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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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Why would non-Malays be patriotic to this country? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, January 15, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.” - Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Whose uniform are the guys above in? The real heroes are here..................
COMMENT | Here is my message to Gerakan Pembela Ummah leader Ismail Mina Ahmad and the rest of his chicken hawk coterie. You leave this country. We do not want extremists who are ignorant of history. We do not need extremists who probably have not read the constitution but who would support those who would amend it, who distort it or disregard it because they share the same “race” and “religion” as Ismail and his racist, bigoted hatemongers.
Ismail makes it sound as if the Malays carried out all the hard work of defending this country. However, as former prime minister and now opposition PM-designate claims – “We find that we are not so committed, not so hardworking and sometimes we are not so trustworthy.”
No doubt, there are going to be many articles disputing the claims made by Ismail. There will be articles highlighting the contributions of non-Malays, to the defence, culture and economy of this country. However, all this is missing the point. Non-Malays will never be treated as equals in this country. When Malay bigots make this claim, they know they are making claims which are racist and bigoted but make them anyway because it is always incumbent on the non-Malays to defend their existence in this country.
It is always the non-Malays who have to prove that they are patriotic. Non-Malays have to demonstrate how much they love this country. Malays, meanwhile, have leaders who have engaged in massive corruption, destroyed the rule of law, enacted bills that would curtail the power of the sultans – the most damning of which is the National Security Council (NSC) bill – and made racist and bigoted speeches calling for the spilling of non-Malay blood and yet the Malay community assumes ab initio that they are the true patriots who built this country.
And really, what is it the non-Malays have to defend? We have to defend our “success” in Tanah Melayu. We have to defend the fact that we have to work hard because we are not beholden to a system of privilege – ideological, religious and constitutional – that enables us to think for ourselves and realise that the world does not owe us anything. We have to defend how we spend our wealth – too expressive in the luxuries the fruits of our labour affords us, and we are deemed un-Islamic, corrupt in our excesses, and of course, corrosive to the Malay/Muslim community.
What did those real Malay patriots say in response to some corrupt establishment politician who claimed that non-Malays do not join the security apparatus because we were not patriotic enough? What they left out is how non-Malays have to polish the cajones of their Malay superiors to get ahead, to be part of the corruption. To benefit like their Malay contemporaries in a rigged game. This “bodek” culture amongst certain non-Malays working in “Malay” institutions is part survival mechanism, part instinct for the benefits that comes with kowtowing to Malay supremacy.
These people have no use for facts, figures or evidence. Being non-Malay in this country means that you are always on the defensive. You have to prove a negative. You have to swallow your pride and like the kid in Carol Reed’s ‘Oliver!’, who asks, “Please sir, can I have some more?” Non-Malays do this because to do otherwise would invite charges of sedition or worse.
Overreacting?
Non-Malays have been here for generations but yet have trouble getting the documentation that proves that they are citizens of this country. Non-Malay politicians from the establishment make excuses as to why they are displaced, marginalised members of their community when ‘fresh off the boat’ constitutionally-created Malays assume the mantle of “Malay” and lurk in the corridors of power.
Remember when the Terengganu top cop made that racially insensitive remark about race and crime, this was what I said - “It also points to the mindset of the state security apparatus. This belief that the Malay community is peaceful and that crimes are what ‘others’ do, reflects the operating procedures that have resulted in deaths in custody, the refusal to carry out the orders from civil courts, and an unwillingness to submit to independent bodies when it comes to the way how they operate.”
That is really the mainstream Malay narrative of this country. That non-Malays are the aggressors. The non-Malay communities are interlopers. Never mind our contributions to this country. That does not matter. When it comes to mainstream Malay politics, we are fair game.
About the only kind of fairness we can get in this country, because no matter how much we contribute, no matter how much we desire to be “Malaysians”, the reality is that mainstream Malay power structures, a majority of the Malay population - which include Malays who support the opposition - and the dogma of “ketuanan Melayu” mean that we will be always viewed with suspicion.
People talk about national unity. Don’t make me laugh. How can there be national unity when the system invites Malay powerbrokers to demonise non-Malay communities for political gain. The system is racist but the average citizen is not, we are constantly reminded. Yes, that helps a lot in that there is no blood on the streets, but all it does is fester in the Malay community that they are bound by laws that make them subservient to god and political party, and wish the same upon their non-Malay countrymen.
You think I am lying, overreacting? Step outside your urban bubble and discover the various polls that demonstrate that Muslim conservatism involves imposing Muslim law on non-Muslims. Non-Malays have to be respectful in a country we helped build. Non-Malays have to be tolerant when mainstream Malay politics demonises us to appeal to their bases.
Which begs the question, if their bases keep voting for them, and the opposition has to play the same game to get the same votes, what does this tell you about the majority? Tomorrow, I will review a book about ‘ketuanan Melayu’.
Timely? No, it is just the way it is.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:41 AM   0 comments
An answer to Salleh Said Keruak’s question - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Malaysiakini : “If they will play fair I will play fair, but if they won't then I reserve all my rights to do anything I find myself able to do.” ― William Howard Taft
COMMENT | Actually, this is not “an” answer. Hopefully, this is “the” answer. Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak asked, “How does Pakatan (Harapan) explain and justify this, other than saying the only important thing is to oust the prime minister and it does not matter how it is done?"
The most important point I want to make is this - you and anyone from BN do not get to ask this question.
1. You do not get to ask this question because the system is rigged in your favour.
2. You do not get to ask this question because our public institutions are compromised.
3. You do not get to ask this question because our state security apparatus is beholden to a political party.
4. You do not get to ask this question because your propagandists are the mainstream press.
5. You do not get to ask this question because of your gerrymandering of the electoral boundaries.
6. You do not get to ask this question because the opposition has to fight with one hand tied behind its back when it comes to race and religion.
7. You do not get to ask this question because as veteran Umno leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (photo) acknowledged – (a) “(Bagaimanapun) jangan memandang rendah kepada kerajaan kerana mereka ada kuasa, ada televisyen, radio, duit dan media. Mereka juga ada alat-alat risikan dan sebagainya. Media dia lebih tahu pada kita. Dia tahu kita belum tahu lagi. Sama ada dengan kekuasaan itu, parti yang berkuasa akan kalah saya tidak tahu.”
And (b) “Dalam isu wang, pilihan raya perlukan (wang). Suka atau tidak suka, itu tidak menjadi masalah curah duit banyak macam mana. Semua orang nak menang pilihan raya. Tidak ada nak bertanding hendak kalah.
This last part is even more insidious because you use our money to rub our faces in your “ketuanan” politics. You use our money to fund your rigged game. You use our money to destroy the chance of legitimately having regime change.
For all these reasons, you do not get to ask this question. When you have a flunky making police reports that the former prime minister wants to overthrow the government, any rational person would understand this is why the current government has to go. Many people would like to overthrow the government and I will wager that if we take away those reasons as to why you cannot ask this question, the Umno regime would have ended a couple of years ago.
Always remember that when it comes to justice and fair play in this country, one is only corrupt when they leave Umno. Most Malaysians understand this. Sometimes, I think the best definition of what it means to be “Malaysian” is understanding that the game is rigged but going along with it.
Here is what I mean - "If the ordinary rakyat have no faith in our democracy or public institutions, it is because of the manner in which the political elite use both to hunt down and destroy political dissent by any means necessary. The cynical use of the state security apparatus to ‘investigate’ political adversaries for alleged crimes carried out decades ago, while the country is mired in corruption, religious provocations and crimes that destroy the fabric of our society points to the reality that the current administration has no interests beyond sustaining its hegemony."
Democracy is about legitimately carrying out regime change or to put it in words you understand, overthrowing the government. Democracy is also about sometimes making bad choices. Democracy is also, more importantly, about correcting those bad choices. Now I get it. Democracy is also a dirty game. Nobody plays fair.
However, democracy also has safeguards to ensure that the system allows for changes – even if superficial – to ensure that governments do not slide into fascism or religious theocracies. Malaysia does not have this or it had it but Malaysians gave people like you and definitely people like the newly designated PM of the opposition, continuing chances to destroy it.
Those with moral locus standi
Do you know who gets to ask this question? People who support the opposition or at least have some sort of value system that ultimately is a detriment to the system that you benefit from and yes, that the former prime minister, now PM designate of the opposition, has created. Who are these people? There are many of them but for the sake of clarity (and because they have been highlighted in the media I write for) the following should suffice -
1. Kua Kia Soong, Suaram adviser.
2. Sangeet Kaur Deo (photo), daughter of late DAP leader Karpal Singh (by the way, shout out to Malaysiakini columnist Fa Abdul for her piece in support of Sangeet).
3. Blogger Ktemoc, whose letter neatly defines DAP's dilemma or it should if you actually are thinking about the party's values instead of party personalities.
4. Opposition supporters who are shouted down on social media because they dare question the Harapan groupthink.
5. Folks who voice their concerns in the comment sections of various Malaysiakini articles and who demonstrate that they are exceptions to the “so-called cybertroopers who are shameless cowards who can’t really read or write. They do not even dare to use their real names when they post such nonsense. "For sure they will be despatched to the sewage heap of history” that attack people like Kua.
These people get to ask this question. They have the moral locus standi (is this even a real thing or did I just make it up?) to ask this extremely important question. These people have to contend with people like me who advocate that the opposition commits to this crappy game because maybe a two-party system is a start to correcting the systemic dysfunction.
Therefore, when the system is rigged, the opposition has to resort any means necessary. Does this answer your question? I certainly hope not. When I say by “any means necessary”, this is not a justification or an explanation as to why the former prime minister was christened PM designate but a reminder of that great JFK quote, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 2:33 PM   0 comments
The opposition is indebted to Anwar Ibrahim - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, January 08, 2018
Anwar Ibrahim and Mamakthir were the ones who brought the Iranian Street to Malaysia. Religious tolerance went into the toilet with these two architects!
Malaysiakini : “If I'm sincere today, what does it matter if I regret it tomorrow?” ― José Saramago, Blindness
COMMENT | Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not the only person who is indebted to political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim. The opposition, its supporters and whoever is contemplating regime change in this country is indebted to the hopefully-soon-to-be-released political prisoner. Without Anwar, there would be no opposition in this country.
While it is easy being critical of someone like Anwar, whose political and historical baggage defines the political landscape that some Malaysians desperately want to change, I would argue that there would not even be an opportunity for some sort of change if it were not for Anwar and his compromised crusade against the Umno regime.
We must never forget that before Mahathir, the newly-christened PM-designate of Harapan, exhausted all possibilities of removing Najib Abdul Razak from within Umno, he was still committed to vilifying Anwar and the opposition. While hatchets may have been buried, the opposition owes the people who support them a commitment to the reformasi agenda that was, and still is, a threat (albeit muted) to the Umno weltanschauung (world view).
It is important that a political leader like the DAP’s Lim Guan Eng reaffirms his support for Anwar, it is even more important that the opposition remains committed to the reform agenda that is the basis of Anwar’s struggle against the Umno regime. While some people may scoff at that premise, the reality is that opposition supporters who vote for this compromised coalition want something more than the “stability” and “social contract” offered by the Umno establishment.

