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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

Photobucket
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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India: Indifference as Muslim mobs target Hindus in riot-torn West Bengal since 2011 By Ashlyn Davis
Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Jihad Watch : The post-election violence meted out to the Hindu supporters of Mamata Banerjee’s opposition has finally attracted the focus of India’s national media.

But the state has witnessed Muslims wreak havoc on the administration and people of Bengal throughout her previous terms. From 2011 onwards, West Bengal has recorded an average of 20 communal flare-ups every year. There were 27 such incidents in 2015, 32 in 2016 and 58 incidents that came to light in 2017.

Though the 2011 Census establishes that Muslims comprise about 27% of the state’s population, the actual number is believed to be significantly higher, as millions of Bangladeshis have illegally entered the border state through its pervious boundaries and compromised border security arrangements. Gaining numbers, the Islamic lobby in the state is now calling the shots, while the timid and gentle Bengali Hindus have been degraded to the de facto status of second class citizens; educated and qualified Bengali Hindus are now migrating to other cities of India, or moving to other countries altogether. The present situation of West Bengal is not very different from what Bengal endured during the 1947 partition.

A Muslim cleric’s killing during a robbery and the alleged apathy of the police resulted in an anti-Hindu pogrom in Canning on February 21, 2013. Muslim mobs vented their ire on the Hindus by burning down over 200 Hindu homes in the villages of Goladogra, Gopalpur, and Hero Bhanga in the areas surrounding the Canning Police Station, and looted scores of Hindu-owned shops in the Jayanagar police station area. Around 2000 Hindus were left displaced after this turbulence and are still awaiting justice.

On May 5, 2015, a Hindu congregation was attacked with explosives including petrol bombs when it passed by a mosque in Juranpur, Nadia while returning from a religious fair. Four people were killed and eight were injured in this ambush attack carried out from the mosque, but there was no coverage in the mainstream media, and the average intellectual of the state couldn’t care less about this violence, as the casualties of this clash were all Hindus.

Planning and executing mob violence over alleged “blasphemous” remarks against their revered prophet has become a common pastime for some Muslims on the Asian subcontinent. A gargantuan mob of 100,000 such Muslims went on a rampage in Kaliachak in January 2016 to seek revenge over remarks of Kamlesh Tiwari about the prophet of Islam. They attacked the police, vandalized police stations, and blocked railway tracks, disrupting train service for hours, and ran amok around Hindu neighborhoods, destroying Hindu-owned properties. The police of the state stood paralyzed as the rioting Muslims broke barricades and confronted security forces. Over 30 policemen were injured in the clash.

In 2016 again, massive clashes broke out during the Milad-ul-Nabi celebrations in Dhulagargh. Chanting slogans of “Pakistan Zindabad” (that is, “Long live Pakistan”), rampaging Muslim rioters attacked Hindu areas. Jihadis know that the Hindus are essentially defenseless and are thus easy targets in West Bengal; no administration will lift a finger to rescue them. Hindu areas were found deserted after residents fled their homes, fearing mob violence. The mob burned down the abandoned Hindu-owned homes, but not before looting them.

Triggered by a Facebook post allegedly made by a Hindu minor, a 5000-strong Muslim mob organized an arson attack on Hindu homes, ransacked Hindu-owned shops and blocked roads, thereby hindering travel in the Baduria-Basirhat region in July 2017. The debilitated state police remained incompetent. 200 Hindu homes were targeted. Five Hindu temples were destroyed and two others were vandalized. A 65-year-old was killed and 23 others sustained serious injuries in the violence that extended for a week. This happened right before the Hindu festival Rath Yatra, which attracted the ire of these rioters. A group of 70-90 Muslims tore down nine more Hindu temples, and taking the entire area hostage, demanded that the minor be handed over to them for a Sharia-style penalty.

A massive communal flare-up was reported in Raniganj, Asansol in 2018 after Muslim groups planned and executed armed attacks on the Hindu procession of Ram Navami. Bomb blasts sent tremors through the town. A fierce mob wreaked havoc across Ranigunj, firing weapons and robbing houses and shops. A Rapid Action Force was deployed to restore normalcy; in retaliation, the mob burned several police vehicles. The incident went almost completely unreported, despite the fact that a large number of Hindus were forced to flee the area and settle in safer locations with a smaller Muslim population.

In 2019, an enraged mob of over 100 Muslim men and women descended on the NRS Hospital after a septuagenarian Muslim patient succumbed to a prolonged illness. The mob was mobilized through a Facebook post by a teenage grandson of the deceased. The skullcap-wearing rioters assaulted the resident doctors with stones, batons and makeshift weapons. Two young doctors were severely injured and had to be rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and operated on. The police marked their presence at the scene as mute spectators.

In 2020, West Bengal administration yet again failed to deter a communal clash when a frenzied Muslim mob armed with swords and bombs stormed into the streets of Telinipara, Hooghly to set Hindu homes on fire, tear down businesses, and beat Hindus. The incident took place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, shortly after they broke their daytime fast. Sporadic clashes broke out when Muslims from the Covid-sensitive Wardibazar area tried to enter the Hindu neighborhood of Telinipara, flouting Covid advisories and the nationwide lockdown, and were met with resistance.

Riots are just as common as the monsoon storm in the coastal state. However, because of the brazen minority-pandering exhibited by the ruling elites, liberals and leftists running various domestic and international media houses have deliberately underreported or completely ignored these incidents.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:39 AM   0 comments
Nigeria: Priest says government is ‘more unwilling than unable’ to stop jihadis who are murdering Christians By Robert Spencer
Tuesday, July 27, 2021


Jihad Watch : This has been clear for quite some time. Look at Isa Pantami.  “Sympathizers in Nigeria’s high-ranking positions stall fight against militants, priest says,” ACI Africa, July 23, 2021 : Boko Haram sympathizers and others who support Nigeria being an Islamic State are stalling the fight against militants in the West African country, a local priest has said.

According to Fr. George Ehusani, a priest of the Diocese of Lokoja and executive director of the Lux Terra Leadership Foundation, many of those secretly backing the activities of militants in Nigeria occupy key positions in various sectors of the country.

In a July 22 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Ehusani said that the sympathizers are thwarting every effort to defeat the militants by either supporting them materially or leaking key information pertaining planned offensives from the country’s military ranks.

“There are people who may not be as radical and as brutal as this Boko Haram or these violent bandits, but who share their sentiments, who share some of their ideological orientations, who sympathize with them; people who believe that Nigeria, or at least most of Nigeria, the Northern part of Nigeria, should be fully Islamic,” Fr. Ehusani says.

He adds, “There are people of that orientation in government. Everybody knows that there are people of that orientation in schools and colleges. There are people of that orientation in the military forces, in the security forces.”

“There are allegations that when plans are made as to how to swoop on these people and end this menace, the plans will leak out from the highest military command,” the priest said, adding, “The plans will leak out to the terrorists.”

Because the sympathizers occupy key positions in government and other influential positions in the public and private sectors, Fr. Ehusani says they are treated “with kid gloves”.

“We can see the lack of action, the inaction and treating these criminals with kid gloves all these years. We can see that some people in high places in government sympathize with these bandits and these criminals, and they will not easily allow, let’s say, the Nigerian air force to go and bomb their enclave,” he says.

The priest asserts that the government has been “more unwilling than unable” to fight the militants who continue to wreak havoc against populations in Nigeria, most of them Christian.

He finds it baffling that the Nigerian military has been able to quell violence in the neighboring countries, only to appear defeated by militants.

“Many of us are at a loss,” Fr. Ehusani said, asking, “How can a country that has trained military, trained army, navy, air force that has done very well in international peacekeeping, one that has done very well in helping to quell the crisis in Sierra Leone, in Liberia… say they cannot quell this Boko Haram problem?”

The priest said that Nigeria played a principal role in bringing to an end the 11-year war in Sierra Leone and in many other countries, including Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Fr. Ehusani says that militants are establishing territory in many places, especially in the north of the country, where many places have their specific flag.

“As we speak, swathes of territories in Northern Nigeria are no go areas except for them; meaning swathes of territories that I as a priest, as a Christian, cannot go into because they have taken over; they have hoisted their flag,” he stated.

He explained that in Borno state, for instance, there are vast territories where citizens are forced to pay taxes to Boko Haram and other bandits so as to be allowed to carry on legitimate activities like going to their farms….

The people have unceasingly reached out to the international community for help, where the government has failed, he said.

“We have also cried to the international community that, even if the government does not ask for help, see the number of people who are dying. Can you imagine that over 1,000 people are being killed every month, and we are not at war?”

He added, “There is no declared war. There is what is called low intensity conflict and high intensity conflict. By the time you have more than a thousand people having been killed every month, it is no longer low intensity. It is a high intensity conflict.”

