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No Atheists
In A Foxhole

Rudyard Kipling

" “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”
General Douglas MacArthur

" “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, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
The Soldier stood and faced God
Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as bright as his brass
"Step forward you Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't
Because those of us who carry guns
Can't always be a saint."
I've had to work on Sundays
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep,
The Soldier squared his shoulders and said
And I never passed a cry for help
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here,
Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burden well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

Proud To Have
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Major D Swami
WITH Lt Col Ivan Lee
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DAP and MCA - Folie à deux (delusion or mental illness shared by two people in close association) By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, April 15, 2024

Malaysiakini : “Some politicians stand on the high moral ground and appear to be kind and courteous in public, but they are cruel and heartless. To them, any means justifies the end”.

This, of course, also applies to the DAP and the roster of political operatives who have fallen out of favour with the mandarins in power or discarded for various reasons, pointing to the kind of internal politics which, while toxic, does not have to impede nation building.

The fact that DAP and its base are fairly disciplined either points to the cultish nature that grips the party or the retreat into identity politics that defines the mainstream political discourse in this country.

And so, prophetic of the latter, Chua said – “As a candidate in the election, however, I was more worried that Anwar’s supporters in Umno will not support BN candidates. Fortunately, the Chinese community gave overwhelming support to MCA and Gerakan candidates.

“Umno candidates, on the other hand, suffered as the Anwar factor caused Malay voters to reject the party. It was largely thanks to Chinese support that the BN was able to retain the coveted two-thirds majority in Parliament”.

Now, of course, it is easy to dismiss Chua as just another politician who went down in a sex scandal but what we are really talking about here, is how the DAP is failing not only the Chinese community but the whole non-Malay/Muslim community, replicating the same mistakes MCA made.

We have to understand the political theatre that fights like these, between non-Malay power brokers, is a distraction for the non-Malay base, because what it covers up is that non-Malay participation in the fields of economic, educational, and social spaces is always under threat from the “ketuanan” (supremacy) system.

Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming is not stupid. Indeed, he is correct (even though he doesn’t seem to have the cojones to confront Akmal) that these boycotts are hurting workers and the national economy.

Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming
You have to wonder why Umno wants to hurt workers and the national economy and if the DAP were sincere in their efforts for a Malaysian Malaysia, they would publicly ask their partner (Umno) why they would want to hurt the economy and more importantly, jobs.

Oh, I am sorry since they have direct access to the prime minister, they should ask the prime minister, why is he allowing his deputy prime minister’s party to wreck the economy.

Instead, this issue of boycotting has become a tool for the government to give more power to the religious bureaucracy and has frightened non-Malay/Muslim businesses.

The idea this government, a government DAP is a part of, is promoting the idea that religious sensitivities trump economic interests, is the shape of things to come.

Mind you, this really isn’t even about religious sensitivities but rather the internal politics of the Malay establishment wreaking havoc on the economy.

And what is the DAP doing about it? Well, nothing much. I get the reticence if this was a petty issue but the political and social reverberations of this issue will directly impact the non-Malay/Muslim community.

What are DAP’s brightest doing?

DAP and its supporters always claim that they have the best and the brightest, a sentiment shared by Chua – “The best and the brightest Chinese youth shun politics in general, and MCA in particular.

“I hate to admit it, but the fact is that the DAP, despite all its deficiencies, has attracted a lot of talented and dedicated young leaders”.

But, what are the DAP’s best and brightest offering?

Where is Howard Lee’s arrogant bravado when it is needed? After all, he said, that he doesn’t entertain “emotive questions” so maybe he should be the one spearheading the DAP’s rebuttal against the racial and religious provocations of Akmal.

But then again maybe Lee only knows how to show some cojones against a female Chinese reporter.

What we get is DAP Youth chief Dr Kelvin Yii (who in any other circumstance, I would argue is a very capable young political operative) reminds everyone not to call each other names.

Really? Akmal’s provocations and rabble-rousing have inspired domestic terrorist acts and the best DAP can come up with is reminding everyone that this country needs “mature politics “.

Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh

What people forget is that the extreme forces in this country have always held mala fide intentions to any non-Malay enterprise that would make it easier for the non-Malays to participate in this country.

I am sorry, but when Canning state assemblyperson Jenny Choy says - “We (DAP) will debate by showing our performance and we will refute with facts.” I have to ask, showing who?

I get that you believe your base will vote for you no matter what (and you may be correct) but what Akmal is doing is making it more difficult for the non-Malay/Muslims to operate within the already limited business ecosystem of this country.

And what facts are you talking about? The fact that your political partner Umno has got a taste of starting economic boycotts (whose effectiveness is debatable) but which has given more power to the state through the religious bureaucracy to disrupt business in this country?

The fact that domestic terrorist acts have not only happened to a DAP political operative but also to a business in this country? The fact that businesses are now being targeted by religious extremists in this country? Does all of this sound familiar?

The MCA and DAP really are a folly of two.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:50 AM   0 comments
ROYAL MALAYSIA POLICE SARAWAK COMPONENT POLICEMEN KILLED DURING THE INSURGENCY ( 1952 – 1983 Total -77 )
Saturday, April 13, 2024

1952 August 6 Cpl 198 Natu Bin Kadir killed at Old Kuching-Serian Road.

1959 August 18 PFF PC 1448 Rasin Ak Gening killed. Place unconfirmed. PFF PC Raun Ak Garing killed. Place unconfirmed.

1960 October 1 PC 1327 Langit Ak Sawa killed. Place unconfirmed.

1962 January 12 Cpl 16 Awang Yahya Bin Pengiran Azid killed. Place unconfirmed.

December 8 The four Poliemen killed when the Brunei rebels raided Limbang Police Station were :

Cpl 652 Kim Huat, PC 809 Bujang Bin Mohamad. PC 1374 Wan Jamaludin, PC 1391 Insol Ak Chundang,

1963 April 12 Cpl 570 Ramek Ak Nongian killed at Tebedu, Serian.

April 14 PC 628 Alek Bin Omar killed at 1st Division border. May 4 Insp D.S.H.Reddish killed. Place unconfirmed.

September 28 The Policeman and nine Border Scouts killed at Long Jawe, Belaga District were :

PFF PC 1542 Bettie Bandong,

BS 1007 Liew Maling,

BS 1011 Anyi Choh,

BS 1013 Jai Baleng,

BS 1014 Ului Tanyang,

BS 1015 Ladak Udau,

BS 1016 Ipa Along,

BS 1042 Unang Adang,

BS 1045 Jalang Pe, and BS 1047 Hanyi Jek. November 13 BS 2511 Budu Ak Santap killed. Place unconfirmed.

1964 February 1 PC 883 Rosli Bin Matra killed. Place unconfirmed.

March 8 BS 687 Pasang Ak Ngala killed. Place unconfirmed.

April 13 BS 58 Kimmo Ak Mideh killed. Place unconfirmed.

BS 640 Jikep Ak Oreng killed. Place unconfirmed.

December 12 BS 344 Nyawa Ak Lacun killed. Place unconfirmed.

1965 January 22 BS 901 Nopan Ak Lingod killed at 1st Division border.

April 4 Cpl 1118 Nonjey Ak Nyunboi killed. Place unconfirmed.

May 12 BS 2508 Nuuh Ak Olinuh killed at 1st Division border.

June 14 BS 458 Ranyih Ak Baser killed. Place unconfirmed.

June 27 Sgt 701 Simon Peter Ningkan killed at Siburan Policed Station, Kuching.

PC 1129 Naing Ak Kaboh killed at Siburan Police Station, Kuching.

July 5 PC 43449 Anthony Bambun Ak Umin killed. Place unconfirmed.

October 2 BS 4267 Liew Ak Choy killed. Place unconfirmed.

October 14 PFF DSP Robert Graves GM killed at 2nd Division border.

October 19 Sgt 791 Nyuicor Ak Dollah killed. Place unconfirmed.

1968 August 26 BS 800 Jimbai Ak Gudai killed. Place unconfirmed.

November 18 Sgt 1404 Edward Kula Ak Ngang killed. Place unconfirmed.

1970 June 29 Three Border Scouts killed in election boat at sg Pedai, sarikei. Sarikei. Identity unconfirmed.

August 13 SB Cpl 43501 Kong Siew Long killed at Sg Lukut, Kanowit.

August 16 PC 48041 Ibrahim Bin Ali killed in Sibu Town.

August 27 PC 43710 Salleh Bin Man killed in Sibu Town.

