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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."

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How low profile will DAP go? By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, July 15, 2024

Malaysiakini : Absurd statement

Kok implied that it was Umno who gave the stand-down orders whingeing - “What could we do? We could not enter the villages; we were chased out. They didn’t want our presence to be too obvious and we adhered (to the request). This was a sign of respect to our partners,” in the context of the criticism by an Umno veteran.

DAP vice-chairperson Teresa Kok

Does anyone else see the absurdity in this statement? Firstly, you are a coalition partner in a federal government. If you are chased out of villages, what are the federal police and election apparatus doing about such electoral intimidation?

Secondly, how much influence does Umno have when it comes to a PKR by-election, which enables them to give orders to the DAP, with PKR saying nothing?

Kok went on with the same talking points about how the DAP is a multicultural party and the propaganda that is used against them has hampered their forays into the rural Malay heartland.

Look, the DAP has had decades to cultivate a rural base but the reality is that they concentrated on getting the urban and semi-urban non-Malay, specifically Chinese votes.

DAP was more than happy to leave the Malay vote to various Malay-centric parties, which is why they now have to deal with Madani’s “don’t spook the Malay mantra”, and who can forget that the justification for hooking up with Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

As DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang reminded us, the basis for hooking up with Mahathir was the rural Malay vote and of course, Bersatu was different from the Malay-based Umno.

And then there is the dilemma with Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh, which is meant as a distraction. Kok said - “However when we get into loggerheads with Umno and Umno Youth like before, the Malays see us as being rude and racist.”

Familiar malarkey

First of all, the Malays have moved on from Umno and the only people who seem interested in what they have to say are the denizens of Madaniville.

DAP chairperson Lim Guan Eng has no problem talking about the scurrilous attacks by MCA on the police and the home minister but as usual, DAP likes taking on soft targets.

DAP chairperson Lim Guan Eng

But then again we have seen all this malarkey before. Remember in that not-so-great debate between Guan Eng and then-MCA president Choi Soi Lek, where the former said - “It is discrimination when Umno tells the Malays they cannot progress without Umno. (I say) We can all progress together.”

Well, is anyone in DAP telling this to UMNO now or is DAP still beating a dead horse with MCA? Wait, don’t answer that. Apparently DAP still thinks it is better not to confront someone like Akmal because the Malays will think it is rude even though a majority of them have shifted their allegiance to Perikatan Nasional/PAS.

So it is better for these Malays to think of DAP as whipping boys rather than a political party that opposes a theocratic state because God knows, nobody wants to spook the Malays.

Years of demonising MCA as a “running dog” for the establishment should have been a lesson for DAP, but now they are slowly learning the cost of doing business with Malay power structures on a federal level.

Not rocking the boat

When some non-Malay Pakatan Harapan partisans tell people who demand reform not to rock the Harapan boat - much like how Lim told non-Malays that they do not need to “beg” - it is exactly the same position MCA was when it was balancing expectations in the BN coalition.

DAP never gave MCA the benefit of this excuse, and neither should anyone who believes in any kind of institutional reform.

These days, the people are left wondering if DAP will cave when it comes to important policy issues because, with the creation of this coalition government, all they seem interested in doing is justifying the policies of the government, even if it goes against their campaign manifesto or more damning, their so-called principles.

We are always told that if not this then we have to accept the “Green Wave”. I say why make the “Green Wave’s” job easier? Why lay the foundation in terms of policy and governmental procedure (or lack of it) for the “Green Wave”?

The question is, if DAP is being asked to keep a low profile in certain elections to not spook the Malays, what else are they asked to keep a low profile on? Exactly how does keeping a low profile help the DAP base?

I know it may help the political elites, their proxies and hangers-on but how exactly does it help the non-Malays who make up the DAP base?

All this should not surprise us. Remember what DAP big cheese Anthony Loke said - “So I wish to put on record, as I said just now, on November 22, before Anwar Ibrahim went to Istana Negara, I told him, as long as you can be prime minister, DAP is willing to sacrifice anything, that is my commitment to Anwar.”

DAP ably demonstrates this commitment.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:38 AM   0 comments
Where did it all go wrong for Madani? By Mariam Mokhtar
Saturday, July 13, 2024

Malaysiakini : Malays unimpressed, non-Malays disappointed

If past election results are anything to go by, Anwar has yet to make any headway with the Malays.

Ever since he came to power in November 2022, he has tried to woo the Malays with many concessions.

Incredibly, he shares the unshakeable belief that the non-Malays are dependent on him and will never betray him because they say, “Who else is there besides Anwar?”

Anwar has bent over backwards to appease the Malays but they still reject him. At the same time, the non-Malays have also continued to bend over backwards to “support” Anwar, and yet, he continues to disappoint them.

This is political sado-masochism at work. Sadly, the victim in this power frenzy is the rakyat.

Decades-long rivalry

Those who know the history of Umno and PAS will realise that these three men, Mahathir, Anwar, and Hadi, go a long way.

In the late 1970s, PAS’ domination was on the rise, especially in Mahathir’s home state of Kedah.

Divisional Umno heads warned Mahathir about PAS’ rising threat and urged him to act.

As Umno deputy chief and deputy prime minister, Mahathir feared that Umno would lose Malay votes to PAS, which was buoyed by the global Islamic revival spearheaded by the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the overthrow of the Iranian monarchy.

Meanwhile, PAS had also accused Umno of not being Islamic enough.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang

Mahathir was displeased with the distraction as he was a man in a hurry to develop and modernise Malaysia. On top of the Islamic agenda, Mahathir had another local issue.

Student protests to highlight the plight of poor farmers and their starving families were an annoying distraction. Mahathir needed to focus on his vision.

Thus, he killed two birds with one stone by inviting the charismatic student leader and co-founder of the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (ABIM), Anwar, to join his government.

As a member of the establishment, Anwar could no longer lead the student demonstrations, and with his Islamic credentials, he was a valuable asset to Umno.

Anwar would convince the shallow electorate that Umno was indeed as Islamic as PAS.

He rolled out policies like the dress code for students and civil servants, the Bahasa Melayu/Bahasa Bako and the sidelining of non-Malays in the civil service. Many Malays were duped and the rest is history.

Complacency instead of Reformasi

The failed bromance of Anwar and Mahathir in the late 1990s and Anwar’s criticism of Mahathir’s response to the Asian Financial Crisis was followed by his sacking and subsequent arrest at the height of the Reformasi movement.

However, Reformasi had given ordinary Malaysians much hope for a new type of governance after the dark years of the Mahathir era. Malaysians liked Anwar’s bold moves for reform and anti-corruption. They vowed to end Umno-Baru rule.

After GE15 and the hastily cobbled coalition government, Malaysians soon became jaded. The promised reforms remain unfulfilled.

Of course, Malaysians are prepared to give Anwar a chance. It is not as if he did not have enough preparation time. Didn’t he have a 24-year apprenticeship?

However, ever since becoming prime minister, there has been poor communication between the top and the grassroots.

With the defeat at Sungai Bakap, Anwar’s ministers and his daughter Nurul Izzah have come out with weasel words like “self-reflection”, “we will listen more”, “bahlol”, and “trust us”.

Haven’t Malaysians been speaking out about Madani’s failure to listen to the rakyat all this while? Did it need Sungai Bakap to tell them “We told you so?”

A complacent Anwar probably thought he could depend on non-Malay votes to win. He was wrong because in Sungai Bakap, they wanted to punish him and so they stayed at home.

Perikatan Nasional’s Abidin Ismail (centre) celebrates his win in the Sungai Bakap by-election

A complacent Anwar probably thought he could cultivate the Malay vote with various concessions towards them but this strategy failed and, to make matters worse, he alienated the non-Malays, his core support base.

A complacent Anwar may claim that the country has benefited from increased foreign investments but how does this translate to the ordinary man in the rural and semi-rural areas, whose lives are shattered by the cost of living crisis?

Disillusionment sets in

Increasing numbers of middle-class families are also struggling with price increases in food, fuel and energy, the deteriorating education of their children, increasing polarisation in the community and the rise in religious extremism.