Here is a reality check. When Amanah’s Mat Sabu (photo) reminds us that non-Muslim majorities in Japan and Korea reject establishment corruption but in a country like Malaysia, "The Malays listen to khutbah on a weekly basis, but the more they listen the more they (seem to) support corruption," it is an indictment against the racial and religious politics that dominates this country.
However, the irony is that Bersatu, a political party designed to combat Umno, carries on the narrative that this country is defined by race and religion. This last part is axiomatic and to invest further in this narrative is not the point of this article. Anwar could have gone the route of creating a solely “Malay” power structure but instead he followed the path of the DAP and attempted something unifying instead of following in the footsteps of Umno.
Now, some would argue that the factional politics in PKR is Malay-dominated but the same criticisms could – and have – been levelled at the DAP. Racial politics so long ingrained is hard to shed but it is a process, not merely a destination.
If Anwar Ibrahim had just created another clone of Umno, instead of gambling on the belief that Malaysians were ready for change, would he have succeeded? Certainly, the old master Mahathir plays for keeps and what Anwar did when he was ejected from the Umno paradise seems idealistic and naive. Read more here.
While my criticisms against the DAP and PKR are a matter of public record, the reality is that both parties are attempts at multi-racial collectives – so too is Amanah, with certain ideological qualifications – which have crashed into the reality of Ketuanan politics. Hence the need for Bersatu. Some folks would argue – and they do have a point – that is Harapan really an alternative? Is Harapan an alternative to the desideratum of mainstream Malay politics? Are we not just changing the driver and not the direction of this country? This of course is an important question, and it would be disingenuous of me if I did not mention that I have posed the same question:
“In partisan politics, which is an illusion (in case you did not know), each side would point to certain issues that set one apart. Partisans would then claim that these issues, sometimes major sometimes peripheral, are the only thing separating right from wrong. The smarter ones link them to some sort of ideology and this becomes easier for identity politics to get in the way of facts. Every issue becomes a Manichaean struggle and people become invested in the side they choose to support.”
So people question how we can move beyond race and religion when the majority sought after by the opposition are defined by these concepts. Okay, maybe the majority of opposition supporters are not preoccupied by this question. They are preoccupied with kleptocracy. But in case you are a supporter of the opposition, which is troubled by the religious imperatives of mainstream Malay power structures, where do you go from here?
Which brings us to Anwar’s Islamic credentials and the need for religion – Islam – in the political strategies of this country and Harapan. To understand the dialectic, we have to refer to Dr Ronnie Ooi’s Open letter to Anwar Ibrahim – Is a secular Malaysia, the only way to save Malaysia? From the letter – “In this letter, I have argued that the fault line between the Islamism of the PKR, Amanah and Bersatu and the secularism of the DAP is only over the word secular, ie, only an argument over terminology and not an argument over substance.
“So long as the DAP does not insist that all component parties of PH must call the country secular, no harm is done. The idea that the Malaysian public will only be impressed if all PH MPs sing the same tune all the time is outdated, counterproductive and stands in the way of achieving desirable political objectives. PH must be a broad tent with room to agree to disagree.” (Apropos everything, in another piece, I will attempt to answer the very important question that Dr Ronnie Ooi raises.)
All of this, of course, has brought the opposition to where it is today. You could say, everything old is new again. This is where it will all end, in the beginning. A time when former prime minister Mahathir attempts to reimagine the political landscape of Malaysia. Some would argue that we are waking to a nightmare but I would argue that Anwar Ibrahim may have given us a chance for a different, maybe even better Malaysia, because in politics anything can happen.
People should not forget that the opposition gets to roll the dice because of the efforts of political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 5:06 PM   0 comments
Is the opposition at odds with civil society by Commander S Thayaparan (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, January 06, 2018
Malaysiakini : “It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” ― Samuel Adams
COMMENT | A young reader ended his opening salvo of a lengthy email exchange with – “Sir, you were part of the problem.” I began the first of my responses, with – “Son, I am still part of the problem.” I get that young people are frustrated. They look around and they see old men with their old poisoned dreams leading the charge for a supposedly better future.
Amongst other issues, this young man wanted to know if I was familiar with the writings of Hafidz Baharom and his piece – "Don’t vote if they don’t change" – and what I thought about young people not voting, and why it is that the opposition seems to be at war with activists and civil society groups. Well, as to the first part, I read everything that Hafidz writes. I already made my case as to why I think not voting is not an option. Mind you, I am not saying that Hafidz is wrong; just that I really want to see what happens if Pakatan Harapan takes control of the federal government. Does this sound flippant?

