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In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God


Which must always come to pass

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He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?


Have you always turned the other cheek?


To My Church have you been true?"


"No, Lord, I guess I ain't


Because those of us who carry guns


Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around


Except to calm their fears.


If you've a place for me here,


Lord, It needn't be so grand,


I never expected or had too much,


But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Harapan's gathering storm - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Malaysiakini : “The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has— from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness.”  ― Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left
COMMENT | Ronnie Liu’s piece about the raging storm dividing Pakatan Harapan partisans is interesting, but not in the way people think. When Liu (above) writes that Harapan supporters are divided on the Chinese schools' issue with regard to comments made by Education Minister Maszlee Malik, and then goes on about how the education minister should be a minister of education for “all” Malaysians, he is missing a very important point.
When support is divided, there are generally two broad sides. In this issue, for instance, there are Harapan supporters who value issues regarding Chinese schools and who are offended by the education minister’s remarks, and there are Harapan supporters who support the education minister and have their issue with vernacular schools or place such issues lower down on the scale of priorities.
Liu’s call to the prime minister that Malaysia needs an education minister for “all Malaysians” is the kind of inept politics that he is accusing Maszlee of. How does an education minister for all Malaysians differ from what Maszlee has been doing? Beyond his public gaffes, what is Maslee not doing in terms of policy that reflects a new Malaysia policy shift? Liu does not tell us.
First off, by prioritising one side over the other, in this case those Malaysians who value issues related to Chinese schools, and implying the other side is not part of the Bangsa Malaysia agenda, is self-defeating. Liu makes the same mistake that P Ramasamy made in his criticisms of the education minster: “While P Ramasamy is correct to point out that Maszlee is behaving like an Umno clone, what he fails to highlight is that the entire Harapan government is behaving like the BN regime. This Malay/Chinese narrative is still defined along the same old lines instead of the promised egalitarian policies that Harapan campaigned on.”

Hectoring Maszlee (photo, above) for what he said about the matriculation quotas is only a valid criticism if Liu can demonstrate what the “new Malaysia” agenda is, with regard to education. Can Liu point to any policy decision by Harapan that is egalitarian, merit- or needs-based when it comes to education, that differentiates it from BN policies? If Liu cannot do this, calling for the removal of Maszlee is disingenuous and hypocritical - and which only feeds into the far right narrative that the DAP is pulling the strings in Harapan or is after Malay politicians who are parroting traditional Malay political narratives.
Liu says the Harapan government is attempting to promote Bangsa Malaysia. Fair enough. Please give us policy decisions and initiatives which are the opposite of what BN did when it was in power. Please give us an example of how the Bangsa Malaysia agenda has replaced the so-called power-sharing formula BN shoved down our throats for decades.
What of the Harapan supporters who support Maszlee? Are their views not important? This is what happens when Harapan made a pact with Mahathir and reaffirmed BN era politics with the inclusion of Bersatu into its ranks. You have Umno/BN supporters who believe that Harapan is the new BN and who never subscribed to the Bangsa Malaysia propaganda that the opposition – mainly the DAP – propagated. What about their views? I may not agree with their views, but for non-Malay Harapan politicians to dismiss them, after relying on their support, is a politically dangerous move to make.
As far as they are concerned, someone like Maszlee is articulating the kind of mainstream politics that sustained BN for years before it was bogged down with the corruption scandals of successive Umno potentates. What does this mean? It means for these supporters who were willing to give Harapan a chance, they were signing up for the kind of racial politics that sustained BN all those years and which got wide-ranging support from all the communities.

Instead of recognising the divisions among Harapan supporters and discovering ways to bridge the gap between non-Malay and Malay supporters, Liu merely replays the same talking points that Malay and Chinese politicians have been regurgitating for years. It would have been so much simpler if non-Malay politicians would just state their stand clearly and say they believe that education policies, for instance, should be needs-based, and reject racial quotas outright, instead of contorting themselves and attempting to justify the propaganda of Bangsa Malaysia when the reality in terms of policy is exactly the opposite.
Another way is to concede that the Bangsa Malaysia propaganda is bull manure and acknowledge that Harapan wants to maintain the BN system without the rampant corruption. To some Harapan supporters, this may be anathema, but to others, especially the “conservative” Malay base of Harapan, this may be welcomed.
Targeting Maszlee because some people in Harapan lack the cajones to acknowledge that all those promises Harapan made cannot be fulfilled because these would “spook the Malays”. Targeting a Malay minister using dodgy logic and hypocritical arguments is more damaging politically than not fulfilling promises.
The funny thing is that Harapan can dig itself out of this mess. I am fairly confident that no matter what the DAP does, it will not lose non-Malay support – but then again who knows, maybe the non-Malays are capable of much more in how they hold their elected representatives accountable than what I give them credit for – but Harapan, because of the hypocritical nature of how some non-Malay politicians behave, could weaken the Malay support for Harapan.
Don’t confuse winning the social media game as translating to electoral gains. People are not stupid. Non-Malay politicians have to commit to a truly egalitarian agenda or concede that their Bangsa Malaysia propaganda has come back to bite them on their behinds.
Either way, there’s a storm coming.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:53 AM   0 comments
What is "compassionate Islam"? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, May 20, 2019
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.” ― Garry Kasparov
I am not trying to be snarky when it comes to Mujahid Yusof Rawa (above), because I think he is desperately attempting to come up with a counter-narrative to the right-wing Islamo-fascist narrative of the likes of Isma.
Here is the thing though. Is “compassionate Islam” something like the rebranding George W Bush attempted to do with mainstream conservatism when his spin-doctors dug up some old conservative literature, of a time when there was intelligent discourse in the conservative intelligentsia in America? The American president attempted (fairly successfully, I might add) to project the conservative ideology as "people friendly" as opposed to the religious nuttery it has become now and was sliding into when he was POTUS.
Why does Islam need a “compassionate” makeover, when its adherents always tell non-believers that their religion is the religion of peace and their god is all compassionate? This is the same contra-indication when they claim there is no compulsion in religion, but a religious bureaucracy enforces dogma in every facet of their lives.
Whom exactly is compassionate Islam supposed to be compassionate towards? For folks who subscribe to the kind of Islam that Isma propagates, the idea of compassion is meaningless. Islam is political power. Nowhere is this more evident in Isma's “Malaysia is an Islamic state” campaign they carried out last year.
As the press duly noted: “A thread on Isma’s Twitter account listed eight items on its agenda, most notably the rejection of Malaysia as a secular country, and to stress that Malaysia is 'Tanah Melayu' or 'land of the Malays' with the Malays its native citizens. In addition, it called for a stronger role for Islamic jurisprudence in the national justice system. Currently, Syariah jurisprudence is under state jurisdiction instead of federal. The campaign urged Malaysians to fight in implementing Islamic obligations in the national context. It also wishes to promote the assimilation of Islam into the Malay culture, among others, in its language, tradition, clothing and food.”