The priest expressed regret that despite what has been described as a genocide in Nigeria, the government has done little to show concern…

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:48 AM   0 comments
National Recovery Council is a waste of time we cannot spare - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, July 26, 2021


Malaysiakini : "In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control, and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely." [Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy] - Jerry Pournelle

COMMENT | If there is one thing a kakistocracy does well, it is to create small groups of people to manage a problem that the architects of such groups created in the first place. 

The keyword here is "manage" and not "solve" because solving problems requires a skill set that these political operatives and their various lackeys do not have.

The people who do have the required skills, commitment and dedication to actually help solve problems will no doubt be shunted aside, lost in the constant politicking that would go on in these types of “special councils”. 

Malaysians would either be kept completely in the dark – even though transparency was promised – and there would be numerous leaks for partisan advantage.

This proposed National Recovery Council (NRC) has already got off to a rocky start with opposition political operatives already staking the partisan ground, calling out other proposed members and offering up their own choices.

Honestly, what if Star Media Group advisor Wong Chun Wai is a mouthpiece of the MCA? The idea of bipartisanship is working with people with different political affiliations for the betterment of the country.

Mind you, targeting certain individuals with their dodgy histories is hypocritical because every political operative and lackey in this council comes with baggage and turning this into a partisan issue should tell the average rakyat that this is just another avenue for attention-seeking personalities.

Star Media Group advisor Wong Chun Wai

Think of it this way. If this were really an independent council, staffed by people who actually know what they are doing, we would probably have never heard of these people. The people with the expertise which would be relevant normally serve in the background.

The fact that the opposition and the establishment want names, that the people have probably heard of, is to project either credibility or the safeguarding of interests. 

Honestly, it is the behind-the-scenes people who actually know what is going on and could, if given the chance present objective policies. What we are talking about here is substance and not merely form. 

The council would be chaired by an experienced bureaucrat (maybe even retired) or even someone from the military with foreign peacekeeping experience.

All this talk of bipartisanship is complete horse manure and the cynic in me believes that this council is an exercise in spreading the blame around more than actually acting as some sort of cohesive unit to tackle the vagaries and recovery of this pandemic.

Nobody really knows the terms of such committees because, in any kind of Malaysian political council, terms are kept vague because nobody really has any idea what to do, beyond projecting the image of doing something.

This is all about controlling the narrative and while the PN regime has made strides in its vaccination programmes, the reality is that this should have been done from the start.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin

Indeed the ramping up of vaccination proves that the government is capable of actually doing the work of a government, but the dismal manner in which it is handling the pandemic is demonstrative of the complete indifference of the minions from Putrajaya.

Why is there a need for this council, anyway? If the PN regime is really interested in working collaboratively with all opposition parties, it would reopen Parliament and allow for open debate and transparency through the relevant bodies - which would demonstrate good faith.

Instead, the Malay political establishment is still fighting with itself and the opposition is attempting to politically profit from this pandemic.

The old maverick is right in his criticisms of the NRC. Of course, there is way too much self-aggrandising when it comes to the old maverick and nobody should want him anywhere near this council. However, the points he has raised are valid ones.

This is just another attempt by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to attach himself and his party to what he thinks is a winning play. 

Even if there are failures and setbacks, Muhyiddin has the cover of this council and no doubt there will be finger-pointing in the council to add to the mayhem.

I hope Malaysians understand that it is not that there is a lack of professionals and bureaucrats who could offer constructive solutions to the problems created by this pandemic. 

It is the nature of the Malaysian government to sideline these people. It is government policy to choose racists, bigoted and incompetent hacks over the professionalism and competency and then play the race and religion card when it comes falling down.

This NRC is just a waste of time. But the difference is now. Wasting time could very well mean life or death for the average Joe Rakyat.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:02 AM   0 comments
Nigeria: Muslims murder 3,462 Christians in 200 days
Thursday, July 22, 2021

Jihad Watch : “3,462 Nigerian Christians killed by herdsmen, Jihadists in 200 days,” PM News Nigeria, July 18, 2021 (thanks to The Religion of Peace): When Muslims were killed in New Zealand, the hypocrisy was blatant in this leftist tabloid.

An estimated 3,462 Nigerian Christians have been killed this year by Nigerian Jihadists, Fulani herdsmen and state actors up till 18 July. The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law gave this grim report today. According to the report, Benue and Kaduna have recorded the most deaths in the last six months.

“Benue State recorded the highest number of Christian deaths in the past 200 days with 450 and had recorded 200 deaths in Jan to April and 250 from May to 18th July. “Kaduna State came second with 410 Christian deaths and had recorded 300 deaths in Jan to April and 110 from May to 18th July; “Taraba State came third with 240 deaths”, the report said.

The authors also blamed the genocide going on in Zamfara, Kaduna and most parts of the North west to “muslim Fulani bandits”. The report comes with citations about the places of the killings. The group based in Onitsha Anambra has been tracking such killings in the past.

Read the full report:

Intersociety, Nigeria: Sunday, July 18, 2021: The number of defenceless Christians hacked to death by Nigeria’s Islamic Jihadists and their collaborators in the security forces in the past 200 days or 1st January to 18th July 2021 has risen to no fewer than 3, 462 and this is just sixty-eight deaths less than the total deaths of Nigerian Christians in 2020 which the Open Doors’ World Watch List of Persecuted Christians put at ‘3,530’.

This number further represents daily average Christian deaths of seventeen and second highest since 2014 when over 5000 Christian deaths were recorded in the hands of Boko Haram and Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen.

While Boko Haram killed over 4000 Christians in 2014, the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen accounted for 1,229 Christian deaths.

In our last report issued on 11th May 2021, covering January to April 2021, we found that no fewer than 1,470 Christians were hacked to death and in the past 80 days or 1st May to 18th July 2021, not less than 1, 992 Christian lives have been lost. We also found that no fewer than 780 additional Christians were abducted in 80 days or 1st May to 18thJuly whereas between 1st January and 30th April, 2200 were abducted. This brings the total number of the abducted Christians since January to 3000, out of which at least three out of every abducted thirty Christians were most likely to have died in captivity; thereby indicating additional secret death in jihadists’ captivity of 300 Christians. Additional deaths of 150 is also added to represent ‘dark figures’ or deaths that occurred but not reported or recorded

The number of Churches threatened or attacked and closed or destroyed or burnt since January 2021 is also estimated to be around 300 with at least ten priests or pastors abducted or killed by the jihadists. Taraba State was discovered to be the most affected with at least seventy churches threatened or attacked and closed or burnt or destroyed. For purpose of setting the record straight, therefore, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law is a research and investigative rights group which has been monitoring and investigating religious persecution and other forms of religious violence by state and non state actors across Nigeria since 2010. This, we do through the use of direct contacts with the victims, eyewitnesses, media tracking, review of credible local and international reports, interviews and closed sources and so on.

Impunity And Complicity Of Nigerian Security Forces: It is deeply saddening that till date those responsible for the anti Christian butcheries in the country have continued to evade justice and remained unchecked, untracked, uninvestigated and untried; leading to impunity and repeat-atrocities. The surviving victims and families of the dead victims are also totally abandoned by the Government of Nigeria. The Nigerian Government has continued to face sharp criticisms and strong accusations of culpability and complicity in the killings and supervision of same. The country’s security forces have so fumbled and compromised that they hardly intervene when the vulnerable Christians are in danger of threats or attacks, but only emerge after such attacks to arrest and frame up the same population threatened or attacked. In the North, the jihadists operate freely under the cover and protection of the security forces; abducting, killing, looting, destroying or burning and forcefully converting their captive and unprotected Christians and their homes and sacred places of worship and learning. But the same security forces hatefully and brutally respond with utter ferocity against Southern and Northern Christians are accused of infraction or offending the law.

Herdsmen Killings Most Widespread, Accounting For 1,909 Deaths: The Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen are responsible for majority of the killings with at least 1,909 Christian deaths in 200 days, followed by Boko Haram, ISWAP and Muslim Fulani Bandits who jointly killed 1,063 Christians, while Nigerian Army, joined by the Nigeria Police Force and other branches of the Armed Forces accounted for 490 Christian deaths. The 3,462 Christian deaths include additional 300 deaths representing Christian deaths arising from deaths in the captivity of the jihadists, on average of three deaths out of every 30 Christians abducted and disappeared and another additional deaths of 150 technically representing ‘dark figures of crime’. The killings by the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen are also the most widespread cutting across the entire six geopolitical regions of Nigeria targeting Christian areas of Taraba, Adamawa and Gombe in the Northeast; Southern Kaduna (Northwest) and other Christian settlements in the State; Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa and Kogi in the North-Central; Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti and Ogun in the Southwest; Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Anambra and Abia in the Southeast; and Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers in the South-south.