Here is the thing. In all my writings, I have made it clear that I do not think that corruption is the existential threat facing Malaysia. I think extremist Islam is. I want to see if a Harapan-led government with a strong non-Malay/Muslim voice stems the tide of what I believe will eventually destroy this country. That is why I am voting. Others, of course, have different reasons.
As for the opposition seeming to be at war with activists, many people who are involved in “civil society” (honestly, I am not familiar with the current nomenclature) have written to me describing a hostile environment when it comes to activism and oppositional politics. Things have become worse, with the ascension of the former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the bête noire of many activists – for good reason – as the captain leading the charge to oust current Umno grand poohbah, Najib Razak.
Many long-time activists infused with fresh talent, who assumed that Harapan state governments would be more conducive to change, tell me that most times getting the “meeting” is easier than it is with the BN regime, but actually getting things done, is more or less the same. Often, they are admonished to not "bite the hand that feeds them," which seems like a common rejoinder these days.

There was a time when activism and oppositional politics were not mutually exclusive. There was a time when “civil society” and oppositional personalities worked closely to highlight issues that former minister Zaid Ibrahim termed the “real stuff.” I suppose that is the double-edged sword of civil society making “tremendous progress since 2008” as articulated in the "birds of feather" declaration.
I do not think civil society made tremendous progress. I think the opposition political elite made tremendous progress buttressed by civil society groups, who did not really understand the nature of the beast. There is this assumption that just because the politics of civil society groups and oppositional political parties aligned, there was some sort of understanding. Politicians say a whole lot of horse manure to get elected and count on activists to pass their message, but once elected rely on their bases (partisanship) to stay elected.
Crypto-Mahathiristas?
The rise of a credible opposition and contender to the throne of Putrajaya meant not that issues or principles were taking centre stage but rather the rise of a new cabal of political elites who were just as interested in maintaining power as their political opponents. What made it even more tenuous for civil society types and activists was that the alternative press and social media which was “issue driven” become partisan echo chambers, where party affiliation trumped anything else. In other words, if you are not with us, you are against us.
Many activists are in support of the “birds of feather” declaration. Actually, I know many people who belong to diverse “civil society” groups who support this initiative. Indeed, there is nothing in that declaration that any rational person would disagree with. Yet many opposition supporters write to me asking me to tell these “selfish” people not to rock the boat and destroy Harapan’s chance of removing the corrupt Najib and his cronies from power.

I know a few people on that list. I do not say this to name drop, but only that “selfish” is not a term I would use to describe them, ever. Furthermore, many of those groups in that list do far more constructive and productive work than some state administrations and definitely the federal government. To dismiss, mock or vilify what they say, especially if you (like me) have a different view, I would argue is, well – and I really dislike using this word – unpatriotic.
That is the only word I can think of especially when what these folks are reaffirming are democratic and egalitarian principles that would actually save Malaysia. If only political parties, like Hafidz writes, were not “too chickenshit to actually stand for something contrary to public opinion, and would rather coast along for fear of losing their vote base, while trying to convince the conservatives to vote for them.”
Someone asked if I was a “crypto-Mahathirista” since I had penned two pieces, essentially arguing that Harapan should commit to the game they want to play. I write too plainly to be a crypto anything. You can disagree with what I write. You can accuse me of many things but waffling or obscurantism is not on the list. So while I disagree with Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong, it is not because I think he is wrong but it is because for this election, I am committing to the game that I keep telling Harapan to commit to.
Lastly to answer the question in the title of this piece. It is not that the opposition is at odds with civil society. It is the opposition has become part of the establishment.
The establishment is always at odds with civil society.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 7:48 PM   0 comments
Harapan should just stop 'interim PM' nonsense - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, January 04, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Politics is a matter of choices, and a man doesn't set up the choices himself. And there is always a price to make a choice. You know that. You've made a choice, and you know how much it cost you. There is always a price.” - Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)