August 27 The 12 Border Scouts killed at Sg Tugam- Sg Matau, Ulu Sg Ngemah, Kanowit were :

BS Cpl 1245 Numbu Ak Keli,

BS 124 Sekudan Ak Dampak,

BS 1217 Imba Ak Caring,

BS 4049 Senang Ak Baji,

BS 4447 Jantuk Ak Jalong,

BS 4537 Edward Sli Ak Narok,

BS 4545 Pantau Ak Bara,

BS 4548 Kanching Ak Licar,

BS 4585 Galau Ak Sumpur,

BS 4616 Bryen Ak Balet.

BS 4617 Luyoh Ak Jaul, and

BS 4627 Lat Ak Cancun.

October 7 BS 4597 Kepu Ak Jelan killed. Place unconfirmed.

December 18 SB Insp Herman Wong Teck Hung killed at Oya Road, Sibu.

1971 April 17 BS Keli Bin Sebli killed in 1st Division.

June 27 BS 4621 Kong Fah Nam killed in 1st Division.

July 27 BS 1243 Bedarong Ak Kesa killed. Place unconfirmed.

August 9 BS 4351 Satos Ak Sumo killed near Beratok New Village, Kuching.

August 22 PFF PC 43061 Mijem Ak Nyoid killed in Sibu.

September 8 PC 1456 Janang Ak Muman killed at Ang Cheng Ho Quary, Kuching.

September 25 PFF PC 43743 Jabu Ak Ajai killed at Tulai, Sarikei.

1972 January 7 PC 43389 Abdul Azmi Bin Bujang killed in 1st Division.

January 18 BS 5513 Tanggai Ak Segai killed. Place unconfirmed.

March 21 BS 4877 Bujang Bin Aini killed in Kanowit.

August 1 PC 45393 Naruddin Bin Osman killed at Batu Kawa, Kuching.

September 17 BS 5440 Jamu Ak Mudo killed. Place unconfirmed.

1973 August 17 BS 4893 Aiam Ak Sanggai killed at Tanjong Kunyit, Sibu.

1975 April 6 The three PFF personnel killed at Stabau, Sibu were :

Supt Mohd Joini Bin Mustapha,

PC 1612 Nuing Ak Saling,

and PC 54542 Abang Masri Bin Mod Nor

1977 January 31 BS Sgt 4054 Jemat Ak Ningkangg killed in Sampadi Forest Reserve, Lundu. 1983

April PFF PC Mohd Salleh Bin Parimin killed at Sg Naman Sibu.

Note : The above list is compiled basing on memory and interviews. There may be cases unintentionally left out. For this, we apologize most sincerely.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:25 PM   0 comments
This is what being hurt really feels like By Mariam Mokhtar
Friday, April 12, 2024

Malaysiakini : We toppled the corrupt kleptocrat who led the corrupt Umno-Baru party in the 14th general election, but in a moment of madness, we retained many corrupt politicians in the 15th general election. Alarmingly, the more seasoned corrupt politicians escaped justice.

Former senior Umno-Baru MPs once claimed that the convicted felon, Najib Abdul Razak did not steal taxpayers’ money in 1MDB. The then cabinet swore that an Arab prince had donated money to Najib.

If they were easily misled, or too dense, why retain some of them in the Madani administration? Why are cronies helming some government-linked companies?

It hurts to know that corrupt politicians received new titles, with wages paid with our money.

Lazy politics

Malaysians are not stupid. Successive defence ministers treated taxpayers’ money as their own. The black hole in the Defence Ministry has swallowed up billions of ringgits alongside planes, helicopters, ships and armaments. Military leaders are promoted and on retirement, become consultants to squeeze more money from the treasury.

No former defence minister has been punished for the losses. These hurt our defences, our national pride and our coffers.

PM Anwar Ibrahim and his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at Dewan Rakyat speaker Johari Abdul’s (left) open house, where they ate cassava.

The Madani administration claims to protect the environment, but under the guise of “development”, they cut down swathes of prime forest, build mega dams, flood land, villages and ancient burial sites, and destroy precious flora and fauna.

It hurts the Orang Asli and indigenous east Malaysians to be denied their ancestral rights and their basic rights to water, electricity, housing and education; but converting to Islam opens many doors.

Telling us to eat cassava, instead of finding solutions to resolve the rice crisis, is lazy politics. It hurts to know we have clueless politicians.

Then, with Mahathir, what did Yeoh expect?

We were naïve or perhaps, desperate in 2018, to imagine that Mahathir would correct the many wrongs he started during his tenure, like institutionalised racism, cronyism and draconian laws. We were wrong.

Mahathir is good at political self-preservation. He knows that it is time-consuming and difficult to convince one man by logic and reason alone, but far simpler and quicker to convince a thousand men to believe in him, by appealing to their prejudices.

In January, he projected himself as the quintessential Malay when denouncing the loyalty of Indian Malaysians. He said, “No, I’m not an Indian. I don’t speak the Indian language… I’m now 100 percent a Malay, I speak Malay and practise Malay customs and traditions.”

‘Remember the Green Wave’

The United Kingdom is led by Rishi Sunak, a Hindu of Indian origin. The first minister of Wales is a black man. He is also the first black leader of any European country. Scotland is led by a Muslim of Pakistani origin, as is the mayor of London, a Muslim of Pakistani extraction.

In sharp contrast, Indian Malaysians are short-changed and given short shrift. Non-Malays are defined by quotas, from sports to scholarships and despite their citizenship are treated as second-class citizens. These hurt.

When we voice our concerns, we are shouted down with, “Remember the Green Wave!”

The same people forget that Anwar and his coalition government are undertaking the country’s Islamisation process on Abdul Hadi Awang and Muhyiddin Yassin’s behalf.

That hurts even more!

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 3:39 PM   0 comments
Is there a difference between PKR and the far-right? By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, April 11, 2024
Malaysiakini : Nik Nazmi is correct when he says the racial and religious narrative is not the sole criteria for certain PN voters but rather socio-economic issues.

However, the problem is that the prime minister and his willing enablers in Harapan are doing everything to reinforce the racial and religious narratives of the far-right.

Nik Nazmi talks about the balancing of expectations as if racial and religious preoccupation is going to make the lives of the majority Malay/Muslim community better.

Indeed, the Sock-gate fiasco has demonstrated that Umno and, by extension, Harapan do not care about the economic well-being of Malays as long as Umno thinks it can get political mileage from playing up this issue.

Fence-sitters are important as Nik Nazmi correctly points out but, here’s the thing, fence-sitters want to know if there is a difference between Harapan and PN especially when it comes to religious discourse.

And this does not mean what Harapan supporters think it means. Do you know why Sock-gate was so damaging to Harapan? It is not because the non-Malay base was clutching its pearls the way how unity government provocateurs were clutching their pearls.

Winning over fence-sitters

Sock-gate demonstrated the difference in religious moderation between Harapan and PN.

PN was remarkably quiet about Sock-gate and was willing to give enough rope for Umno/Harapan to hang itself with. They remained quiet and disciplined, and even offered a few moderate words to the subject.

ADS

While non-Malay voters are sceptical of PAS/PN, the average fence-sitter would see how “moderate” PAS is and would even think this is how a moderate Malay/Muslim political coalition should behave.

Indeed, for these moderate fence-sitters, Umno/Harapan looked so detrimental to unity and harmony that even the Agong had to step in. So, for the fence-sitters, why not go with PN which does not create issues like this?

Harapan supporters think PN supporters are dumb for some reason. However, when DAP operative Hannah Yeoh claims the opposition plays up religious issues - when Umno did so, enabled by DAP, which stirred up religious issues and resulted in domestic terrorist acts - what do you think these fence-sitters will think?

This is the problem with the “don’t spook the Malays” mantra. PKR is always trying to champion bumiputera rights as if those rights are in jeopardy. Two years ago, Terengganu PKR wanted the party’s central command to address the “imbalance“ of awarding digital bank licences.

Terengganu PKR chief Azan Ismail, hoping the issue will gain traction, said: “We urge the finance minister and prime minister to state their stand on this matter and what will guarantee bumiputera equity ownership.”

This basically means PKR is attempting to accuse the government of not being Malay uber alles (over all) enough.

Playing the class card

The Malay vote is all-important, which is why PKR, as a supposedly multi-racial party, is struggling. Former prime minister (twice) Dr Mahathir Mohamad has demonised PKR as being unacceptable to the Malay community because of its multi-racial component.