The Muslim Fulani Bandits, originally formed in Zamfara State in 2011, are jointly responsible for terrors going on in Christian parts of Southern Kaduna, Niger, FCT, Nasarawa and Kogi States. They are also responsible for attacks on indigenous Hausa Muslims in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kebbi. In Kebbi State, for instance, the Muslim Fulani Bandits target and kill or abduct both Christians and Muslims; holding against their fellow Muslims a jihadist belief that the “indigenous Hausa Muslims are not pure Muslims”

The Muslim Fulani Bandits, originally formed in Zamfara State in 2011, are jointly responsible for terrors going on in Christian parts of Southern Kaduna, Niger, FCT, Nasarawa and Kogi States. They are also responsible for attacks on indigenous Hausa Muslims in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kebbi. In Kebbi State, for instance, the Muslim Fulani Bandits target and kill or abduct both Christians and Muslims; holding against their fellow Muslims a jihadist belief that the “indigenous Hausa Muslims are not pure Muslims”; same reasons used in the ferocious jihadist attacks against their fellow Muslims in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, and Muslim areas of Kaduna and Niger States.

Boko Haram and ISWAP, on their part, are majorly responsible for attacks in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba; and have through their recent alliances with other jihadists, made jihadist inroads and stepped up ferocious and unchecked attacks in Niger, FCT, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Kaduna, etc….
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:33 AM   0 comments
Twitter honors pro-jihad Popular Front of India By Ashlyn Davis


Jihad Watch : That Twitter is not the most non-biased platform and is hardly welcoming of all opinions is old news.

It has not only deplatformed former US President Donald Trump, but has worked against the Indian government as well. Also, earlier this year, the micro-blogging site was banned by the Nigerian government after it deleted one of the Nigerian President’s tweets.

The social media giant has arbitrarily blocked and banned numerous accounts in the name of community standards, when they became roadblocks in its propaganda. Though regular users in India have never been able to decipher what these “community standards” exactly are, they were shocked to see Twitter award the Popular Front of India’s (PFI) Karnataka Unit profile with the “blue check,” thereby confirming its Twitter verified status. The handle has a mere 16,000 followers. The “blue check” is ostensibly used only to note that a prominent person or group’s account is authentic, but has often been used as a badge of Twitter’s approval, with blue checks removed or withheld from the accounts of noteworthy people and groups who oppose Twitter’s agenda.

PFI is a notorious Islamic outfit that has been accused of anti-national activities including funding jihad terrorism, perpetrating jihad terrorist attacks, black money trading, eliciting large-scale communal clashes in different parts of the country, and incentivizing “love jihad.” This Islamic outfit has allegedly been involved in several political murders and has been named by investigative entities, including the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in some high-profile criminal cases.

The PFI’s proselytization tactics and goal of turning India into an Islamic state were exposed in a sting operation carried out by a major media house in 2017. The state Chief Minister ordered a detailed investigation into the matter. While probing into the case, the police department, helmed by state police chief Loknath Behera, confirmed that six PFI members from the Kannur district, namely Abdul Manaf, Abdul Ghayoom, Safwan, Shabeer, Suhail and Rizwana, were now at an ISIS camp.

A threatening nexus between Islamic terror groups and the Popular Front of India has been laid bare already, and is public knowledge. While senior PFI leader Ahmed Shareef was caught on camera acknowledging that it was one of their primary aims to create an Islamic state in India and then expand the same to the other parts of the world, a female member of the group, AS Zainaba, confirmed that they were indeed running a religious conversion mill masquerading as an educational institution.

The jihadist outfit is active in seven Indian states, and is under the eye of the Uttar Pradesh Police for its involvement in the anti-CAA riots of 2020. Members of different wings of this group have been disrupting peace and harmony in the country, and several leaders of the PFI have been implicated in the Bengaluru riots that broke out in August 2020.

In January 2021, the Enforcement Directorate blamed the outfit for raising funds through Hawala for financing terror camps in Kerala. A 22-year-old Hindu youth, Nandu Krishna, was hacked to death and six others were injured in communal clashes in Alappuzha, Kerala in February 2021. Local police detained six members of the political wing of the PFI in connection with the communally charged murder.

In January 2018, four members of this wing, Muhammad Basheer, Ameer Abdul Rahman, Saleem Hamsa, and Shaheem Shamsudheen, were arrested for the political murder of activist Shyam Prasad. Prasad was mercilessly murdered by the attackers.

42-year-old Ramalingam, an activist working against Islamic conversion in the state, was brutally murdered shortly after protesting a conversion congregation. Police suspect that the Popular Front of India was behind the murder, as Ramalingam’s hands were chopped off in the manner in which Kerala Professor T.J. Joseph’s hand was cut off by a PFI cadre in 2010. 13 people were found guilty of this assault, all associated with the PFI.

The National Investigative Agency (NIA) has alleged the PFI’s involvement in the notorious “love jihad” cases in Kerala. There are at least 24 political cases that have PFI members named as accused. Most of the leaders of this Islamic organization are members of the now-banned Student Islamic Movement of India. Even the Income Tax Department has flagged the Popular Front of India for violating income tax rules. The department cancelled its 80G registration after holding that it was dangerous for the “goodwill” and “brotherhood” of communities.

This is just a quick glimpse into the extensive portfolio of the Islamic organization that has now gained recognition from Jack Dorsey’s platform.

The Popular Front of India is facing an uncertain future with possibilities of a total ban in India, much like Twitter itself, which has been called out repeatedly for non-compliance with India’s IT norms.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:55 AM   0 comments
Malaysia's political establishment will never accept meritocracy - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy


Malaysiakini : “We are in an unprecedented crisis today, and what do we still see in the news? Race, religion and political patronage, things we used to see in the 1980s; it isn’t going to save us from the bigger issues we are facing now.” – Zaid Ibrahim

COMMENT | Zaid Ibrahim’s recent public statements that ignoring meritocracy for decades has led to the dismal response to this pandemic is just another reminder that nothing will ever really change in this country.

Zaid is right, of course, but the reality is that while there are some Malaysians who desire the systemic changes that would actually “save Malaysia”, they are not represented by any political party or sustained mainstream social movement.

If the response to this pandemic is any indication, the political establishment will never embrace any form of egalitarian or meritocratic policies. Race and religion will continue to be the driving force of our country’s destruction and the political elites and their fractured bases will continue playing the same old games.

You can witness the deleterious nature of religious extremism, for instance, by the way the spread of this virus has been enabled by “religious obligations” and a total disregard for shared empathy and responsibility. The fact that a high-ranking cabinet member gets to say that religion trumps economic interests – which is intricately tied to social cohesion – should remind everyone that successive governments, which include the Pakatan Harapan regime, did nothing to combat the religious extremism that Zaid writes about.

In 2017, Zaid caused a stir when he suggested that young Malays should migrate to escape from the Islamo-fascists who had taken over policy in this country. He also decried the lack of Malay leadership in combating the Arabisation process that had crippled not only the Malay community but also the country.

Zaid wrote in a follow up piece, “If we have 10 more Zainah Anwar, or Dr Farouk Musa or Group of 25s; and if we have more lawyers like Haris Ibrahim or Arhar Azizan (Art) Harun, then maybe we have a chance, but we don’t have enough Muslims who care. They talk a lot but fear of being described as ‘jahil’ prevents them from doing anything. Some are politicians, and so not losing Malay votes becomes a paramount consideration.”

Considering how Art Harun turned out, it just goes to show how easy it is to spout rhetoric that appeals to a certain progressive demographic but much harder to find genuine “fighters” who actually give a damn about correcting the failed ethnocentric policies that has put this country on the path to failed statehood.

PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim

And if you think the political establishment does not understand this, keep in mind what Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of the opposition and Harapan head had said in 2016 in an op-ed in The Guardian: “This has put Malaysia at a crossroads: it can either return to its rightful place as a shining political and financial star in a developing world desperate for such successes; or it can descend to the role of yet another Muslim-majority country with a failing democracy and economy.”

What this Malay uber alles crowd has done is prove that what Anwar wrote five years ago was more right than wrong. Mind you Anwar and Harapan did exactly bupkis when they were in power, which is why I wrote that Malaysians who actually believe in progressive values and some form of merit-based policies have no political parties or politicians who represent them.

Non-Malay politicians are complicit

And what of our non-Malay political operatives? Hold on; forget about non-Malay political operatives for a moment. This idea that non-Malays will always find a way to achieve their ambitions in this racist system is mainstream political propaganda. They do not need the system; hence the system should reflect the needs of the majority.

This enables corrupt politicians to shape anti-inclusion narratives that receive very little pushback because, to do so, would jeopardise the political power of non-Malays, which over the decades has diminished anyway.