Isma president Aminuddin Yahaya (above), said: “We see these evil attempts still continue, and more dangerously when those who believe in that are among the country’s leadership,” which, considering what he has said about our non-Malay/Muslim attorney-general, is fairly tame.
That is one narrative. What is Mujahid’s counter-narrative? While Isma may take potshots at Harapan as betraying the Islamic cause, it lists the numerous ways in which the Harapan government has been buttressing the Islamic bureaucracy . Here are just two examples. Isma’s homepage carried reports of Mujahid Rawa creating a special bureau to confront the issue of people insulting Islam.
Isma also carried a news report of how Jakim was grateful its budget had been increased.
As far as incorporating Islamic values into mainstream Malaysian policy (a major preoccupation of Isma) is concerned, in the beginning of the year Mujahid Rawa visited Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad (below) with an agenda to further incorporate Islamic values into public policy related to healthcare.

“This meeting, among others, discussed issues related to the implementation of the ‘Maqasid Syariah’ agenda in the national administration, particularly in the context and scope of collaboration between MoH (Health Ministry) and PMD (Prime Minister’s Department),” Dzulkefly wrote on Instagram. “Maqasid Syariah” refers to the real purposes of Syariah.”
Does anyone see a counter-narrative here? Isma, on the one hand, is part of the Harapan government's religious initiatives, and on the other, claims the Harapan government is not doing enough to Islamise this country. Meanwhile, the religious czar is talking about creating a counter-narrative, but in terms of policy he is doing exactly what the Islamic right wing wants him to do.
If you are confused, spare a thought for the poor Muslims. What do they make of Mujahid telling them that the Harapan government has stood up against “orthodox” ideas, when he spiels against advocacy rights groups and liberals (who he considers as dangerous as “extremists) and displays the kind of orthodoxy that folks like Isma propagate?
Mujahid claims he wants Muslims to abandon “rigid” thinking, but then why is the Harapan government collaborating with folks like Isma, allowing their ideas to propagate through government programmes? Mujahid claims he wants to stop the backwardness of Muslims in Malaysia, but he offers no evidence that the Harapan regime is committed to enacting progressive policies in Malaysia.
Mujahid claims that people like the Isma president, whose “ideas” run contrary to what Islam is all about, should be dealt with with debates and dialogue. There has been no such dialogue in the mainstream media organs. Indeed, progressive voices have been shut out from the Islamic discourse and numerous state- sanctioned investigations have been carried out because their ideas run contrary to the ideas of the far right .
You can only hold debates or dialogues if there are competing ideas. Having closed-door sessions and coming out smiling and shaking hands does not demonstrate any kind of consensus building, but is an acknowledgement that the Establishment and pressure groups are on the same page.
I have discussed the problem with Mujahid's moderation: “Therein lies the rub. Mujahid wants an Islam that is convivial and not confrontational. However, when a religion – any religion – is made the religion of the state, it is, by very definition, potentially confrontational. Non-Muslims have to understand then when it comes to Islam in this country, secular rules of engagement do not apply.”
Some people think that I want Mujahid to fail. I sincerely do not want him to fail. My instinct for self-preservation trumps any kind of egotistical desire to be proven right.
People talk of certain ministries being the most important for the betterment of this country. I believe the position Mujahid has of leading the Islamic bureaucracy is the most important position in the government’s portfolio. Everything else is dependent on how Mujahid defines the Islamic discourse in this country.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:25 AM   0 comments
Maszlee a convenient whipping boy for Harapan, Umno narratives - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Many can see Maszlee, but cannot see The Father of All Racism behind him. 🤣 

Malaysiakini : “And how easy it is to recognise the revenant shapes that the old unchanging enemies—racism, leader worship, superstition—assume when they reappear amongst us (often bodyguarded by their new apologists).”― Christopher Hitchens, Arguably: Selected Essays
COMMENT | The recent comment by Education Minister Maszlee Malik linking the matriculation quota system to job discrimination in the private sector is not only an Umno narrative but also a Pakatan Harapan narrative. Whenever issues like these crop up, Harapan partisans are quick to pounce on personalities instead of questioning the underlying policies of Harapan.
It has been one year of Harapan rule and so far what Harapan has done in terms of policy is to continue the efforts of the previous government in maintaining racial and religious hegemony. Maszlee may be a convenient whipping boy but the reality is that it is Harapan which is aping Umno’s racial and religious narratives.
While P Ramasamy is correct to point out that Maszlee is behaving like an Umno clone, what he fails to highlight is that the entire Harapan government is behaving like the BN regime. This Malay/Chinese narrative is still defined along the same old lines instead of the promised egalitarian policies that Harapan campaigned on. Icerd, the Rome Statute, the backtracking on various social and educational initiatives, the funding of racial and religious propaganda organs, the polemics of Harapan Malay politicians and the silence of their non-Malay counterparts point to a neo-BN reality instead of a “new Malaysia”.
Systemic discrimination in the public and the private sectors is not mutually exclusive. Talking about the discrimination of the quota system and the discrimination in the private sector either overt, or crypto, is not something that can and should be had separately. It is part of the grander, systemic dysfunction brought upon by years of governmental and commercial manipulation. I may not believe in that mythical social contract, but an argument could be made that the social contract of discrimination and racism is a social contract between political and commercial interests.
When Ramasamy asks what is the difference between Maszlee and Umno politicians, what he really should be asking is what is the difference between the racial and religious policies of Umno and Harapan? Is there a difference when it comes to tackling discrimination in the public and private sectors? Ramasamy's question is only credible if there are differences between the two and if there is no difference, then singling out Maszlee for towing familiar Malay narratives is unfair.
When Ramasamy makes the point of the realisation that “some of our ministers, like Maszlee, are no different from the BN era politicians who used race and religion to ensure their political survival", this is unintentionally funny. Why? Because, if anything, non-Malay political operatives have been scrambling to not spook the Malays and are in a state of agitation because their base is wondering when this “new Malaysia” deal will materialise. DAP, for instance, having a closed-door debate is the very definition of not spooking the Malays.
Racial and religious issues are the bread and butter of Malaysian politics. How could it not be? When the religion of the state dominates and democratic norms subverted and we have racial policies favouring the majority community, everything becomes an issue of race and religion. When non-Malay political operatives defend their religious rights or defend the rights as non-Malays, they are using race and religion as political tools because they are the most effective tools when it comes to dismantling hegemonic power structures and policies.
To argue otherwise, to imply that only Umno/BN politicians do this, is merely another red herring that Harapan seems to have an endless supply of. Honestly, when you have a race-based party like Bersatu in the coalition and the pre-election rhetoric of the then Harapan opposition of Mahathir being needed to secure the rural Malay vote, what did people think it meant in terms of Harapan’s policy when it came to racial and religious issues?
And I’m for non-Malay political operatives speaking up for their communities. When non-Malay political operatives like Ramasamy, for instance, challenges Malay orthodoxy when it comes to constitutionally enshrined rights of non-Malays, this is a good thing. It is pointless drawing false equivalencies between non-Malays speaking up for their rights and Malays defending their privileges and it is also pointless claiming that race and religion are not the bread and butter issues of all politicians.
Unless the system changes we have to speak up when racial and religious supremacy rears its ugly head and we have to think along racial and religious lines because not to do so would lead us to a theocratic state. We already live in an ethno-supremacist state.
Of course, there is a way to weaken the racial and religious narratives of this country and differentiating the Harapan regime from the previous Umno regime. This entails not only introducing anti-discrimination laws which apply to the public and private sector but also dismantling institutions, including political parties, which are race-based.
But is this really something the Harapan government is interested in? Ramasamy points to the discrimination faced by the Indians in the private sector and the monopolisation of bumiputera in the public sector and asks what the government is doing about that. This is a good question but why single out Maszlee? Why not single out the whole government bureaucracy which seems to be there not to challenge mainstream Malay political orthodoxy but to reinforce it.
See, this is why the Harapan regime abandoning something like Icerd was the height of mendacity. Icerd provided the framework when it came to formulating policy for the public and private sectors. When I wrote this, “The central theme of Icerd is eliminating all forms of racism and discrimination and while the legalese of this convention is contextualised in support of certain race-based agendas, at the heart of it, what its proponents hoped Icerd would do is put us on the road towards reforming a system which is mired in the kind of racism and bigotry detrimental to social and economic cohesion.” It was written to remind Malaysians that there is politics beyond race and religion. We must take the first tentative steps.
I honestly think that Ramasamy is slowly becoming the conscience of Harapan but I think he should stop finding convenient whipping boys and hold Harapan directly responsible for abandoning the fight for a “new Malaysia”.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:02 PM   0 comments
A new Malaysia was created on May 13 - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Malaysiakini : “Because of that, there exist all kinds of assumptions when ethnic ties become strained and unhealthy. This can cause that event and I do not want to mention the particular date.” - Then deputy prime minister, Muyhiddin Yassin, 2014
(Muhyiddin did not mention the date specifically, but Utusan Malaysia inserted May 13, 1969, to his quote in parentheses.)
COMMENT | The quote above by the current home minister and former deputy prime minister Muyhiddin Yasin that opens this piece demonstrates that, for Malay power brokers, the May 13 riots is just another tool in their political arsenal, to be used when circumstances warrant.
A couple of years back, in discussing the use of May 13 as a political weapon, I wrote: “What really is terrifying of May 13 is the way how the state uses it to demonise Malaysians based on ethnicity. The people making the threats, the aggressors become the victims and heroes of their own narratives, and Malaysians who do not subscribe to orthodoxy become the villains and scapegoats for all that the system has wrought.” The home minister now says: "What is the point of raising these old stories? These should serve as a lesson, and more importantly, the government should focus on what we are doing now and in the future.
"As the new government, Pakatan Harapan promises to be fair (to everybody). We don't want to see our country in chaos because of racial and religious issues."