While PKR may never play the race card well, they can and should play the class card. There is a reason why PN/PAS are deathly afraid of the class card.

Anwar is at his best when he is rabble-rousing with the class card and pursues populist narratives like this: “I want to tell the leaders with the titles of ‘Tun’ and ‘Tan Sri’ who are rich - if you really want to save Malays, give them half of your billions in profits tomorrow”.

It is talk like this which frightens the more intelligent members of the religious extremist coalition going up against this coalition government. For instance, former Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan wanted to know if Anwar was attempting to instigate class warfare.

Wan Saiful, as part of the Malay political elite, really does not want any raising of class consciousness among the disenfranchised Malay classes but has no problem providing them with crumbs from the table through racial and religious entitlement programmes to keep them dependent and with a sense of racial and religious superiority.

Yes, going after the big fish when it comes to corruption is good optics, especially for middle-class or urban voters.

However, tackling corruption in entitlement programmes at the state and federal levels is more important to the voters that Harapan wants to gain traction.

This is because going after bureaucratic malfeasance like this actually improves their lives because the delivery system is made more efficient.

However, the government is afraid to seriously address corruption within the ranks of the civil service because they are afraid they may lose this vote bank - which they are already losing.

This again is part of the class conflict which would suit Harapan better than toxic religiosity that Harapan thinks will gain favour with fence-sitters.

In the end, I believe it would be better if Harapan fails as a reformist government than succeeds as a theocratic state.

Your mileage may vary.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:36 AM   0 comments
Are we descending into a police state? By R Nadeswaran
Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Malaysiakini : Startling response

What followed startled me. The same night, I received a reply part of which read: “Can I seek your help to email the questions to this email address at corporate.communications@mcmc.gov.my so that we can do the necessary follow-up?”

Does it imply that action would only be taken if complaints are sent via email? Or is this a ploy to prevent the public from making complaints?

Was it incompetency, an indifferent attitude or simply making things easy for themselves to tap the forward button for someone else to handle?

Nevertheless, I sent an email the following day, and on Monday, I received a call from a friendly officer who said a reply had been sent, via email of course.

It was a lengthy reply that included the following: “The Commission collaborates closely with the police which is the leading law enforcement agency on sensitive matters involving race, religion, and royal institutions.

“We provide technical expertise, including intelligence and forensics analysis, for the police to expedite investigations and ensure appropriate action can be taken under relevant legislation like the Sedition Act 1948 (Act 15) and Penal Code (Act 574).

“The collaboration is also expanded through the establishment of the ‘Police–MCMC Investigation Task Force of 3R Cases’ in combating online content that threatens national harmony.

“In addition to requests from other leading law enforcement agencies and public complaints, MCMC also proactively monitors, takes down, investigates, and enforces the law against any content violating Section 233 of Act 588, regardless of background, ideology, or political affiliation.”

No action on complaint

Satisfied that there had been corroboration with the police, I decided to wait for a further response before I put pen to paper.

Imagine the surprise when on April 3 - a good 10 days later - Inspector-General of Police Razarudin Husain said no reports had been lodged against Akmal over his Facebook post that showed him wielding the sword.

This means that the MCMC had sat on my complaint and did not refer my complaint to the police or the Police–MCMC Investigation Task Force for appropriate action, as claimed.

Do I have reason to believe the complaint was classified as “no further action” and filed in a steel cupboard to gather dust?

Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh

Certainly. Why else would the IGP say that no report was made? And it leads me to believe that MCMC is selective in the application of laws and their enforcement.

The drama continued. On April 4, Akmal confirmed on his Facebook page that he was arrested in Kota Kinabalu, saying he was held despite being scheduled to record his statement at the Dang Wangi police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur the following day.

But who came to the fore to comment after weeks of silence?

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim stepped on the plate to say Akmal was not arrested but called up to facilitate an investigation.

Akmal himself confirmed he was arrested but did Anwar know better?

Different strokes

On March 22, Ricky Shane Cagampang, 33, pleaded guilty in the Kota Kinabalu Sessions Court to making a Facebook post deemed insulting to Islam concerning the sale of socks bearing the word Allah.

He was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 with misusing network facilities on March 17 and sentenced to six months jail and an RM15,000 fine.

The case was investigated, the offender was arrested, got the nod from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, produced in court, convicted and sent to prison - all in five days.

Surely, it must be a record of sorts and the police force must be proud of itself. Will it be emulated in other cases involving the offence of misusing network facilities?

We wait with bated breath but something still lingers in my mind.

Chin has yet to be investigated for the post. He was not the maker or publisher of the video and yet MCMC wanted his post removed.

My complaint about a sword-wielding politician was ignored.

Are lesser mortals Chin and I treated differently from the loud-mouthed politicians who can do or say anything with total disregard for the law?

Different strokes for different folks or are we headed for a police state?

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:58 PM   0 comments
Akmal knows DAP is the new MCA By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, April 08, 2024

Malaysiakini : Loke says the DAP speaks up through the proper channels. Mind you, “proper channels” in Malaysian parlance are channels which are private, and nobody can hold you accountable for what you said or claim to have said.

DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke

Take this powder keg Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh issue for instance.

Loke claims to have spoken to Umno big cheese Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Malacca grand poobah Ab Rauf Yusoh and “expressed DAP’s position on the matter”.

Two questions - what is DAP’s position on this matter because the central command really has not put out any statements, while factotums of the DAP have been speaking up but have been told to put a sock in it by the dear leader’s party. And secondly, why are you speaking to Umno?

Now some would argue that DAP is speaking to Umno because Akmal is their problem child. However, that is nonsense.

Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh

The prime minister is supposed to be the most powerful or influential figure in this unity government, so why didn’t the DAP, who has the bigger voting bloc, just bypass Umno and tell the prime minister to control his rabid handmaidens to power?

Loke said, “I don’t know how MCA conducted themselves while in government but for us (DAP), there are matters that we will raise directly with the prime minister” which means shouldn’t the DAP be raising this issue with the prime minister himself?

But then again, seeing as how the prime minister was silent when the cars of a DAP political operative were firebombed, perhaps running to the prime minister about a Chinese businessperson being targeted for a mistake his company made and which he has profusely apologised for is not such a great idea. 

Loke reminisces of how as a young person he was firmly in the DAP camp and his rivalry with an MCA kid has some sort of totemic symbolism of the fight the party was waging for the soul of the Chinese community at the time.

The struggle between the towkay class and the average Joe. What he forgot to mention is that everyone from the working, middle, and plutocrat classes was voting for the MCA, and demonising the party now is merely indicative of the behaviour of DAP supporters who were steeped in the toxicity of identity politics that the DAP seems to encourage.

The reality is that DAP has bent over backwards to support pro-Islamic and pro-Malay policies, not to mention pro-Malay political operatives, all while being subject to the anti-Islam and anti-Malay propaganda that they should have tackled decades ago, instead of playing the victim card while engaging in the same behaviour they accuse the MCA of.

This is why, no matter what the DAP does, no matter how much they bend over for the Malay political establishment, it will never be enough. This is why we have these tensions within the DAP.

The identity politics in the DAP, like most forms of such politics, is reactionary. And do not for one minute think that the Malay uber alles establishment does not know this.

Akmal is the smug poster child for the Malay uber alles crowd. While political operatives from Umno have claimed they have told him to stop these provocations, while the Agong has told everyone to cease and desist and while he is under a sedition investigation, he understands that he has the power to give the middle finger to everyone.

Political operatives like him understand that it really does not matter what they do because the DAP support base will not punish the DAP, unlike the Malay majority polity who have demonstrated their willingness to shift their support to whatever reactionary Malay/Muslim party they think best serves their interests.

DAP supporters’ deflection game

The DAP, through its minions online, always harass and attempt to deflect from their failings. DAP asks if not unity government, who else? Would you rather see Perikatan Nasional take over?

Ok, hold it right there, you disingenuous cretins. The DAP has worked with every race-based party that has come into creation, so do not for one minute think this card plays with rational people.

Unfortunately, as Loke demonstrated with his “I don’t like the MCA” card, partisan politics is not rational. Rational people ask themselves why continuing supporting a party which is slowly eroding the secular and egalitarian foundations of this country.

I mean PN did rule the country and when the general election came, they had ruled so badly, that the vote albeit in a small way swung to Harapan and Umno was decimated. This is what should have been built on. However, it wasn’t and a rational person has to wonder why.

DAP supporters always ask what you expect the party to do. This is the problem right here.

