Articles, Opinions & Views: Were the torchbearers worthy?

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No Atheists
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

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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Were the torchbearers worthy?
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Are Zolkples and Dr Ramlan more important than say, Istiaq Mobarak, who qualified for the semi-finals of the 110m hurdles at the Munich Olympics of 1972? Can their contributions be matched with those of Datuk R. Yogeswaran who played in the Olympics of 1964 and 1968 and then managed the team to Sydney in 2000? What about Ghani Minhat, the "Raja Bola Sepak"? What about the famed doubles pair of Tan Yee Khan and Ng Boon Bee? What about M. Rajamani and double international Nashatar Singh? And what about Datuk M. Chandran who captained the Malaysian football team to their first Olympics in 1972?

What is the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur doing with the torch? After all, it is because of the policies of the City Hall that we have only one playing field left. How has he or City Hall supported sports? Both have been destructive in nature, allowing unplanned development and ignoring the need for sports and recreational facilities.

Everyone will laud the honour given to some of our para-Olympians, but it is painful to note how our former sportsmen have been dumped to make way for "corporate dudes", civil servants and even suppliers of apparels (for which they are paid) who are hijacking the achievements of those who sacrificed blood, sweat and tears for the country?

Granted that some sponsors and participating organisations which were given slots may not have known whom to accord the runners’ slots to. Which is why it is incumbent upon the OCM to have provided a shortlist of ex-athletes who would be deserving of the honour instead of some official or corporate individuals who are there by virtue of their position and the almighty ringgit.

The least the organisers’ should have done – and this is where the OCM must take the blame – is to invite our former Olympians to witness the event, providing them with VIP seating. Instead, some former Olympians who were there on their own accord were pushed back along with the rest of the crowd by the security officials.

The OCM has a wing called the ex-Olympians Association of Malaysia. What role it plays is anyone’s guess, but this torch run gave it an excellent opportunity to play a useful role. It failed miserably.

Someone once remarked that when a Malaysian sportsman wins, he does not run to hug his coach, instead officials and politicians will run to hug the player. Will anything change? And will someone tell us the criteria used in the selection or it was case of I, you and me? The Sun
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:01 AM  
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