Furthermore, if non-Malays question “privileges”, “rights”, and whatever else the political establishment deems sacred, we are accused of causing disharmony or being seditious or whatever other relics of colonialism that find new use against age-old dissent.

Non-Malays not only have to abide by the odious “social contract”, but we also have to be complicit in it. Non-Malays who deviate from the group think or non-Malay political operatives who attempt to argue otherwise are vilified by their own, who tell them through various excuses and justifications which boils down to not spooking the Malays.

Only some extremely brave Malays – who understand that it could be worse for them – dare speak up, and most often they are ostracised by the mainstream of their community because the political elites wage a campaign of lies and propaganda against them and they will get no help from non-Malay political operatives.

This is why non-Malay Harapan political operatives were comfortable propping up their Malay partners and reinforcing certain mainstream ideologies over their coalition’s manifesto. In a nutshell, mainstream Malaysian politics – for non-Malay politicians – is to enable and sustain the voting base of their Malay colleagues, which makes it rather difficult for ideas, policies and political agendas which could save Malaysia to be considered.

Khairy Jamaluddin

It is so normal, right? We see Khairy Jamaluddin holding forth with foreign dignitaries and the press, and nobody really cares that he is an operative of a race-based party that supports policies that are supremacist by design. The same goes for all the other non-Malay race-based parties who have to enable such supremacist policies.

To understand this dynamic, go back to the discussion in Parliament in 2018 when there were moves to sign the unratified International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Khairy wondered - “Are you saying that Article 153, which clearly gives special status to one group of people, must have a time limit?”

Remember what one Umno hack said? That Malay rights and privileges were in perpetuity. There is no endgame because the game (they think) goes on forever. It does not, as history has taught us. Everything ends and is replaced.

This is why the Islamists and race extremists in this country have told me that since the non-Malays are losing the demographics game, it is only a matter of time when such discussions will be irrelevant. I always argue that these discussions are irrelevant now because no political coalition is offering an alternative.

However, putting the onus on the majority to “change things” is one of the biggest political deflections and part of the problem. As long as there is no real alternative, everyone is complicit in the system and blaming the majority is part of the racist discourse that defines mainstream politics in this country.

If there is any kind of political shift it is that circumstances will force a change by necessity if not by political conviction.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:25 AM   0 comments
Can anyone trust what the PN government says? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Backdoor Gang

Malaysiakini : “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” - Franklin D Roosevelt

COMMENT | Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah's claim that the government does not manipulate or hide Covid-19 statistics is the kind of claptrap that makes this government even less credible than it already is. 

What this government has done is make it impossible to accurately gauge the ravages of this pandemic.

Hospitals are reminding healthcare frontliners not to talk outside school, the state security apparatus is cracking down on healthcare workers for causing mischief when all they are talking about is the dire situation they are in, and of course, politicians from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) regime are busy waging a very public war to retain power.

Nobody has any idea, for instance, what the criteria are for states entering Phase 2 or Phase 3, or whatever fancy term is used to demonstrate that a particular state’s Covid-19 figures are decreasing. 

Or how states which do fulfil certain criteria but experience a resurgence will deal with such numbers, beyond the federal government coming up with on the fly strategies.

And forget about the ravages this pandemic has wrought on the economy. When a high ranking member of the PN government issues a public statement claiming that religion is placed over the economic interests of Malaysians, how exactly can anyone have faith that the government wants to get the economy back on track despite the rosy prognostications of someone like Azmin Ali or the finance minister?

This is why, when the current prime minister says that it is okay to raise the blue flag – the colour of the ruling regime – but not the white and black flags, what we are left with is a prime minister who only seems interested in the self-preservation of his coalition and not the welfare of the people. 

Honestly, the black flag is partisan in substance but the white flag, despite what the government claims, is, in reality, a desperate plea for help.

Mind you, I do not even have much faith in the opposition when it comes to this issue, and I would certainly not believe anything coming out of the Selangor state government. 

Meanwhile, social media is a hotbed of misinformation most of which is peddled by partisans in this political conflict.

Tony Pua made very serious allegations against the Health Ministry when he said: "Health Ministry director-general (Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah) was selective and manipulative with his statistics. When the full MCO was imposed on June 1, the number of cases recorded for June 1 was 7,105. The number for May 31 was 6,824. The average number of cases for the week preceding June 1 was 7,680. It was not 9,020." This points to a cover-up, which seems credible if only because of the contradictory and often farcical statements coming out of the mouths of minions from Putrajaya.

Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

Then we have Selangor Task Force for Covid-19 chairperson Dzulkefly Ahmad reminding us that the MOH had stopped sharing granular data on deaths for the past week, which again points to the reality that the federal government and state governments are not on the same page when it comes to shared information. What does this tell us about how PN is waging this war against Covid-19?

The fact that the MOH admitted some time ago that it was ramping down testing means that any kind of figures coming out of the establishment is suspect. Not to mention, the various gag orders issued to people who have been desperately speaking out on social media.

Furthermore, what we have been witness to, is a government that is not interested in the voices of the frontliners and either deflects or harasses people who are speaking out.

This is why frontliners now have to make all these videos and disseminate them online to get a perspective out there which clashes with official narratives of the PN state.

After a period of docility and puppy love towards the Health DG, voices are already beginning to question the accuracy of the data coming out of the daily pressers and wondering if the government’s policies when it comes to testing and containment are really based on anything beyond the whims of the National Security Council (NSC).

The same goes with the confusing policies set forth by the government and the way how certain industries are allowed to operate. And this being Malaysia, the people are left wondering if there were any financial incentives for certain factories to remain open and the often arbitrary and illogical decisions making process in allowing certain industries to operate.

PSM’s Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, taking to Twitter on reportage that local authorities have the power to close factories, wrote this: “Decentralisation of power is good when the local authorities can be trusted not to abuse it by collecting bribes. Sad to say that in many local authorities 'commissions' will be collected from businesses that don't want to be closed.”

So yes, we first wonder why certain factories are allowed to open and then we wonder why such places are allowed to continue operating. 

In this kind of climate – which is not really the fault of the PN regime, because this is a decades-old problem – can you blame the average rakyat for wondering that if they had the money, the pandemic would play out very differently when it came to their economic interests.

PN repeatedly claims that it has a plan in place to end these lockdowns but the strategy seems to be waiting for a couple of weeks before pulling the trigger on extending any cock-eyed policy they can come up with..

Meanwhile, absurd strategies of loosening restrictions involve all manner of personalities, raising questions as to which groups, individuals and industries are exempt from the MCO.

All you have to do is wonder where the millions meant for the rakyat went and you will discover that, while religion may be put above the economy, it is not put above the gravy train.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:14 AM   0 comments
China invests $1.3 trillion in Muslim countries, they remain silent about Uighur genocide
Friday, July 16, 2021


Jihad Watch : Can China buy an end to any jihad against it? The Islamic doctrines will remain, but the Muslim countries have 1.3 trillion reasons to ignore them for now.  “$1.3 trillion And Counting: The Cost That Keeps Muslim Countries Mum on China’s Uyghur Genocide,” by Santosh Chaubey, News18, July 8, 2021:

Recently, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said he “accepted” China’s version regarding the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province. Khan, a fierce critic of Islamophobia, said China’s version of bringing “improvement in the society” was much better than the model followed by the western democracies. He, in fact, hailed the Chinese Communist Party for it.

China has been calling the mass detention camps where Uyghur and other ethnic minorities are transferred as “vocational education and training centers”. However, the US, the European Union and the United Nations have called these centres as detention camps, which has almost two million Uyghur Muslims, according to different research reports, and accuse China of committing genocide and forcefully assimilating Uyghurs by banning its religious practices and restricting its population growth.

China is also accused of using forced sterilisation techniques on Uyghur women and separating Uyghur children from their families. They are forced to learn Mandarin and are kept away from practicing religious practices. Many investigative reports using satellite imagery have also found that China is destroying Uygur mosques.

Also, as detailed in many reports, China has been using Uyghurs Muslims as forced labour. Yet, the Pakistani PM and other Muslim countries laud this model.

In 2019, nearly 37 nations, in a letter sent to the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, defended the China’s Xinjiang policy. The letter charged the Uyghur Muslims with spreading terror and extremism and justified China’s actions as counter-terrorism measures aimed at deracializing Uyghur Muslims.

Notably, 16 of the 37 countries have large Muslim population, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Kuwait, Somalia and Sudan. The countries are also the members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), representing 1.9 billion Muslim people. That explains why even OIC is silent on the Uyghur genocide.

Malaysia in the past has defied requests to extradite Uyghurs back to China and promises to continue with the policy but the government there has seldom been vocal about the Uyghur genocide happening in China. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, again a ‘fierce’ Islamophobia critic, has avoided criticising China on the issue.