You mean you do not know?

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:30 AM   0 comments
Akmal the catalyst, and Anwar, bumbling incompetent By Mariam Mokhtar
Saturday, April 06, 2024

Malaysiakini : All it takes is a catalyst for things to go pear-shaped, and in the socks scandal, the catalyst for disrupting the peace is Akmal.

His hate speech spread fear among the community but he didn’t see it that way. He told his supporters that he was merely defending Islam.

Socks weaved with the word “Allah”, will naturally offend Muslims, but to allege that KK Mart had deliberately insulted Islam is equally offensive. What would KK Mart founder Chai Kee Kan have to gain from this? Can Akmal prove that this is what Chai had intended?

Akmal is the catalyst who stoked the fires of unrest. Without his hate speech, vigilante groups would not have emerged, and the KK Mart outlets would not have been firebombed.

His ego and hubris blinded him. His actions put the nation on a knife edge.

Putrajaya’s role

What about Putrajaya’s role?

Ever since March 16, Akmal boasted about teaching KK Mart a lesson and shutting it down forever for insulting Islam. He urged Malaysians to boycott KK Mart. He rejected Chia’s apologies.  

Malaysians turned to the PM who had just returned from a fishing-for-investment trip in Germany. He muttered some weasel words about focusing on more important issues instead of bah kut teh and school canteens.

Did his aides inform him about the socks issue and Akmal’s racist rhetoric? The threatening and abusive remarks had the potential to cause unrest.

Are the home minister and the police clueless about managing conflict? Akmal’s provocations could have easily spilt over and snowballed into ethnic-religious conflict.

Anwar, his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the Umno president, and Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail are rather naïve to imagine that Akmal did not present a danger to the nation.

Since 1969, ordinary Malaysians have been swiftly investigated for making allegedly seditious comments. Can it be right that one lacklustre politician who defied the king, be allowed to provoke the public without being censured?

The socks scandal has spectacularly proven that semenanjung MPs just want to play politics and cling to power. Three ministers did try to rebuke Akmal but he dismissed their concerns.

The other MPs did very little, as most were thinking of their own selfish agendas, rather than thinking of the good of the nation.

More importantly, they put the interests of their own party first.

National problem

Two people who made innocuous remarks on their social media profiles were swiftly investigated and then punished, but the vigilante squads which harassed them and the people who exposed the personal details of the factory owner remain free.

An Israeli man who entered Malaysia, allegedly to assassinate a gangland rival was swiftly arrested together with the locals who supplied him with firearms; but the domestic terrorists who firebombed the three KK Mart stores, remain at large.

The Malaysian two-tier level of policing is loathsome.

Akmal is a national problem for creating mass fear beyond just the call to boycott KK Mart. His intransigence will destroy the nation.

A KK Mart outlet in Sarawak was hit by a petrol bomb

He damaged community relations, firebombers damaged property and the rakyat was crippled with fear.

The business community is afraid that anyone who bears a grudge against them may feel empowered by Akmal’s hate speech and use it as a cover for their own malicious intent.

It does not take much for a pyromaniac, or a juvenile vandal who is egged on by gang initiation or peer pressure, to commit arson.

Akmal’s hate speech may motivate an emotionally unstable, or aggrieved person, to firebomb a business, out of hatred, revenge, or a perceived slight.

The lone-wolf religious extremist may feel that Akmal has given him the go-ahead to defend Islam through violent means. He is prepared to become a martyr because controversial clerics have promised rewards in the afterlife.

Is it any wonder that across Malaysia, millions of people increasingly feel that the Madani government has lost its direction?

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:00 PM   0 comments
The Akmal gambit By Bridget Welsh
Friday, April 05, 2024

Malaysiakini : In a highly global economy, Malaysia cannot afford to have this divisive discourse. Sadly, his actions parallel pouring acid into a wound with little regard for the pain.

A bad political rerun

Many could couch these actions as a repeat of the past; it has been common for Umno Youth leaders to use racial resentment and provocation to gain standing.

From other Umno medical doctors including Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former Youth chiefs, now-imprisoned Najib Abdul Razak to now-suspended Hishamuddin Hussein, this use of Malay chauvinism has been a well-trod path to rise inside the Malay nationalist party of Umno.

Many older Malaysians recall the language and symbolism used in the past by younger ambitious politicians and the trauma they caused.

Today, however, the violent imagery and messaging have worryingly been ratcheted up; instead of writing a book or holding a kris, the emotive video sharpens a blade after violence has already occurred.

Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh wielding a Japanese sword in a March 14 post on Facebook

Deeply concerning, the messaging goes well beyond legitimate criticism of a handful of socks stocked in a supermarket. It is an outright appeal to negative emotions - to anger and fear - that divides communities that should have no place among responsible leadership of a multiethnic society.

As Perikatan Nasional/PAS learned in the 15th general election, videos go viral and may glean support but they are not forgotten for their hurtfulness. In this era of instant social media, this is not a time where messaging can be contained or controlled.  

By comparison, PAS has wisely called for restraint at a time when emotions are high rather than using the KK Mart incident for political capital. It is after all a holy period for many faiths, a time for reflection and understanding.

A rise to national prominence

Akmal, however, has chosen his gambit. When the Umno Youth chief first entered politics as a candidate, he was seen as a moderate professional who would strengthen Umno’s professional image.

He was highly respected and popular in Merlimau, winning the state seat in Malacca handily in November 2021 and rising rapidly into state leadership.

Akmal was appointed to the Malacca executive council for Health and Anti-Drugs after the state polls through April 2023 and now holds the exco position for Rural Development, Agriculture and Food Security.

Akmal received his national leadership position due to his loyalty to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. While he easily won the Youth party election in March last year, winning 102 out of the 189 divisions, he did so with the tacit support of Zahid and leaders close to him.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

In the KK Mart response, Akmal has opted to come out of Zahid’s shadow, shedding his earlier political persona.

Now, Akmal is becoming known as a rabble-rouser and is arguably overshadowing Zahid, who allowed the KK Mart attacks to gain traction within the party and only spoke out after Akmal’s actions escalated.

The dynamic showcases Zahid’s weak leadership as Umno president, as he seems unable to control the young party leader.

Umno Youth has been a platform in the past to challenge and criticise sitting presidents as well. One cannot ignore this as Akmal overshadows Zahid.

Umno divisions over strategy

Within Umno, there are differences in how to position the party.

Since 2022, Zahid has been trying to position the party as “moderate” in the “middle ground” compared to PAS. He has also capitalised on being Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s ally, not least on his own corruption charges.

The strategy has not worked effectively among the electorate, with Umno continuing to lose support in the six state elections last year, with considerably more erosion of the Malay vote compared to Pakatan Harapan. Zahid remains the least popular Umno president in that position.

PAS/PN has made electoral gains out of traditional Umno support. It is no wonder that Umno is now competing using more extreme confrontational discourse, hoping to out-PAS/PN in emotional racialised appeals.

Some in Umno - especially those dissatisfied with the Anwar government - see Akmal’s “fighting” as strengthening Umno. For some, he is indeed Umno’s new hero.

Others suggest the strategy has more immediate pragmatic goals. As the Sabah election is on the horizon - either later in the year or (more likely) next year - some in Umno see racialised rhetoric as a means to shore up support for the party.

Sabah was where the party gained ground in 2020 after losing power in 2018. Ironically, they do not fully appreciate that a racialised approach will not help them to the extent they think it will in Sabah compared to Peninsular Malaysia.

This sort of peninsula politics is off-putting for most Sabahans. It is an electoral miscalculation out of a lack of knowledge of political dynamics in Borneo and alienating politicking.

Divisive rhetoric, nevertheless, is what is known (and easy as they have little to point to in terms of deliverables in office), so racialised rhetoric continues.

Targeting Anwar

Others see Akmal’s actions as an indirect attack on Anwar’s government. Not only is Zahid being overshadowed, but so is Anwar.

No question, the attack on KK Mart hurts support among the unity government’s largely non-Malay base and it has extended to Sarawak, where the owner of the convenience store chain is from.

Some in Umno are deeply unhappy to be part of Anwar’s government and support efforts to undercut the administration and showcase Umno as a party focused on itself/more independent rather than as part of a broad unity coalition.

Some in the federal coalition government are even seen to be willing to let Akmal speak out as they see Umno as one of the weakest parties in the federal coalition government, electorally, with the hope that this can strengthen the connection of Umno leaders to their base.