COMMENT | What is this horse manure about “mixed views” on whether Mahathir Mohamad should be named “interim” prime minister? When will the amateur hour end for Pakatan Harapan? When Harapan embraced the former prime minister in their epic quest to oust the current Umno grand poobah, what did they think it meant? What did anyone think it meant?
As quoted in the press, some believe the term “interim” does not inspire “stability” which is why there should not be any doubt as to who will wear the crown if Putrajaya is taken. Forget about interim, just name the old man as prime minister and get down to the dirty business of winning the federal government.
This, after all, is what Harapan signed up for. This, after all, is the inevitable outcome of aligning with mainstream Malay power brokers. This is what happens when you claim that the country is in dire need of saving, and people must not be selfish and that there are no credible alternative plans to save the nation.
Mind you, I think there have always been people in the opposition or who support the opposition who have offered up credible alternative ideas but as usual they were shouted down and dismissed as “idealists” or worse by people who have placed pragmatism over anything else.
Commit to chosen game
The opposition is not offering any visionary ideas; merely apocalyptic ones. Maybe this has something to do with the religious overtones of the opposition but at this point it really does not matter. Choices have been made. Compromises struck and the most important thing the opposition should do is commit to the game they have chosen to play.
This is what I wrote last year: “As I argued the former prime minister plays for keeps and if removing, the current Umno grand poobah is the main goal than the former prime minister who has resuscitated the floundering opposition has to be given free rein in the possible destruction of Umno. That is the only tactical play.”
You know what would really suck? If the opposition could actually win this election by aligning with the former prime minister, yet because they are acting like a bunch of precious snowflakes, with each group attempting to gain some concessions, they lose the plot and game.
How bad would it be if the opposition hamstrings the movement led by the former prime minister because the opposition is too busy squabbling over the prospect of a man they termed dictator getting back into power on their backs? These are the stakes you created and this is not the time for attempting some sort of compromise in case things go south.
Are people still holding out hope that political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim could be prime minister of this country? Who knows what could happen but the possibility of Anwar becoming prime minister should not be one of the goals when naming the position of the big cheese, especially not when the former prime minister is in play. And why even use the term “interim”? Who does that term benefit? What is it supposed to signify? That the former prime minister, who the opposition at one time termed a tyrant, does not have a permanent hold on the position?
That there is a possibility that a more politically correct or acceptable candidate could fill the position? That the opposition is still committed to the reform agenda, hence “interim” could serve as a seat warmer until someone more credible steps up or is discovered or merely plays the political game mendaciously and inherits the crown?
Reimagining alliance politics
Look, what is really happening is a reimagining of alliance politics. The opposition keeps telling people that unlike Barisan Nasional, the non-Malays will have a say and not kowtow to the dominant Malay power structure if they choose Harapan. In other words, this is the new BN. If the former prime minister could reimagine Umno, then why not reimagine BN? That is the draw and what people think is a stable choice for this country.
At this moment in time, the average rakyat is on edge. They realise that they could vote for stability and continuity or go with something they are unfamiliar with. The former prime minister is something they are at least familiar with. While the establishment may paint him as someone who is corrupt, there is a large demographic who are willing to bet - vote - that he and he alone can get this country back on track; that his party and his men, will take care of their interests and things will return to the imagined glory days where Malaysians were proud of god knows what.
Umno political operatives are laughing their behinds off because all this waffling makes Harapan look like a bunch of amateurs. It makes it look as if personal agendas trump winning at any cost, which is what Umno understands. It is also what the former prime minister understands, which is why in numerous articles, I have argued that the opposition should make it very clear that Mahathir Mohamad is their war chief and that ultimately the crown will rest on his head.
Has the opposition actually thought out how it would be if they win this general election? Have they got plans in place? I know for establishment power brokers like the former prime minister and his coterie, they actually do have a plan; who knows, this may even include some kind of reform of the system.
The reality is that the opposition has made the choices that it made. Collectively they brought us to this point. Stop fondling and just roll the dice.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 12:09 PM   0 comments
What’s Dr M’s apology got to do with it? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Tuesday, January 02, 2018
Malaysiakini : COMMENT“Never apologise. Never explain. Just get the thing done, and let them howl.” - Agnes Campbell Macphail
I have no idea why people want or need an apology from former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad. I received a barrage of messages when the “apology” first surfaced, with the usual commentaries of how it was long overdue and how the opposition could finally move forward.
Then the old master qualified his apology – Malay custom, he said – and the same folks who were relishing a fresh start, got into a funk.
What I do not get is this. When Mahathir was committing all these wrongs he is supposed to be apologising for, he was also getting elected with a significant majority by a diverse polity of Malaysians, who did not seem to care about all these ideas Pakatan Harapan is pushing now.
At any time when Mahathir was supposed to be doing all those bad deeds that he needs to apologise for now, the people of Malaysia could have voted the completely corrupt alliance out, and took a chance on whatever the opposition was offering. Failing that, they could have denied the Mahathir regime its two-thirds majority as a sign of dissent. This never happened. I would argue with each electoral victory, Mahathir was demonstrating that he had nothing to apologise for.
I know many people who are slavish supporters of the opposition these days, who praised Mahathir and condemned the opposition as being only able to “complain” back in the day. Even when I was part of the state security apparatus and had contact with opposition figures, activists and people who were sanctioned by the state, their main complaint – no, not complaint; lament – was that the majority of Malaysians were not with them.
They were on their own, eking out support from truly marginalised groups, fighting the system that a majority of Malaysians was in support of. Even PAS members, who I paradoxically got on with, could not understand why with all the corruption and state-sanctioned oppression, the majority o Malaysians voted in the Mahathir regime in record numbers. Put it this way: The way that people were voting, the rigged system was redundant.
When the former prime minister says this - “Whether I admit I have done wrong or not is a different matter,” this is the key. I keep telling people that the reason why Mahathir will never apologise sincerely is because deep down inside, he believes that he has not done anything wrong. He believes that what he did was necessary to create the kind of country that the majority of people wanted to live in, and that these so-called “Asian values” he and his ilk were pushing trumped anything else the West had to offer.
Furthermore, by embracing the former prime minister, who many in the opposition have called a tyrant, dictator and worse, the opposition has acknowledged that the man, his methods and his legacy – the last part is the most important – is the means by which to “Save Malaysia”. In other words, the opposition has validated his tenure and openly acknowledged that without him, there will no removing Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Last year, when I wrote this – “Making a pact with the former prime minister and Bersatu is merely by ‘any means necessary’ and to argue otherwise, to make the argument that the ‘reform’ agenda is still on the table is mendacious, considering the fact that the Najib refuseniks have been blatant in their old Umno strategies of garnering the Malay vote, which is what the opposition claims is the utilitarian value of Mahathir” – I got a whole lot of flak from opposition types who claimed I was muddying the waters.
Now the opposition can waffle on about “controls” in place to keep Mahathir in check, but is there any evidence of this? Is there any evidence that the opposition is a cohesive alliance operating under a system of rules and regulations that ensure what they say matches up with what they do? I would argue there is none. However, nobody really cares about this anyway. People who have decided that Najib has to go – and I am one of those people who think that BN has to be benched – are willing to believe that Mahathir really wants to change the system.
Of course, the former prime minister has been hitting all the right notes. He has talked about bringing back the independence of our public institutions. He has talked about separation of powers, and most importantly he has made the opposition comfortable, at least in public, with his leadership. There is also another way to look at it. Some people close to him have told me that he believes that his crusade against the current Umno grand poohbah is a kind of apology. An apology by deed,if not by word, of all that he wrought during his tenure as the longest-serving strongman in Asia. They keep telling me, why would a ninety-something-year-old man attempt to wrest power from his old power group merely to prop up his son?
After all, here is a man who has not only championed the “Malay” community, but also vilified it. Here is a man who has never been politically correct about race relations in this country. Here is a man who, despite all he has done, could just wash his hands off of the whole country and retire to whatever nook his long tenure has enabled him to build.
Put it this way. If Mahathir and the opposition win this election and undo even a quarter of what he had wrought, that would be better than even the most sincere of apologies.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 11:05 AM   0 comments
Yoursay: Non-Muslims pay taxes, but can’t be in Hadi’s cabinet
Monday, January 01, 2018
The reason why Hadi says this, he is a believer : You are the best nation that ever existed among humanity. You command people to good and prohibit them from evil, and you believe in God. Had the People of the Book accepted the faith (Islam), it would certainly have been better for them. Some of them have faith, but most of them are evil doers.  Verse (3:110) - English Translation
Malaysiakini :YOURSAY | ‘It's good that PAS has finally revealed its true colours.’ 
PAS: Hadi's 'Muslim-only cabinet' rule not absolute
Hearty Malaysian: PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s statement of cabinet posts are reserved for Malay Muslims is a race supremacist ideology. He is dangerously promoting racial segregation and ultimately racial persecution in this country. It seems party information chief Nasrudin Hassan is trying to do damage control. One wonders if PAS is slowly promoting ethnic cleansing as its ultimate goal. Hadi should be charged with sedition.
Anonymous #33227154: It's good that PAS has finally revealed its true colours – it is a racist and extremist party. They want to make Malaysia a Taliban state, where PAS will rule like dictators.
