? It is because no attempt is made to seriously reform the system, and the people who want change are made to look like the ones causing problems.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:09 PM   0 comments
'Running dog' narrative returns to bite DAP - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, August 12, 2019
Malaysiakini : "Either Umno and the police are covering up an impending terror attack, or MCA is making things up to scare non-Muslims into submission. The most concerning problem before us is that senior officials from the same ruling coalition are telling two conflicting stories to justify a policy decision that runs against the grain of the Malaysian social fabric, and is severely dividing our society. It is no wonder that there is a deficit of trust and confidence in government institutions."– Howard Lee, DAP Youth chief
COMMENT | DAP’s scorched earth policy when it comes to MCA was always a dubious strategy. Recent events have demonstrated that in the same position,  DAP espouses the same kind of rhetoric and manoeuvrings that MCA was demonised for.

In 2012, when debating MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng claimed: “We should not bow to fate and have the right to equality. We should not kneel and beg. We should be brave enough to stand and ask for it.”
The implication being that under MCA, the Chinese community – the non-Malay communities – were begging for scraps from the Umno dining table, and that under DAP stewardship, non-Malays would have political leaders who would demand their rights as accorded in the constitution, unlike the supine nature of MCA politics.
Even back in the days before the dream of Putrajaya was even on the table, the political warfare between DAP and MCA – a dog-eat-dog fight, if you will – was an indication of the shape of things to come.

Looking back at the debate, it was more a debate about realpolitik and false expectations.
While DAP had bragging rights on the management of Penang and their performance in Selangor – again depending on who you ask – MCA’s history of nation-building, the kind which involved managing expectations, compromise and yes, complicity, became a big juicy target for a mob fueled by ahistorical polemics, ready for a change of leadership, even if it meant non-Malay leadership. Last March, I wrote about how the MCA-DAP rivalry was merely fueling anti-Chinese sentiment.
"Non-Malay political parties have this delusion that they are independent operators. They are not. They are in reality proxies for Malay power structures, with varying degrees of public and private influence within Malay hegemons.
"To believe otherwise, would be delusional. While it is easy to paint MCA as running dogs of Umno, the same could be said of DAP, who have had to bend over backwards to accommodate the return of Dr Mahathir Mohamad into the opposition ranks."
The non-Malay political narrative post-May 9 has been one of backpedalling, reversals, sycophancy and Orwellian doublespeak, because the weight of expectation collided with the realpolitik of Malay rule.
It was something MCA had learned over the decades, and which was something that DAP managed to navigate in state politics extremely well. But ultimately, the lure of federal power meant that whatever “good” intentions the coalition had withered away in the face of the old maverick’s take no prisoners, make no apologies strongman political skulduggery.
Years of demonising MCA as a 'running dog' for the establishment should have been a lesson for DAP, but now they are slowly learning the cost of doing business with Malay power structures on a federal level.

When some non-Malay Harapan partisans tell people who demand reform to not rock the Harapan boat – much like how Lim told non-Malays that they do not need to “beg” – it is exactly the same position MCA was when it was balancing expectations in the BN coalition. 
DAP never gave MCA the benefit of this excuse, and neither should anyone who believes in a New Malaysia. We are always told if we do not support Harapan, then former premier Najib Abdul Razak will return, but there are worse things than a kleptocrat, and corruption is something we have been through, especially during the first Dr Mahathir Mohamad era.
Have you noticed that what MCA was blamed for – the dereliction of its duties when it came to important social, economic and political policies – are now termed as “distractions” by some partisans. These are not traps, distractions or sandiwara, but rather the gestalt of a functional democracy.
Race-based policies affect the economy. Najib, before he slipped into a kleptocratic stupor, understood this, which is why he "cast himself as a moderniser who would roll back the privileges that have deterred investment and alienated minority Chinese and ethnic Indians. He has also pledged to base government assistance more strongly on needs than on race.
"But those plans have largely failed to advance due to stiff resistance from within the ruling, ethnic Malay Umno.” Who was the prime mover in Umno during that time? What we are talking about here when it comes to the reform agenda – which DAP championed and which it claimed MCA was not up to the task to carry out, and which ultimately was connected to bread and butter issues?
A new national car, backtracking on Lynas, backtracking on egalitarian policies, backpedalling on institutional reforms, be it the state security apparatus or local council elections – all this is connected to the economic ecosphere and not some pie in the sky distractions, which some would have you believe.