The political establishment has always contextualised the May 13 riots as the culmination of simmering racial tensions between the Chinese and Malay communities. A logical, if unfortunate, consequence of class and race fears, which ultimately ended in bloodshed. With this narrative in mind, I do not think people realise how important it is to discover the truth about May 13.
The two competing narratives of May 13 tell a story of Malaysia which is important if we are truly to become a "New Malaysia". The first narrative, that of simmering class tensions brought about by careless political rhetoric, is plausible, especially when it is used as "a lesson" for people to be mindful of their speech and place in society. This lesson has been drummed into our heads as a reminder that racial and religious rhetoric could be dangerous, but what it really means is, "do not spook the Malays". The second narrative, as promulgated by academicians like Kua Kia Soong, is best summarised in his description of his must-read book:

“The main thesis of this book is that the orchestrated pogrom against the Chinese in Kuala Lumpur in 1969 was an attempt by the emergent Malay state capitalist class to create a situation to justify the coup d’etat against Tunku Abdul Rahman in the state of emergency that followed.”

Why is it important for us to discover the truth? Should we not forget about the past and merely pay homage to platitudes, like “never again”? The only way for us to discover the truth about ourselves is to discover the truth about May 13. There is a big difference between the two narratives. If May 13 was brought about by simmering race tensions and provocative rhetoric by politicians, this means there is something fundamentally wrong with our society, which goes beyond policy and something that we should always be mindful of. I do not believe that this is the Malaysian story.
However, if May 13 was a coup d'état against a sitting prime minister carried out by a cabal of traitors – and this is what they were – then the implications are entirely different. This would mean that even with all our problems, when it came to race and religion, Malaysia was not fundamentally dysfunctional, not to the extent of its citizens hacking each other to pieces, based on supposed racial tensions.
This would lay the blame squarely on certain segments of the Malay political class and not, as in in the mainstream narrative of the event, an attempt to evenly spread the blame on everyone, thereby creating a "teachable moment". The truth would reveal if Malaysia was really the country where citizens would hack each other to pieces because of racial tensions, or a country where Malay politicians would engineer “controlled” racial riots for the purposes of a coup d'état. The implications of the truth are profound, which is probably why the establishment – Malay and non-Malay – would rather think of the future.

Still unidentified
What would the implications be for the Malay/Muslim majority if they were to discover that the May 13 riots were not some sort of spontaneous racial riots, but rather a planned event for the sole purpose of bringing down a democratically elected Malay leader? How would the truth of the May 13 riots change the discourse when it comes to non-Malay participation in the social, economic and political terrain of Malaysia? Malay political structures have always used the May 13 riots as justification for discriminatory policies, but how would this be viewed when preferential policies were based on lies? Maybe it would not change a thing. Maybe it would change everything.
What would it mean to the political personalities and political parties, which had built their reputation as the defenders of race and religion, to have to acknowledge that they destroyed one of their own with the blood of innocent people? These are important questions nobody wants to answer. Malay and non-Malay politicians do not want to discover the truth about May 13 because the implication of the truth is far more damaging to the status quo than the myth of May 13.
People who think that May 13th could never happen again are mistaken. If May 13 was really a coup d'état against a sitting Umno president, then the reality is that it is very possible for a sitting Malay prime minster to be removed using racial riots as an excuse.
What is important is that we discover, once and for all, if this is true, and not wallow in nostalgia for a country that was or wish for a country that could be.
Remember, a New Malaysia was created on May 13.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:16 AM   0 comments
Should Mahathir serve a full term? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, May 13, 2019
Malaysiakini : “I played by the rules of politics as I found them.”― Richard M. Nixon
COMMENT | Despite whatever misgivings I have about the man, I am on record as saying that Anwar Ibrahim has a legitimate claim to the crown of Putrajaya. Malaysians owe a debt to Anwar Ibrahim: “While the various alliances were flawed, what Anwar managed to do was demonstrate that people working together, even if in a compromised fashion, could wreak havoc on the Umno hegemon. This should not only count for something, it means that the "hope" people have sprung from the post-Umno moves he made.”
The statement by a PAS bigwig of people rejecting a “convict” as prime minister really sticks in my craw. Anwar was a political prisoner because the current prime minister and Umno (when he was leading it) put Anwar behind bars and did it in the most sordid way, thereby sealing his fate with a certain section of the majority Malay electorate. Mahathir’s bogus trial of Anwar was a slow acting poison that has forever crippled Anwar’s political career.
Post-May 9, Anwar and his faction have had to deal with not only the internal schisms in PKR, but also the machinations of various factions within Bersatu and Umno, who are loyal to Mahathir. While Anwar and Mahathir have made many public appearances suggesting that all is kosher, the reality of Malay politics demands that we be sceptical of the proposed handover of power.
Complicating matters is the different styles of leadership of the two men. Mahathir, the strongman who has publicly claimed that it is not important if Harapan is not popular, reminding the civil service to remain neutral, and picking fights with the Royalty, as opposed to the PM-designate who, by circumstances of his incarceration and propaganda, has always had to be on the defensive when it comes to his Malay/Muslim bona fides.
While Anwar has backed Mahathir, the reality is for most Harapan supporters, Mahathir seems to be the man willing to take on the opposition and slay Malay sacred cows, even though he has been backpedalling on a whole range of issues.