Muslims under this kind of rule will also suffer, and their rights and freedom will be taken away. So choose and vote carefully, and think of your children’s future.
David Dass: Indeed, this is a further push for the Islamic State. PAS identifies what they consider the essential features of an Islamic state and bit by bit they push for acceptance of such ideas. Non-Muslims make up more than 40 percent of our population. Are the 40 percent to be denied representation in the government? As it is, non-Malay civil servants and armed forces personnel number less than 5 percent of the total.
We should learn some lessons from the Middle East. The number of Christians in each of the countries of the Middle East grows less and less each year. Growing intolerance of Christian communities has resulted in an exodus of Christians to the West. The more we allow such views to take hold in various quarters in the country, the more we alarm the non-Muslims of this country. Unfortunately, we do not hear any reassuring statements from government ministers.
Abasir: "Wizarah al-tafwidh, wizarah al-tanfidz..." The ragheads running PAS are now boldly acknowledging that Bahasa Malaysia is woefully inadequate as a language of governance and more importantly, totally alien to Islam. So apart from enforcing desert attire on all and sundry, these aberrants are likely to insist on Arabic for all government transactions and communication once they form their Islamic state. Corrupt practices, like the one demonstrated by the nationalists in 1MDB, are likely to get a free pass. After all, one should retain some bits of what is close to the heart.
Vijay47: By the way, you PAS clowns, are you referring to positions in the Saudi government or in Malaysia? What's with this constant usage of Arabic terms in place of Malay or English, which has worked fine for us all these years? Perhaps Arabic is going to be our official language? Help, Dewan Bahasa, we need your help!
Quigonbond: What if the most influential Malaysian is neither a Malay nor a Muslim? Why can't Malaysians be open minded to have the best person of whatever race or religion lead them? And why is it so unique that it's not just who is a Muslim but also a Malay? The Malay criteria surely cannot be found in the Quran, and is clearly an invention of PAS.
Léon Moch: Nasruddin is trying to make things "better" by saying that Hadi didn't mean that all cabinet members must be Muslim, but rather, he's saying that non-Muslims will be relegated to a limited few less critical portfolios.
Gerard Lourdesamy: Not only is Hadi's suggestion unconstitutional and probably unlawful, it is also seditious. Why not go further and deprive non-Muslims the right to vote based on your distorted views of Islam? By the same token in Sarawak, does the Christian majority have the right to relegate the minority Muslims in the state to second-class status? Hadi and his Wahhabi-inspired view of Islam is going to destroy the party in GE14. No sane voter, Muslim or not, is going to support a radical and racist party that behaves as if it is Allah's representative on earth.
Proarte: Such nonsensical Islamic garbage coming from Muslim leaders. They are turning Muslims away from Islam and reinforcing the widespread perception that Islam has no role to play in the modern civilised world.
SusahKes: Guess what? Come tomorrow, MCA and Gerakan leaders will still be inspired to blame DAP. After all, this is how the Umno minions play the game. What these Umno sycophants perennially fall to recognise is that, with BN’s component parties’ tacit support, Hadi’s doctrine is moving the country towards a black hole of religious and racial radicalism, the likes of which our founding fathers would have never imagined.
Couple that with Umno extending Hadi a playing field in which, he could do according to his whims and fancies (if only because the former is depending on the latter to pull in the Malay votes), then there is only one verdict that this would allow us to arrive at: we know who sold out this country’s soul.
MCA and Gerakan are to be the most blamed; for in their infatuation with positions of power, they sold out big time by failing to check Umno’s hegemony, and by extension, the rise of Hadi’s bigoted extremism.
Hadi, the politically incorrect face of Malay supremacy
David Dass: The non-Muslims are citizens. They are equal to everyone else under our Constitution. They pay taxes. They have a right to be in government. As they have a right to vote for whomever they please in our democratic elections.
It is not for Chinese leaders of MCA and Gerakan to bring in the Chinese votes. It is for the BN government to demonstrate that they are a fair, just and honest government looking after the welfare of all the citizens of this country. That will bring in the votes. Hadi is, of course, exploiting what he considers an opportunistic moment. His party is being wooed by both sides. He is being both Malay nationalist as well as Islamist. He is pushing us bit by bit to a state ruled by syariah and by Muslims for Muslims. And non-Muslims, bye and bye. Where is the resistance?
Slumdog: Hadi cannot be accused of political correctness because he blabs what is in his mind without thinking of the impact of his comments. He is only a man of average intelligence who is consumed by his religion, that’s all that matters. He is a one-issue politician, Islam. He is not a statesman by any stretch of the imagination. He is an intellectual pigmy, devoid of the knowledge of world affairs, finance, economy, and good governance.
Worse still, he cannot tell the difference between right and wrong, moral and immoral behaviour, corruption and honesty.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 11:13 AM   0 comments
My choice for the five newsmakers of the year - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Malaysiakini : COMMENT | As usual, my pick for the top five newsmakers in no particular order – except the top spot, that is – are individuals who shaped the discourse, either intentionally or not over the course of the year.
I assumed that choosing these individuals would be difficult, but I discovered this was not the case.
1. Zaid Ibrahim
Let's see. Over the course of the year, the former law minister has:
1. joined DAP;
2. angered the Selangor royal family, by reminding the Sultan that he should be non-partisan;
3. angered mainstream Islamists, by reminding them that rationality trumps blind faith;
4. angered the liberal left by encouraging Malays to leave an increasingly intolerant Muslim Malaysia;
5. angered certain people in the opposition for his defence of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (Zaid was one of the first to support the former strongman); and,
6. Angered the Umno establishment with his views on the Islamisation process and what it means to be Malay. The state has since banned a book of his that has been in print for the past two years.
From my vantage point: “Zaid will no doubt gain much attention if he continues talking about his principles with nary a care for party solidarity. While I think this is a good thing, his political career is evidence that this is not considered being a team player. Zaid believes that a ‘Malay’ tsunami will be the downfall of Najib. The question is, can Zaid and all the other oppositional Malay leaders create the variables for a perfect storm that would bench the Umno hegemon?”
2. Former PM Mahathir Mohamad
There is no doubt that the former prime minister defined prime minister’s Najib Razak’s annus horribilis. Relentlessly attacking the Umno grand poohbah, dissing the Umno sycophants that ironically he helped create, the former prime minister in his quest to dethrone Najib has made it clear that he has no intention of ceding the field even if it means slaying sacred cows. While opposition types may have made peace with the reality that the prime minister they had condemned for decades is the only viable captain in this great coming election, many feel a sense of futility as to what could come of this unholy alliance of former Umno die-hards and an opposition sensing the tide is changing.
From my vantage point: "If the goal of removing the current Umno grand poohbah is paramount then the opposition should just stop this nonsense and place the crown on Mahathir Mohamad and hope that some kind of change will be forthcoming if they succeed."
3. PM Najib Razak
Why do I get the feeling that even if he loses he wins? That is right because with the setting up of the National Security Council and other powers at his disposal, the current Umno grand poohbah has a safety net that could see him retain power if he chooses to carry out certain options. While the opposition flounders, Umno is making use of its old enemy PAS to shore up Malay/Muslim support and string the Islamic party along with dreams of power in Putrajaya.
I would argue that the complicated 1MDB issue, the People's Republic of China (PRC) bailouts and the reality that the Umno establishment is using its own crimes which they claim were perpetrated by the current opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad, has done far more damage to the opposition than anything the opposition has done to the current Umno grand poohbah. From my vantage point: The Najib regime has made no comment and indeed the racial and religious rhetoric has escalated to the point that the Umno establishment has enacted laws that would give them legal authority to rule in emergency until such time that they feel confident enough to resume the facade of democracy in this country.”
4. Jamal Yunos
The clown prince of outsourced thugs. Jamal has the singular distinction of being the person who defanged the concept of Malay and Islamic supremacy. With his bizarre antics, he turned the concept of “ketuanan Melayu” into a joke. The joke was on us, of course, because the real Islamists within the establishment were making moves while Malaysians were distracted by his tomfoolery.
It is easy playing the tough guy when the state is behind you. It is easy spouting racist and bigoted horse manure when you know you will not be sanctioned. It is easy fighting with opponents who have one hand tied behind their backs. If Jamal Yunos is the future of Malay leadership, then perhaps, we should just sign the country over to the PRC. I am sure they will have a job for him.
From my vantage point: “Jamal, meanwhile, continues his ‘screw you’ approach to the security apparatus of the state. He has no problems leaving a mess in a public space because he has the backing of the Umno state, which is making a public mess all over the country. His type of easy Islamic extremism entails bullying the non-Malay/non-Muslim communities, all the while enjoying the blessing of the state, instead of fighting other Muslims on foreign soil attempting to establish an Islamic caliphate.”
5. Nurhanizah Abdul Rahman and her dog Bubu
I have no idea how this story panned out but Nurhanizah and what she went through for taking care of a stray dog, is a reminder to us non-Muslims of how the majority of Malay/Muslims in this country with all their special rights have to put up with oppressive state religious agencies. Religious bureaucrats who characterise an act of compassion as something that should be repented should be a stark reminder to all of us, that if we do not stand up for our rights, support those who do but most importantly hold the people who claim to share our values responsible for what they say and do, we could all end up at the mercy of such charlatans.
From my vantage point: “I do wonder if these same pious members of her community, so easily distressed, also threw food laced with poison and faeces - cat, dog or human? - into her compound? No, what she was doing was showing empathy for an animal, and what she gets in return is a state-sanctioned religious institution asking her to repent for her sinful ways.”
Lastly, my New Year message for friends, readers and Malaysians fighting the right fight: Illegitimi non carborundum.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 12:32 PM   0 comments
My picks for top five news stories of 2017 - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | As the year closes and the mother of all elections lurks around the corner, the best we can hope for in the coming year is that our luck holds out, rationality prevails and that the young people of Malaysia finally decide in huge numbers to shape the direction of this country.
In no particular order, here are my picks of five news stories of the year:

1. The Tahfiz school fire
Twenty-one children and two adults died in a building deemed by the state to be a fire hazard. The perpetrators of the arson – young adults – apparently have been brought to some kind of justice, but the moral of the story is that if your fire hazard of a religious school burns down, it is not the fault of the operators of the school. It is not the fault of the state or any enforcement agencies meant to ensure the safety of young students who go there for a religious education. The moral of the story is that the federal government gives you more money, even if ministers in the said government have claimed in the press that monies for these schools “have not been properly used”.
From my vantage point: “The deaths of 21 children and two adults seems an obscene moment to remind Malaysians of the separation of powers between the federal government and state religious authorities. Obscene but predictable. Apparently, in Malaysia, the only time there is separation between mosque and federal power is when children die in a fire.”

The cover-up of Wang Kelian
The recent expose by the New Straits Times about the possible conspiracy of a cover-up of these mass murders and the unbelievable response of the state to the questions raised, demonstrates that the state security apparatus is in dire need of a total overhaul. This will never happen, of course.
From my vantage point: “In nearly every report or investigation by credible professionals on the business of human trafficking worldwide, what has always been highlighted is the connective tissue between corrupt public officials - namely security operatives - working in collusion with human traffickers. This, of course, goes beyond a few bad apples and where there have been scandals on human trafficking, there has always been evidence of the collusion between the security apparatus of that particular country and traffickers who profit from human misery.”

The kidnapping of Pastor Koh
Why was Pastor Raymond Koh kidnapped? There has been no ransom demand, no motives adduced, only rampant speculation and a highly professional grab of a pastor who was targeted by the state for allegedly proselytising. When minority religious figures are routinely demonised by the state and their outsourced minions, is it any wonder when something like this happens, people are quick to assume that there are elements in the state that have decided to take it up a notch when it comes to minority religious personalities in this country?
From my vantage point: “The imagery of these black masked kidnappers is an important factor in this narrative. How many times have we witnessed the spectacle of the state security apparatus “arresting” people - politicians, activists and dissenters - on various criminal charges while other state actors are exempt from those charges?”

The passing of Kassim Ahmad
There can be no doubt that the Umno state hounded this scholar and Islamic intellectual to his death. Not many Malaysians knew or even cared about how this soft-spoken Muslim academic, his family and even his lawyer were targeted by the state. His was a lonely war for his freedom but more importantly, his freedom to discuss his religion that he believed was hijacked by corrupt state actors for personal gain and deeper hegemonic agendas.
From my vantage point: "His intellectual contribution to Islam was anathema to people who believed that blind faith was true faith and his steadfastness in not disavowing what he said, his noncompliance to the diktats of the state was a wound that would not heal for those who wish to impose their beliefs on others.
“When I read of how the state persecuted him, I understand why he posed such a threat. If Muslims realised that their interpretation mattered then the so-called scholars would lose their influence and their hegemony of the debate would vanish. Kassim Ahmad was a constant reminder of what would happen if people embraced a religion that they had thought out for themselves."