These days, the people are left wondering if DAP will cave when it comes to important policies issues because since May 9, all they seem interested in doing is justifying the policies of the government, even if it goes against their campaign manifesto or more damning, their positions before the election.
Some DAP political operatives tell me that their Malay counterparts are not picking up the slack. Really? Did DAP allow MCA this luxury?

When Bersatu youth demands the resignation of Penang Second Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy (photo) – because the young boy minister does not have the cojones to demand it himself – we should realise we are heading back to familiar political territory. What was the response of DAP and its partisans when that happened? How many times did Umno Youth demand the resignation of an MCA member for not toeing the line? 
Lim claims DAP is not taking the non-Malay vote for granted, but he offers up feeble excuses for the khat controversy, stood by while Harapan power structures abandoned International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, says nothing of the moves made by the religious czar of Harapan when it comes to Islamic policies, and generally lays the blame on the former regime for mistakes and missteps that DAP makes.
How long is DAP going to coast on the 1MDB issue? How long is DAP going to coast on the excuse that it would take years to fix the problems of this country? This last point was not made before the election.
How long is DAP going to rely on partisans who are willing to cut them slack because anything is better than Najib? MCA took decades to become a 'running dog'. How long will it take DAP?
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:41 PM   0 comments
Here is why some people are Islamophobic - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Malaysiakini : “Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance.”  Sam Harris, 'The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason'
COMMENT | As expected, I received the usual attack text messages and emails for my article on the khat fiasco. I am often accused of being anti-Malay and suffering from Islamophobia. These attacks, mostly ad hominem in nature, are now coming from non-Malays, people who before the historic May 9 win supported the points I made about the racial and religious discourse when it was directed against the Najib regime but now they warn me against rocking the Pakatan Harapan boat.

Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said that he believes that the opposition against khat was grounded in a phobia about Islam. My question is, can Muslims understand why some people are Islamophobic?
The recent close encounter in Selangor with unilateral conversion demonstrates that religion – Islam – continues to be weaponised in the Harapan regime - something we were told would cease under the new management.
I am not interested in the political manoeuvrings behind this latest provocation against non-Muslims but what I am interested in addressing in this piece is the reality that the phobia against Islam in this country is justified and like it or not, it falls on the DAP to maintain the secular line when it comes to religious provocations.
I often warn non-Malay political operatives in private and in my articles that they should remain strictly secular and not trespass into the domain of Islam because they need to be a line in the sand when it comes to mainstream Muslim politics in this country. My advice was not welcome and the Kool-aid was dispensed and we have a large segment of non-Muslims engaging in the “true Muslim” meme as I defined here.
“In other words, a ‘true’ Muslim as defined by those who have been on the receiving end of Umno-influenced Islam all these years, is a Muslim who conforms to the political and social conventions of the so-called moderate stance espoused by Pakatan Rakyat.”

Having said that, a big shout-out to the DAP’s Gobind Singh Deo for his rejoinder on the Selangor DAP’s no-nonsense stand over the issue of state legislative assembly speaker Ng Suee Lim for doing what he did when public reports and my snooping around confirm that he was under extreme pressure. Kudos to Lim Guan Eng for making the stand of the party clear and unambiguous on this issue and defending the Selangor DAP.
DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke meanwhile should consider growing some cajones because this issue is not a Selangor DAP issue but which has consequences for every non-Muslim in this country. Just say "no comment" instead of engaging in weaselly deflections if you don't want to make a stand on an issue.
The MCA deserves credit, too, with MCA spokesperson Chan Quin Er getting to the heart of the issue when she said this: "If the Harapan state and federal governments purport to herald in a 'New Malaysia', whereby as Malaysian citizens, we extol the values and goodwill of multiculturalism, then enacting laws to legally permit unilateral conversion of a minor is mala fide and breaches such values."
I have argued that unilateral conversion is religious kidnapping. However, it goes beyond that, if that was not bad enough. I made to points here, which I think relevant as to why claims about people having a phobia against Islam is not only justified but I would argue that those “phobias” are a self-defence mechanism –
1. “What unilateral conversion does, and we should be clear that this involves Islam as the Islamic (sic) minister is wont to remind everyone, is rob the child of the right of his or her religious freedom. This has far-reaching consequences in Malaysia because race and religion have legal obligations along with the so-called special privileges that place a Muslim in the harsh glare of federal and state Islamic authorities.