They are dissatisfied with the Madani administration.

One disillusioned PKR supporter said, “Anwar spends more time on Hamas and he willingly gave them RM100 million. Back home, his own people are suffering.

“Then, on his return, he’s preoccupied with enabling house arrest for the convicted felon, Najib Abdul Razak. He has no time for the rakyat.”

So, will Anwar listen? Probably not.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 5:36 PM   0 comments
The March to Tanah Melayu Yin, Letters from Ward 5, T.R.

Murray Hunter : Then came Mahathir’s Ketuanan Melayu. ‘Political Islam’ followed.

Now we don’t even sit in the same kopitiam much less at the same table anymore – the Malays and the Lain Lain. When we talk, it is superficial small talk – never about the elephant in the room, never what is in our heart. We pretend that all is well; that ‘Malaysia is Truly Asia’. Tourists may buy that tag-line but we know better.

In retrospect, UMNO leaders after Tunku worked against a multi-racial Malaysia as envisioned in 1957. Their dream was Tanah Melayu, a country where Malays are the owners and the others “guests” – here at the pleasure of the host race, with little say in how the country is run. This dream was shared by leaders of other Malay parties even if their strategies differed. Each tried to ‘out-Malay’ and ‘out-Islam’ the other.

The Road to Tanah Melayu

Putting the pieces together one can see a well thought out strategy to achieve Tanah Melayu.

A good farmer  first prepares the soil before he sows his seeds. Likewise a good politician and Mahathir was a politician par excellence. Malays were told how they are deprived of the fruits of ‘their own land’ by the rapacious Chinese and Indian immigrants. Even when offered citizenship in return for recognising the ‘special position’ of the Malays – a sort of ‘social contract’ – they broke the agreement.  Malays were warned ‘they would disappear like the Red Indians of America’. The idea that the Chinese and Indians were untrustworthy was planted in the Malay psyche.  The ground ready, the seeds of ‘Tanah Melayu’ was sowed.

Political Spins

1.    The most dangerous political spin that has gone largely unchallenged is that the Malays were generous in allowing the Non-Malays citizenship in 1957 in exchange for the Non-Malays accepting the ‘special position’ of the Malays with regard to Article 153 of the Constitution. This became the imaginary ‘Social Contract’ dredged up by Malay politicians whenever there was a dispute concerning their “special position” No documents were presented to support this claim because none exists.

This ‘special position’ refers to the socio-economic situation of the Malays vis a vis the Non-Malays in 1957. The ‘special privileges’ refers to the affirmative action policies formulated to lift their socio-economic level to that of the Chinese and Indians. It is not ‘special privileges’ in the sense of “racial entitlement”, that just because one is a Malay one is entitled to these ‘special privileges’ in perpetuity. If that were the case a time limitation clause of 15 years would not have been written into Article 153. Imagine the Chinese and Indian leaders condemning future generations of Chinese and Indians to second class citizenship. This affirmative action ‘special privileges’ was later extended to “when Malays have 30% of the GDP” – a target set by the government.

This target was reached by 2015 according to Dr Lim Teck Ghee which the government denied but would not reveal government data or its methodology when challenged. It would seem that the government intend Malay privileges to continue in perpetuity.

The socio-economic environment and demography of the country at that time:

At independence the “Malays were mainly rice growers and planters of coconuts and other agricultural produce. They also served in the army, police and civil service.

The Chinese were the mainstay of the tin mines, were market-gardeners, artisans, shopkeepers, contractors, clerks and financiers.

The Indians – beyond the rubber plantation; Indians were recruited for public works and railway. They were in the hospitals, police and the bureaucracy.”

The British were the colonial rulers. They also hold the major share of the economy – the big plantations and tin mines were British owned. The major trading houses and agencies were British.

The demography of Malaya in 1957 was:

 Malays – 3,125.500    Chinese – 2,333.800   Indians – 696.200   Others -123.300

(Total Malays – 3125.5   Total Non-Malays – 3153.3).

 At the time of independence Malays were in the minority (relative to the rest) even including large numbers of immigrants from Sumatra and Java especially during the first four decades of the 20th Century who were classified as Malays. In other words, the number of local Malays was even less than as stated  above. 

Can you imagine the British not granting citizenship to those Non-Malays who want it (whether the Malays liked it or not) when the economy depended on the[I1] m. Britain was just coming out of WW2 and colonies like Malaya were vital to the economy of Britain which still had a huge economic stake in Malaya even after 1957. Britain could not risk its cash cow when money was needed to rebuild a war-ravaged country.

 The British are realists. Without the Chinese and Indians the new nation of Malaya would not have been viable.

If the Chinese and Indians (who arrived in large numbers about the same time as the Javanese and Sumatrans in the early 1900s) were granted citizenship, so were the Sumatrans, Javanese and others who were not local born. So why the fuss about the Chinese and Indians getting citizenship?

 On a more practical level how could the new country function without the Chinese and Indians? Malays were averse to the back-breaking work and risks which the Chinese and Indians were prepared to undertake. That is why the British brought in the Chinese and Indians, to work the mines and rubber estates. They also constructed roads and railways and other infrastructure. They ran small businesses to service the community. There would not have been independence if this matter was not resolved because Malaya would not have been functional as an economy.

The Chinese and Indians are not here because of the generosity of the Malays; they are here because they served an economic purpose. They have paid for their citizenship with their blood, sweat and tears. There is no argument that the towns and infrastructure were built by them. They have given their lives fighting for the country, they have sweated to make the country prosperous. They owe no one anything; they have paid their way many times over . . . and are still doing! Even today, the minority Malaysians are carrying the majority according to Mahathir.

Hence acceptance of the ‘special position’ of the Malays by the Non-Malays is not in exchange for citizenship. Unfortunately, that like Goebel’s lies, told over years this narrative has taken on the guise of truth.

On the other hand, acceptance of the Malay ‘special position’ as per Article 153  which conceded to Malays certain ‘special privileges’ (time-limited) by the Chinese and Indians was necessary and pragmatic because without it the country would not work. It is impossible for half the population to be economically disadvantaged and not expect discontent. The Malays must be lifted up to the socio-economic level of the others. Article 153 is an ‘affirmative action’ legislation which the Non-Malays accepted. It is not a legislation for ‘Malay exclusivity’ which demanded privileges in perpetuity.

2.    Indigeneity

Indigeneity as a basis for Malay claim to “special privileges” is a false claim. Fact is Malays are not indigenous to Malaya. They were early settlers on the land for sure. While ethnic Malays came from Rhiau and Deli in Sumatera others came from Java and other islands in the archipelago. What is the difference? except the Chinese came from China and the Indians from India.  We are all immigrants albeit some came earlier. The real indigenes are the Sengois, Semais, Jakuns, Negritos and other tribes, that is why they are called Orang Asli. In East Malaysia it would be the Dayaks, Kadazan-Dusuns, Muruts, Bidayuhs etc.

Also at the time of Merdeka many “Malays” are not ethnically Malays but Pakistanis, Indians etc who fit the constitutional definition of ‘Malay’ e.g. Mahathir Mohammed. These ‘celup Malays’ have even less claim to ‘special privileges’.

If the claim of indigeneity is the basis for ‘special privileges’ why are the Orang Asli at the bottom of the socio-economic heap?

It is worth reminding ourself that the international convention of citizenship does not allow for “special position” because of indigeneity. Once acquired, citizenship confers the same rights and responsibilities on all citizens. There are no different classes of citizenship based on colour or creed.

In short, the ‘special position’ of the Malays derives from its weaker economic position – not its claim to indigeneity,

Strategies for Tanah Melayu

Irrespective of the above, the purveyors of the dream persisted.

1.    From schools to mosques and government institutions the narrative for Tanah Melayu was spun. A ‘rewritten’ history skewed to emphasise the Malay position was taught in schools. The Biro Tata Negara diminished the contributions of the Non-Malays to nation building while exaggerating that of Malays. Mosques warned that Christians were out to convert Muslims. Every measure was taken to remove Christian symbols and practices, many Arabic words and phrases were forbidden to Non-Malays. All this in order not to confuse the Malays.