This has come at a cost to racial tensions. Unfortunately, Anwar’s government has not effectively promoted racial unity while in office and this has allowed for an empowering of racialised narratives.

Poor communication strategies have made this more challenging. Words unnecessarily used by those in government have been hurtful toward minorities.

The initial days of silence by senior leaders in the administration amid the KK Mart incident did not help, as others were allowed to control the narrative. Now, racialised rhetoric is dominant and feeding on raw emotions.

The ethnic polarisation evident in GE15’s heated campaign is not far from the surface and is now being fanned irresponsibly. Ethnic conditions on the ground remain quietly but palpably tense.

It is an emotional time, as economic conditions and inflation are having an impact on society.

While many recognise Akmal’s actions as politically calculated, some buy into the anger being fuelled, as shown in the violent incidents to date and the support it has garnered.

It is easier to channel anger and frustration than to address more difficult underlying issues that promote insecurity and differences.

Akmal continues to speak out, basking in the heat of growing and worrying chauvinistic resentments. It is almost as if this is a political “game” rather than where lives are livelihoods are at stake.

Rather than base the discussion on issues that directly influence the well-being of Malays and can find a middle ground among all Malaysians, following the tradition of Malacca educationist and long-time grassroots politician Abdul Ghafar Baba, Akmal’s approach seems to seek political gain and to return Umno to its divisive racialised rhetorical past.

In Akmal’s gambit, Umno is gambling its past for its future, putting Malaysia as a whole at unnecessary risk.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 3:01 PM   0 comments
Would Muslims like putting themselves in non-Muslim shoes? By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, April 04, 2024

Malaysiakini : Your businesses became the targets of “terrorist attacks” and you were charged in court, and made to apologise numerous times to the non-Muslim community. Would Muslims respect non-Muslims?

Are non-Muslim religions less legitimate?

Imagine if you were banned from using certain words because the primacy of non-Muslim religions demanded that Muslims could not utter such words.

Imagine if non-Muslims were prohibited from attending and participating in the religious rituals of other faiths because it would cause them to deviate from their religion. Would Muslims still respect non-Muslims?

Imagine if Muslims were called immoral for what they wore, or worse, compelled to dress a certain way because the non-Muslim minions from the state called for it. Would Muslims still respect non-Muslims?

Former Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman

Or how about if you were told to convert because it would make things easier? Remember what the Pahang mufti said after his kafir harbi statements all those years ago - “We are not forcing but I urge non-Muslims to convert to Islam to be safe in the afterlife and for unity in Malaysia. There will be no more chaos and we can focus on development.”

Imagine if the religion of the state was a non-Muslim religion and a preacher said the same thing the Pahang mufti did. Would Muslims still respect non-Muslims?

Imagine if non-Muslims mocked your religion and the authorities would not do anything about it. For instance, if reporters went undercover in your religious ceremony and disrespected your religion in the most public manner. 

Remember what the then attorney-general said when undercover reporters went to a church and then spat out the holy sacrament? He said: “The actions of the two reporters may have hurt the feelings of the people but I was satisfied that they did not intend to offend anyone. It was an act of sheer ignorance.

“Therefore, given the circumstances at that particular time and in the interest of justice, peace and harmony, I decided not to press any charges against them.”

If the shoe was on the other foot, would Muslims still respect non-Muslims?

Freedom of worship being chipped away

What if you were constantly told not to interfere in the affairs of non-Muslims even though these issues affect us as fellow Malaysians? Think about it. The Federal Constitution guarantees free speech and freedom of worship but the reality is those freedoms have been chipped away for decades.

While on the surface we have those rights, slowly but surely, the supremacy of the non-Muslim religion of the state - not as some sort of state religion but as a means of control - sublimated the intent of the Constitution. Would Muslims still respect non-Muslims?

Imagine if the gerrymandering and disproportionate weightage of votes meant that as a Muslim you were disenfranchised from the political system.

Imagine if your vote was diluted because of the machinations of the state and what you were left with were political operatives and a government that did not accurately reflect the will of the people? Would Muslims still respect non-Muslims?

This is not about respecting each other. It is really about control and power. This is what is happening in Malaysia.

Muslims in Singapore are thriving so we do have an inkling of what it would be like if the shoe was on the other foot.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:52 PM   0 comments
Does it matter if Anwar gets a second term? By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, April 01, 2024

Malaysiakini : Funnily enough, this is not a “Malay” problem. The popular Malay vote is not with this government, hence the fall of this government is not something the majority of Malays are fearful of.

The people most invested in this government are moderate Malays (not even progressive or liberal but middle-of-the-road when it comes to their religious inclinations, Malays) and of course the non-Malay/Muslim polity.

So, if anyone wants Anwar to have a second term, it is this base.

Anwar, meanwhile, has remained silent when his comrades’ cars have been firebombed by terrorists, a KK Mart was an attempted target of a terrorist attack, and - as of writing - another KK Mart has been targeted in a successful if non-fatal terrorist attack, and of course, the numerous other racial and religious provocations that his non-Malay base has been subjected to.  

Treating terrorists with kid gloves

The second terrorist attack against KK Mart elicited a tepid response from Anwar loyalist and Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who said: “I urge those who pushed for this boycott to also take responsibility to defuse the situation and end actions stoking public sentiment.”

Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail

Excuse me, why isn’t the Madani government taking responsibility and detaining Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh under Sosma or whatever draconian laws that Harapan political operatives now claim are needed to protect racial and religious harmony?

And why ask people like Akmal to take responsibility when you are essentially saying the same thing Akmal is saying?

When Akmal called for a boycott, the government should have distanced itself from Umno Youth and Umno’s provocations and instead called for people to respect the investigative process.

The prime minister’s response only after the second attack was no better. These were terrorist attacks enabled and emboldened by the polemics coming from his unity government.

By warning people not to take the law into their own hands, he is implying that there’s a rational and justifiable basis for their anger.

This is not the right approach to terrorist attacks. Anwar should have practised the moderate Islam he likes to preach about.

Scorch marks at a KK Mart outlet in Kuantan, Pahang, following a firebombing on March 30

Instead, the Madani regime - which included the DAP - simply said nothing and stood idly by, and in some cases, encouraged aggrieved feelings within the Malay polity.

You do not get to condemn the arsonist when you did nothing to prevent his act which led to the fires that everyone is now attempting to distance themselves from.

Non-Malays have no alternative

Anwar is very well aware that although non-Malays rant and rave on social media, the reality is that when it comes to the ballot box, they will vote for his proxies because they believe that as flawed as he is, there is no alternative.

This is why Rafizi Ramli so confidently said “If you want to talk about the trust deficit of non-Malays, I can confidently say that more than 90 percent of non-Malay voters have full confidence in today’s unity government. If there is a trust deficit, it is a trust deficit in the opposition, not the government.”

Take the KK Mart issue, for instance. Now, you can make the argument that there is inter-party political chicanery afoot and Akmal is merely a proxy for interests within Umno hostile to this unity government, but the fact that Anwar - for whatever reason - is not willing to publicly rebuke a young upstart causing not only religious and racial issue but also economic issue demonstrates how ineffective he is as a leader or how much say he has in what Umno does.

This is why PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang laments the old timers, who desperately attempt to replicate the success of BN when the political terrain has changed.

Hadi understands that the fear of the “Green Wave” in the non-Malays is so powerful, that they will let Anwar, supported by the DAP, hasten the Islamisation of this country, thus doing his job for him.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang

Remember when Anwar expanded the budget and role of Jakim because he wanted to introduce a more “moderate” form of Islam in the Malaysian body politic?

Dissenters who were appalled by this move were dismissed by the prime minister who reportedly said: “I want Jakim not only to talk about religion and Islamic law. Jakim is to expand its duties, talk about economic issues, look at digital programmes, and look at the education curriculum.

“The responsibility is broader, so that the values of Islam can be applied, and this is opposed by those who do not understand, a small group of non-Muslims who write that ‘Anwar is now displaying his strong Islamist attitude, which he has tried to hide all this time by ordering Jakim to control all the systems’.”

It’s all about power

Look at how nobody in the mainstream political or religious establishment can bring themselves to admit that the people causing racial and religious tension are political operatives within the unity government. Keep in mind that the issue is not an issue about religious sensitivities.

If non-Malays reacted the way some Malays reacted to the Allah socks issue when it came to their sensitivities, there would immediately be a crackdown and political operatives would be detained under the various laws that Harapan promised to ditch.