When people see the spectre of ketuanism and when they see Mahathir as the only politician not mincing his words against his opponents, there is an emotional reaction. People want to believe he is capable of ending the systemic injustices in this country, even though he was the main architect of the kleptocracy Najib took control of. Anwar, meanwhile, seems incapable of asserting any kind of agenda, beyond reminding everyone that his reformasi days are not over. His faction seems to be on the losing end of PKR politics, and his once charismatic personality seems ineffectual in the post-May 9 world of Mahathir-dominated polemics.
Harapan political operatives – publicly – talk about handing over power to Anwar, but is it tactically sound to make way for Anwar in Harapan? Should Mahathir serve a full term and then let Anwar have a go at leading Harapan in the next general election? PAS people, who still talk to me, tell me Anwar presents a unique opportunity for them. If Mahathir reneges on his deal and Anwar accepts it, then this will further diminish the Malay leadership of Harapan and deepen divisions. If Anwar becomes prime minister, then they will have a field day, mocking the "convict" as someone incapable of leading a Muslim nation, who is only there because of Chinese (DAP) machinations.

Lim Kit Siang (photo) making a bet that Mahathir will hand over power to Anwar, may seem like good public relations, but if Mahathir does not hand over power, or some sort of deal is reached to extend Mahathir's reign, this would further complicate the political terrain on which Harapan has been losing ground. I was never in favour of this “interim” PM nonsense.
As I wrote here: “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.”
All this "interim" nonsense does is create more tension for the Establishment. It allows the Malay opposition a talking point and deepens divisions within the Malay power structures in Harapan. This guessing game of whether the old maverick will relinquish power also adds another level of intrigue for Harapan supporters, which blinds them to the obvious failings of their chosen government.
Mahathir’s Bersatu is evidence of how a power group which cannot legitimately claim to represent its base – Malay – operates by establishing itself as the prime mover in Harapan, where its allies (DAP and PKR), both with larger representation, have to acquiescence to Bersatu. Will anyone trust Bersatu if there was no Mahathir? Besides, Anwar will not gain any legitimacy if he merely accepts the reins of power from Mahathir. While many argue that PKR is the weakest link in Harapan, it does command a majority of seats, while Bersatu is probably worried about how it will fare in an Anwar stewardship. The perception fanned by the far right is that Anwar did not fight for his position, but it was handed to him, with Chinese connivance, courtesy of the DAP. Kit Siang's wager merely adds to this perception.
Mahathir needs to serve his full term and then step down, and allow Anwar to lead the charge in the next general election. If Harapan manages to stabilise the economy and carry out reforms, which Anwar used as the basis for his reformasi movement, then no matter what percentage of the Malay vote keeps Harapan in power, Anwar can make the claim that he is the legitimate democratic heir to the throne in Putrajaya
At the moment, as Terrence Gomez rightly pointed out, the culture of patronage is still pervasive in New Malaysia. This has deeper implications than merely cronyism and corruption. The politics of patronage and Malay political factionalism are not mutually exclusive. There is a reason why moves are made to consolidate corporate and political power in various Malay power structures. This was one of the major points of reform that, in the early days, Anwar was pushing for.
Ultimately what is more important is if Anwar demonstrates that he can make his move to the big seat on his own, instead of relying on a handover. If Anwar is given power by Mahathir, the Malay far right will claim he needs the Chinese DAP to get power and hence he is their puppet. This would mean that Anwar will always have to prove his Malay/Muslim credentials and we all know how this works, in New Malaysia, right? Anwar has to lead and win a general election on his own if ever he is to be a threat to the extremist forces in this country. If there is a handover, Harapan will spend all its time justifying this move, instead of embarking on reforms.
Anwar could be more influential when not in the PM's seat if only he rediscovers the reasons why people believed in him, all those years ago.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:43 AM   0 comments
Harapan does not need more time; it needs to stop wasting time - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Malaysiakini : “Each wrong idea we follow is a crime committed against future generations.”Arthur Koestler, 'Darkness at Noon'
COMMENT | Whenever Pakatan Harapan gets flak for its backpedalling, the response from its political operatives and propagandists is to plead for more time. This is a rather juvenile response from 'New Malaysia' politicians because time is limited in a democracy while fortunes and consequences change - sometimes overnight - in politics. The reality is that Harapan has five years until the next elections to demonstrate that they can manipulate the system to their advantage and leverage that for another term. This is the realpolitik of it.
Asking for more time is "the dog ate my homework" of excuses especially since before the election, Harapan positioned itself as the magic bullet that could “save Malaysia”. Recent public statements from the Harapan elite that the reason why they cannot fulfil certain promises is because it costs money as the former government left them with debt is a lie. They are systemic changes they can make which would cost them very little but it would not be politically expedient to do so.
Harapan and its partners should cease attempting to gaslight its base and wallow in propagandists' responses to criticisms. The most recent example is the DAP response to my column questioning the party's attempts to find a “middle ground” with someone with extremist views. This is not what 'New Malaysia' needs.

Muhammad Shakir Ameer (above), DAP’s national vice-chief, in responding to my piece questioning the value of the party’s possible friendship with Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, claimed that my piece (and others who questioned such a move) was based on “the desire to be confrontational, without making the effort to take the middle ground to make peace and avoid prolonged animosity".
This is exactly why most people – except die-hard Harapan supporters and certainly not the base that Harapan thinks it needs to remain in power – are sceptical of DAP and Harapan. First off,  the DAP accusing others of being "confrontational", considering the rhetoric of the DAP when it comes to labelling personalities as "extremist", is predictably hypocritical. Secondly, when the DAP has a closed-door meeting because it does not want the views of its members to become public, there is really no point in claiming that the DAP wants constructive dialogue. The DAP, like any other political party, wants to control the narrative.
Harapan’s religious czar Mujahid Yusof Rawa has claimed that he doesn’t consider "liberals" less dangerous than "extremists". So how can the DAP - which has been aligned with Amanah since its inception - talk about the middle ground when neither the DAP nor its coalition partners make any attempt to define the middle ground beyond making false equivalencies between the people opposing religious extremism and the religious extremists.