2.    Perhaps if everyone ‘masuk Melayu’ the issue of race (and religion) would be resolved. To this end the government introduced ‘the Malaysian Culture Policy 1971’ where only Malay, Islamic and Indigenous Cultures were recognised as ‘Malaysian’. Indian and Chinese cultures were not allowed in public. Children were not allowed to perform cultural dances of their respective race in school performances.

 The multi-racial, multi-cultural Malaysia as envisaged in 1957 would have vanished with one stroke of the pen except that the Chinese and Indians protested. Every Chinese Guild and Indian Association, Independent Vernacular Schools, Cultural Clubs etc rose in unison. MCA, MIC and Gerakan, subservient junior partners in the BN Government, had no choice but to speak up for their respective communities. DAP which had been calling for a Malaysian Malaysia could not resist the opportunity to score political points.

3.    The rejection of the Malaysian Culture Policy did not blunt the push for Tanah Melayu. If one way failed, try another way. . .  In a master stroke, a Christian majority Sabah became a Muslim majority state overnight by the issuance of blue identity cards to illegal immigrant Muslim Filipinos  in the thousands.         

Sarawak saw what happened and took measures to protect itself from the Malay Islamic invasion.

4.    Article 153 was hijacked by Malay leaders who ignored all provisions to protect the legitimate interests of the Non-Malays as required in the legislation. Chinese businesses were forced to close because their licences were not renewed. In other cases, Chinese businesses were forced to give up a substantial percentage of their shares to Malays. Government owned businesses like MAS were virtually given away and bought back at a loss or bailed out with public funds when they failed.

 A Malay mercantile class was created overnight what took the Chinese generations to build.

5.    “Operasi Penuh Isi” an UMNO plan to fill all government positions with Malays was carried out. Government services were overwhelmingly Malays – way above their percentage of the population. Today the executive branch of government and government owned or linked companies are almost entirely Malay.

With banking, insurance, ports, imports of essentials, rice milling, energy, the automobile industry in the hands of Malays. Malays control a huge percentage if not the majority of the economy. With Malays controlling every lever of government and Malay making up the overwhelming majority of government employees, the Malay Agenda cannot fail.  Is Ismail Sabri’s declaration of a ‘Malay Government’  an announcement of the arrival of ‘Tanah Melayu’?

           Almost but not quite. Anwar Ibrahim still needed DAP and the other multi-racial parties in East Malaysia to keep him in power in the Unity Government against the ambitions of other Malay leaders.    

But Anwar is no less a racial and religious chauvinist. Despite his show of being a tolerant liberal Malay, his true colours emerge in less guarded moments. Jakim the department responsible for the development of Islam has a bigger budget than many ministries which served all sectors. Anwar has remained conspicuously silent in the face of protests by Non-Muslims across the country on the illegal conversion of Non-Malay minors. While he made it clear that under him affirmative action will be needs based yet rich Malays continue to enjoy special privileges while poor Non-Malays do not. He promised to help SMEs irrespective of race yet he did not open APs to Non-Malay companies like he did Malay SMEs.

Anwar is no less a Malay chauvinist than his former mentor Mahathir or any of the other Malay leaders. His Islamic credentials carried over from his ABIM days remain intact.

If the multi-racial Malaya/Malaysia we signed up for is to survive, the current state of affairs cannot remain unchallenged. The challenge has to come from all stakeholders -  Dayaks, Kadazan-Dusuns, Muruts – all Sarawakians and Sabahans - the Aslis, Chinese and Indians of Malaya but especially Malays who believe in and will fight for the Malaysia our fathers agreed on.

Are we witnessing the end of a dream and the beginning of a nightmare?

The Fat Lady has not sung.

Yin  - Ward 5   Tanjong Rambutan

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:59 PM   0 comments
Bumiputraism By Mariam Mokhtar
Thursday, July 11, 2024


If we accept the general perception that Bumiputras refer to the indigenous peoples of Malaysia then it should refer only to the natives of Sabah and Sarawak (Ibans, Kadazans, Muruts, Penans) and the Orang Aslis (Temiars, Smyas, Jakuns and the Proto-Malays) in West Malaysia. Everyone else is an immigrant or ‘pendatang’ (as the Deputy Prime Minister labeled the Chinese and Indians) who came here at different times in our history. 

Some came earlier than others, but they came from somewhere else, all the same. However, UMNO politicians have manipulated it to include the Malays, who were immigrants from Nusantara – Indonesia. I have yet to come across a Proto-Malay or Melayupurba stock person; there are so few of them. Najib has proudly declared that he is Bugis and Khalid said his ancestors came from West Java. 

Malays originally came from Indonesia (actually Malays are a minority ethnic group from Riau and Deli in Sumatera. In Malaysia, “Malay” has been used loosely to encompass all who came over from Indonesia be they Minangs, Achenese, Mandalings).  

Strictly speaking, they are not Bumiputras in the true sense of the word, they are not the original people of the land. To complicate the definition even more, our constitution defines a Malay as anyone who speaks Malay, follow Malay customs, and is a Muslim – it has nothing to do with ethnicity. 

This allowed thousands of Indian Muslims, Pakistanis, and others who fit the definition, to be counted as Malays. Mahathir who is half Malayalee is the most famous of these pseudo-Malays. But we all accept the 1957 Constitution with all its imperfections – no constitution is perfect – and so the definition of Malay. But that is not the issue; the issue is racial discrimination. 

Bumiputraism is a political construct (invented to serve certain political interests); it has nothing to do with recognising the position of the indigenous people and respecting them and bestowing on them the title ‘princes of the earth’– like the First Nation, in Canada or Maoris in New Zealand. It has little to do with indigenity and plenty to do with race politics. 

If it is a genuinely indigenous peoples focused policy, why are the aborigines at the bottom of the barrel socially, politically and economically? It has nothing to do with affirmative action either, which is needs based. 


Usman Awang, the late poet laureate, put it so eloquently in his poem “Sahabatku – My Friend. “SAHABATKU” Suatu bangsa merdeka yang kita impikan Terasa jauh dari kenyataan Kemarahan ku menjadi kepedihan Bila kita dipisah-pisahkan Jarak itu semakin berjauhan Aku dapat gelaran ‘bumiputra’ dan kau bukan” 

MY FRIEND The one free race we dream of Seems so distant from reality My anger turns to sorrow When they drive a wedge between us The distance grows I get the title ‘bumiputra’ and not you. (Extract from the poem Sahabat ku which Usman Awang dedicated to his friend Dr M.K. Rajakumar). Despite the government’s claim that it wants to unite the country – from Mahathir’s Bangsar Malaysia to Najib’s 1Malaysia – all they have done is come up with empty slogans; but continue with racially divisive policies. 

Bumiputraism divides one set of Malaysians from another – irrespective of economic activities (which the NEP tried to address). It is a “them and us” demarcation based solely on race and religion.It creates a mindset of entitlement in those who have the title and a sense of resentment in those who missed out. It is the wedge that divides our country.  


Bumiputraism goes deep into our psyche – beyond handouts and privileges. This racial branding is a psychological stigma and burden on the country while not addressing the problem of wealth disparity. It creates a warped mindset in Malaysians. A typical example: “We better put a Malay at the top, otherwise . . . ”  Whether this is a sports organization or NGO or whatever. The general perception is, with a Malay at the top it is easier to get things done or to get something from the government or whatever. 

And if that person is a Dato or Tan Sri, better still. “Race” creeps into our thinking in one way or another. It has become part of our national psyche. It also warps our psyche in another way.  It does not matter that a Malay has risen to the top through merit; the perception is “he got there because he is a Malay” not because he is the best. How unfair that is! But can you blame the general perception? 