Turkey, that has around 50,000 Uyghurs from China has over the years, has changed its Uyghur policy to become pro-China. According to the Stockholm Center for Freedom, Turkey was a safe haven for Uyghur refugees in the past but not anymore. Though Turkey’s extradition treaty signed with China is awaiting a final approval, it has already started detaining Uyghurs and putting them under strict surveillance. It has allegedly started deporting Uyghur refugees to China via third countries like Tajikistan — a Muslim majority nation.

But why are these Islamic nations silent on China’s repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang? It is perhaps due to Chinese investments and loans into those countries.

China has roughly invested $1.3 trillion in Muslim majority countries if we add up the investments done in the last 15 years and the current and future economic deals.

Also, the calculation here does not include secret loans given by China which borrowers are forced not to reveal, obviously by a confidentiality clause, as shown in a study from Georgetown University….
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:33 AM   0 comments
The 88 billion ringgit question: Where has it gone? By Raman Letchumanan
Thursday, July 15, 2021


Malaysiakini : COMMENT | For the past 16 months since the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government took over, I have been having flashes of nostalgia of my primary school days. This happens particularly when the government talks about science and big data underpinning all their policy prescriptions.

Like most of the ordinary public, I could not make sense of it; but using primary school arithmetic and science, I am enlightened but alarmed at the same time.

A case in point. The government and the banks have been spinning in the media with technical jargon on the loan moratorium benefits. The finance minister boasted “no other country has a comprehensive loan moratorium like this”! Feeling betrayed, the public are now educating each other on how simple and compound interest works. Yes, primary school arithmetic.

Similarly, I want to discuss the pandemic stimulus packages valued at RM530 billion announced by the government thus far, which includes direct fiscal injection of RM88 billion. The public only realised the enormity of this value after the 1MDB scandal broke.

Even when 1MDB was bleeding, like the government is now, billions and millions of direct cash injections were made to the personal bank accounts of the ruling class and their cronies.

Understandably, the cash-strapped public was also expecting a windfall. However, most individuals and businesses are complaining they are only getting pittance. Nobody seems to have a complete picture of where the money actually went. So, where is the disconnect? I will try to unravel this mystery using basic arithmetic.

Before that, let me make sense of the confusing technical terms used. The government says the stimulus relief package consists of two components: direct fiscal injection and others variously referred to as stimulus, relief and/or benefit. I will deal with the former here, which I would call “direct cash aid”, because it is essentially the taxpayers’ money that the government hands out. The latter seems to be like the economic multiplier-effect, where a cash injection generates even more cash or benefits. Let me call this the “multiplier economic benefit”.

The latest Pemulih package consists of RM10 billion direct cash aid, and it presumably generates RM140 billion multiplier economic benefit, and return of 14 times. Really? No wonder investment scams are thriving. The public cannot be faulted for believing in these scams, if a financially prudent government can generate such enormous returns. This multiplier economic benefit of RM442 billion will be explored in another opinion piece, as it is an intriguing story by itself.

By the way, this arithmetic lesson is from the public to the “executive class of 70” and the cohort of “opposition have-beens”. Please pay attention.

RM1,000 per month for 22 months? Yes, that’s what each deserving family of five should have received.

Aid being offered by an NGO to a poor family in a PPR house

Unbelievable? Malaysia’s population in 2020 was 33 million, including three million non-citizens (all figures rounded up). Assuming an average family of five, that will be 6.6 million households. The top 20 percent (T20) and 20 percent of the upper M40 should be able to sustain themselves. That leaves the bottom 60 percent (20 percent lower M40 and B40) or four million households requiring financial support.

With RM88 billion direct cash aid, each household on average should be eligible for RM22,000 in cash. If stretched monthly, each household should receive RM1,000 per month from March 2020 to December 2021 from the stimulus packages so far. This amount is a global average and can be fine-tuned according to the needs of each segment of the population.

It is a simple calculation, but extremely meaningful to start our conversation about where the money should have gone. In any society, the most basic unit and the primary target is an individual, or in this case, the household/family.

Assume that an average household needs RM3,000 per month to sustain themselves in normal times, often called the living wage. That amount can be segmented equally in three components: (1) Survival: basic living expenses like food, cloth, shelter, school, work, etc. Any shortfall and one has to raise the white flag, (2) Sustenance: rent, debt, mortgage, insurance, investment, etc. Any shortfall, one will be sucked into the loan moratorium mess and retirement fund raids, (3) Discretionary: savings, travel, luxury goods and services. In a lock-down this can be forgone. But for the deserving ruling class and cronies, the taxpayers have to pay for their luxury lifestyle and frequent overseas jaunts with family and entourage, because to them it is survival.

In a worst case scenario, like in this prolonged on-off lockdowns, livelihood is systematically destroyed and a family may only earn about RM1,000 a month. However, the direct cash aid of RM1,000 can cater for sustenance. Therefore a 70-80 percent of normal earnings should sustain each household with quality living.

The point is the RM88 billion of taxpayers’ money would have comfortably sustained each and every needy individual/household during these pandemic times. Based on the definition of population, this includes the destitute, homeless, orphans, disabled, aged, and nonagenarians.

Aged people, living in an old folks' home

A direct cash aid, by definition, would be the most efficient form of intervention. It is indeed ironic that the term “direct fiscal injection” is being made a mockery of by diluting and diverting it through various schemes/subsidies coursing through multiple intermediate players.

Depressingly, politicians from both sides distract the public by basing their conversations on each scheme, programme or form of financial assistance, like the blind guessing the shape of the elephant. The only difference here is that these politicians act like the proverbial three monkeys, on purpose.

Imagine ministers having photo-ops of gift-wrapped food aid, their pictures prominently displayed, and a crowd of hungry people assembled in this pandemic times. Wouldn’t a simple e-commerce food voucher have delivered that food for free, right at their doorstep, with 100 percent of its value going to the foodstuff? This and more will be explored in my next article.

Show us the money

The question therefore arises: did each household receive such an amount of cash, on average? If not, where did the money go? My imagination went wild, and of course it wouldn’t be publishable without evidence. Just then, the prime minister solved my dilemma. Appearing innocuously in the text of the speech by the PM in announcing Pemulih is the following paragraph:

“Kerana itu, sejak pandemik COVID-19 melanda negara kita, Kerajaan telah melaksanakan tujuh program bantuan dan pakej rangsangan dengan nilai keseluruhan berjumlah 380 bilion ringgit. Setakat ini, sebanyak lebih 200 billion ringgit telah disalurkan dan memberi manfaat kepada lebih 20 juta rakyat serta 2.4 juta perniagaan. Belanjawan 2021 pula bernilai 322.5 bilion ringgit dan masih berbaki 100 bilion ringgit untuk dibelanjakan sehingga hujung tahun ini.”

The 20 million population perfectly fits my four million households. Before Pemulih, the direct cash aid was RM77 billion ringgit. From March 2020 to June 2021, a monthly direct cash injection would have cost RM64 billion. This amount should be in the RM200 billion stimulus expended so far.

To be honest, I only discovered this paragraph at the last moment. It changed my conclusion to this article. The prime minister literally agrees to my long-winded arithmetic and confirms that such cash aid was indeed channelled (disalurkan) to the deserving public.

Please show us the cash. The burden falls on the executive class of 70, each of whom must have had a slice of the direct fiscal injection Malaysian pie. Our flamboyant finance minister cum renowned banker bears full responsibility to substantiate his prime minister’s statement, more so as the chief of Pemulih. Oh, and please explain it in layman’s terms and in simple arithmetic.

I can foresee the intellectuals will brush us aside as being uninformed and uneducated. Among my qualifications, I am a chartered accountant (MIA, 6276) and a chartered management accountant (CIMA UK, 434399). But I don’t need to use this knowledge unless, of course, I want to spin.


RAMAN LETCHUMANAN was director, Environment/Conservation, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (1993-2000), head of Environment/ Haze/Disaster Management, Asean Secretariat, Jakarta (2000-2014), and senior fellow at S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2014-2016). E-mail: raman.asean @gmail.com.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:50 PM   0 comments
The white flag campaign does not equate to failing statehood, the emergency does - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy


Malaysiakini : “That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

COMMENT | As I said in my last piece, the “failed state” debate is a distraction. Our failing healthcare system is something that we can fix right now and without the usual horse manure navel-gazing that comes with attempting to solve racial and religious issues in this country, which are used by the political establishment (Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan) to divide us for political reasons.

This pandemic has given the political establishment an opportunity to redefine policy by bypassing sacred cows in the name of national security, but more importantly, to help the average rakyat in a bipartisan manner which could bring political dividends to a regime which half the voting public in the country thinks is illegitimate. In other words, fixing the healthcare system during a pandemic is a safe bet.

