Articles, Opinions & Views: Money is wasted on youth (ministry) - 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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Money is wasted on youth (ministry) - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Those who, while they disapprove of the character and measures of a government, yield to it their allegiance and support are undoubtedly its most conscientious supporters, and so frequently the most serious obstacles to reform.”
― Henry David Thoreau

COMMENT | Does anyone else find it hilarious that Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman vows to defend the freedom of speech of that doctor who wrote an anti-LGBTQ polemic but remains strangely quiet when it comes to the freedom of speech of Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi?
This should tell you something about the politics at play or maybe even the kind of prejudices which are acceptable to the ruling elite in the country. Funny isn’t it, that the youngest minister in the government who is supposed to be supportive of youths, has no opinion on the state’s reaction to these two young activists. That Syed Saddiq has the gall to claim that whatever form the new Biro Tatanegara (BTN) and National Service programmes will take, it will mould the new leaders of tomorrow, is the height of hypocrisy.
As far as I can tell these two young people are demonstrating leadership qualities that other young people should pay attention to, rather than the leadership qualities (or lack thereof) of the new Pakatan Harapan regime. Honestly reading and understanding the issues these young people bring up, how they handle criticism and the reaction of the state towards them is far more instructive, in my opinion, on what it means to be Malaysians than whatever voodoo programmes the Youth Ministry belch up to justify its existence.
Which brings me to the little spat between opposition political operative Khairy Jamaluddin and Syed Saddiq about the alleged misuse of funds of the1Malaysia For Youth programme. Well, duh? Of course, some of the funds would have been misused, but is this really a revelation or is Syed Saddiq just taking a page from the older political operatives instead of truly reforming his ministry?
My question is, why does Harapan keep insisting on keeping programmes or tweaking them when before the election they said these programmes were destroying Malaysia? Young Syed Saddiq said that the idea behind 1Malaysia For Youth programme was “noble” because it was supposed to be about encouraging volunteerism among young people. This is really silly. Any government programme is there is encourage young people to vote for them. Can anyone seriously make the argument that government initiatives – any government initiatives – are non-political?
These programmes exist to brainwash young people into thinking that the government is a benign entity which should be supported because – depending on the quality and efficacy of said programmes – governments bring some sort of benefit to their lives. Whatever they receive in terms of experience or skill sets is built upon a foundation of propaganda.
This said propaganda worms its way into young people and they conflate political parties with the independent institutions of government. They do not think of government institutions as independent but rather as an extension of political parties. They may not articulate it as such, but it’s all there in how they express what they think of government and its role.
The real issues
Two points. 1. Has there ever been an audit on all these programmes, and a determination of how the funds were used and who profited from these youth programmes? I mean serious audit, not an audit to blame the BN government for all that is wrong with this country. 2. Has there ever been an in-depth study on how these programmes shaped the young generation over the years? Or is this merely window-dressing to justify the existence of a youth ministry while money gets diverted to who knows where?
Is the youth minister really interested in addressing issues faced by young people these days? You know what young people talk to me about or what has been reported in the press over the years? The following may depend on socio-economic background but here goes (in no particular order) –
Systemic discrimination in the public and private sector, religious intolerance which hampers their intellectual development and social lives, the cost of living especially young married couples, domestic violence, crime, the lure of religious terrorism, substance abuse, owning property, their  sexuality, their activism, the disconnect between their skill sets and the employment opportunities, talent mobility in the region, lack of awareness in financial planning, how to get other young people involved in the political process without resorting to political parties, aging parents, mental and physical health issues, lack of information about birth control or lack of access to birth control and the list does go on. This is really just a taste.
You really think that these substantive issues have been addressed by the former regime in any real meaningful way with drowning out the voices of young people in propaganda or racial and religious rhetoric? And does young Syed Saddiq want to play the same game?
Sure, spin doctors could make the case that the ministry has attempted to address some of these issues but would anyone really buy that? I do not get me started on the sports aspects of that ministry. Anyway, my comrade, R Nadeswaran is better qualified to speak on that subject. And he has.
Honestly, how have these programmes over the years shaped young people? Has it made them more responsible citizens? Has it made them more community-minded? I would argue that young people do have a better sense of community than their elders but this is in spite of what the government has done, not because of it.
Here’s a question. How do you get young people forget their difference when some young people believe that there should be Malay-only education institutions? Or that people should be cautious of criticising institutions like Mara because of the sensitivities of those involved? How exactly does “volunteerism”, “team building” and all those other fancy terms, negate political and social boxes imposed on young Malaysians and of which they desperately attempt to break free from, sometimes resulting in clashes with the state?
Instead of spending money on these youth programmes and a revised BTN propaganda effort, the money should be used on our education system and healthcare system, for example. Instead of fighting over the United Education Certificate (UEC), perhaps the Youth Ministry should discover why national schools, which are supposed to be the time and place that young Malaysians form their identities and integrate with one another, have become a hotbed of racial and religious intolerance.
Young people do not need programmes for volunteerism or whatever else nonsense to make them political leaders of tomorrow. What they need is a primary and secondary education system where racialism and bigotry are not enforced by the state under the guise of majority sensitivity.
Young people have access to information now. This, of course, does not make them news literate but it does make them understand that there is something wrong with this country and the people who lead it. How many percent of the “young” population vote? Not if they are eligible to vote, but if they even think that voting will improve their lives? I have no idea about anyone else and I, of course, do not speak for young people, but when I see young political operatives talk about young people, it seems like they do not speak for them either.
I get that Syed Saddiq is the youngest minister with no real working experience but you know what, I can name so many other young people who understand the problems of young people and who would jump at the opportunity to use the ministry to further the agenda of young people.
All these programmes conjure up images of a Leni Riefenstahl film and if that’s the goal, great. But young people deserve better.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:21 AM  
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