Ameer, who does not really address the points in my piece on the move by DAP to engage with someone like the Perlis mufti, is like Harapan which chooses to use red herrings in an attempt to deflect from their blunders. To be clear, Ameer, the reason why people like me reject extremism and extreme ideas is because it impacts our economic and social security.
The Harapan grand poobah warns of race-baiting robbers attempting to derail the Harapan reform agenda. Anwar Ibrahim, the prime minister-designate, warns that racial tension could derail the reform agenda. The rhetoric of both appeals to Anwar’s “urban elites” but does that rhetoric translate into real reform?
Some people dismiss comments made by the prime minister and the soon-to-be prime minister as empty rhetoric especially when the former goes on about a needs-based approach to entitlement programmes but I think they are missing the point.
Malay power structures have for decades known that racial and religious politics were economically unfeasible. They understood that by denying Malaysians their economic potential, they were weakening the economy. I suspect that part of this is why there is a reluctance to make public the findings of the Council of Eminent Persons report. However, Malay power structures have lacked the scrotal fortitude to do anything about it. What they do is come up with deflections and talk about that mythical "middle ground" when it comes to extreme religious and racial ideas as if mainstream Malaysian politics starts from the centre.

Look, over the years Umno people including Najib Abdul Razak attempted to reverse the policies that favour the majority because they knew – everyone knew – that it was bad for the economy and would only get worse in a fast-changing geopolitical landscape. When Mahathir Mohamad talks about not giving out handouts and upgrading skills, he is admitting that the current disproportionate system has handicapped not only the Malay majority but Malaysia as well.
I sincerely believe that there are political operatives within the Harapan coalition who want to change Malaysia for the better and this includes political operatives from Bersatu, but unfortunately there are too many political operatives and supporters of Harapan who believe that the old paradigm works and they support the gaslighting that Harapan propagandists engage in in support of the old paradigm.
There are good policy decisions that Harapan has made when it demonstrates it has the political will. The recent decision by the political apparatus and the security apparatus to implement the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) is a shining moment for Harapan. Harapan is capable of so much more. So the question is not if people should give Harapan more time but rather that Harapan has a limited amount of time to carry out the agenda they claim they want.
And so far, they have been wasting time.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:41 AM   0 comments
Harapan needs a backbone - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Malaysiakini : “Don't hit at all if it is honourably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!” - Theodore Roosevelt
COMMENT | The rumblings from the rural Malay heartland, amplified by the union between PAS and Umno, is an example of how policies that could save Malaysia are held hostage by rural voters.
Commenting on the global trend of identity politics and warning that rural Malay voters should not be dismissed as “racists”, KRA strategy director Amir Fareed Rahim has called for identity politics to be challenged by the politics of hope and vision. The problem with all this talk of the politics of “hope” and “vision” is that ultimately it means very little. What “vision” does Harapan have for this country when it comes to the foundation of mainstream Malay politics? If all Harapan is doing is replaying the Umno/BN game, then it will surely lose the rural Malay vote that seems to be the holy grail of Malaysian politics.
Rural Malay voters understand they have nothing to lose if they vote for the opposition because they understand the game is rigged in their favour. They know that Malay power structures will not do anything to “punish” them because they hold so much power – unequal power – when it comes to who is running this country. Malaysia has not seen a rise in identity politics because the foundation of Malaysian politics is identity politics. While Harapan needs a message, what is more important at this moment is that it needs to develop a backbone. Having a message is pointless if you allow the message to be hijacked, or worse, manipulated by your political opponents. To ensure that both do not happen, you need a backbone.
In a recent forum about Harapan's progress, a panellist argued that Harapan should be using state propaganda resources to counter the “extremists' views.” Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, before the 14th general election, talked about how the state had resources which not only included media organisations, but also intelligence services, which gave them an edge in elections.
There has been much talk about how Harapan’s messaging has been failing. Most recently prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim (photo, above) conceded that Harapan’s dodgy messaging was the cause of much of its problems. He also claimed that the “urban elite” was distracting from the bread and butter issues of the rural people, which I suppose put him on the opposite side of what E Nalini said at the forum: “But people who are critical of the government and saying good things are being investigated.”
The real issue is, what “message” does the Harapan regime have? When Kok Lanas assemblyman Alwi Che Ahmad said, “Do you know that (Attorney-General) Tommy Thomas is now a household name even in the kampung? I don’t need to elaborate why.” Alwi does not need to elaborate because what the far right has been doing is propagating the idea that the non-Malays are taking over the government and not respecting the royal institutions and Islam.
Their message is working for the base which they need, and they are bereft of the mainstream propaganda channels they used to have. What about Harapan’s message? Harapan's message seems mainly about rebranding Umno/BN era policies – with the qualifier that it would be less “corrupt” and placating the extreme elements, which do not necessarily include the Umno/PAS union.
Let us not talk about the preoccupations of the non-Malays, but rather the fight for the Malay demography. It is pointless for Harapan’s religious czar to blather on about how mosques should be free from politics. If there are clerics who are federally funded or (Harapan) state-funded, they should be pushing the Harapan narrative on Islam. When you work for the federal bureaucracy or get funds from the federal bureaucracy, you should be pushing the official narrative of the state.
They should be politicising the Islamic narrative of the Harapan state in mosques and in the mainstream media. They should not be allowed to propagate Umno's version of Islam. If they do not fall in line, they should be fired. There are a plethora of young religious school graduates who are waiting for an opportunity to take their place and who have a burgeoning following on social media. The question is whether there is a difference between the Islamic narrative of the Harapan regime and the former Umno regime.
Another point is how the Malay power structures in Harapan are not defending their non-Malay counterparts. You can call the MCA (I still do not want to talk about the MIC) running dogs, but when the Umno/BN regime was functional, the Malay power structures in BN created a narrative for non-Malay participation in BN. They did this using not only state media, but also localised policies that did not threaten the sensitivities of the Malay vote banks.
Some political and religious operatives claim the DAP is damaging Harapan’s “Malay” public image with the statements they make. This is probably true in some instances, but the larger, more important narrative is that when BN was in power, it acknowledged in its propaganda activities that the MCA had to look after Chinese interests and pushed the narrative that this was part of the social contract.
Unfortunately, Harapan does not have this convenient tool. Harapan has made some bold symbolic moves, like anointing a non-Malay as AG and making the CJ a woman, but what it has failed to do is fight dirty with the far right. What Harapan should be doing is demonstrating that the new regime will not bow down to the far right when it attempts to diminish government institutions. The way to do this is to use laws it uses against ordinary citizens - those people who E Nalini said are saying "good things" - against the racial and religious provocateurs of the far right. Let these political operatives defend themselves in a court of law instead of contaminating the court of public opinion.
You can make all sorts of promises and throw goodies closer to elections, but until the big showdown, you should be wearing down your opponents. A good example is this royal fight between Mahathir and the royal house of Johor. Many people are using Mahathir as a proxy for their pent up feelings about the royal institution, but what this demonstrates is that at least Mahathir is willing to slay sacred cows when political power (his) is threatened.