Indeed if the PN regime puts in as much effort into fixing the healthcare system now, organising policy around issues faced by frontliners and listening to health professionals, what they would be doing is winning this war, but more importantly, restarting the economy and we would be on the road to some kind of new normal.

Having said that, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz’s statement that the white flag campaign is not an indicator of the country falling into failed statehood is pure bunkum. Now I get that some academics and activists might feel insulted when Malaysia was said to be on the path to failed nation status, but the reality is that the best indicator that we are on that road is the emergency declaration.

The emergency declaration by this regime is cogent evidence that this government has given up all pretence of having democratic institutions in this country. There are legitimate reasons why an emergency could be called and if this regime did not handle this emergency in such an incompetent manner, a defence could have been made in support of it. Hence, if the numbers went down and there was strict supervision of policy and procedures, the emergency could have been justified or at least the narrative controlled.

The reality of this emergency is that it is nothing like the kind of urgency we went through back in the day. On the ground, the way the state security apparatus is being used by this regime makes a mockery of what an emergency is and is further driving perception of the state security apparatus as minions of a tinpot dictatorship.

As someone who, as a young officer, was part of the state security apparatus and who was active during the real emergency, the way how this regime has abused this vital tool needed in national security issues points to the political and moral bankruptcy of this Malay uber alles government. And it is a dangerous tool because, unless controlled, will bring forth extremely dangerous consequences.

I was dismissive of the hand wringing when this emergency was first declared. The fact is that folks like to talk about democratic institutions and ideas, but they really have no political will to reform those institutions or stand up for those ideals. Hence the emergency, but more importantly the response to it, was always farcical to begin with.

The fact that the prime minister and his loyalists were trying to spin this as not an emergency but something more palatable, indicates that they were afraid of the consequences of “genuine” emergency and that they want the trappings of an emergency – the subordination of political and judicial oversight – in the hopes of maintaining power.

The fact that for decades these institutions were eroded and the opposition relied on their base that was not really interested in reform but engaging in personality politics is merely the chickens coming home to roost. The fact that the royal institution had to step in and attempt some sort of fig leaf strategy to reconvene Parliament is further indication that the charade of an emergency was for political benefit and not national security-related. The fact that since the emergency, Harapan has been doing the same thing that it does when Parliament is in session - nada - is indicative of how normal, not having institutions of democracy is in this country.

It just goes to show you how fragile democracy is, especially in this region, especially during a pandemic. With the pandemic in full bloom and aided by the incompetence of this regime, people really have no use for politicians who go on about democracy and Parliament. In fact, people are most often angry not that Parliament is closed down but by the discrepancy of treatment between the political elites and them.

While people are scrambling to make a ringgit because of loss of permanent income, the political elites are battling for power without oversight and consequences, which is what Parliament nominally does. But let us face facts, it has never really brought the reform that politicians tell us it brings.

So yes, the white flag campaign is not an indication of a failing state but the suspension of Parliament, the unequal application of the law, the ridiculous use of emergency powers for issues that could be handled by the existing legislation, the state security apparatus closing down food banks because of long queues, is indicative that this is a big step towards failed nation status.

A dangerous sense of normalcy seems to have set in. The opposition never really advanced any radical or reform-minded ideas which would change the political, social or economic landscape, which is why for most people Parliament is not such a big deal. Hence there are no real competing democratic ideas which would make it easier for folks to define what separates one theocratic ethnocentric power structure from the other.

Folks are more interested in how the government can help them – any government – than politicians arguing about debating the emergency ordinance. This is the danger of the emergency the government has declared. It further narcotises or radicalises people who think that the system has failed and I am not talking about minority communities in this instance.

The fact that there is essentially no Parliament, and things are going down the crapper, seem so normal. And really, things were already going down the crapper when there was a Parliament. If this is not the road to failed statehood, I do not know what is. It’s a journey, this road to failed statehood, and with each step, Malaysia gets closer to its final destination.

After all, when you narcotise people for decades with race and religion or when you continuously let them down after promising reform, does anyone really care if we are on the road to failed nation status?

Normalcy only lasts for so long.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:49 AM   0 comments
Arch-Terrorist Ahmed Jibril Dies; Mahmoud Abbas Offers His Condolences By Hugh Fitzgerald


Jihad Watch : Ahmad Jibril, the leader of a major Palestinian terrorist group, died in a Damascus hospital on Wednesday night, Lebanese media has reported. The story of his life as a terrorist is here: “Ahmad Jibril, head of Syria-based Palestinian terror group PFLP-GC, dead at 83,” by Aaron Boxerman, Times of Israel, July 7, 2021:

Jibril, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — General Command, was 83. The PFLP-GC is classified by the United States, Israel and the European Union as a terror group; attacks by Jibril’s group led to the deaths of dozens of Israelis over the years.

“Among the group’s attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians were 1970’s bombing of Swissair Flight 330 that killed 47 people; a 1970 attack on an Israeli school bus that killed 12, most of them children; 1974’s Kiryat Shmona massacre of 16 people; and 1987’s ‘Night of the Gliders,’ in which members of the group flew into an Israeli base and killed six soldiers.

Children were a favored target of Jibril’s PFLP-GC. The group’s terrorists hijacked a school bus in 1970 and murdered the children inside; in the attack on Kiryat Shmona, more than half of those killed were children. Jibril didn’t care; the Zionists had it coming.

The group has not successfully conducted terror attacks against Israelis for some time, and it is not currently considered a serious threat. It has been blamed for sporadic rocket attacks on Israel from Lebanon, though none that caused serious damage.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas paid his condolences to Jibril’s replacement as PFLP-GC leader, Talal Naji, the official PA WAFA news agency reported.

“His Eminence, in a telephone call, also provided his condolences to Badr Jibril, the son of the deceased, praying to God Almighty, to cover him with his vast mercy, that [Jibril] dwell in his vast gardens, and grant his family and relatives patience and solace,” Abbas’s office said in a statement carried by WAFA.

Senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein al-Sheikh mourned Jibril’s passing on Twitter.

“Our deepest condolences to our comrades in the General Command and to the Palestinian people on the death of the Palestinian leader Ahmed Jibril,” al-Sheikh wrote….

The terror leader was best known by Israelis and Palestinians alike for his role in setting up the so-called “Jibril Deal,” one of the largest prisoner exchanges in the history of the conflict.

Under the terms of the 1985 agreement, some 1,150 Palestinian security prisoners were released in exchange for three Israeli soldiers — Yosef Grof, Nissim Salem, and Hezi Shai — held by the PFLP-GC. Some were notorious terrorists such as Kozo Okamoto, a Japanese radical who had taken part in the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre, which claimed the lives of 26 victims.

Other prisoners released under the terms of the deal would significantly shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian arena. Jibril Rajoub, a young Fatah activist, later became the movement’s secretary-general, a position he holds to this today. Sheikh Ahmad Yassin would go on to become the spiritual leader of the Hamas terror group. And Abdullah Nimr Darwish, then a young radical who had experienced a change of heart in prison, founded the moderate Southern Islamic Movement and the Islamist Ra’am party.

In recent years, Jibril was a staunch supporter of Iran’s ally Syrian President Bashar Assad, and PFLP-GC members reportedly fought alongside the Syrian regime during the country’s ongoing civil war.

Jibril was a moral monster, with the blood of many innocents, and not only Israelis, on his hands. He was proud of his handiwork. He threw in his lot long ago with another very like himself, Bashar al-Assad, who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, many of them civilians. But for Mahmoud Abbas, Jibril was a figure whose death was to be lamented. He expressed his condolences both to Jibril’s son Badr and to his successor as head of the PFLP-GC, Talal Naji, as the official PA WAFA news agency reported:

His Eminence, in a telephone call, also provided his condolences to Badr Jibril, the son of the deceased, praying to God Almighty, to cover him with his vast mercy, that [Jibril] dwell in his vast gardens, and grant his family and relatives patience and solace.”

That’s quite a wish for a mass murderer: the vast mercy of Allah to cover him, the vast heavenly gardens in which he, Ahmed Jibril, may dwell — that’s what Mahmoud Abbas prays for.

By their condolences shall ye judge them. Mahmoud Abbas, in this as in so many other moral trials, has been weighed and found wanting.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:36 AM   0 comments
From Cradle to Grave, Spoon Fed and on Crutches - 50 years after NEP, a wealth and ethnic divide by Alyaa Alhadjri & B Nantha Kumar
Tuesday, July 13, 2021


Malaysiakini : SPECIAL REPORT | When former air force technician Safwan Saleh started a side project of re-selling custom watches, he did not envision he would soon start his own clothing brand, Petak, in 2016.