5. Making Malaysia an Islamic state
At this moment, the state is going after former law minister Zaid Ibrahim and attempting to label - or should that libel? - him as an undesirable element when it comes to Islam in this country. Banning Zaid's book, which has been out for a couple of years on the grounds that it would cause “public unease” or some such nonsense, is merely the Umno state’s rejoinder that pettiness is the province of tyrants.
I have no idea how MCA or MIC or any other component member of the BN can talk about secular values that non-Muslims (including non-Muslims bumiputeras) fear are slowly slipping away from them after the announcement by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki that the BN government is determined to make Malaysia an Islamic state.
From my vantage point: “Depending on your point of view, the balkanisation of Malaysia is something that is a very real possibility because of this agenda of turning Malaysia into an ‘Islamic’ state. This is not something that any rational person would want and I am including the Malays in this equation, because if they really wanted to live in an Islamic paradise, they would have voted for PAS a long time ago.”
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 1:32 PM   0 comments
Najib’s ‘two conditions’ for Sarawak are beyond the pale by Francis Paul Siah
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | So Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has set two conditions for Sarawakians if they want their rights returned. In a report appearing in The Star on Dec 24, the prime minister was quoted as saying that Putrajaya had no problem discussing devolution of power and returning all eroded constitutional rights to Sarawak, provided that those in the state met two conditions. “Firstly, there should be no talk of secession. The second red line is that the people must support BN. “If you support BN, why shouldn’t I give back those rights, which have been knowingly or unknowingly taken from Sarawak?” Najib told a Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) delegates conference.
As a Sarawakian patriot, let me make this declaration here: much as I respect you as the prime minister, Najib, I am unable to accept your two conditions. This is a simple reason why. I think it is very wrong, if not downright absurd, to set terms and conditions to return what belongs to Sarawak in the first place. Hey, we have an agreement in place, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). The terms of the agreement should have been respected and honoured. Who “stole” them from Sarawakians in the first place?
In a court of law, a thief caught and found guilty would be punished accordingly. Here, we have a condition where the thief has the gumption to set conditions for the return of what was stolen. It doesn’t take a genius to sense that something is simply not right here. I’m not sure how the SUPP members present at the conference felt after Najib’s speech. It would be unfair to condemn them all as obedient Umno-BN stooges because I do have many dear friends in SUPP who can be very vocal about BN policies which are deemed to not be in the best interests of Sarawakians.
Perhaps, there were red faces in the house that day, I’m not sure. If there were none among the many professionals in the party, then I can only wish SUPP good luck for the future. On the prime minister’s first condition – no talk of secession, I think it is plain stupidity to gag people from saying what is in their hearts and minds. Excuse me, is there no freedom of speech in this country? Or is it true now that there is no freedom after speech?
I’m aware that a small cross-section of Sarawakians has been talking about secession. Why would they do that? Secession would be the last thing on the minds of happy and contented citizens. Caring and responsible government leaders would have taken pains to find out why some Sarawakians are so unhappy being in Malaysia, and then take action to stem the tide of dissatisfaction and disgruntlement. That is the right and appropriate action to take. Not gagging them.
Referendum calls growing louder

In any case, as many times as teachers tell their students not to talk in class, some will continue to do so. Najib is not in sync with the current “Sarawakian patriotism” fervour if he thinks that playing the role of the class teacher will halt secession talk. It is true that the cries of a referendum are growing louder in Sarawak. This is an area worth exploring further, and I honestly feel that a “thinking government” should give this a shot, although I doubt a referendum will ever be allowed. Look at the UK, the supposed bastion of democracy. Scotland went through a referendum, the majority decided to stay in the UK, and that was it. Nothing untoward happened during the referendum process or after.

Of course, Malaya will never want Sarawak and Sabah to leave. That being the case, then do your best to make Sarawakians and Sabahans happy, contented and satisfied. Then they would never think of secession. On Najib’s second condition – that the people must support BN, I have to say that this borders on the ridiculous. Has the prime minister forgotten that the people of Sarawak have been supporting BN for the past 54 years?
Is Najib telling Sarawakians that supporting BN for more than five decades does not count; only voting for BN in GE14 is valid in his books? How ridiculous is that? As Najib is a known Manchester United fan, let me attempt this analogy. Assuming Najib owns United, and before a United-Chelsea clash at Old Trafford, he sets a condition for Chelsea fans – you are not allowed into the stadium, even with tickets, if you don’t support United. Imagine how Blues fans would react. I believe I speak for many of my fellow Sarawakians when I say this to him.

Dear Najib, let me remind you that our late chief minister, Adenan Satem, started negotiating with you on MA63 in 2014. That’s three long years. What’s the progress so far? If you have nothing to show us after three years, then what guarantee do we have five years after GE14? Is this just another round of empty talk and hollow soundbites from a desperate prime minister?
Actually, you are known as an intellectual and a very bright person, but given the desperate situation you are in now, you have goofed once too often. In some ways, I truly sympathise with you. Please be respectfully informed that many Sarawakians think that you are the most unpopular prime minister in Malaysian history, and there is very little respect left for you in this fair land. So please don’t come to Sarawak and lecture us, and force things down our throats as if we, Sarawakians, are kindergarten kiddies. Your two conditions are plain silly and childish. Here’s hoping that you will withdraw them.
FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at sirsiah@gmail.com
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 7:50 PM   0 comments
Hadi, the politically incorrect face of Malay supremacy - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

Malaysiakini : “Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.” ― Voltaire
COMMENT | You can say a lot about PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and lord knows, I have said most of it in many articles over the years. What you cannot accuse him of is political correctness when it comes to racial and religious politics in this country.
Even when the opposition went through its “PAS for all” kool-aid period, Hadi was chafing at the bit, ever willing to contaminate the Kool-Aid with hints of the real agenda of the Islamists in this country. When he babbles on about a Muslim-only cabinet, the reality is that in Malaysia, this already is the case in substance but not form.
While I appreciate DAP’s Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh’s defence of the secular nature of this country as decided by the highest court in the land, we now know that when it comes to secular (civil) law and religious (syariah) law, the state security apparatus obviously did not get the memo. Hence, reminding Hadi or anyone for that matter on the secular nature of this country is pointless. When an academic like Shad Saleem Faruqi (photoattempts to do so, he is hounded by the various Islamic agencies who have taken it upon themselves to declare Malaysia an Islamic state on who knows whose authority.

Hadi, meanwhile, has never attempted to hide the fact that he believes Islam is supreme and that everyone else must submit to its authority. Furthermore, when it comes to this bit, “...Islam daripada bangsa yang paling berpengaruh” (Islam originated from the most influential race), this is just the cherry on the cake when it comes to racial and religious supremacy. He is just covering all his bases. Of course, preacher-politicians like Hadi will always manage to justify their beliefs by quoting from some religious scholar or another. They will never come out with something original (of their own) as to why what is essentially a bigoted form of governance is allowed in Islam. We did have that one chap who claimed that racism was "allowed" in Islam but one would think that a religious scholar like Hadi would have the gumption to come up with his own rationale as to why his agenda for a Muslim-only cabinet was sanctioned in Islam.
Remember that Hadi is vice-president of an Islamic organisation, the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which has been disavowed by the House of Saud and was described by a prominent Middle Eastern journalist as such - “IUMS members justified violence and started an intellectual war with muftis and traditional Islamic scholars, undermining them in their home countries and ridiculing their religious edicts.”
A Malay-only affair
The reality is that for some time now, all cabinet decisions have been Umno supreme council decisions. And since the Umno supreme council is a Malay-only affair, the argument could be made that there is already an unofficial “Malay-only” cabinet.

Do not take my word for it. In a Malaysiakini interview, former MIC head honcho S Samy Vellu (photo) claimed that MIC had no voice in the cabinet. Other MCA leaders have made the same claim at various times in various news outlets. Collective decision-making is difficult when it comes to racial politics because at every turn Umno - or any Malay/Muslim political party – has to demonstrate that they are defending “bangsa dan agama” (race and religion).
Do not get me wrong. The reason why this country has been able to maintain the facade of being a “moderate” Islamic country is the urban demographics and policy decisions that enabled relative economic success despite all the leakages. In others words, there was political will that this country would not turn into just another failed Islamic state.
As I wrote before, “I would argue, and have done so many times, that the only reason why Umno continues to make overtures to the non-Malay community is that it needs them as a fig leaf in its charade as a multiracial/multireligious coalition and maybe to hedge its bets against the possibility of a sizable Malay revolt. Not to mention that the plum urban seats are the trough from which its cronies feed from.”
Now, of course the split in the Malay community, the missteps of the opposition and the machinations of Umno have resulted in the extreme fringe – the unthinking fringe – of the Malay right to come out with all sorts of remedies to “save” the Malay polity.
I do wonder, though, while we have had royal personalities speak out against certain opposition figures and speak out against religious personalities attempting to sow racial and religious discord, but so far there has been no official statement from any royal household over the overtly bigoted and unconstitutional provocation of Hadi. This should tell you something about the political system here in Malaysia.
Muslims cannot decide for non-Muslims
PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan’s claim that what Hadi meant was that “some cabinet positions must be reserved for Malay-Muslims” is even more of an indictment than what Hadi said because at least Hadi was honest. Nasrudin’s horse manure that Muslims should be the ones making policy and non-Muslims should be the ones implementing them is terrifying and the most insidious aspect of the Islamisation process in this country. As usual, what we are witnesses to is Islamists wanting non-Muslims to be complicit in their subjugation.