Of course, Mahathir is not getting the backing he should receive because most Harapan political operatives are struggling to find their cajones. I do not blame the non-Malay political operatives for not getting involved, and they should stay out of it. However, Harapan Malay power structures should be jumping on the bandwagon to drive home the point to the far right and their proxies that there is a new sheriff in town.
Of course, the far right is waiting to see if there is a handover of power, or even if the prime minster's age permits, for him to continue the fight. That is a scary proposition, since most in the Malay power structure in Harapan would rather fight one another than their political opponents.
This is New Malaysia, one year on.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:45 AM   0 comments
Does DAP need a friend like Perlis' mufti? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, May 06, 2019
Lim Guan Eng is becoming a politically correct useful idiot for the intolerant
Malaysiakini : “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” ― Winston S Churchill
COMMENT | Apparently DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng wants to “engage” with Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin after Asri (who claims there was a misrepresentation) made comments about the DAP in the press.
This is horse manure. The DAP secretary-general is not meeting the Perlis mufti, but rather, the finance minister of Malaysia is meeting with the Perlis mufti. Lim Guan Eng, who prides himself on being a “Malaysian” first (whatever that means), is meeting with a religious operative who has made it clear that someone like Zakir Naik is beneficial to Islam in Malaysia. A religious operative who recently backed a Muslim convert who allegedly disparaged Hinduism. Asri has a beef with the Hindu community, once claiming that no rational Malaysian worships cows.
How can the DAP have friendly ties with Asri? The mufti of Perlis has dismissed the corruption allegations against PAS president Hadi Awang, claiming that Hadi was a modest and pious man. What about all the things DAP has said about PAS president Hadi Awang? Will the DAP concede that it has been wrong about Hadi, and Asri has a legitimate point of view when it comes to Hadi Awang?
Asri said that everyone should be “careful” about making allegations: “We punish what is manifest. God knows all.” In other words, all those DAP political operatives, including the Malay power structures of Harapan that make allegations against Hadi, should be careful, lest they invite divine retribution. How would it look, the DAP demonising the MCA for working with PAS, but having no problem when the mufti of Perlis backs Hadi Awang?
Does anyone really think that Asri is unaware of the things the Harapan regime has done for Muslims in this country? Does anyone think that Asri was unaware of the looting of Islamic funds that was going on when the Najib regime was in power?
Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Chee Keong (above), whose work is admirable when it comes to a whole range of issues, is operating under a delusion in his rambling on about how the DAP needs to engage with the Perlis mufti. This has always been the problem with the DAP. In their quest to court the Malay/Muslim vote, they have mucked about in scared provinces, instead of commanding the secular higher ground. Forget what Asri said about the DAP and think about what he said about Muslims being bullied and under threat from the Harapan regime.
The Harapan regime has backtracked on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd). They have backtracked on the Rome Statute. They have given asylum to Zakir Naik. They have cleaned up Tabung Haji and are attempting to carry out reforms on Felda. They have charged politicians and bureaucrats with stealing from public funds, and kept the quota systems which favour the Malay majority.
They have a religious czar who has proposed policies like a syariah-compliant dress code for the private sector, among other pro-Islamic initiatives. They have increased funding of the Islamic bureaucracy. The DAP has funded Muslim entitlement programmes and gone out of its way not to spook the Malays to the chagrin of some of its base. Now we could argue this is a “good” thing, but there is no rational argument that could be made in support of the narrative that Muslims are bullied or under threat under the Harapan regime. Why is Asri carrying on with this narrative?
Because Asri’s narrative is not based on any objective assessment of Harapan’s polices, only on the emotional strategies of his religious supremacy. Asri feels Muslims are under threat or being bullied because he feels under threat and bullied. His Islamic narrative, which is overtly bigoted and misogynistic, has been supplanted by the subtle machinations of the Harapan state. This, at times, involves sanctioning the Islamic far-right, much to the annoyance of the Islamists who prefer to operate without any sanction from a supposedly Islamic state.
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 (above, right) 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) on Ramasamy, which is a trait of LTTE.”
A religious operative who, in a recent interview, claimed that he had the backing of 70 percent of Muslims when it comes to his fracas with the prime minster, who claimed he was “deaf” to what the Harapan regime had done for Muslims in this country . I have no idea why Lim Guan Eng would want to engage with the mufti of Perlis. This perhaps is just another way for the DAP to attempt to placate the far right forces, which seems to be the only way the DAP knows how to operate.
The DAP has a history of propping up so-called “moderate” Muslim personalities, only to have those same personalities come back and bite their behinds. Asri claimed that he was misrepresented. If this were the case, why not make a statement clarifying his position? Why does it take a meeting, initiated by the DAP, for him to make his stand clear?
What someone like Asri needs is legitimacy. What he needs is his so-called 70 percent support from the Muslim community to see that he has enough clout for the Chinese finance minister to kowtow to his narrative. And this is exactly what the DAP is doing. The people who buy into the narrative that Malay/Muslims are under attack will not believe anything that comes out of the DAP. There is nothing the DAP could do to appease or please these people. The more the DAP gives legitimacy to these types of people, the more “moderate” Muslims will feel that it is pointless speaking out because the establishment would always enable the kinds of narratives that are detrimental to them, more importantly, Malaysia.
What the Harapan regime should be doing is flooding the state-owned media with all the "good" they have been doing for the Muslim community. What they should be doing is naming and shaming the personalities and businesses that have been looting Muslim funds. What they should be doing is defending the DAP in state-owned media against the attacks of the far right. Instead, the DAP, like a dog with its tail between its legs, conjures up a meeting with a mufti who insists his narratives are the only legitimate Islamic narratives in this country.
There is nothing non-Muslims can do to appease the Islamists in this country except to capitulate to their every demand. Why do think this narrative of Muslims being bullied under a Harapan regime is pushed into the mainstream? The reason is simple. When hints of progressiveness are detected, the Islamists and the far right react to protect their turf.
If the DAP continues giving legitimacy to extreme forces, it is going to do more damage to this country in the long run. The next religious provocation will then crop up and the DAP will pussyfoot around the issue because, to do otherwise, would be to offend people like the mufti of Perlis.
I was going to write that with friends like Asri, who needs enemies? But the reality is that with friends like Lim Guan Eng, who needs enemies?
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:28 AM   0 comments
Honest cops would have no fear of the IPCMC - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, May 04, 2019

Malaysiakini : "It is hoped the government carries out its promise to set up the IPCMC without any further delay, which I am certain will go down as one of its greatest achievements."– Ramkarpal Singh
COMMENT | Bukit Gelugor parliamentarian Ramkarpal Singh is correct. If Pakatan Harapan discovers its cojones and sets up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), this will go down as one of its greatest achievements, which frankly speaking is something the Harapan regime needs. People like to concentrate on the cops who are attempting to block this move but what the Wang Kelian hearings have shown us is that police corruption and political complicity go hand in hand.
We are not dealing with a single organism here. What we are dealing with is a complex network of political, business and state security personnel that is the basis of a black economy, dealing with everything from narcotics to human trafficking.
The fears of the rank-and-file are not really centred on the complex web of political patronage but rather on the banal everyday dysfunction of the state security apparatus. Three years ago, two siblings detailed the horror they experienced when they were detained by the state security apparatus. You can read about here and, of course, the feeble attempts by the police higher-ups for the brothers to make a “police report” which they said would be investigated in a fair and transparent manner.