The brand, featuring Safwan’s exclusive designs, started off only with an online presence, but soon he was generating enough business to open a brick and mortar store in Cyberjaya.

As the business grew, the entrepreneur had planned to open three more outlets by the end of 2020. And then Covid-19 hit, and expansion plans turned into a game of survival.

To keep his business afloat, the 34-year-old said he attempted to apply for a loan from Tekun Nasional, an agency created in 1998 under the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry for bumiputera businesses.

The facility offered a maximum of RM50,000 loan but “red tape” and offers to use a “cable” to guarantee a loan of RM20,000 soured the experience.

“This was in March this year... I was given a contact number by my company secretary who said, ‘just give it a shot’.

“There was too much bureaucracy. I did not follow up with the next steps because they told me I am only eligible to get RM20,000 (from RM50,000),” he said.

Safwan is one of many bumiputera entrepreneurs who, a generation after the New Economic Policy, are wondering if the help promised through affirmative action policies would reach them.

Tabled in Parliament 50 years ago as part of the Second Malaysia Plan on July 12, 1971, the NEP was promoted as a 20-year strategy to reduce overall poverty rates and restructure societal imbalances attributed as a trigger that sparked the 1969 race riots.

Although it formally ended in 1990, it laid the foundation for race-based affirmative action which continues in national policy to this day.

Reduction in poverty, a growing Malay middle class

Looking back 50 years, one of the measures many supporters of the NEP have used to show its success was the decline in national poverty rates, particularly among the bumiputera.

In 1970, about half of the national population lived in poverty. Among the three major ethnic groups, the bumiputera - made up of Malays and the indigenous population - were the most poor, with 65 percent of the segment living in poverty.

In 1990, at the end of the NEP, only 15 percent of the population were impoverished while just a fifth of the bumiputera lived in poverty.

The Malay middle class also expanded in the same period, making up 12.7 percent of the middle class in 1971, and 27 percent in 1990.

But for entrepreneurs like Safwan, today it feels like he is part of a “forgotten (bumiputera) middle class”, with wealth disparity within the bumiputera community seemingly expanding.

“We hear of the government announcing large amounts of funds (to assist bumiputera entrepreneurs) but when we try to apply, it is a different story,” he said.

While the NEP was first envisaged as a means to ensure that “within one generation”, to be “full partners in the economic life of the nation”, the target eventually set down on paper was that of corporate equity - something far from the sights of small bumiputera entrepreneurs.

When the full-fledged NEP was presented in the Third Malaysia Plan in 1976, the target set was for 30 percent bumiputera equity, alongside 40 percent in non-bumiputera hands and 30 percent foreign.

The 30 percent target was lofty, with bumiputera corporate equity at only two percent in 1970. Experts believe the target has not been achieved to date.

In fact, Ideas-Yusof Ishak Institute Malaysia Studies programme director Lee Hwok Aun said the figure peaked at 23.4 percent in 2011, but it reduced to only 16.2 percent in 2015 - and this includes equity held in the hands of individual bumiputera and trust agencies. (See chart below)

Bumiputera states are still poor

One researcher who has diligently studied the NEP and its predecessors, and its impact, is Universiti Malaya political economy professor Edmund Terence Gomez.

He said over the years, instead of bridging the gap, the NEP has created “spatial inequalities” with higher poverty recorded in Malay-bumiputera dominant states.

“If you look at the poorest states in this country, they are Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Sabah. These are all bumiputera-dominated states.

“If the NEP is still around now, it would have been 50 years of NEP or NEP-like policies targeting the bumiputera. So why are the poorest states still bumiputera-dominated states?” Gomez questioned.

The economy is also very much concentrated within the central territories of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, which contributed to 40 percent of the annual GDP in 2018, while bumiputera-majority states like Kedah, Kelantan, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak were far behind, Department of Statistics data shows.

Gomez attributed the numbers to unequal access, where allocations intended for the poor were “hijacked” by others in more privileged positions, in what he terms “crony capitalism”.

“People who needed help didn’t get it and that’s why now we have this problem of disparity that we talked about,” he said.

The impact of corruption on the bumiputera agenda was raised in Putrajaya’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, a policy document that set out the national agenda just like the NEP.

In it, the government noted the disproportionate contribution of bumiputera small to medium enterprises (SMEs) when contrasted with the amount of contracts awarded to this group in 20 years up to 2015.

Government data recorded RM1.1 trillion procurement for development, supplies and services under the 7th Malaysia Plan to 10th Malaysia Plan, with over 50 percent allocated to bumiputera companies.

And yet, in 2015, bumiputera SMEs contributed less than nine percent of the annual GDP.

While crediting the success of affirmative action in education, Gomez said the same could not be said for bumiputera participation in business, citing only one or two prominent names among Malaysia’s Top 50 companies.

Unity still wanting, divide now also intra-ethnic

He said the NEP also seemed to have missed the mark on its other main goal - to foster national unity.

A perpetuation of race-based policies beyond the NEP has, however, led to ongoing debates on rights and identities, according to Gomez.

“There is a sense of marginalisation among some segments of society,” he said, adding that this has driven an estimated three million Malaysians to live overseas, many of whom are professionals.

“Some of those who have left, interestingly enough, are people with wealth, education and they moved abroad,” he said.

He said the feeling of marginalisation is not just inter-ethnic between the bumiputera and non-bumiputera, but also within the bumiputera community.

“Among the bumiputera, it is because they lack access to rights meant for them but were hijacked. Class disparities have then emerged within the bumiputera community,” he said.

This then also led to distrust and strained inter-ethnic ties, he said.

The abuse of NEP, he said, has contributed to the decline of public institutions including schools, universities and government agencies, leaving the poor - unable to afford private alternatives - with a lesser choice.

Rebuilding inter-ethnic trust by moving to a needs-based policy

Fifty years after the NEP was introduced, there is still very much a lack of an “evidence-based” approach in measuring the impact of policy, including race-based affirmative action, UM’s International Institute of Public Policy & Management (Inpuma) executive director Shakila Parween Yacob said.

It has made it difficult to dismantle race-based policies, and foster trust among the different ethnic groups, she said.

She said decades of abuse of affirmative action within the bumiputera community had led to severe strain on inter-ethnic ties, especially when fuelled by political interests.

This seemed to diverge from the inclusive vision of Malaysia espoused by Malaysia’s founding fathers, which had led to the NEP’s initial success, she said.

“I believe we must not come up with blanket race-based policies anymore. It has to be evidence-based.

“If someone asks, ‘Why do we need to help the Malays?’ then we can say, ‘Here, these are the data. This is what is happening in Kuala Terengganu’. So that builds trust among ethnic groups,” Shakila said.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, she noted how existing wealth gaps have grown larger, with lower-middle-class families suffering a loss of income and pushed into the lower B40 category.

“This reverses the success we see happening through the NEP, especially among Malay communities,” Shakila added.

Moving away from a race-based policy to a needs-based policy would also address the criticism that the NEP and its legacy had further marginalised non-bumiputera communities in need.

Having spent decades working with the marginalised communities of different ethnicities, Parti Sosialis Malaysia deputy chairperson S Arutchelvan believes Malaysia needs to shift to needs-based affirmative action regardless of ethnicity.

He said the introduction of the NEP in 1971 to restructure the unequal society left by the British colonial government was the correct system at the time.

In fact, Arutchelvan argued, the controversial education quota system which many non-bumiputera feel unfairly penalises them and made it harder for them to enter university, had helped many underprivileged Indian students, too.

“If it was strictly merit-based, most of the top seats would go to the Chinese ethnic group (who were more economically privileged at the time), and most Malays and Indians would have suffered,” he said.

Now, decades after Independence, he said, moving away from ethnic-based policies would ensure everyone who needs help has a higher chance of getting the assistance needed.

“This would ensure assistance for a majority of Malay-bumiputera while the Indians, Chinese and other ethnic groups will get a fair share of the cake without feeling alienated,” Arutchelvan said.

But doing so will require major political will, which may be in short supply in a society where identity politics remain centre stage, and ethnic-based political parties the main actors.

Quotas still important, but the objectives must be clear

One objective of the NEP was to eliminate the identification of sectors and industry with a particular ethnicity. In other words, Malays are not just destined to be fishermen and farmers, they could be anyone they want to be.

It was to this end that racial quotas were set in various sectors including education and business.

How might similar quotas be used today to eliminate similar identifications of certain ethnicities with certain occupations, or to ensure diverse representation in other sectors?

Economist Muhammed Abdul Khalid believes it would be “hypocritical” to object against racial quotas to advance bumiputera participation in certain areas - like a quota for bumiputera women in the workforce.