2. “If an adult wishes to place his or herself under such obligations, then it is their right to do so, but a parent unilaterally deciding to convert a child without the consent of their partner is not only morally reprehensible but should also come with legal consequences, preferably jail time with a couple of strokes of the rotan.”

Besides the “true Muslim” meme that is political in nature, the reality is that a majority of Muslims believe that unilateral conversion – when it comes to Islam – is justified. Exploring environs beyond partisan echo chambers reveal connective tissue between Islamic policymaking and a vox populi of Muslim social media.
When Harapan Malay/Muslim political operatives claim an issue like unilateral conversion plays well with their base, they are probably more right than wrong. It really does not matter if political pundits bray about bread-and-butter issues; the reality is that for a majority of Muslims, their religion trumps the bread-and-butter issues that connect us all as citizens of this country regardless of race or religion.
People don’t support PAS because of their brilliant economic or social programmes; they support PAS because they believe they are the keepers of the faith. Similarly, those who supported Umno on the basis of race and religion did so because they believed that religion was better when it came with entitlement programmes.
In a political terrain such as this, is it any wonder why some folks could be termed “Islamophobic”? Mind you, if there was a strict separation between policies which affect Muslims and non-Muslims, and there was empirical evidence to support such a position, then non-Malays would not have a fear of Islam. Instead, the rules that apply to Muslims "only" have always touched non-Muslims and defined our economic, social and political realities.
Zan Azlee in his column in Malaysiakini arguing that Malaysia may be racists forever correctly points out the privileged position he is in as a Malay/Muslim when it comes to criticising race and religion. This was demonstrated when DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang had to rely on social activist Anas Zubedy's position when asking controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik to voluntary leave this country.
This, too, adds to the phobia. This unfairness when it comes to fighting with one hand tied behind your back. This handicap when it comes to defending secular positions and the reality that if you do this, you would not only have to contend with mainstream Malay/Muslim retaliation but also partisans who have no interest in rocking the boat.
When it comes to the racial and religious discourse in this country, I will end with my favourite Philip K Dick quote:
“This is a mournful discovery.
1. Those who agree with you are insane.
2. Those who do not agree with you are in power.”
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:59 PM   0 comments
Khat has everything to do with religion - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “We will discuss it further, but the thing is, it is an art form,” – Wan Azizah
This idea that khat has nothing to do with religion, that it is merely an art form meant to instill some sort of “appreciation” and handwriting skill in young children is bunkum. The government and various politicians' rejoinders that the politicization of this issue is merely a symptom of “old Malaysia” is in fact a tactic of Old Malaysia now redeployed to ensure compliance from a Harapan base, with the threat that the old Malaysia would return if certain sensitivities are not observed.
Claiming that khat has nothing to do with religion is mendacious. Khat and religion in this country are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps it is elsewhere, but not in this country.
Just last year, as reported in the mainstream Malay press, Jakim intended to form a Jawi community secretariat to strengthen the writing of Jawi in this country. One of its initiatives was to create programmes related to Jawi and, of course, the promotion of khat.
Also last year, Pemanis (Persatuan Melayu Perlis) advocated the teaching of Jawi in preschools. Two years ago, as reported in the mainstream Malay press, Exco Persatuan Seni Khat Kebangsaan (PSKK) urged KDN and Jakim to enact legislation to curb errors in khat sentences. Indeed, if one is to go online, you will discover that there have been various “fatwas” by state religious bodies on the proper use of khat writing in commercial products (for example) and other (what many would consider mundane) issues.
Indeed in May this year, Jakim started collaborating with Yayasan Restu to gain expertise in the writing of khat for one of their religious diploma programmes. What is Yayaysan Restu ? From their website:
“The Restu Foundation was established in 1998 as a non-profit organization. It aims to spread the message of Islam throughout the world, strengthen the faith of Muslims and revive the field of Islamic arts. "The Restu foundation dedicated itself to compile and record the traditional cultural motifs of the Malays for every state in Malaysia that are clearly influenced by the Islamic culture.”
So again, this idea that khat has nothing to do with religion, is horse manure. Anything the Federal religious bureaucracy gets involved with has to do with religion. This is a fact.  What is also a fact is that the religious bureaucracy will get involved with anything if it believes it could add a religious dimension to it. However, this should not detract from the reality that the talking point of khat proponents that this has nothing to do with religion, is just another attempt to bamboozle the non-Malays.
