Articles, Opinions & Views: Latheefa Koya is right - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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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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Latheefa Koya is right - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, June 23, 2018

I have been against the Tabung Harapan since it was first mooted. The Finance Minister should stop participating in a popularity contest. Instead sort out the unequal taxation system we have in Malaysia which is an Apartheid Style of Taxation imposed on the minorities, to ease the life of the majority. Is that Jizya?  - Major D Swami (Retired)
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | So PKR leader Latheefa Koya is now the villain because of a couple of her statements. The first when she publicly disagreed with DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and reminded everyone that the court of public opinion is not enough to convict former premier Najib Abdul Razak and that no politician should be encouraging such a perception.
The second was when she called a child donating money to Tabung Harapan a gimmick. Well, folks, she is right on both counts. Tabung Harapan - a fund which so far has no oversight except that it is controlled by a political coalition - is a politically-charged fund no matter its genesis.
A child who donates to the fund has been contextualised as someone who has reduced the national debt as opposed to the former prime minister, which says a lot about the narrative developed by Pakatan Harapan. In other words, his act has become politicised and because everyone hates Najib, it is easy to make such statements. People either applaud or can’t be bothered to face the online opprobrium expected for dissenting against these types of tactics.
This kid is lucky. Partisan politics in Malaysia is not like it is in some Western democracies. If this were to happen in the US for instance, this kid’s life would have been torn apart with his detractors combing through his life hoping to spin his action as part of a larger partisan political narrative.
There would be articles which view his act as partisan posturing and he and his family would be vilified. This is why it is never a good thing for politicians to use kids in their narratives. Latheefa is right when she said the whole thing is exploitative but, of course, you wouldn’t get that from the expected online abuse she received.
Besides the usual allegations of having Umno DNA, a political operative from DAP sent me a sampling (which disgusted her) of abuse including comments that questioned if Lathheefa was menopausal, a bitter hag or part of an elaborate PKR plot to destabilise Harapan. All this from people who are supposed to be defending the noble actions of a kid.
Hannah Yeoh said at first she refused to accept the piggy bank but then relented. Her first instinct was the correct one. She should have just told this young man that the money would better serve the community he interacts with, his school, charitable organisations around his neighbourhood and that sort of thing instead of using this occasion to spread the Kool-Aid.
I hope this kid does NOT experience heartbreak
And make no mistake. This was a political statement. And that’s fine but you should not dress it up as anything other than a political statement. And that’s the problem right there. This is not about the kid. However, people who are critical of this stunt, would be made to look as if they are attacking the child.
His father had to come up and say that his son was a patriot when nobody was questioning the motives of his child - only the motives of those who chose to accept his money and remind everyone about that. Does anyone really need to be reminded that Najib is a kleptocrat? If you really believe that children should be able to express themselves, then what you should be doing is removing legislation that hinders such behaviour, exorcise racial and religious norms that hinder such expression and encourage young people with diverse opinions instead of relying on mob rule to silence dissent.
If a young person were to have written something that was against Harapan - even if it did not support the past regime - could you imagine the reception the child would have got? Actually, you do not. Anyone who offers up a dissenting view is routinely trounced by the Harapan faithful.
Need for scepticism
However, Hannah is right when she said that there are Malaysians kids doing this sort of thing. Over the years of observing activism, especially by young people, I have noticed how children, especially from underprivileged backgrounds, are more politically aware these days. They spending time, effort and money on activities that ironically do not get the attention of politicians except when it is politically expedient for the latter to do so. What these kids do is not a sideshow. It is part of their lives.
Honestly, I was amazed at how many qualifiers were in Latheefa’s statement. For instance, she made it clear that when she said that Harapan should get on with governing - she did not mean they were not. All she ventured was that this was a sideshow that the Harapan regime could do without. And it is.
Her rejoinder that this was a country of laws was also met with the same kind of online abuse. I get that Latheefa can be mercurial, but receiving text messages that she is some sort of sub-rosa agent out to destabilise Harapan? Or that she was attempting to divert from PKR’s own issues by sullying the good name of the DAP. Really? Another text read: "What has she ever done for this country, unlike this kid?”
So let me get this straight. Because PKR is perceived as the weak link in Harapan and its internal squabbles well-documented, PKR political operatives should just keep quiet and not say anything - especially if it goes against Harapan - because this demonstrates how they just want to destabilise the new government?
I have had a few public disagreements with what Latheefa has said but to claim that she is just some political operative who hasn’t done anything for the country is downright moronic. Her work with stateless people and gender issues, not to mention public interest cases - that nobody seemed to be interested in - is evidence that she is just not some political operative looking for publicity.
Reminding Malaysians that there is a difference between public opinion and the rule of law is something we need from our political operatives. Reminding Malaysians that the former prime minister deserves due process like every other citizen in this country is important. And she was right again when she questioned how a politician could make such a statement encouraging otherwise.
Why did we vote for Harapan? I do not know about anyone else but I voted for them to bring change in the way how we do things in this country. I did not vote for Harapan so a lynch mob could go after the former prime minister. I did not write glowingly about attorney-general Tommy Thomas so he could play the old BN game and fix the political enemies of the Harapan state.
If a case is brought against Najib, I want it to be an airtight case which finally exposes the depths of the 1MDB scandal after years of allegations. I want Malaysians to understand exactly how corrupt the former Umno state was and how we could ensure that the Harapan regime does not have the same room to make such mistakes.
These kinds of Harapan narratives and strategies prove one thing. There is a great need for scepticism in this new Malaysia.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:15 AM  
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