Can you imagine if a Malay political operative’s cars were firebombed because the non-Malays perceived that he had insulted their religion? What do you think the outcome would be?

The KK Mart issue is not about faith. It is about power.

The fact that the prime minister cannot outright condemn these terrorist acts and he and his allies play into the narrative that the Allah socks issue is an egregious stain on Islam in this country is indicative of the direction this country is heading towards when it comes to the theocratic state project.

At this point, does it really matter if it is Harapan or PN leading the country if the destination is the same?

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:15 AM   0 comments
The East Wind could be GE16 game-changer By Lim Teck Ghee, Murray Hunter & Carolyn Khor
Sunday, March 31, 2024

Malaysiakini :The East Wind

This emergence can come from the political leadership of East Malaysia, who have repeatedly shown they are capable of transcending the race and religion divide. 

East Malaysian leadership can lead the change towards a new generation of younger leaders with new ideas for policy development and implementation by people who care about what happens.

The political leaders of Sabah and Sarawak have long governed with philosophies very different from what Malaysians have experienced in the peninsula.

Former Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem stands out as the role model for a new united Malaysia but unfortunately, he was unable to complete his mission with his early demise.

Ex-S’wak CM Adenan Satem

East Malaysians have a sense of nationalism that others in the peninsula have lost to other narratives. These narratives are perpetually causing division and regression at the cost of cohesion and advancement.

Many in Sabah and Sarawak also have a sense of patriotism which has withstood the test of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), the unequal relationship of the federation’s three component states, their status as stepchildren in budget and development allocations, and the numerous other ways the coalition government dominated by peninsula parties have discriminated against them.

Frankly, it’s time to look east to Sabah and Sarawak and for the peninsula-dominant political pundits to stop ignoring what is happening in the other half of Malaysia.

It is time to take their principles, culture, and lessons and incorporate them into an administration and government that governs all Malaysians.

The East Malaysian political leadership can unite and nurture Malaysia towards maturity and new hope.  

This is not to underestimate the challenge as society, economics, and politics of Sabah and Sarawak are also diverse, and there has never been a strong and resilient Borneo perspective.

However, both territories have enough in common to provide a fresh look at where Malaysia should go, and this can begin with the 16th general election.

Positioning for possible post-GE16 vacuum

There are two basic strategies for this possibility to be rolled out and achieved.

Create a movement in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak with local citizens, activists, and politicians.

Work with a bloc of existing parties in a coalition (a reverse takeover of the unity government). This would mean East Malaysia parties with peninsula partners becoming the largest bloc in Parliament after the next election and leading a new government.

It is indeed very possible for East Malaysia as a bloc to be the largest grouping in the next sitting Parliament after the next general election. The East Malaysian bloc will not just be the kingmaker in the next election, it can take the leadership.

Besides being established partners of past BN governments and the present federal government, coalitions such as Gabungan Parti Sawarak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) would fare even better if they continue to engage and form alliances with one another to present themselves as a united East Malaysian front in preparation for the next polls.

This is so that if talks between Pakatan Harapan and Umno break down in the future, the East Malaysian bloc may continue to push for inclusive policies, including MA63 and others, and in doing so, become the stabilising and positive factor in the fractured political landscape that is likely to emerge after GE16.

With 56 seats up for grabs in the next election and perhaps more after the delineation exercise, GPS and GRS may safely hold at least 30 seats and may even be in a position to add more to their new partnership.

Should the delineation exercise result in expanding East Malaysia’s parliamentary representation to at least one-third of the total number of seats in Parliament, this will greatly increase East Malaysia’s weight and participation in the federal government.

Courageous easterners

It is evident that East Malaysian MPs have more gumption when it comes to matters related to racial and religious issues. In contrast, peninsula parties are either too emotionally and financially invested to think straight or are just trying to score political points by fanning matters and issues to the extreme.

The issue of using only Bahasa Malaysia for communication with government departments was promptly shot down by Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg.

S’wak Premier Abang Johari Openg

Similarly, the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) has been accepted by the Sarawak government since 2014, whereas this remains a contentious matter in the peninsula.

Other than that, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tiong King Sing regularly stands his ground when he broaches issues that no other non-Muslim MPs dare to talk about.

Looking at the political situation today, Peninsular Malaysian parties are all established and have little room left for improvement. This is especially the case since reforms have taken a backseat to compromises, power-brokering, and procuring a larger slice of the political cake.

That being the case, smaller parties on the peninsula should also form alliances with Borneo parties such as Warisan.

Although Warisan’s attempt to enter the peninsula fizzled out during the last election, it would be beneficial if there is communication between Warisan and all the smaller parties of the peninsula such as PSM, PRM, Muda, Gerak Independent, Parti Kemajuan Malaysia, and the Green Party as soon as possible.

This can be the foundation for strategically engaging other coalitions further down the road.

Not impossible

Some independent observers forecast that there will most likely be a hung Parliament after the next GE, similar to GE15.

Should this happen, there is an opportunity for existing blocs to realign with an East Malaysian grouping, leading to potentially more than a new coalition government.

This bloc, led by East Malaysia parties and including parties based in the peninsula, can reignite reforms and lead to a new type of politics.

Malaysians from all communities are sick and tired of the same-old, same-old polemics of the past, and GE16 is the time to get it right.

If the existing federal coalition government needs a push in the right direction, it can only be achievable if the East Malaysian bloc unites and “serbu” (charges into) West Malaysia to keep the old guard on their toes.

We are confident that many voters will agree with the above premise. We recognise that some will see it as improbable or will scoff at the idea of an East Malaysian party bloc leading a future coalition.

The pundits may dismiss or disregard the above proposition, but can they present a better alternative?

There is an urgent need for a new unity in the country. This can be shaped by the outcome of GE16. The East Wind can be the transformative catalyst.


This article is the first of three parts.

LIM TECK GHEE is a former senior official with the United Nations and World Bank.

MURRAY HUNTER is an independent researcher and former professor at the Prince of Songkla University and Universiti Perlis.

CAROLYN KHOR is a former ministerial press secretary, a former United Nations Volunteer and an independent researcher/writer.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 4:29 PM   0 comments
Will the loose cannon of Umno Youth be arrested? By Mariam Mokhtar
Saturday, March 30, 2024

Malaysiakini : The two men who were arrested, just because the vigilante groups disagreed with their opinions, should be freed.

There are allegations that Akmal is flexing his muscles because he is part of a grand design to topple the Madani administration, but that does not justify Akmal’s freedom from prosecution.

For two weeks Malaysians were feeling tense, wondering what would happen next. The arson attack on the Bidor outlet is hopefully the last of the unintended consequences of Akmal’s hate speech.

Troublemakers like Akmal need firm handling, but those in a position to do something about it cherish their ministerial roles more than they want to uphold justice.

In 2018, the shop assistants of a corner shop in Manjoi were forced by a group of Malays from a Muslim NGO to empty a liquor cabinet.

The thugs were not punished by the newly installed Perak menteri besar at the time, Ahmad Faizal Azumu. The troublemakers were not arrested and probably felt emboldened when they escaped prosecution.

On the other hand, local business owners were filled with dread. There was no rule of law, just mob rule.

The Manjoi shop had a liquor licence, but businesspeople wondered if troublemakers would march into their shops and demand counter staff to remove items that they felt had hurt their Muslim sensitivities.

KK Mart owner KK Chai and his wife Loh Siew Mui after being charged.

On March 13, KK Mart owner KK Chai issued an immediate apology soon after he was told that socks bearing the word “Allah” were being sold in his Bandar Sunway outlet.

Two days later, on March 15, the police said they were not launching an investigation as “no complaints had been lodged about it”.

The police subsequently changed their decision because, on March 16, Akmal took the unprecedented step of urging Malaysians to “teach KK Mart a lesson”.

He said if the police could not investigate because there was no report, then Umno Youth members throughout Malaysia would file a police report from that day on.

It looked as though Akmal viewed the police’s statement as a dare. He was challenged and wanted to prove his courage.

He said, “Come on all Malaysians, let’s show these brazen people that this country still has people who can teach them a lesson.” 

Umno Baru bravado

If Akmal knows the history of Umno Baru, many former leaders displayed mock courage by silat group displays or brandishing the keris at Umno Baru gatherings while making racist demands.

They have now vanished into obscurity or are safely tucked away in prison. People like the convicted felon Najib Abdul Razak, or Hishammuddin Hussein and Khairy Jamaluddin.