Bumiputraism is a title that is twice cursed. It curses those who have been given it as they are regarded as less capable, their achievements, however legitimate and worthy and entirely due to merit, are questioned; they carry the stigma of people who live on government handouts. Both Mahathir and Badawi have alluded to it as crutches that the Malays have become too dependent on, and now cannot stand on their own feet without them. 

It curses those who have not been given the title, because they do not get the help they otherwise deserve, their achievements which they worked so hard for, are often not enough to gain them entry to public universities or even to colleges which are reserved exclusively for Bumiputras.  They are often passed over for promotion in government jobs despite their hard work (that is, if they have a government job). 

And they do not get the help and incentives for business like Bumiputras do – unless you are an UMNO crony. They are regarded as second class citizens, and live with that indignity. So to just remove race-based policies alone(as some politicians want) is not enough, we need to remove the title – to expunge it from our national psyche; and end the “them and us” mentality.  


  South Africa was an international pariah because of Apartheid. The Australia of the ‘50s – during the time of the “White Australian Policy” was condemned by other more enlightened Western countries and by all Asian countries. All religions condemn racism because it runs counter to all decent human principles. 

The Malaysian Government has condemned Apartheid, Malaysians, including Bumiputras have condemned the racial discrimination is the U.S., the racial/religious discrimination of Western Society. We should look in the mirror first. Malaysia is peculiar in that we do not have racism per se – the races mix freely – so we invented institutional racism. 

There is no segregation like they had in America and South Africa. There are no “for ‘whites only” beaches, or entrance for ‘blacks’ only. By and large, the races mix easily and deal with the daily rough and tumble of a multi-cultural society quite successfully – without government interference. It is ironic isn’t it? 

We have a largely harmonious cultural mix, yet we decide to create an artificial divide. The only encouraging thing is that it is easier to deal with institutional (political) racial discrimination than it is to deal with a social one. The latter requires a change of hearts and minds through education and long periods of social mixing between the races.  

This takes generations.  The former requires just a change of government through the ballot box; replacing it with a more enlightened government that takes care of all Malaysians according to their needs and not skin colour. A government of Malaysians, for Malaysians and not a government for any particular race.  


No country that is divided along racial lines has ever prospered or remained united. When you have a system where someone is rewarded not because he is the best, but on the colour of his skin; how efficient can the system be? If we do not put our best people (irrespective of race) to head our government – civil service, police, army, educational establishments, GLCs – are we making the best use of our human resource. If university entry is based on race, are we producing the best graduates – the workforce that makes us competitive with the rest of the world. If our university chancellors and lecturers are mediocre, so will be our universities and the graduates they churn out. 

When once the University of Malaya had a respectable reputation, today it (and other Malaysian universities) languish at a lowly position in the world ranking of universities. When our smartest and brightest find that opportunities are limited in Malaysia will they not look elsewhere? Frustration at a racial glass ceiling that does not recognise talent, will drive our more ambitious overseas. 

This will only benefit (and has benefited) our neighbours and others. Yet our leaders are quite happy to cut off their nose to spite their face. With globalisation upon us, can we afford to be less competitive? The world does not give two hoots about your racial policies. One can go on and on about the inequities of a racial system. But ultimately one has to ask; has the end at least justified the means? 


  The short answer is NO. This is not to deny that the Malays have not benefited from the system. Bumiputraism has raised the standard of living of the Malays and brought it to the level of the other races. There is now a large educated Malay middle class, more professionals, a Malay business class, more Malays in urban areas working in government and industry. 

That is all well and good, but the way the government went about it is divisive, unnecessary and ultimately detrimental to the Malays – never mind that it has a negative impact on the country as a whole. The same goal – raising the standard of the Malays – could have been done without resorting to racial policies. (But then, at the end of the day it is about politics and staying in power – thus UMNO plays the race card). 

All this comes with consequences: Graduates who do not meet the requirements of the private sector,and are therefore less employable, a business class which is uncompetitive and too reliant on state help, and a community which is not confident of itself. Two generations of mollycoddling has held the Malays back. To use a hackneyed cliché . . . give a man fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for life. Similarly too much protection and handouts makes a community uncompetitive and dependent. 

To make matters worse, when you give him a title, he thinks what he is given is an entitlement instead of a helping hand. And as if it could not get worse, he is led to believe that this is forever. Fifty years of bumiputraism has ‘softened’ the Malay race.  Mahathir himself has said words to the effect that despite having their hands tied behind their backs,the Chinese have done well. 

Let me tell you, the Chinese are not supermen, give them a cushy life and they will also become ‘soft’. But because they have only themselves to depend on, they have no choice but to slog or else they don’t eat. Necessity is not just the mother of invention, it is the mother of resourcefulness, hard work, perseverance and skills. It is a matter of survival. As they say, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” 

All this is nothing new. UMNO know it. Yet they persist in such policies because it helps them stay in power – by riding on the fears and dependency of the masses. This is the ‘divide and rule’ principle which has been employed in many different countries – but which finally fail because it has no moral currency and limited efficacy.  


UMNO and their fellow travellers have from the beginning put out the message that if not for them, the Malays would be in a bad way (and I am putting it mildly. Mahathir actually said something to the effect that they will disappear from the face of the earth). When politicians engage in such racist rhetoric how do you expect the Malays to react? (By the same token MCA and MIC say that if not for them things would be worse for the Chinese and Indians respectively). 

These are not words of unity but disunity. It’s divide and rule, pure and simple. Now that there is a large educated Malay middle class and increasingly more and more young Malays have studied abroad and exposed to liberal democratic ideas, it is not so easy to bamboozle the Malays – the urban Malays (UMNO and PAS voter base is mainly rural). 

But rural or urban, Malays should examine the truth of UMNO’s claim. What would happen if Bumiputraism is removed. If affirmative action based on race is ended? If Bumiputraism is removed without a proper affirmative action policy in its place then it would put a lot of Malays in difficulty. 

The majority of Malays still need assistance in one form or another and this should be given. But this assistance should be structured as a “helping hand” and not a “hand-out”. It should be means tested and based on needs. University places should be based on merit (to get the best of the Malays – look here, not everyone is suited for university, be he Malay, Chinese or Indian). 

The present system benefits the powerful and politically connected – UMNOputras – disproportionately to the ordinary Malays. This is unfair because it expends increasingly limited resources on those who do not need it, at the expense of those who do. Why should a rich Malay be entitled to scholarships for his children when he can afford it? Why should a rich Malay be entitled to discounts in house purchases or buying of shares?  

Why must monopolies be given to certain people with the result that prices remain high, when open competition would ensure lower prices.This adds to the cost of living of ordinary Malays (and all Malaysians). A blanket, unbridled race based policy impacts on everyone – especially on the majority Malays. 

 If Bumiputraism is ended and a proper affirmative action is in place, the main beneficiaries will still be the Malays – only now there should be more going round. However the deserving Indians and Chinese will also benefit. The latter less so because the numbers needing help is relatively small and the Chinese are very resilient, resourceful and self-reliant.  


The Malays control the government, the police, the army, they have ministers in the most important ministries. The banking system and insurance are controlled by the Malays, a Malay controls the import of rice, sugar and other essential goods. Petronas is controlled by the Malays. Proton and Perodua are Malay owned. Malays own the franchise of Peugeot, Citroen and so on. All the GLCs are run by Malays. What has the Malays got to be afraid of the others? They own the economy and run the country.  


If the non-Malays question their position in the country and criticise the discrimination, they are asked what more do they want. It’s as if whatever they have got has been due to the charity of the Malays. But that is not how citizenship is supposed to be. 

 “The right of an indigenous community to exclusive ownership is plainly a transgression of the contemporary concept of citizenship. Citizenship which is conferred upon a person after the fulfillment of certain legal or sometimes cultural requirements entitles him to the same rights and responsibilities as the earlier or original inhabitant of the land. 

Once citizenship is acquired no distinction is made.”  (Chandra Muzaffar – Chairman Yayasan 1Malaysia) Does the above then speak for the position of the government, since it comes from the government-appointed chairman of  an organization set up to bring about unity in the country.  