This is what corrupt cops fear most with an IPCMC. That the average citizen will have an avenue to turn to if the state security apparatus abuses them and an independent body will then investigate their claims. It is a simple as that.
Well, okay, it is not as simple as that. All these cops who allegedly have a problem with an independent body “punishing” them are the kind of cops who believe that working without oversight comes with the badge. They are also worried that other cops who so far have been compliant to orders which they know are wrong or are just afraid that they would lose their jobs if they do not follow orders, would realise that now there is an independent body watching over them.
As someone who has been a part of the state security apparatus, I can tell you first-hand that personnel are not worried if they know that their own will “punish” them. What they are afraid of are “outsiders” poking their noses into their business. I get that some of my comrades will not like this kind of talk but this is exactly why the Harapan regime is getting pushback from the state security apparatus.
In addition, let us not forget that race and religion are part and parcel of the state security apparatus. Political parties and right-wing pressure groups have always claimed that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) is a “Malay” institution and attacks against the state security apparatus are an attack against the Malay community.

This, of course, is one of the numerous racial flashpoints in this country because the majority of the non-Malays view the state security apparatus as enablers to hegemonic Malay political structures. When then home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, for instance, advised a shoot-to-kill policy because the Malay community is normally the victims of crimes and the top Terengganu cop claims that Malays do not participate in gang culture, what we have to understand is that any attempt at oversight necessarily means confronting the racism and bigotry that permeates these institutions.
The silver lining is that honest cops would not have an issue with the IPCMC. In fact, they would welcome it. They would welcome it because they are sick and tired of always having to look over their shoulder. They would welcome it because it offers protection against the various hierarchical power structures that define the state security apparatus. Which brings us, of course, to all these coddling statements by the prime minister and home minister about “reassuring” the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) that they are not being targeted. The truth of the matter is that the PDRM should be targeted. They should be held accountable for the deaths in custody, the torture, the corruption, the dereliction of duty. If you are an honest cop, you would have nothing to fear.
Instead, what the government is doing is attempting to negotiate with the PDRM. Attempting to demonstrate that they should not fear the IPCMC. The fact is, if you are corrupt, you should fear the IPCMC. And let me tell you something, the people who fear this independent commission are the people who have something to hide.

Whenever the state attempts measures which would reform the state security apparatus, organisations like the PDRM play the victim card. This, of course, is something they learnt from their political masters. This is an institution which gave us the Copgate affair.
The Cliff's Notes version here – “Nowhere is this more clear than in the infamous Copgate affair, where former Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Ramli Yusuff exposed the criminal underworld links between alleged mobster Goh Cheng Poh, or Tengku Goh, and the inspector-general of police then, Musa Hassan. Musa served as IGP from 2006 to 2010. This case points to the nexus between criminal enterprises, police collusions and political power.”
When former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi attempted to set up the IPCMC, BN parliamentarians objected to the move and the then Umno-owed Utusan Malaysia in an editorial wrote, "Although (these objections) were from several parliamentarians, we believe they are in line with the view of the majority of the rakyat." Abdullah did not have the support of his political base when it came to this issue. Do Mahathir and Harapan now have the political will and the support of their bases to carry this out?
That remains to be seen.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:50 PM   0 comments
Preaching to the unconverted - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, May 01, 2019
Most of the people I knew who converted was not because of the love of the faith but for the love of pussy!! They only heard what was sanitized by the brain washing proselytizers.They have their regrets as once in, they simply cannot check out!!!  When they convert others especially the Christians, they don't tell them that they have to denigrate the Jews and Christians 17 times a day. That means their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and all they purportedly love all just for the sake of pussy or dick. Read all about that hate.......................
Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu
Malaysiakini : “People who change their religion should face the death penalty.” - Zakir Naik
COMMENT | Why is Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu, a follower of Zakir Naik, and member of Angkatan Skuad Mubaligh Malaysia, known as an “independent” preacher? What does this mean? JAIS had hooked up with Kalimuthu (in 2017) to give courses on the Tamil language to increase productivity when it comes to proselytizing in a multilingual milieu.
What this course was supposed to do, was make it easier for Muslim preachers (state sanctioned) attempting to convert Indians, using the Tamil language as an entry point into their lives. The idea that Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin puts forward that Kalimuthu was only testifying when it came to his personal experience with the Hindu faith, is bunkum. What Kalimuthu was doing as a professional proselytizer was creating a narrative for Muslims to use to convert Hindus in the course of his professional duties.
So there is nothing “independent” about Kalimuthu. He was a state actor, whose mission is to covert people to Islam, specifically Tamil speaking Hindus. So let us not play into this narrative that Malaysia is a market place of Islamic ideas where independent preachers roam free, disseminating ideas, some of which go against official narratives of the state.
This idea of Muslim converts as the perfect vehicles to proselytize, is nothing new. Muslim convert Ridhuan Tee Abdulah, for instance, always pleaded “special knowledge” when it came to the Chinese community, hence his “attacks” against the community had the appearance of legitimacy to a certain section of the Muslim community. This idea of using converts to preach is propagated by prostylizing faiths all over the world.
I understand the Hindu outrage when it comes to what Kalimuthu said. While most Hindus expect their faith to be mocked, especially in the current political climate, the reason why this supposedly “personal” video was uploaded was meant as a kind of advertisement to other Muslims and an anecdote by a former Hindu as to the lack of Hinduism, hence the conversion.

Ridhuan Tee (above) does something similar too. His provocations against the Chinese community were meant to legitimize the greatness of his faith, at the same time pointing out the supposed flaws of the religious and social mores of the Chinese community. After all, why convert if your original faith was fulfilling whatever religious expectations you needed, right ?
This bunkum is exactly what preachers like Zakir Naik promote. If you listen to what Kalimuthu says or even Ridhuan Tee, for instance, you will notice the echoes of what Zakir Naik pushes in his “inspirational” sermons. This idea that there is something wrong with your faith, which is why conversion is necessary to ameliorate whatever feelings of doubt you have about your faith and circumstances.
This idea that converting in this country does not come with some state sponsored benefits is something that is often overlooked in these conversion debates. Nobody wants to have that conversation because to do so would invite religious groups to lodge police reports that claimed you were disrespecting the Muslim faith.

