Articles, Opinions & Views: Second oldest genes and the oldest Malay political game - 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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Second oldest genes and the oldest Malay political game - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, August 06, 2018

Malaysiakini : “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” – George Carlin
COMMENT | Some of you may have read (and had a hysterical fit of laughter) about the theory put forward by historian Zaharah Sulaiman (top photo) at a recent forum organised by the Muslim Youth Movement (Abim), where she claimed that the Malay gene was the second oldest in the world. This flight of fancy was grounded by a rebuttal by Monash University professor Maude E Phipps.
But what is really amazing is what Zaharah is intending to do. As reported in the Malay Mail: “The historian also said she plans on approaching the government hoping to revise Malaysian history so it will be more accurate in light of the recent findings.” If anything, what this demonstrates is that the idea of ketuananism cannot withstand scientific and intellectual scrutiny. Although with this government, you can never say never. Maybe what they need is time to “study” the issue before making any comments.
‘Studying the issue’
What does "study the issue" really mean anyway, especially when it comes to the promises made before the election? Take this latest bit about the Gender Equality Bill. Deputy Women’s Minister Hannah Yeoh says “religious authorities must now be consulted to ensure the bill being drafted takes into account cultural norms.” Really? Whose cultural norms are we talking about here? And which religious authorities would be consulted? That's the key right? The other faiths in this country do not have religious authorities. The only faith with authority – pardon the pun – is Islam. You cannot get a Gender Equality Bill off the ground, but you can seriously propose a Racial and Religious Hatred Act?
One of the reasons why I have great scepticism for this nonsensical Racial and Religious Hatred Act, is that as usual, Harapan politicians say things but do not back up their words with action. For instance, when Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said that Pakatan Harapan is a Christian-led coalition and uses their platform to evangelise on the Sungai Kandis campaign trail, would this run afoul of the act?
Lim Kit Siang may term this as Umno’s “ scorched-earth policy” but nowhere is his rebuttal did he reference the proposed act, and what it would mean for the racial and religious discourse in this country.
The fact that PKR retained the state seat – low voter turnout notwithstanding – is evidence, I think, that most Malays couldn’t care less about the racial and religious slander coming out of Umno.
The only people with real influence in the religious discourse is PAS, and as usual, they choose their words carefully and infiltrate existing power structures and political movements to subvert them from within… Hold on, did what I just write run afoul of the act?
Losing control of the narrative
The reality is that Harapan is bending over backwards to demonstrate that they do not want to spook the Malays. When someone like PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man says that under this new regime, Islam and Malays rights are more freely criticised, what he is really saying is that Malay power structures are unnerved that the sacred cows that for years were used to stampede on the rights of non-Malays are slowly running out of steam.
The Malay world did not end on May 9. Former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin thinks that the existential crisis in his party is the rhetoric of race and religion, but he is wrong. If it were, then it would be a crisis for Bersatu too, but it isn’t. The existential crisis for Umno is that it no longer controls the narrative when it comes to Malay rights, and that it has lost the Islamic narrative to PAS.
Because Harapan is so afraid of controlling the narrative when it comes to Islam, all the power lies with PAS at this moment. This is why Malay/Muslims who call for an end to child marriages or seek to halt the regressive elements of the religion are demonised as ‘liberals’, and even the Harapan political and religious elite are cautious about issuing statements in case they go against whatever groupthink they think will win them elections.
The folly of caution
Being cautious when it comes to this is stupid. I get that the Harapan Malay power structures do not think they have the Malay vote locked down. But that’s okay. What you need to do is expand the base, especially the younger Malay voting demographic, instead of reaching out to the same (old) base which is slowly, for various reasons, becoming irrelevant.
Look, when someone like Tuan Ibrahim gets his knickers in a twist about religious schools in that he does not want them touched, why do you think this is? Because Islamist power structures, like the one he belongs to, understand that the indoctrination process spread out throughout the country gets them a young voter base aligned with their ideology.
Because no matter what people say, young people want progress. This is not to say that they are not religious, but they do not want their religion to constrain them. Instead of encouraging a vanguard of progressive Malay voices, what Harapan and its enablers are doing is attempting to replicate the BN formula, which ultimately led to the Najib Abdul Razak regime.
What is the foundation of ketuananism? “Those Malays who want an egalitarian system will no doubt be mocked or vilified for expressing such sentiments and accused of rocking the Harapan boat. Encouraging the perception that the Malay vote is monolithic and unchanging is the foundation of ketuanan politics.”
This idea has become so ingrained, perhaps not in the general Malay population, but rather the political and intellectual class of Malay society, that we get – for lack of a better word – moronic statements, like the historian and her world’s second oldest gene, or the numerous statements about Malay rights and the supremacy of Islam over every other religion.
I get so many emails from people asking me to give time to the government to formulate their policies. This is not about policies. Let me be very clear. I have very little interest in the corruption scandals that plague this country. With a change in government, I have full confidence that there are people working to solve this issue, knowing that corruption is a matter of degree.
No, the existential threat facing this country is religious extremism coupled with racial supremacy. The government needs to put forward a counter-narrative to the ideas put out by PAS and Umno. They should not cave in to the regressive forms of theocratic tendencies, because that is exactly what the opposition wants.
Here's the thing. Bad ideas and rhetoric have to be challenged at every opportunity. Extremists sense and understand how they can manipulate weak governments into creating bigoted policies. They understand that the Harapan faithful do not want to rock the boat, and will use every opportunity to hamper reform efforts in the guise of bangsa dan agama.
If you raise these kinds of issues with the regime, all you will probably get is something like what Yeoh says, that the religious authorities would need to be consulted to take into account cultural norms.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:44 AM  
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