And by the way, shouldn’t the government ask why after 60 years, the country is still divided? What have they not done right? They can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results. The Chinese and Indians cannot run the country, the numbers will tell you that is impossible. 

What they want is dignity – to be treated as an equal citizen and not as a second class citizen. They want fair treatment and fair opportunities to pursue their ambitions. They want to be treated just like any other citizen – not asking for special favours or special treatment.  We should not let UMNO or PAS use the Chinese and Indians as bogeys and  scapegoats. We have a great country. 

Whenever I read about racial matters, all I need to do is stroll around our one-horse town. This is almost a microcosm of Malaysia – the Malays are the majority, the Indians second and then the Chinese and the Temiars from a village nearby. Malay stalls are set up next to Chinese and Indian stalls. People buy from anyone they like – choosing on quality and price. 

People chat with each other – Malays, Indians, Chinese. Indian barbers cut Malay and Chinese hair. Everyone eats at the meegoreng run by a Mamak. Many of the shops employ Temiar women. My own dhobi is Malay run even though there is a Chinese one a stroll away. I go there because I like the person, because his service is good. 

And by the way, when I asked him if he got help from the government he just laughed and said he did not have the connections. Our MP is a Malay and no one has a bad word to say about him. He has delivered. People in general don’t care what the colour of the cat is, as long as it catches mice. And you think people from TR are tigasuku? We are probably more altogether than the lot of you out there. ========================================================================== Letters from Ward 5, T.R. (A Guest Contributor) ========================================================================== Footnote: The only encouraging thing in all this, is that it is easier to deal with institutional (political) racial discrimination than it is to deal with a social one. The latter requires a change of hearts and minds through education and long periods of social mixing between the races.  This takes time.  The former requires just a change of government through the ballot box; replacing it with a more enlightened government that takes care of all Malaysians according to their needs and not skin colour. 

Whatever gains the Malays have made – a large educated middle class, more Malays in the professions, a Malay business class – could have been attained without using racial policies. A genuine, well thought out and implemented affirmative action based on needs, would have delivered the same to the Malays if only because they are the majority. But it would also mean that the deserving among the non-Malayswould not have been neglected. 

Ultimately, bumiputraism is not good for the Malays because, instead of encouraging them to perform and supporting them to achieve, we lower the bar for them, which signals to them that they do not have to try harder because, whatever, they will be given a place in a public university or college or special schools reserved only for them. 

Instead of having to prove themselves in business they have businesses handed to them on a platter and if it fails, the government will pick up the tab. Where is the drive to succeed when you know that whatever happens to your shipping company or the national airline which has been handed to you, you will be bailed out. 

This is not the way produce a resilient and viable bumiputra business class that can compete with the rest. But the irony of all this is that much of the privileges given to bumiputras do not benefit the Malay masses. A poor Malay has not got the money to purchase shares, whatever the discount they get. 

For that matter most do not understand investing in stocks and shares and in the rural areas there are no facilities for them to trade in or have access to information regarding shares. Discount for home purchases is fine, but how many houses can an ordinary Malay wage earner buy? So who benefits the most from all these bumiputra privileges Certainly not the Malay masses.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 7:06 PM   0 comments
Don’t blame non-Malays for Sg Bakap defeat By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Malaysiakini : Meanwhile, the opposition has cried political persecution whenever their leaders are targeted by the state security apparatus and have used social media influencers to highlight not only the hypocrisy of the Madani state but also the policies that have disenfranchised a young voting bloc through “surprise” economic policies that still favour the elites.

The national narrative as defined by the Penang chief minister,“…. the subsidy, perceived inflation, cost of living, and the burden the people have to face with all this…” is the local narrative and you can either believe that these issues do not matter to the non-Malays or that something more is at play.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow

The fact of the matter is, that DAP has been hamstrung in this coalition government. The DAP is supposed to be a moderating force but all it has done is attempt to carry water for the “don’t spook the Malay crowd” while the Madani government panders to the PN base secure in the belief that the non-Malays have no choice but to vote for them.

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, for instance, said the Harapan coalition had locked down the non-Malay vote.

He comes off in the press these days sounding like one of those “arrogant and haughty leaders” Hamzah talked about when Rafizi said that for Sungai Bakap, PN was a lost cause.

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli

Rafizi said on the campaign stump, “It’s very evident that PN has lost direction in this by-election campaign, as they are not focusing on issues that are more important to the residents of Sungai Bakap.

“These are local issues. It is also a testament to the ability and capability of each candidate to provide the best service to voters here..”

Now, of course, Rafizi after dissing PN, laments the low turnout of the non-Malay voters which just goes to show how out of touch the best and the brightest in PKR really are.

Harapan alienated its supporters

Harapan has been doing everything in its power to alienate its non-Malay base and screw over the progressive Malay element in Harapan. Non-Malay operatives have been bending over backwards attempting to project a benign face of Chinese influence in Harapan.

Admittedly, Anwar played the liberal, reformist and progressive Muslim when he was on the campaign stump and this elevated him to cult-like status amongst the non-Muslims.

However, after coming into power, either as a handmaiden to the old maverick or into his own, his obsession with securing the Malay vote has driven him and Harapan further right, which has been accepted by the non-Malay Harapan base but met with indifference by a majority of Malays.

To be fair to Anwar and his team, beyond the obvious pandering, the prime minister has been attempting some sort of class dialectic within the Malay community.

But the problem, as expressed by some PKR political operatives privately to me and more recently publicly by the United for the Rights of Malaysians Party (Urimai) pro tem chairperson P Ramasamy, is the mistake “... of reducing identity politics to material growth in the form of increased foreign investments and job creation”.

Of course, the Malay vote is important and Anwar and Harapan should be chasing it like they would any other vote, but the fact that the rural Malay vote is unequal makes Anwar’s pandering to the Malays and their rejection of him even more tragic or comical, depending on your point of view.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim

He has done everything from overseeing a religious conversion to lecturing a young Indian girl on the social contract to milking ethnic sacred cows but the majority community still does not buy what the Madani state is selling.

While all politics is local, what the federal government should be doing is ensuring the Harapan base that voted for them (even when they were losing, but managed to break Umno's two-thirds majority in one of their defeats) is satisfied with their performance.

Instead, what the federal government is doing is attempting to replicate BN-style politics for a base which has no use for it. A base which believed that the reign of Harapan would move them away from the race-based and religion-influenced politics of Umno-BN.

Demonisation of DAP

Non-Malay politicians tell me they have to walk on eggshells when it comes to certain issues. They tell me the demonisation of DAP seems to be working. Well, here’s the thing - if people are going to hate DAP, they are going to do it regardless of whether Malay uber alles coalition is in power or not.

The narrative that the majority of Malays hate the DAP has always been around, but the DAP has survived and even thrived. Instead, what the coalition government does is bend over backwards attacking the very demographic which could change the narrative and encourage a new paradigm of mainstream Malaysian politics.

Honestly, if Anwar carried out the reforms he promised and carried out these drastic subsidy cuts, voters regardless of ethnicity would be inclined to give this government a chance.

But the problem is, that Anwar attempts to have a crusade against corruption but has Umno in his pocket.

And he attempts these drastic subsidy cuts but leakages abound in organisations under the government’s control and of course, plays the race and religion card while attempting to court the non-Malay vote. People who vote for PN know exactly what they are getting and they are fine with that.

What this government has to understand is which side their bread is buttered.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:49 PM   0 comments
Indira confronts a state that enables kidnapping By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, July 01, 2024

Malaysiakini : Baffling

Can you imagine that? The top cop of the country tried to convince a kidnapper to return a child instead of working with the local authorities in the country this kidnapper was to extricate him and the child back to the country which laws he had broken.

Indeed, as former Court of Appeals judge Mah Weng Kwai said - “I am baffled because you have an order of the apex court of this country and the order was to the police to produce this person, and more so if you know where he is.

“(But you) don’t produce him and start talking about negotiations. I just don’t understand the reasoning.”

With all this in mind, if we didn’t second guess how the police were carrying out the business of the state, it says something about our reasoning.