Think about this for a moment. Muslim potentates would decide policy and these policies – there is enough empirical evidence to suggest that these policies would be detrimental to non-Muslims – and non-Muslims would be “lucky” enough because this is “unlike other political systems, which only accept those with the same ideology” to implement these policies.
What separates Hadi from the rest of the Umno-aligned herd is that the PAS base still believes that they have a shot at truly influencing the direction of this country. In this case, for instance, they do not view what Hadi said as malicious or bigoted. They believe that it demonstrates that PAS is willing to work with anyone and that even in an Islamic state headed by PAS, non-Muslims would be part of the government and they would not have a problem only being part of the “implementation” because all the policy decisions made by Muslim potentates would be fair and just.
The funny thing is that state governments controlled by the opposition bend over backwards to accommodate Muslims’ preoccupations and have to continuously defend themselves against charges of racism and yet the mainstream Malay establishment does not disavow someone like Hadi.
You can never win with these people.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 7:32 PM   0 comments
Stop harassing professor Shad Saleem Faruqi - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “Iksim propounds the view that Islam does not come under the jurisdiction of any political power. According to it, religious enforcement authorities come under the patronage of the Sultans, not state governments. This is a remarkable vision of an autonomous, almost all-powerful, religious elite that is like a state within a state." - Shad Saleem Faruqi
I have often referenced professor Shad Saleem Faruqi's articles in my articles, sometimes agreeing; sometimes disagreeing with what he writes. If someone were to tell me that Shad's intention in anything he ever wrote was to insult or breach the peace, I would burst out in hysterical laughter. This academic (unlike this writer) has never written a polemic, as far as I can tell. In addition, I have probably read everything this man has written. If you have not read the article, that has got Iksim all in a rage, I suggest that you read it and determine if anything in that article warrants the state security apparatus “probing” this academic under section 504 of the Penal code.

Instead of engaging with Shad, Iksim resorted to the Islamists playbook and issued a public statement claiming that Faruqi and the G25 (Noor Farida Ariffin specifically) were attempting to cause racial disharmony and subverting the Islamic agenda as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. You can read the full statement here but the relevant passage is this:
"Tohmahan-tohmahan liar berkenaan termasuk oleh Prof Emeritus Shad Saleem Faruqi dan Datuk Noor Faridah Ariffin dari puak G25 dilihat sebagai satu cubaan untuk mencetuskan perasaan permusuhan antara kaum dan agama di negara ini. Kedua-dua mereka jelas menentang pemikiran-pemikiran ke arah mendaulatkan Islam sebagai agama Negara sekalipun ia jelas termaktub dalam Perkara 3(1) dan sumpah Yang di-Pertuan Agong di bawah perkara 37(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan." 
In the quote that begins this piece, the good professor, questions Iksim’s perspective that Islam does not come under the purview of any political power likening such a perspective to a “state within a state.” If you read the press statement and consider Iksim’s rationale for going after Shad and the G25, you would come to the realisation that their “unique” interpretation of the Malaysian constitution and of Islam in general, is exactly the “state within a state” idea that Shad alludes to in the quote I referenced.
Have you noticed that Islamists always claim that the people they target are attempting to cause tension amongst the various ethnic groups here in Malaysia? Is there any evidence of this? Are non-Muslims threatened or provoked by what people targeted by groups like Iksim say and do? I would argue that the only people threatened or provoked are the Islamist and the reason why they are threatened is that their views or beliefs are challenged.
Furthermore, Iksim has not rebutted the points raised in Shad's article. They have not claimed that what he wrote was false or fallacious. They have not denied the agenda he attributes to them. What they have done, is use the state to sanction the professor and intimidate any others who subscribe to his views.
Indeed by their own admission (as quoted by Shad referencing their March 28 booklet), – “secularism, liberalism and cultural diversity are elements that will undermine the Islamic agenda and destroy the country’s sovereignty”.

In other words, according to Iksim, everything that non-Muslims value and probably a majority of Muslims are detrimental to the Islamic agenda in this country. Therefore, when Umno potentates talk of cultural diversity and protecting the faiths of non-Muslims, this is detrimental to the Islamic agenda of this country.
When Umno potentates talk about the rich cultural diversity and the need to respect different cultures as envisioned by the founders of this country and which is great for tourism, this is detrimental to the Islamic agenda of the country. When “liberalism” redefined as “moderation” – Islamic or otherwise – is bandied about as the foundation for economic, social and religious success by the establishment, this undermines the Islamic agenda in this country.
And you know what, they are correct. If you believe in the kind of Islam they believe in and the kind of Islam that the House of Saud, is slowly and painfully attempting to reject, all these concepts are detrimental to turning this country into an Islamic state. An Islamic state where the primacy of syariah law and the submission of Muslims and non-Muslims to a theocratic hegemon is the natural order of things which is the desired state – and state of being – of Islamists like Iksim.
'Islamists not interested in debate'
A couple of months ago, the crypto-fascists got their knickers in a twist when I wrote that, liberalism is only a threat to the kind of Islam tyrants preach – “Those people who fear 'liberalism' however they define it, in reality, fear the loss of power when empowered societies choose alternatives. So yes, liberalism is a threat to the kind of Islam they preach. Mind you they may actually win in a 'fair' democratic contest because that is one of the perils of democracy. Beyond institutional safeguards, democracy is a risky endeavour, but I would take it to anything these Islamists have to offer.” While Shad Faruqi has invited them to debate and challenge his views, the reality is that Islamists are not interested in debate or discussion. Their only interest is submission. This is why they have no need for freedom of speech and expression.
There is enough empirical evidence to demonstrate that such concepts are anathema to the kind of Islam they wish to promulgate. In many of my articles where I discuss the numerous provocations of the state-sanctioned Islam in the private and public lives of non-Muslims in Malaysia, I have always made it clear that the people feeling the brunt of a state-sanctioned religion is the majority, Malay Muslim population. I have also made it clear, that Malay Muslim public intellectuals, academics and writers, are at the mercy of the state conspiring with various Islamists groups – sub rosa and overt – who sanction behaviour that they and they alone determine to be a threat to the state sanctioned religion.
Ultimately, Siti Kassim (will someone elect her already) has the right of it, when in her Facebook page, she wrote: “We must stand with professor Shad Faruqi. We should never allow these extremists group taking over our country. Never. Never. Never."
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:31 AM   0 comments
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