Non-Malays are being misled into allowing our public space – which includes the public space of Muslims who do not subscribe to state orthodoxy – to be Islamized because the government of the day needs to buttress its Islamic credentials.
When Lim Guan Eng (above) blames Sin Chew Jit Poh, for stirring up non-Malay fear of khat, what does this say about Lim Guan Eng and his eagerness to propagate an art form, which is linked with religion and which the state actively uses to strengthen its hold on the majority of this country ?
Harry Tan Huat Hock, secretary-general of the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP), claimed that the introduction of khat was to “inculcate the value of the Malay heritage and national identity, and that issue should not be blown out of proportion to the extent of inviting controversy “
So from better handwriting, the goal post has been shifted to inculcating the value of Malay heritage and national identity. How does learning to write in a specific way inculcate the values Harry talks about? And why do young children have to learn the values of Malay heritage and national identity.
Keep in mind that Malay heritage and national identity are mutually exclusive. Furthermore, Malay heritage, despite historical and cultural revisionism, is not based on doctrinal imports from the House of Saud.
Mujahid Rawa (below), in a piece expressing his devotion to Jawi, made the same claims or rather he conflated certain concepts. He made the claim that learning Jawi is an honour for Malaysians, and the rather noxious meme that in order to be a united Bangsa Malaysia, we would cherish Jawi as one people.
Regular readers of my columns know I despise the Bangsa Malaysia that is passed around, mainly by the DAP. Do you see what is happening here? Lim Kit Siang claims that learning Jawi may have made him a better Malaysian, and now we have Harapan’s religious czar pushing the idea that Jawi is linked with with the concept of Bangsa Malaysia.
What happened to ideas of secularism, egalitarianism, shared history, shared culture and the various other non-religious building blocks that we were told was what we should aspire to before the historic May 9th win? Those ideas do not seem attractive to politicians who are bending over backwards to justify ideas that they once claimed could only come from Umno/BN.
In my last article I noted that learning about culture is a one-way street in Malaysia. Whether you think that learning khat somehow strengthens national unity, or makes you a better Malaysian, or is just a rather innocuous government policy is not the point.
The point is that the propaganda that khat has nothing to do with religion, that khat is somehow mutually exclusive from religion, that khat is merely about art, is misleading and mendacious.
If it was all those things, I believe that people would not object to it. If this country believed that learning about each other's culture is a positive, where one culture is not buttressed by supremacist policies, than all this would mean nothing, and khat would be taken at face value. This is not the case here.
You are free to believe that learning Jawi and khat makes you a better Malaysian, but you are not free to propagate the idea that khat has nothing to do with religion.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:41 AM   0 comments
The Lynas con - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, August 05, 2019
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | It would be a great loss to Malaysia if misguided people prevent us from extracting and using the high clean electrical capacities of rare earth. Just as the lithium ion batteries in the cellular phones is not harmful even when we carry them everywhere in our pockets and put them to our ears, the mining and extracting of rare earth from Malaysian earth will not harm us in any way. – Mahathir Mohamad, 2012.
                                                 She cannot even spin with a straight face
It does not matter what your position is on the Lynas issue. What matters is the fact that the Harapan government’s u-turn on Lynas makes the anti-Lynas activists look like a bunch of dodgy environmentalist who duped the then Harapan base with propaganda.
Keep in mind the dodgy environmentalists were supported by mendacious politicians who jumped on the bandwagon sloganeering and making promises that shutting down Lynas would save Malaysia.
Back in 2012 at an anti-Lynas rally in Penang , the then Penang Chief Minister led a chant of, “Henti Lynas, Selamatkan Malaysia' (Stop Lynas, Save Malaysia). Anwar Ibrahim, now PM designate, claimed that if the then Pakatan Rakyat won Putrajaya, they would cancel the Lynas project and defend all environmental and heritage issues.
This was seven years ago. Since then the anti-Lynas rhetoric leading up to the historic May 9 win became more intense. Lynas was portrayed as an existential threat to Malaysia.
Commentary around the issue hit the usual Harapan talking points. The talking points revolved around, corruption, an uncaring government and that the Umno regime was intent on committing crimes environmental and otherwise on Malaysian citizens.
While Harapan’s manifesto may have been silent on the issue, is this an excuse for allowing Lynas to continue its operations – even if such a decision is “kicking the can down the road” – instead of keeping promises made by politicians on the run up to May 9, which was supposed to not only save Malaysia but save lives?