We know that the police knew where he was. We know that the police and senior politicians were attempting to persuade him to do the right thing. We know that they obviously failed to convince this kidnapper to do the right thing.

We know that all this was done under a cloak of secrecy and that their main objective was not to retrieve a kidnapped child but rather to find a win-win situation.

We know that years ago the police decided to remain “neutral” when it came to orders from the civil and syariah courts which - as rightly pointed out - was complete bunkum by then-Sungkai assemblyperson A Sivanesan.

“The police are taking the law into their hands... In this (Indira’s) case, the court order is already there but the police are not acting on it,” he said.

We know that the political apparatus chose to remain silent when the IGP decided to go on his neutral path as then-home minister and current Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi so elegantly put it - “no comment”.

We now know that what Hamid told the court - that he wasn’t certain where the kidnapper was - contradicts his statement about trying to coax Riduan to do the right thing with the help of senior politicians and that at least two former prime ministers were aware of his efforts.

Muhammad Riduan Abdullah

Hence with all this in the public record, can we really believe that there was no bad faith in the way the police had chosen to carry out its duties when it came to this kidnapping case?

Mind you, I think Hamid was sincere (if this makes sense) in trying to achieve some sort of fair deal for the mother but it wasn’t his duty to make this deal, only to return a kidnapped child to her mother.

A lost cause?

It would not surprise me if there were enablers, who are average citizens, conspiring to keep this child within Islam.

I do not think these people consider Riduan as some sort of religious martyr but rather they believe that Indira’s daughter belongs to them and their faith.

It pains me to say this but Indira’s daughter probably has been indoctrinated to believe the narrative of her captors instead of her mother.

This is what former foreign law enforcement types and cult deprogrammers tell me when I discuss this case with them.

“The longer the child is with her kidnapper, the child’s situation becomes normalised and with that, the actions of the child’s kidnapper.”

At every step of the way, Indira has met nothing but resistance from the state and a political apparatus, which has used her when convenient and discarded her cause when in power.

This is really about how this mother has confronted the state and the state security apparatus through its various permutations, which enabled the kidnapping of her child.

This is now the Madani state and there is no happy ending for this mother of a kidnapped child.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:55 PM   0 comments
How Anwar trapped himself in Palestinian quagmire By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, June 24, 2024

Malaysiakini : Religiously Sanctioned Hatred - Views on Jews

Everything most Malays are taught about the Palestinian conflict, they get from National Civics Bureau (BTN) courses and state-sponsored sermons in mosques.

This is why PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang gets to say something like this - “When Umno and PAS unite, they are accused of wishing to go to war with other races.

“(Our accusers are) like the Jews who did not want Muslims to be united during the Prophet’s time.

“This is a disease we must fight. Let’s join forces and send the enemy to hell.”

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang

He was alluding to DAP leaders, in case you missed it.

Keep in mind that Hadi has claimed that he was willing to work with Jews but not Zionists, which exposes the statement he made about the Umno/PAS marriage, for the horse manure that it is.

Here in Malaysia, being a Jew and being a Zionist is not mutually exclusive.

Consider the hate speech of Muslim convert Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, a preacher, who took anti-Semitism to a new level by comparing his Chinese brothers and sisters to the most obscene stereotype of Jews, pleading special knowledge about their community since he was a kafir (infidel) like them before embracing Islam.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed that the Jews are “crooks” - “(So) what is the reason we don’t allow Israelites to come here? We say they are crooks (penyangak), and we just got rid of one crook.”

Blackrock business

Former Umno minister Khairy Jamaluddin who has nothing to lose, pontificated about how the cabinet would not endorse this Blackrock deal.

Ex-Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin

But back in the day when he was Umno Youth chief, Khairy was protesting then-US state secretary Condoleezza Rice and chanting “Israel is a wild beast. Israel is the devil!” while burning effigies of then-US president George W Bush.

This idea that spreading hate for the “Jews” makes good capital is what every Islamic political party in this country does. Except, of course, when the real world intrudes and Islamists are made to understand that you cannot expect to be part of the international community and think you are exempt from certain rules.

The prime minister said, “We have no means in the current situation to cancel (ties) because it will impact the country’s economy.”

However, former PKR stalwart Tian Chua said ”rejecting Blackrock is a moral imperative. The government must show policy consistency in its stand for Palestine”.

Mind you, Chua, like the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, prattles on about ethical choices when it comes to boycotts hence nobody needs to make the ethical choice of throwing away their Apple gadget or not fly on Boeing aircraft.

Does it seem to you, like it does to me, that “targeted boycotts” merely mean “convenient” boycotts?

Now these very same forces that the prime minister encouraged with his unabashed support for Hamas and claims that he was the target of powerful interest for his support of the Palestinian issues, have come home to roost.

The current Umno Youth chief, who seems to be the Teflon kid when it comes to state security apparatus, said: “We fully support the actions of the government that has expressed strong, undivided support for the Palestinian people, but we ask for solidarity not only at the international level, it must be demonstrated in our own country.”

Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh has already demonstrated that he really does not give a fig about the economic consequences of his call for boycotts hence his stand on this issue is well predictable. This is what happens when you propagandise a conflict using race and religion.

Optics matter

The quagmire is that the Malay political establishment is in a bind. Nobody can come out and support deals with Israeli-linked companies even though it is an economic plus for this country because this would mean betraying the Palestinian cause and Muslim solidarity.

Political secretary to the finance minister Muhammad Kamil Abdul Munim said of Khairy - “We are among the most vocal in defending and advocating for the rights of the Palestinians.

“As such, labelling the prime minister as an accomplice of Israel’s genocidal crimes is extreme and disrespectful.”

This, however, misses the point.

This is a competition about who defends the Palestinian cause better for a local audience. And in case the prime minister hasn't noticed, he is playing a rigged game that the state (and him) created decades ago. This isn’t about the Palestinian people.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:55 AM   0 comments
Corruption kills ambition By Mariam Mokhtar
Saturday, June 22, 2024

Malaysiakini : Malaysia’s loss

When bullying failed, they managed to convince her superiors to transfer her to a distant location. That tactic worked, and the stress of being separated from her children and husband affected her mental health. She resigned.

Malaysia lost a promising young woman in sports nutritional therapy while a neighbouring country has gained from her expertise.

Her corrupt co-workers are still doing what they do best, undermining the university they work for. The taxpayers, the students, the budding athletes and the faculty and university are all victims of these corrupt civil servants.

The young woman is Malay and to protect her identity, I will name her Ella.

Ella’s corrupt co-workers have probably done her a favour because she will pursue her ambition in the neighbouring country, work for higher wages, and gain more experience than her peers who are still trapped under the tempurung (shell) that she has just abandoned.

Ella refused to sacrifice her integrity and was unwilling to compromise her principles. She left her comfort zone and is now better off. She has struck a working arrangement with her new bosses to enable her to travel home to see her family every week.

So, if we were to replicate this corrupt section of the university on a national basis, what would we find? Is Ella’s situation a one-off problem? Are there more Ellas throughout Malaysia?

Too much corruption

Even if we were to jail Ella’s boss for being blind (or dense) to the corruption going on under his watch, there would not be enough jails in the country to accommodate all of the corrupt and clueless heads of departments nationwide.

Last month, Anwar talked about replacing the direct tender process with an open tender system. What happened recently with a certain transport company seemed to contradict what Anwar said about open tenders.

He said his administration had tackled smuggling syndicates perpetrated by some civil servants. Part of his anti-graft measures was to deal with various cartels with roots embedded in the civil service.

However, corruption is not just about the big organisations or whole departments, because more often than not, the effects of corruption have the greatest soul-destroying effect on the ordinary person in the street.

Corruption restricts growth. It traps the poorest people in their never-ending cycle of poverty. It stops hardworking and industrious, determined people from benefitting from what is rightfully theirs.

Corruption robs both schools and hospitals of vital funds. People with money can afford clever lawyers and accountants to find loopholes to avoid paying taxes.