Former Umno leader Hishammuddin Hussein

Akmal likes to speak his mind bluntly but in the latest socks scandal, he ignored the consequences of his racist rhetoric. He is the loose cannon of Umno Youth and despite the apology from KK Chai, Akmal refused to see reason. Instead, he blamed KK Mart for insulting Islam.

He gave everyone the impression that only he was the true hero of the Malays and defender of Islam.

He inflamed Malaysians with his hate speech. His relentless attack on KK Mart had the potential to trigger the “politics of hatred and division” in Malaysia.

He ignored the advice and warnings of many people who ranged from current to former ministers, the boss of Mydin stores, lawyers and other prominent Malaysians.

Akmal ignored them. Driven by his ego and stubbornness, Akmal refused to think about the consequences of his arrogance.

What we predicted and what the rakyat feared most finally happened. It was an arson attack. A petrol bomb was thrown at a KK Mart store in Bidor, Perak, at 5am on March 26, and by sheer luck, the Molotov cocktail failed to ignite.

No one was injured or killed, but the fact remains that Akmal should be held responsible for spreading this hatred.

From the outset, he failed to recognise his actions were serious. He failed to show leadership. He failed to act responsibly and put people’s lives at risk.

Akmal should resign as Umno Youth chief and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim should acknowledge the only way to neutralise thugs like Akmal is to isolate and punish them.

Anwar may yet win more votes by being firm and decisive.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 4:09 PM   0 comments
Akmal is done - hoisted by his own petard By R Nadeswaran
Friday, March 29, 2024

Malaysiakini : Deliberate attempt

But despite the brouhaha stretching into days, no one bothered to check how the socks got past our customs officers at the port or the airport.

It can be argued that it would be impossible to check every item in a consignment but shouldn’t the same leeway be granted to the importer or the retailer?

I wrote last week, that no one in his right mind would want to misuse religion knowing the sensitivities, especially went it comes to Islam.

But some politicians even see an oversight as a deliberate attempt to undermine their beliefs - religious or otherwise.

Even if unreserved apologies are proffered for such lapses, they are ignored Like rottweilers, they stand their ground and wait for the next step to be taken in a dance of ritualised intimidation.

Some view these as opportunities to further their cause - political or personal. Even when they discover their folly, they will not retreat and only shut up when commanded.

Even the odd one will defy the orders as we have seen in the socks-gate issue - even defying Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s pleas. 

He told the public not to be a prosecutor or judge over the issue of as vigilantes started cropping up to champion the matter.

On Wednesday, Yang-di Pertuan Agong Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar issued a decree of sorts, asking all parties to stop taking advantage of the issue saying it should now be left to the authorities.

But can we expect the same when pseudo-preachers and self-appointed defenders of the faith continue to belittle the religious beliefs of others?

In a commentary titled “Inconsistency begets accusations of double standards”, I referred to the case of Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor’s arrest and prosecution.

I wrote: “Lesser mortals are dragged out of their homes, handcuffed and driven hundreds of kilometres just to have their statements recorded, but Sanusi intimated he wanted to bypass the arrest and head to court.”

‘No one is above the law’

In 2019, a video clip emerged on social media featuring preacher Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu, who made disparaging comments about Hinduism.

Controversial preacher Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu

But the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) declared that no charges would be pressed against him for allegedly insulting Hinduism.

Three years later, two individuals applied for a judicial review to challenge the AG’s decision.

In dismissing the application, High Court judge Wan Ahmad Farid said that the petitioners had failed to prove mala fide (bad faith) on the part of the AG in his decision not to prosecute the alleged offenders.

The application was filed after deputy public prosecutor Ainul Amirah had previously told the Magistrate’s Court that the AG had no plans to prosecute the duo.

Ainul added that the AG was unwilling to prosecute the preachers as police had classified their cases as “no further action”.

It is happening again and apparently, a new video has emerged.

On Tuesday, a group of Indian lawmakers, mostly aligned with the coalition government, urged the Home Ministry to take strict action against Zamri.

Jelutong MP RSN Rayer said this is due to Zamri’s recent remarks that allegedly insulted Hindus in the country.

I previously wrote: “‘No one is above the law’ may be an overused phrase, but surely the law must be applied equally and fairly to everyone - preachers included.”

In light of the furore over religion, what I then wrote is still applicable but will the police and AG provide some answers as to why there has been no prosecution?

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:28 AM   0 comments
If Anwar wants a second term… By P Gunasegaram
Thursday, March 28, 2024

Malaysiakini : (A reminder: Saifuddin had to be appointed a senator to become a federal minister because he lost in the November 2022 general election. He had, earlier that year, lost in a race for PKR deputy presidency to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli.)

‘Threat to Malays’

Where are the other promised reforms? What has Saifuddin done to defuse the tension and take action against provocative statements by over-exuberant politicians about recent events involving a convenience store chain?

Instead, a workshop owner was arrested over an alleged threat he made, when the so-called threat was not even communicated to the politician concerned but expressed as something that could happen in a passing conversation.

The problem is Saifuddin, as with some other PKR ministers, is too much in the Umno mould and considers any granting of legitimate rights to non-Malays as a threat to the Malays, brainwashed by that infamous Biro Tata Negara, which was taken to new heights, sorry, lows, by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

This is reflected in the ridiculous back-tracking of an earlier decision to sign Icerd (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) by the Harapan government, whose PM then was Mahathir in November 2018.

This made Malaysia one of only two Muslim countries in the world not to have signed. The other is Brunei.

It therefore makes it impossible for Malaysia to take cases to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the way South Africa took Israel to the court for genocide in Palestine. 

This attitude, too, explains other things such as an excessive, often contrived, sensitivity towards issues of race, religion and royalty (3R), which is exploited to the hilt by every aspiring Umno leader. The home minister can do many things about this but he is not doing much.

Former Umno leader Khairy Jamaluddin

Replying to Khairy who said that the Madani coalition did not enjoy Malay support, Saifuddin said Malay sentiments were often “emotive”, with people not interested to hear facts and figures but rather “stories”.

Further, he brushed off Khairy’s suggestion that Deputy Prime Minister and Umno head Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who sacked Khairy from Umno, was an albatross around Harapan’s neck. They are “partners in struggle” in the context of the coalition government, he said.

Let’s be clear about this. If Anwar wants to have another shot at being prime minister, he needs to get Malay support - a major swing is required but he has to maintain non-Malay support too. Malay support alone is not sufficient.

In this, he is being constantly thwarted not just by Zahid but Umno, too, through their bluster, which everyone can see through. It is a burden that Harapan carries heavy on its shoulders, a load which could break it politically.

If non-Malay support wanes and Malay support is not forthcoming, it will spell disaster for the Madani government.

Winning Malay hearts

Malays have always been smart politically. Saifuddin and PKR badly need to realise that, instead of declaring them to be emotive and taken up by stories. The Malays will vote for those who truly have their best interests at heart.

In the last general election at Bagan Datuk, Zahid retained his parliamentary seat by a mere 348 votes, winning because of split votes. Umno won a mere 26 parliamentary seats, more than halved from an already reduced 54 in the 2018 polls.

Can it claim to represent Malays? Absolutely not. You have a group of Umno leaders, including all Umno ministers in the current cabinet, baying for corrupt Najib Abdul Razak to be granted a pardon for crimes against the state and conniving to get that done.

Do you think Malays don’t realise if that’s what their leaders want, they will not be taken care of if Umno gains power? What kind of leaders ask for corrupt leaders to be pardoned unless they want corruption to continue?

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

The writing is clear - Malays do not want Umno. Period. Nothing has happened in the intervening period since the 2022 election to change that. In that election, they turned to the only party that offered them some hope - PAS, which is way less corrupt than Umno.

Bersatu simply benefited from that alliance with PAS - its leaders don’t have clean hands and are of the Umno mould - most being former Umno leaders looking for a new platform to gain power.

If Anwar does not show that he is serious about eradicating corruption and giving something to the Malays - and I mean things like quality education, better job opportunities, and a way up the ladder in many other meaningful ways, he will be killing his party and himself.

Why give Umno so much power?

Allying with Umno is a political convenience but why let 26 MPs be the tail that wags the dog when Harapan commands more than three times the number with 81 seats?

Why give Zahid a DPM post when there is not even a PKR DPM? Who becomes prime minister if something happens to Anwar? Why let Umno dictate terms and put them in such a position of power?