Conversely, the same argument can be put forth for quotas to ensure non-bumiputera participation in other areas, like the civil service which is now dominated by the bumiputera, Muhammed was quoted as saying by local magazine Svara.

In 2016, while at think tank Khazanah Research Institute, he co-authored a study on socio-economic mobility and found that 73 percent of bumiputera respondents born to parents in the bottom household income quintile, said they were better off than their parents.

This may indicate that pro-bumiputera affirmative action has contributed in some way to assist the worst off in the community, and it was not entirely captured by the elite class.

However, the same study found that a lower proportion of Indians in the same category reported to be better off than their parents. 

Muhammed said among improvements that could be made to ensure equitable outcomes for all is to make scholarships available to underprivileged Malaysians regardless of race and to bar bumiputera-only scholarships for the wealthier among them.

He also proposes stricter measures to ensure government contracts are not awarded to “Ali Baba” companies owned by a rentier class of bumiputera, whose contribution was just to lend their name to a non-bumiputera company to bid for jobs.

Within Putrajaya’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 is a 10-year roadmap with a familiar goal - to restructure the economy and ensure equitable distribution of wealth.

It also targets that bumiputera SMEs, like Safwan’s company, will contribute to 20 percent of the annual GDP by 2030. Like the equity targets set by the NEP in the early 1970s, this is an ambitious target, from just nine percent in 2015.

For bumiputera entrepreneurs like Safwan and small businesses like Petak, however, 2030 may be too far ahead to see.

His goal today is the same as other SMEs, bumiputera or otherwise: he just hopes to survive the pandemic in one piece.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 6:37 PM   0 comments
After 20 Years In Afghanistan, It’s Goodbye To All That By Hugh Fitzgerald

Wounded US Troops

Jihad Watch : President Biden has done something good: he’s pulling the American forces out of Afghanistan. After 20 years of war, with 2,500 Americans dead and 25,000 wounded, and the U.S. having spent more than a trillion dollars on this fiasco, all American forces will be out of Afghanistan by August 31. A report on the withdrawal’s effect on Afghanistan’s neighbors is here: “Taliban resurgence raises terrorism fears from Moscow to Beijing,” by Eltaf Najafizada, Faseeh Mangi and Sudhi Ranjan Sen, Bloomberg, July 9, 2021:

The Taliban’s lightning-fast advance to control more territory in Afghanistan is raising alarms from Russia to China, as U.S. President Joe Biden’s move to withdraw troops disrupts a balance of power in South Asia that has held steady for about two decades.

At least 1,000 Afghan troops this week retreated into Tajikistan, prompting the country to mobilize an extra 20,000 soldiers to guard its frontier. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s sought out assurances from the Taliban that it will respect the borders of Central Asian states that once were part of the Soviet Union, while neighboring Pakistan has said it won’t open its borders to refugees.

Putin has been hosting Taliban representatives in Moscow, who have assured the Russians that the Taliban will not, once it has taken over Afghanistan, attempt to expand its reach into the five Islamic “stans” — Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan — where fellow Muslims might be inspired by the Taliban’s example to overthrow the Moscow-allied “secular” Muslims who rule those countries. Of course, such assurances mean little; right now the Taliban still needs to keep Russia satisfied; it may be another story when Afghanistan has completely succumbed to the terror group. And Putin, and the Central Asian leaders, know that very well.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who warned last week that the most pressing task in Afghanistan was “to maintain stability and prevent war and chaos,” plans to travel to Central Asia next week for talks on the country. Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the ministry, on Friday called the U.S. withdrawal “hasty” and said Washington must honor its commitments to “prevent Afghanistan becoming once again a haven for terrorism.”

The U.S. has rushed to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and left the Afghan people in a mess, which further exposes the hypocrisy behind the pretext of defending democracy and human rights,” Wang Wenbin said at a briefing in Beijing.

Of course the Communist Chinese want the Americans to stay to hold down the Afghan fort, losing more men, materiel, and money, while keeping the Taliban down, and away from China – that is, with Xinjiang, where the terror group’s success might encourage pan-Islamic sentiments, that could possibly spill over into violence, among the persecuted Uighurs.

The Taliban will not allow “anyone or any group to use Afghan soil against China or any other countries,” Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, a senior official at the group’s political office in Doha, Qatar, said in a WhatsApp message Friday. “This is our commitment.”

Cum grano salis. Or perhaps Mohammad Suhail Shaheen’s remark deserves a whole salt mine. We’ll see just how little such “commitments” from the Taliban mean.

Biden on Thursday had insisted the U.S. military had achieved its goals in Afghanistan and would leave by Aug. 31, just shy of its 20-year anniversary after the deaths of 2,448 U.S. service members and about $1 trillion in spending. Yet the battle will go on for the people in Afghanistan and surrounding countries, threatening in particular the $60 billion in projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) right next door.

The chaos in Afghanistan could spill over into other countries and lead to regional turbulence,” said Fan Hongda, professor at the Middle East Studies Institute of the Shanghai International Studies University. “China does not want to take over the U.S. role, but hopes to facilitate regional peace and stability because it has interests in the region.”

China’s massive Belt-And-Road Initiative is the name given to a vast collection of development projects being, or planned to be, built by the Chinese, as well as to the investments by China in infrastructure built by locals; it is intended to stretch from East Asia to Europe, significantly expanding China’s economic and political influence. China does not want the headache – and the danger – of dealing with a Taliban state that would likely seal off Afghanistan from the Belt-And-Road Initiative of the Uighur-tormenting Chinese.

If the Taliban takes control of the country, as seems likely if no other outside power replaces the Americans, Chinese plans will need rethinking. China does not want a Muslim caliphate, not on its own border (a small stretch of Afghanistan, at Vakhan, borders China), nor does it want Muslim countries in the region — Pakistan and Iran, and the five “stans” of Central Asia — to be unsettled by a Taliban-run state on their borders. Beijing will now have to consider whether to replace the Americans in helping the Afghan army, and the local militias, to keep the Taliban at bay.

The Taliban have dramatically expanded their hold on Afghan territory in recent months, leaving the U.S.-backed government in control of little more than 20% of the country, according to data compiled by the Long War Journal. The insurgent group now holds 204 of 407 districts, up from 73 at the beginning of May, while the Afghan government only controls 74 currently. The rest are contested.

The latest news, as of July 10, is that 85% of the country is now in the hands of the Taliban. And each day brings fresh news of an onslaught on another province, and a takeover by the terror group, while Afghan Army soldiers are filmed, defeated or simply defeatist, meekly handing over their weapons to the bearded fanatics who want to turn the Afghan clock back to the 7th century.

While Russia worries about what a Taliban victory might mean for the five Central Asian “stans,” and China worries about the Taliban’s possible disruption of its Belt-and-Road plans, its effect on neighboring Muslim states, and its appeal to the Uighurs inside China, Iran has another worry. Shi’a Iran has been hosting talks between the Taliban and Afghan government officials, and has been pleased that the Americans, in its view, have been driven out of the neighborhood. But underneath the feigned unconcern about the Taliban’s takeover, the Iranians know that the Taliban consists of arch-Sunnis who regard Shi’as Infidels.

And in 2001, it was only the arrival of the Americans that rescued the Shi’a Hazara from continuing to be slaughtered by the Taliban, as had been going on since the 1990s. It is not only the Taliban who have been killing Hazaras – so did the Afghan government – but the Taliban brought the murderousness to a whole new level, as in the mass slaughter of Hazaras in Mazar-i-Sharif in August 1998. Here is what the Talib Mullah Niazi, the commander in that city, who became the new governor of Mazar, declared from several mosques in the city in separate speeches:

Hazaras are not Muslim, they are Shia. They are kofr [infidels]. The Hazaras killed our force here, and now we have to kill Hazaras. (...)

If you do not show your loyalty, we will burn your houses, and we will kill you. You either accept to be Muslims [Sunnis]or leave Afghanistan. (…)

[W]herever you [Hazaras] go we will catch you. If you go up, we will pull you down by your feet; if you hide below, we will pull you up by your hair. (…)

If anyone is hiding Hazaras in his house he too will be taken away. What [Hizb-i] Wahdat and the Hazaras did to the Talibs, we did worse…as many as they killed, we killed more.

What if, after the Taliban takes over the country, it renews its assault on the Hazara, whom the group proclaims are “not Muslim, they are Shia”? Will Shi’a Iran simply watch as its co-religionists are slaughtered? Or will the Iranians be compelled to move their own forces into Afghanistan to protect their fellow Shi’a?

The Americans are on their way out, about 18 years later than they should have left Afghanistan. Good news. Even better news: if the American withdrawal leads to a Taliban takeover, that will be a problem, not for us, but for the three countries that happen to be America’s most dangerous enemies – Russia, China, and Iran.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 5:12 PM   0 comments
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