Corruption undermines national security and threatens national harmony.

A ‘cancer’

You may recall the near-riots caused by the drug addict Shahrul Anuar Abdul Aziz who stole a mobile phone from vendors in Low Yat Plaza in 2015. Shopkeepers were furious that the police merely stood by and watched the Malay Mat Rempits rampaging and creating havoc in the shopping complex.

Anwar acknowledged that corruption is like a “cancer”, confirmed that it has been around for decades, and said that it was impossible for department heads not to know what was going on in their departments.

We agree.

However, we would like to know why the laws were not strictly enforced then, why whistleblowers were investigated, and why only opposition MPs were investigated in the anti-graft blitz.

Many whistleblowers lost their jobs. Others who complained about corruption would suddenly find that their contracts had been terminated.

How will refusing to promote the heads of departments who fail to report corruption in their department help in the fight against graft?

Some of us have a problem. It is difficult to take Anwar seriously when he stands shoulder to shoulder with allegedly corrupt politicians with whom he has been forced to join forces, to form his coalition government.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:19 AM   0 comments
Will elites still enable bumi apathy in education? By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, June 17, 2024

Malaysiakini : Local elections

Something like local elections will do far more to improve and recalibrate the education system in terms of engaging residents, especially the Malay community, rather than policies that come from Putrajaya.

Activist and ex-MP Kua Kia Soong alluded to this when he was advocating for local council elections in 2018 that Pakatan Harapan had abandoned.

Activist and ex-MP Kua Kia Soong

He wrote, “I have often stressed the fact that an elected local government can, at a stroke, depoliticise education in Malaysia simply by building schools based on the need of the local communities – and not have the Education Ministry treat schools as a political football during general elections.

“Few Malaysians have noticed, for example, that the all-important role of local education authorities in the Education Act 1961 is no longer mentioned in the Education Act 1996.

“Local education authorities serve to allocate funds and other facilities to needy sectors, and can serve to dissipate politicisation of education.”

Dominance of the elite

And, forget about the urban-educated opposition politics. When politicians talk of rural folk, you have to understand that these are rural folk by design.

While rich- and middle-income Malays ensure that their children receive an education that would make them competitive in this fast-changing geopolitical landscape, the system is designed to keep “rural” Malays and working-class Malays bereft of the opportunities available to that class of Malays who control or who serve in a political system that enables their privilege.

When those Malays in that survey said Malays must work hard and be proactive, what exactly is that an indictment of? It was not of the Malay community but rather the policies and ideologies of the mainstream Malay political elites.

The question we should be asking is what is causing this apathy in a large segment of the Malay community? Why is it that Malay students are not interested in math and science? Why are families not supportive of the educational goals of their children?

Anecdotally, lower-income Malays who I have spoken to over the decades tell me the reason why some of them do not place much emphasis on education is because they are from large families and children are encouraged to quickly become wage earners to support the family.

Furthermore, the emphasis is on starting a family at a young age, which also hampers the education process. Keep in mind that Malay women still make up the majority in public universities so there are many variables to this issue.

A permanently underprivileged base

When it comes to education, in the ketuanan (supremacy) system, it is more about class than race. Mainstream Malaysian politics is predicated on sustaining a jingoistic, nationalist, but permanently underprivileged Malay base.

Of course, the kind of class that this system of education engineers makes them perfect as petty, mid-level bureaucrats or working-class drones, steeped in religious and racial grievances, using the system at the behest of their political masters, always hoping to jump to the next level using corrupt means.

A new serf class was created post-May 1969.

You can have a world-class education system, however you choose to define it, but if the target audience is not interested, then you have bupkis. All policies from successive governments are based on fear and loathing.

The fear instilled in the Malay majority that their rights would be usurped by egalitarian and progressive concepts, and loathing by the political elites that those same concepts are needed to ensure a viable and economically successful community.

What political elites fail to understand is that apathy often leads to resentment stoked by religious fires and then eventually violence.

This is a lesson that political elites all over the world have learnt too late.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:07 PM   0 comments
Anwar's knee-jerk solution for teaching English in schools​ By Mariam Mokhtar
Friday, June 14, 2024

Malaysiakini : Affirmative action policies

The affirmative action policies after the May 13 riots unfairly treated many non-Malay teachers and lecturers.

They were sidelined for promotion. Non-Malay teaching staff at Mara colleges and universities were dropped. Some left and sought work overseas, while others taught until retirement or resigned and set up private tuition centres.

Back then, teaching was a respected, noble profession and one chose it because one cared for the children’s future and to contribute towards nation-building.

Today, our universities churn out thousands of graduates some of whom take up teaching only as a last resort. They failed to qualify for other disciplines and teaching was preferential to unemployment.

When the British left Malaya, many Malaysians could speak English well. We were the envy of Southeast Asia, possibly even the envy of Asia. At universities abroad, our graduates were highly respected.

Soon after Merdeka, the Umno/BN administration politicised education and language became a very sensitive subject.

Promoting Bahasa Malaysia was a vote winner with the Malay electorate and selfish politicians were prepared to sacrifice our children's futures to prolong their political careers.

In the 1970s, Tan Chee Khoon, one of the founders of the Gerakan party, predicted the threat posed by nationalists who opposed the use of the English language.

His prophecy has come true, and today, we reap the results.

In the 1970s, many gullible Malay parents believed in the propaganda of linking speaking English with patriotism.

Although the decline in English proficiency cannot be attributed to one single factor, the government’s affirmative action policy is perhaps a major contributor.

The irony is that today, many Malays cry discrimination and complain about the difficulty of getting jobs in the private sector, or with multinational companies.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad dumbed down our education system in favour of affirmative action policies.

Muted voices

The decline began in the seventies.

Most of the former ministers like Razaleigh Hamzah, Musa Hitam, Rafidah, Anwar, Muhyiddin Yassin and the older politicians will have foreseen the destruction which Mahathir unleashed on Malaysians. Where were their voices then?

Why didn’t senior civil servants and university heads speak out too? Today, many of them are vocal about the decline in English. Yesterday, they were mute.

Why didn’t prominent, influential Malaysians in banking, business, and industry alert the then-PM and his cabinet? What stopped them?

All of them were too busy climbing the greasy social and political ladder to reap the benefits/riches in post-Merdeka Malaysia.

They are part of the problem and when one reads about their lengthy suggestions in various WhatsApp groups, it is difficult to contain one’s cynicism.

They were in power and could have done something about it, but many preferred to protect their rice bowl. Today, we observe the destruction caused by their apathy.

The affirmative action policies damaged our education system. Pass marks were lowered. Limited scholarships for non-Malays. Introduction of racial quotas.

Meritocracy ignored. Speaking English is considered unpatriotic. Flip-flopping between English and Malay for teaching Science and Mathematics. Poor quality teachers.

Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek has made a mess of the Dual Learning Programme. Elite schools can ignore her latest DLP updates, but other schools must strictly abide by her rules.

If you want to destroy a nation, just tinker with the education system. It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:06 PM   0 comments
Does Madani state condone preacher's act? By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, June 10, 2024

Malaysiakini : Non-Muslim woes

The Global Human Rights Federation (GHRF) president S Shashi said his organisation will not be making a police report against Firdaus because nothing has come of it every time they do.

What do you think Firdaus thinks of all the police reports lodged against him and others of his ilk? Firdaus knows he is untouchable when it comes to the religion of the state.

When Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim presided over the conversion of a young man, this signalled to the religious bureaucracy and its emissaries that in-your-face proselytisation was acceptable no matter the tense religious and racial climate this country was experiencing.

We live in a country where non-Muslims are banned from using certain words, we live in a country where there are cases of non-Muslim children being unilaterally converted and kidnapped, we live in a country where non-Muslims are warned not to disturb Muslim rights when advocating their democratic rights and social justice.

We live in a country where non-Muslim economic endeavours are curtailed because of Muslim piety, we live in a country where in some states, non-Muslim places of worship are subject to restrictions on who can enter.

