Articles, Opinions & Views: The fascist attacks against Fadiah Nadwa Fikri - 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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The fascist attacks against Fadiah Nadwa Fikri - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, July 14, 2018

Malaysiakini : "It is said that there's a democracy... but clearly it's a lie.” - Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, lawyer
COMMENT | When I first heard that this young lawyer was to be questioned by the cops over her allegedly seditious article about the monarchy, I was ambivalent. I had not read her article but the way how things are in Malaysia, the slightest “provocation” meant that people were called up for saying the most innocuous things. Then I read her piece.
Make no mistake, what Fadiah wrote is but one side of the argument. A side which has been forcibly silenced over the long Umno watch and now it would seem attempted to be silenced by the nascent power brokers in Putrajaya. It is a side that many Malaysians subscribe to but who fear speaking up for a variety of reasons. It is a side which is a game changer when it comes to how politics is perceived, practised and evolves in this country. This is the reason why some fear what she wrote.
Besides Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil, where are all the other political operatives who before the elections were shouting about how the Umno state was a failed state because freedom of speech was assaulted almost daily and the horrible Umnoputras were destroying democracy? I guess not spooking the Malays does not extend to someone like Fadiah because "these" types of Malays obviously do not count.
Let us not be precious. The ruling elite over the decades has curtailed the power of the monarchy. The last attempt was a brazen power grab by the former Umno regime through the National Security Council (NSC) gambit. The current Pakatan Harapan grand poobah has done his fair share of rabble-rousing when it comes to the power and the role of the monarchy. When it is convenient to defend the institution of the monarchy as a sacred cow of Malay/Muslim politics, political operatives jump up and down attempting to outdo one another in burnishing their ethnic and religious credentials.
All the while, the average rakyat, like what Fadiah describes, are left to the whims and fancy of political operatives who do not wish to change the paradigm because to do so would probably level the playing field and require them to actually engage in the political process to garner votes.
In my most recent article about Harapan waffling on abolishing the NSC Act, I alluded to this idea that curtailing (even further) the powers of the monarchy could be done legitimately without retaining the NSC - "Recent events and the shocking behaviour of royalty before and after the elections demonstrate that perhaps we are better off with formalising certain powers of the executive which further curtail the powers of the royalty. Those issues which Mahathir - and yes, people like me - claimed were being taken away from the royalty are perhaps better left in the hands of the executive without any need of consultation with the royalty."
What this young lawyer wrote was clearly articulated, well-thought through and needed to be said. It goes deeper than that though. It goes to the heart of the kind of feudalism sans monarchy that is this political system. When a certain group of Malays are exempt from the harsh glare of the religious police for behaviour which get the average not politically or socially connected Muslim in trouble, this is one example of the feudal system which is the reality for the majority community.
While this is the reality of the majority community, it is also our reality for obvious reasons. When Fadiah says this for instance – “Any attempt to break the fortress built around this existing system in order to democratise the space for people to assert their political existence is often met with harsh criticism and rebuke. As a result, the power to shape the future and direction of the country remains in the hands of the privileged few, thus further alienating the voices of the many, in particular the marginalised. Genuine democracy which seeks to place people at its heart therefore remains out of reach.” This helplessness in the face of state power is felt by every Malaysians regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation.
Did I say political operatives do not want to change the paradigm? A little nuance is needed. What I mean is, they do not want to change the paradigm unless it suits their purposes. Now sometimes the agenda of political operatives aligns with the rakyat but most times, especially in Malaysia, we have been programmed to accept their agenda as something pragmatic because sacred cows are in reality beasts meant to frighten the rakyat from speaking truth to power.
Some folks will say, let the political operatives operate behind the scene and do not rock the boat. This only emboldens elements which are detrimental to democracy in this country. People hold their representative accountable and if political operatives believe that they know better and a compliant rakyat will shout down dissenters, they will operate only when it suits their purposes and not the rakyat.
Three questions
Look at the three questions Fadiah posed –
1. Mengapa golongan yang darahnya merah, semerah darah mereka yang dipaksakan kepatuhan kepada golongan itu, mempunyai hak keistimewaan tersendiri?
2. Mengapa golongan yang memerah hasil keringat mereka yang bersusah payah berjuang untuk terus hidup dan mencari kehidupan yang manusiawi perlu diberikan layanan dan pemujaan persis tuhan?
3. Mengapa golongan yang dikurniakan secara mutlak mengikut budi bicara sendirinya kuasa besar dan kekayaan yang dirampas daripada mereka yang diperhambakan, kebal daripada kepertanggunjawaban?
Do you think these three questions are important? Do you feel that for far too long we have been under the thrall of an ideology which not only forces us to make pragmatic decisions which has impeded our identities, competitiveness and our sense of community in a fast-changing world? Do you think these questions are seditious? Do you think that our country is better off if we did not ask these questions? Do you think that this supposed New Malaysia is the right place to ask these questions?
Keep in mind the political elites have been asking these questions in their own way for their own agenda for decades. It is just that these questions have been verboten for the average schmuck pushed around for decades.
Are my questions seditious? Is this a crime on the same terrain of terrorising a convenience store in the name of religion? Because that is what it boils down to. People who do not want to be questioned and accusing the people who just want a discourse of sedition. Is this the new Malaysia where people are told not to rock the boat because to do so would spook the majority?
Has anyone ever done a detailed study on what the majority wants? Even if the opinion of the majority is divided, this is no reason to shut down the discourse. This merely means that people have to win over their detractors with reason. But reason has no place in the pen of sacred cows.
This is why attacks against this young lawyer are fascist. The attacks are fascist in form and substance. The attacks are anathema to a kind of Malaysia which is possible, if only more people have the courage to begin the discourse and the state does not shut down the discourse because their agendas are in peril.
I have been down on this whole New Malaysia idea. Honestly reading what Fadiah wrote gives people a sense of optimism. Not that her side is right (this is what discussions are for) but finally we are able to have this conversation.
Let us see if the state snuffs out this optimism.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:59 AM  
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