Wong Tack (above), whose appeal was that he was more activist than politician, rode on the anti-Lynas wave and become part of a coalition that overthrew the Najib regime. The Lynas issue, which for so long we were told was an existential threat to Malaysia, became a symbol of the radioactive nature of Umno politics that seemed to be on the verge of being settled.
The government’s backtracking on this particular issue is appalling. Before the historic May 9th win, politicians from Harapan portrayed this issue as one of life and death. The propaganda coming out from the then Harapan opposition painted the Umno regime as culpable for all sorts of imagined crimes if the “radioactive” Lynas by-products infected the citizens of Malaysia.
Now we are told that even though the situation is less than ideal, it is preferable to the status quo. Preferable to the status quo? Before the election, stopping Lynas meant saving lives. What changed?
DAP Youth deputy chief Chiong Yoke Kong is on the ball when he demands that the minutes of the cabinet meeting be made public and the stand of each cabinet minister on this issue be revealed. Malaysians have a right to know, which cabinet member does not want to save Malaysia, or was just playing Harapan supporters for fools when he or she claimed that stopping Lynas meant saving lives and saving Malaysia.
The cynic in me wonders if DAP youth already knows the answer to their query and are confident that what is revealed would cause them no fallout, but why question political motives for transparency when it comes to this issue?
It gets even more curious when you consider the comments of Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Fuziah Salleh who somehow finds a way to blame former BN ministers for being "deceived" by Lynas but loses the courage to name these ministers.
How long is Harapan going to blame the BN regime for their backtracking and policy failures? The real question is how come these former BN political operatives have more influence in the Harapan government than Harapan political operatives?
And doesn't this demonstrate the utter failure of Harapan political operatives in containing the influence of former Umno/BN members who we were told would be controlled when Harapan claimed the throne of Putrajaya.
Meanwhile, Wong Tack, wonders if there are dark secrets about the Lynas deal that people don’t know off. Well, yes, there very well could be some dark deals or maybe it is just business as usual for this government. What this government has done is make Wong Tack the poster child of the boy who cried wolf
Wong said, “As the rakyat of Malaysia Baru, the people deserve to know the reasons if we are forced to swallow Lynas' toxic radioactive wastes and subject our children to so many risks,” which brings up a valid point.
Before the historic May 9th win, Harapan accused the Najib regime of allowing the citizens of Malaysia to be exposed to hazardous materials for profit. This appeal to emotion was the most virulent kind of anti-Lynas propaganda that implied that the Najib regime was so uncaring, so corrupt that the regime was willing to sell Tanah Melayu and poison children for profit.
The question of Wong Tack’s resignation is a legitimate one. I think Wong Tack should resign and run as an independent, if he believes that there are dark, secrets behind this deal and believes what he said of Lynas before the election.
After all, if he continues in his role as a politician for Harapan, he would just be carrying on the lies of a government that claimed that the Lynas issue was one of life and death for the good people of Kuantan.
Unless, that view was complete bunkum? Unless all the pre-election rhetoric demonizing Lynas and its supporters were part of a propaganda campaign against the Najib regime, and Harapan had no intention of shutting down Lynas. This explains the earlier views of the current grand poohbah.
Alternatively, maybe Harapan politicians knew that Lynas was not an existential threat to Malaysia and as such, Lynas should be allowed to continue because profit trumps whatever expectations Harapan supporters have of their elected reps. This makes the backtracking worse because in the Harapan dominated social media; pro-Lynas advocates were shouted down and portrayed as stooges for Lynas and the Najib regime. Pro-Lynas advocates have argued that numerous false claims were made against the company and that there was a concerted effort to spin evidence and facts against the company.
Meanwhile, Harapan politicians used Lynas to gin up a base which not only gorged on the 1MDB fiasco, but who had no problem believing that the Najib regime would endanger the lives of children with radioactive waste for profit.
When Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin says that “The Cabinet has taken note of various viewpoints on this issue, and some people have varying views. Therefore, this is the decision that has been reached” is complete horse manure.
I get that there could be varying views on this issue, but what is important is the views of the Harapan government that, before their electoral win, claimed that by shutting down Lynas this would save lives and Malaysia.