We live in a country where celebrity preachers mock non-Muslim religions, we live in a country where non-Muslims are often demonised and used as scapegoats by political operatives and political elites, we live in a country where non-Muslims are told that we are not citizens but rather pendatang.

So, when Anwar presided over the conversion of that Hindu youth, he was representing the religious reality that non-Muslims face in this country. He was not merely welcoming a new convert into the religion, he was reinforcing religious narratives.

The terrifying reality

Now, Firdaus understands this reality. I would argue that he benefits from it. However, do the minors he enables and advises to deceive their families understand this reality?

As I said, religious experimentation in minors is expected but when it comes to the Malaysian context religious experimentation comes with severe consequences.

And I do not mean solely when it comes to non-Muslim minors. Indeed, so terrified of any kind of possible conversion or undue influence, the state authorities monitor the social landscape in case Muslims are influenced by other religions.

This is what the Selangor Islamic Council (Mais) chairperson said when he proclaimed it was unlawful for Muslims to visit non-Muslim places of worship to learn about other religions:

“Although the objective of this programme is said to give exposure towards a religion (sic) practised in this country and to form close unity among the believers of different religions, programmes to learn about other religions other than Islam in any churches or any houses of worship needs certain controls and restrictions to ensure there is no element of persuading Muslims to be influenced and interested in other religions besides Islam and also no involvement of Muslims in other religions’ rituals.”

With all this in mind, we really must ask ourselves, does the Madani state condone what Firdaus does?

If there are no repercussions, then we know the answer.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 4:20 PM   0 comments
Are schools safe for children? By Mariam Mokhtar
Sunday, June 09, 2024

Malaysiakini : How did we get here?

With many teachers creating headlines for the wrong reasons, parents of school-going children must dread the daily six hours of lessons, when they hope their children have not been physically, mentally or sexually abused, by of all people, the teacher.

So, how did Mogahana’s son end up standing in the middle of a field, under the hot sun for close to three hours?

We are also told he is often targeted by school bullies. How did the school resolve this?

Having complained to his teacher about another pupil throwing a water bottle at him, he and three others, but not the boy who’d thrown the bottle, were then told to stand under the hot sun as punishment.

Worse was to follow. The three boys who were punished alongside Mogahana’s son were told to return to their classrooms after 10 minutes, but not him. Despite complaining of dizziness, the torture continued.

Mogahana’s son appears to have elicited the sadistic streak in his teacher because what the teacher did that day was unconscionable.

He caused the boy to have life-changing injuries. He cannot claim that he’d forgotten about the boy.

The teacher is criminally negligent.

If the teacher had followed the official approved mode of punishment, then the headmaster, the school, the education department and the Education Ministry are also culpable.

Mogahana’s son returned home feeling unwell after his ordeal. He felt dizzy, had red eyes and when rushed to hospital, had fainted at the emergency entrance.


Doctors who examined him said he had heatstroke and had developed a nerve condition. The Ampang Hospital then designated him as a “person with disabilities” and advised his parents to register him with the social welfare department for a “disability” card.

The most gut-wrenching thing must have been when the parents were told that their young son would not be able to return to a normal school.

Only a brainless person would allow a young child to stand in the scorching sun for hours. Can the teacher really be that dense?

Young children, babies, the ill, and elderly people are most at risk in the hot sun. Children left in locked cars are found lifeless by their parents, who on their return a few hours later, then wonder why their children had died.

The spotlight is on the teacher, the school head, the other teachers and the school administration staff.

Did the teacher strictly follow the school rule book, or as Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek calls it, the “Student Management Guidelines”, for the appropriate punishment?

Was “standing under the scorching sun” an approved method of punishment which is sanctioned by the Education Department and the ministry?

Or is this mode of punishing students one that is not in the guidelines, but has nevertheless been done for many years and has come to be accepted as the norm?

If a punishment is not listed, why not? Why did the head not convey this to the Education Department?

Most schools have a disciplinary teacher. Was this teacher the one who disciplines misbehaving pupils?

Couldn’t care less

The sight of a young boy standing in the middle of the field, under a blazing sun for at least three hours should have aroused someone’s curiosity.

Incredibly, the other teachers, the school administrators, and the head did not think it strange to see a young boy standing on the field.

Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek

This apathetic, tidak-apa (couldn’t care less) behaviour says a lot about the culture and work ethics of the school’s teaching and administration staff.

The lawyer representing the boy’s family has alleged that a witness has been threatened, that the investigation is conducted at a snail’s pace and that the teacher responsible has not been suspended.

Fadhlina said there would be no compromise over the safety of students and that appropriate action would be taken based on the investigation report.

Haven’t we heard her lip service before? Fadhlina must do more to ensure that our schools do not become every parent’s nightmare.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 4:07 PM   0 comments
Indira and Ong are reminders of why we need IPCMC By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, June 03, 2024

Malaysiakini : For over a decade, the police have done everything in their power by their inaction to keep Indira’s child away from her and have legitimised the action of a child kidnapper through their own action or inaction.

Think about this for a moment. The state security apparatus has ignored judgments from the judicial branch and has let a child kidnapper escape the course of justice.

M Indira Gandhi

And why do you think this is? Well, because they understand that the only people who could sanction such behaviour, the political class, would do no such thing.

In other words, they understand that they are free from the repercussions that the ordinary rakyat are subject to if they break the law. It is as simple as that.

Harapan’s broken promise

Ong’s case, on the other hand, is a flashpoint for the ordinary rakyat because not only does it involve an alleged cover-up by the police but it also implies the complicity of various state actors and the royal institution, which of course has a rich history when it comes to the tension between the royalty and political class of this country.

Of course, the rakyat are told not to speculate when it comes to this issue and everything else for that matter but as former MACC commissioner Latheefa Koya said in the Ong presser - “There are too many contradictory statements coming out claiming that the matter is settled at one point, saying that he wants to move on.

But you can hear directly from him today that he wants justice. He’s not happy with what has happened to him.”

Ong Ing Keong

But I do not blame Umno/BN for this failure of not establishing an IPCMC. The failure is squarely on the shoulders of the Pakatan Harapan regime because they have campaigned on this issue and have made it an important principle in their supposed quest for a more just Malaysia Baru.

Nobody expects this to be an Umno/BN issue (and it never was) because as demonstrated by none other than the current Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi when it comes to the malfeasances of the state security apparatus, he is willing to whitewash even the most egregious of offences.

And forget about the opposition Perikatan Nasional. What we now know of the leader of the opposition, is that he is ever willing to stack the deck with our boys, hence any form of independent oversight and institutional transparency would be anathema to him and his cohorts.

Keeping tabs on the royals

However, if you are looking for a reason from a prominent personality as to why we need an IPCMC we have to look no further than Johor Regent Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

In 2018, when Harapan came into power, the Johor crown prince claimed that he and his father were being monitored by the state security apparatus.

He claimed that his phone was tapped and his movements were monitored. Not to mention cyber troopers stationed at his social media outlets to act when necessary.

“I don’t understand why my phone is bugged. I don’t understand why my movements are monitored by the Special Branch. I don't understand why they need a file about me or my father in Bukit Aman,” as reported in the press.

Johor Regent Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim

He also said that - “I know the former government used this but this is supposed to be ‘Malaysia Baru’ - it is no place for such practices any longer. It is not nice when officials come to me saying that my father, the Johor sultan and I are being monitored.”

Now, these of course are serious allegations, as serious as those made by the ordinary rakyat like Indira and Ong.

The best avenue to express those grievances besides the press, that is, would be an independent IPCMC, don’t you think? This way there would be transparency and accountability for every citizen including the state security apparatus.

But yet the political class does not want to carry out the people’s mandate. Why?

The political class, when in power, chooses to endorse the decades-long victimhood narrative of the state security apparatus when it comes to oversight, which should tell us everything we need to know about efforts to reform the police.

This is because having any kind of independent oversight would hamper the way how the state security apparatus and the political class interact.

We need an IPCMC and we may never get it but this does not mean we stop advocating for it.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 4:56 PM   0 comments

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