The Perlis mufti (above), the onetime darling of the then Harapan opposition has a history of denigrating the Hindu community. It is pointless listing the vile comments he has made about the Hindu community. It amounts to how the religion of the state targets vulnerable disenfranchised communities, with the hope of inclusion through religious conversion.
The problem with the religious discourse in this country is not that people are going about insulting each other's religion, but rather the state has the power to sanction people for trespassing on religious and racial issues.
This power is often applied unequally, with the state sanctioned religion and its adherents getting off scott-free, when the same does not apply to the other religions in this country.
Asri’s lament that the Harapan regime has been lacking in protecting the sanctity of Islam comes at a time when Asri is under public scrutiny for comments he has made, the people he associates with and the realization that he was never the moderate Muslim the then opposition built him up to be.
While prime minister Mahathir Mohammad has to defend Harapan's track record when it comes to Muslim issues, the reality is they have not really differed from the Umno regime when it comes to how the religion of the state is practiced in this country. Well, there is a small difference. There have been attempts made to equalize state action when it comes to religious provocations; hence we get Muslims hauled up by the state for making derogatory comments, when before, they would have been coddled by the state.

The Suhakam conclusion that Pastor Koh and Amri Che Mat (above) were kidnapped by state actors, also sent a chill down the spine of the Islamic deep state. No doubt, with the embracing by the Harapan state of someone like Zakir Naik, they believed all was kosher when it comes to demonizing other religions and carrying out sub rosa religious agendas.
In the end, there will always be the Kalimuthus and the Ridhuan Tees, because weak people will be used by the state or state sanctioned bodies to propagate ideas of religious superiority, because zealots understand that free will, when it comes to faith, is a more frightening prospect than independent democratic institutions.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:48 AM   0 comments
Anwar Ibrahim's folly - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, April 29, 2019
These slimy creatures undermined our secular status with the first attacks on Christians - SO DO NOT ever Forget
Malaysiakini : “You can fail many times, but you're not a failure until you begin to blame somebody else.” - John Burroughs
COMMENT | The difference between Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim when it comes to dealing with the Malays is not ideological but rhetorical. While the old maverick is wont to lecture and bemoan specific traits of his “people” – while blowing the dog whistle when it comes to the non-Malays – Anwar Ibrahim likes to find scapegoats in his quest to project some sort of leadership quality.
Despite the differences in rhetoric, both carry out racial policies which are detrimental to the Malay community. Anwar’s latest tirade when it comes to the plight of the “rural Malays” is to blame the “urban elites” for distracting from the economic woes of the rural Malay communities. There is an element in the Malay political elite of PKR who seem to think that their perceived lack of “Malayness” is brought upon by egalitarian ideas that emanate from the urban and semi-urban centres, which is dominated by non-Malay concerns.
Anwar’s “don’t spook the Malays” narrative is a projection about the perceived lack of (rural) Malay support of the progressive Malay faction of PKR, which ironically is the panacea for the lopsided policies that have been detrimental to the Malay polity. Young Malay leaders, some of who have jumped on the bandwagon, citing “ultra-liberal Malays” and other such nonsense, are merely reacting to the right-wing elements in PKR and from Bersatu, who are jostling for power in this post-May 9 reality.
Anwar’s scapegoating of the “urban elites” is just another narrative employed by Malay political powerbrokers to deflect from the reality that policies meant to favour the dominant Malay polity have been an abject failure. Or rather, the short-term gains of such policies have come back to bite the behinds of Malay power structures bereft and fearful of progressive ideas that could change the political and social landscape of the Malay polity.


When Anwar Ibrahim says something like this: “…at times, the elite seems to ignore these real problems. I’ve not heard them talking about… poverty, inequality...”, the question becomes, where has he been? Not only have the urban elites been talking about poverty and equality but these same urban elites were suckered into believing that only the current prime minister has the “trust” of the rural Malays, which is why they embraced his political comeback and anointed him the Grand Poohbah of Harapan.
It was Anwar Ibrahim who was viewed as not up to the task of corralling the rural Malays to the Harapan banner, even though he has spent an inordinate amount of time and political capital to try forge a relationship with this demographic.
People obsessed with meritocracy
Furthermore, when Anwar Ibrahim claims that people are obsessed with meritocracy, and uses “somebody from the Dayak tribe” as an example of why affirmative action is needed, this is not only mendacious, but I would say vile.
First off, children from tribes in Sarawak would be more vulnerable to unilateral conversion rather than the inequalities of the bureaucracies when it comes to preserving their special rights. Secondly, what about the poor non-Malay kid who managed to score the required nine As but is marginalised from the system because hundreds of Malay students who do not qualify get to participate in the system, merely because of race? What about the children of privileged Malays who use the system at the expense of disenfranchised Malays?
Anwar claims that the urban elites are cut off from rural bread and butter issues but the reality is that the urban elites are obsessed with bread and butter issues of the whole country. Economic bread and butter issues are the catalyst from aberrant political upheavals and when you are the minority (especially when it comes to progressive politics), you understand that while you may be hurting in a bad economy, the people who could do the most damage to your economic and social stability are the disenfranchised who wield lopsided political power, through their votes.
Why do you think non-Malays – specifically the Chinese community – are scapegoated as an economic threat to the Malay community? Because it is easier to blame a community for bad policy decisions than to reverse course and attempt policies which would not be politically attractive in the short term, but specifically in this context because Harapan does not want to do the hard work of using its apparatus for messaging and shifting public opinion.
And it is bizarre. Anwar claims that the rural communities want to be reassured that the Malay language and their special rights are preserved and that they are afraid of certain government policies, which they view as threats to those issues. Really? When Anwar says that there is no harm when it comes to mastering the Malay language, where exactly was anyone posing a threat to the language?
Cause of the plight of the rural Malays
Has this got anything to do with the UEC demand from the Chinese community? Is Bahasa Melayu under threat because of the refusal to recognise the UEC? Then just come out and say it. Look, the reason why the rural Malay communities are in the situation they are in is because, for decades, successive Umno regimes deprived them of the opportunities and advantages that urban people have.
They did this because they wanted a convenient rural vote bank, which they could use as a potent weapon, in terms of votes and narratives against the non-Malay communities, who were not dependent on government handouts but who were thriving.
That's God’s honest truth. It is pointless for Anwar Ibrahim to lecture urban elites into going down into rural areas and doing charitable work because the onus is on the government, both state and federal, to ensure egalitarian programmes which would help all marginalised communities, instead of expecting more handouts from privileged urban people – who, let’s face it, are struggling with economic issues of their own. Does Anwar really think that all people who make their homes in urban centres are “rich”?
Besides privileged urbanites, who are so inclined have their hands looking full as against the disenfranchised in the urban areas, mucking about in the rural heartlands presents social and public relations problems of their own. What the Malay political apparatus should be doing is defunding those “Malays” institutions that are leaching money from public coffers, which could be put to better use instead of the indoctrination and subservience, which is the desiderata of mainstream Malay politics and the function of those institutions.
Then, of course, there are the Malay plutocrats who are engaged in larcenous behaviour when it comes to Malay entitlements – and looting, when it comes to Malay-Muslim fundings. In the end, Anwar’s folly is the willful denial that policies meant to empower the Malays are, in reality, predatory policies which disenfranchise the greater Malay community and from which the fallout is the racial and religious divisions in this country.
Anwar can take heart because his folly is shared by the political class in this country.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:01 AM   0 comments
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