In other words, you said, you own it.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:42 PM   0 comments
Is the non-Malay fear of 'khat' legitimate? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, August 03, 2019
Stupid Dicks, like Mazlee Malik
Malaysiakini : “Keep your language. Love its sounds, its modulation, its rhythm. But try to march together with men of different languages, remote from your own, who wish like you for a more just and human world.” ― Helder Camara, Spiral Of Violence
COMMENT | I get worked up whenever non-Malays talk about the beauty of multiculturalism and how Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures and how we are all 'Bangsa Malaysia'. A prime example of how all this is so much horse manure is the khat controversy that has some non-Malays concerned about the influence of Malay/Muslim culture in our education system. UKM’s Institute of Ethnic Studies Teo Kok Seong said, “This kind of attitude shows that we have actually failed in the process of establishing a nation of one heart and one soul.”

Well, of course we have failed in establishing a nation of one heart and one soul. Why? Because we have a constitution that defines us along racial lines, a political system divided by race, a bureaucracy dominated by a majority and political operatives who claim that the state-sanctioned religion gives them the mandate to rule over non-Muslims who should be “pak turut”.
National laureate Lim Swee Tin claims that khat or Jawi writing will not jeopardise one's faith. Well, of course, it won’t. When Malay/Muslim parents send their children to Chinese vernacular schools, have there been reports that their children’s faith had been jeopardised? Have there been police reports that their children's faith had been leached out of them because they mixed with Chinese children?
Similarly, learning this khat writing - or whatever it is - is not going to jeopardise the faith or lack thereof (as may be the case) of non-Malay children. But this is not really the point, is it? What some people fear is the intrusion of culture/religion in our supposedly secular spaces.
The question is, is this fear legitimate? Teo said that in order for us to move forward as a nation, “the people must be open to learning the arts and cultures of others in order to understand their uniqueness and strength.” Here is the thing though. Learning about culture is a one-way street in Malaysia. The non-Malays have no choice but to learn about Malay culture while the Malays get to retreat to a mainstream political system that claims that their culture, their economic survival and their political system is under threat because of the non-Malays – which generally means the Chinese community.
DAP leader Liew Chin Tong
DAP’s Liew Chin Tong said that the new Malaysia project means, “We must do it with new assumptions, new concepts and new ideas. This applies to institutional reforms, the economy, defence and security and culture and identity.”
Okay, what new assumptions, concepts and ideas have Pakatan Harapan introduced when it comes to this new Malaysia project? In the short time of Harapan rule, we have been reminded to “not spook the Malays”, reminded that the "deep state" is out to stifle reforms, Mujahid Yusof Rawa has introduced us to “compassionate Islam” and needs-based affirmative action has not been accepted as the new normal.
Liew also bemoaned that we see the 'other' as a threat. He wrote, “Some Chinese fear that the Malay officialdom would attempt to eliminate their cultural identity. Some Malays think that the Chinese are scheming to dominate the Malays.”
Okay, Liew, which of those two propositions could be backed up with evidence and actual governmental policy? Which of those two propositions has merit and was the basis of a people's struggle under the long Umno watch? Which of those two propositions are a direct result of actions by state actors in the name of race and religion which, by the way, the DAP opposed for decades?
So is opposing khat anti-Malay? People who are concerned about the introduction of khat in our education system are merely reacting to decades of the Islamisation process that turned an education system that was one of the better elements of our colonial legacy into the broken, religious and racially addled system it is today.
The real question is, why even introduce something like this at this moment? Surely there are more important issues in our education system that need to be addressed? Even in this was not a cultural issue, is good handwriting a priority when it comes to educating our young people? What possible benefit could the introduction of khat into our education system have beyond the pabulums espoused by certain non-Muslim intellectuals?
Instead, this has become a minor skirmish in a culture war that the Harapan government should not engage in. It also demonstrates that when it comes to anything to do with the Malay/Muslim culture, the normally boisterous political operatives in DAP have suddenly become mute (the grassroots-level of political operatives of the party exempted, of course). If this was something that the BN regime had done, you could imagine the controversy it would have generated.
These days supporters of Bersatu are quick to condemn non-Malays when they speak up on the very issues which were political currency for Malay political operatives before the historic May 9 win.
This idea that speaking up on “non-Malay” issues would rock the Harapan boat is prevalent in social media. When it comes to the culture war, the non-Malays lost a long time ago. The reality is that people who speak up on issues like these are like soldiers who skulk around in jungles not realising the war is over.
Don't look to non-Malay political operatives in Harapan to oppose such measures. They are now part of the problem.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:00 PM   0 comments

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