Umno needs Harapan more than Harapan needs Umno. Harapan can still survive in government without Umno - the Sabahans and Sarawakians must be more than ready to ditch Umno with all the latter’s incessant and strident racial and religious extremist rhetoric.

If Anwar does not change the political balance with Umno in favour of progressive change for all, sidelong brouhaha, racial, religious, and royal rhetoric, and buckle down to the serious task of running the country, he won’t even smell the scent of a second term, let alone get it.

Many will not only become indifferent to his fate but vote against him and his coalition. We all know who is the only possible, least corrupt of all of them who will get those votes - it will be a “Green Wave” of massive proportions in favour of PAS.

That’s what Saifuddin and others like him in PKR must realise and act accordingly - move the balance in favour of Harapan and its promises to the electorate.

He has to show that he has more to offer to most of the population than the “Green Wave” - a task more difficult than most of Anwar’s closest allies seem to realise.

Right now, there is no need for Anwar to be a lame-duck prime minister. If he is, he has only himself and his chosen leadership to blame - no one else, least of all the Malays.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 6:02 PM   0 comments
Akmal is a dangerous bully who dares not challenge China By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The real victims

This is exactly the kind of racial narrative that Akmal was hoping to stoke when he started this boycott. He must feel extremely religiously and politically virile seeing how two Chinese “tycoons” were charged with hurting the religious feelings of people, the people he is claiming to defend while being enabled by the mandarins of Umno and the cowards in Pakatan Harapan.

He is hoping the Malays see themselves as victims, while the real victims in this case are rich “tycoons” purposely hurting the religious feelings of “poor” working-class Malay Muslims.

Of course, he did not and most probably would not be given the green light to go after the Chinese manufacturers of the socks. This is classic bully-boy behaviour. Prey on people who you know cannot fight back for whatever reasons.

The non-Muslim population cannot fight back because to do so would only invite more aggression from people claiming they represent the majority. Our elected officials are quiet and only seem to be able to make fait accompli admonitions.

However, there are a few who buck the trend.

Tuaran MP Wilfred Madius Tangau rightly asked why Akmal was not demanding an apology from China. To be honest I would actually like to see Akmal (if he had the cojones) protest against China if only to see Beijing’s response.

Remember when Jamal Yunos of the Red Shirts was threatening violence in Petaling Street, what was China’s response? Well, they trotted out their ambassador for a merry jaunt in Petaling Street and then defended the ambassador’s action saying - “The ambassador hoped to show Petaling Street is still a safe and attractive spot, and so is Malaysia.”  

There was this gem as well - “The ambassador was also happy to see there are not only Chinese traders in Petaling Street but also traders of other races.”

Keep in mind the ambassador’s strongly worded statement - “But concerning the infringement on China’s national interests, violations of legal rights, and interests of Chinese citizens and businesses which may damage the friendly relationship between China and the host country, we will not sit by idly.”

God knows I have my issues with China but this was not a cowardly statement.

KK Mart owner KK Chai and his wife Loh Siew Mui

Can you imagine what the response would have been here? In my fantasy, the current Chinese emissary would visit a KK Mart store saying that the stores were efficiently run and clean, and the prices of goods were competitive or something like that. And he would urge people of all races to frequent the store.

This of course would probably make a mockery of the already mockable aggrieved feelings of these defenders of race and religion.

Why pick on ‘Chinese tycoons’?

Speaking of racial narratives, why only pick on the “Chinese tycoons”? As professor Tajuddin Rasdi said - “Don’t forget that when the socks were produced and brought into Malaysia, they had to go through customs. Why doesn’t he go for the customs officers who allowed the socks to come through?

“After all, those customs officers are Malay Muslims. Are you going to blame them as well for what happened?”

Of course not, because these are civil servants and the political establishment is deathly afraid of hurting their feelings. But of course, for the Malay Muslim workers of KK Mart and the Malay Muslim clientele of KK Mart, these bullies have no interest in them.

Okay, check that. If Akmal were really brave, why didn’t he ask all the Malay Muslims who work for KK Mart or work for the owners of KK Mart in any capacity to resign from their jobs in protest of this egregious act of hurting the sanctity of Islam?

I guess this would have been a bridge too far for Akmal and his enablers.

And now this so-called defender is attempting to distance himself from the religious and political aggression that his cowardly polemics have created.

What would have happened if the terrorist act was successful and the petrol bomb went off killing people? What would happen if more acts like this were carried out by people claiming to protect the sanctity of their religion?

Khairy asked, “First of all, for Muslims, we need to take a step back. Are we going too far?”. As always, deflecting the blame from the political elites and throwing the average Muslim under the bus.

This is the ketuanan (supremacy) way.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:34 PM   0 comments
Why does Umno want to destroy KK Mart? By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, March 25, 2024

Malaysiakini : “Business practices” imply a history of behaviour and so far neither Akmal nor his supporters can point to anything that KK Mart has done which would invite such political or religious opprobrium.

Hasan said it was yet to be determined if this act was done maliciously or in ignorance. Indeed, we have to ask ourselves why KK Mart or its vendor would subject itself to such acts as doxxing, police investigations, and online harassment just to sell garments with the word Allah on them.

Foreign Minister Mohamad Hasan

We have to ask ourselves why a business which caters to a large Muslim clientele would risk their bottom line selling garments which would offend.

The elites in Umno have no real idea what it takes to grow a business like KK Mart or what it means to employ people and ensure their sensitivities are taken into account. 

And can anyone make the argument that non-Malays are ignorant of the sensitivities of Muslims in this country?

For decades we have been told what the sensitivities of the Muslims are. For decades we have been warned not to trespass into the religious domains of the majority.

The political system is predicated on non-Muslims knowing and understanding the religious sensitivities of the majority. So Hasan would have us believe that the owners of KK Mart either deliberately or in ignorance sold socks with the word Allah on them.

Hasan also said this is not a partisan or racial issue but a religious one. Since race and religion are not mutually exclusive for the majority community in this country, he cannot make this qualification.

How much anger?

The fact that Akmal has said he would risk anything including position and power to defend Islam and that Umno (no matter who their friends are) would always defend Islam - this is a racial issue because Umno claims to be the sole defender of race and religion.

As reported in the press, Zaid Ibrahim said there must be limits to your anger.

“First, you asked the Chinese trader to apologise, and they did. Then, you revoked the factory licence, and they are now out of business. Then you said the boycott would continue.” 

So, the question becomes how much is your anger towards the Chinese community?

Zaid also said, “No one should use God to break the law, incite hatred, and destroy businesses.”

If people have a phobia about Islam as a state religion in this country, it is because policies that disenfranchise them are done in the name of Islam. It is not hidden.

Political and religious operatives use it as a selling point. And we non-Muslims cannot fight back because to do so would mean, you guessed it, that we were Islamophobic or worse, invite sanctions from the state.

Even Muslims who speak up against fascist dogma are targeted by the state, to make an example of them.

I have no idea why Umno would want to see KK Mart close shop. I have no idea why they think this would work in reaffirming their position as the sole defenders of bangsa (race) and agama (religion).

Electoral support

Enjoying the spotlight, Akmal likes to behave as though he is speaking for the majority community. But is he really? Umno is haemorrhaging Malay support. Perikatan Nasional has got the Malay popular vote and its provocateurs have gained traction with the Malay majority, especially young Malays.

So if Akmal thinks that his shenanigans really carry weight with them, he may well be in for a rude surprise. Don’t get me wrong. They may very well support his ideas but this may not translate to electoral support.

Akmal has made it clear that nothing but the total destruction of KK Mart would satisfy him. And believe me, if his friends at KK Mart find another business, you can bet your last ringgit that Akmal would be there not satisfied but wanting more payback.

Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh

And what does the prime minister think of Umno wanting to destroy a viable business which hires many Malay-Muslims? Does he really think that Umno, a partner in his government acting this way, is going to burnish his racial and religious credentials?

Does he really think that stoking religious sentiment on a business which is beneficial to the Malay-Muslim community is going to enable his economic agenda?

What exactly is the play here? Destroy KK Mart and then attempt to build back a successful business using the machinery of government? How did Low Yat 2 work out?

Zaid said that a rampaging Umno must be stopped but the problem here is that this government so far has enabled the rampaging Umno and the non-Malays have been cowed into thinking that disrupting the apple cart would open the gates of Putrajaya to PN.

So the question then becomes why does Umno want to destroy KK Mart and why is the prime minister allowing the party to do so?

Mohamad is right about one thing. Malaysia is at a pivotal juncture.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 4:30 PM   0 comments
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