Articles, Opinions & Views: Merdeka after May 9 - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

Views & Articles
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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Merdeka after May 9 - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, September 03, 2018
Not Patriotic Enough ?
I don't think I will ever be able to hoist the flag in this country as long as my children and I are treated unequally. Millions of Non Muslim kids lives have been destroyed by the likes of Mamakthir and the King Cobra, by depriving and denying promising and intelligent young kids of higher education. Instead giving them to "handicapped and mediocre ones, by virtue of their faith, where they are described as above the rest. Even Indons , Banglas and Pakis take precedence over me, I who have risked my life and limb for this country. They become Bumiputeras because of their faith! Khir Toyo a first generation Indon  along with Zahid Hamidi are good examples and Khir Toyo a convict, to boot......and this country was supposed to be secular. The bile within me comes out when people talk about patriotism, especially the privileged ones  - Major D Swami (Retired)
Malaysiakini : “Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid... Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.” ― Bertrand Russell, Why Men Fight
COMMENT | For the record, when Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad wonders if the Malays can compete with Chinese nationals, it is complete horse manure. The Chinese community, foreign or domestic, is always portrayed as the existential threat to the Malay community.
The reality is that the threat to the Malay community has always been the foreign nationals from the Indian subcontinent and the purveyors of Arab culture from the Middle East, who have distorted whatever culture the community had. If anything, the local Chinese have to recalibrate themselves if they wish to compete with their brethren from the motherland. If it is anything like how local Indians have to compete with their countrymen, then it is us ‘pendatang’ are the ones who have cause to worry.
This bumiputera ecosystem has made us feeble. The cultures that sustained us all those years, when we built the foundation of this country, were slowly lost in the delirium of perceived political emancipation within a rigged game with shifty players. This year, anecdotally speaking, many people – friends, strangers, those who like what I write, and those who despise what I write – are telling me that this is the first time they are happily hoisting the flag for Merdeka.
I understand why some folks would be excited about this year’s Merdeka celebrations. A new government and the fact that democracy works in this country is something to be excited about. The younger generation is especially enthusiastic because they had regime change in their lifetime and it seemed so easy. It is not a perfect new government, but I understand the sentiment.
Writing about Merdeka during the Umno regime was more often than not an act of defiance. Before Najib Abdul Razak sent BN to the can and rejected the old maverick Mahathir’s hand of friendship, when people supported the old regime and proudly celebrated Merdeka every year, there was this sense that we were living in a great country.
People may think that strange, but when BN was winning big and folks were disparaging the opposition, I remember talking to this old DAP hand – who has since left the political game – and he was wondering, sadly, if people really cared about this country. I told him that they do, it’s just that life is good. But sooner or later, things will change. Things always change.
I remember how he and his wife talked about the day when BN would be denied their two-thirds majority. In those days, that was all the opposition could hope for. This was way before I started writing. Then Reformasi happened.
I am not one to buy into the whole revisionist thing going on now. When Anwar Ibrahim was cast out of the Umno paradise and took to the streets, something changed. Maybe some readers are too young to understand this, but there was this sense that something had to give. Whatever you may think of Anwar now, back in the early days, he was the first to galvanise the Malay polity, and then the non-Malay community.
It was not because Anwar said the right things and made the requisite mea culpas that bothered my friends from the Special Branch; it was that his narrative did not change. They were always trying to trap him – prove that he was a charlatan; a fake messiah before the idea of fake news made it impossible to hold a constructive discussion.
I remember when my PAS comrades invited me to their rallies. At first, I demurred, because back in the day I had written a position paper that said the next faultline in mainstream Malay politics was the sundering of the Umno base, which would make May 13 look like a Christmas party. Never have I been so happy to be so wrong.
I relented, and was soon walking with the rest of the malcontents who thought that Umno’s time was up. Mind you, in those days, it was a largely Malay affair. So this idea that the Malays do not understand what Umno was doing is a sort of politically correct fairy tale that only took root much later on.
Then the opposition formalised its alliance a couple of times. And then, of course, Mahathir happened. Bersih took place in the meantime, and as usual, I found myself walking the streets, collecting anecdotes and publishing them in Malaysiakini.
Earning independence
As the years dragged on, some of the old-timers were beginning to wonder if change was even possible. My long-time DAP friend, a Chinese educationist by trade and a patriot by inclination, decided that he had enough, and chose to be just an ordinary voter. “Do not like the politics, Thaya, but will vote because there is no choice,” he said, giving in to that terrible, perhaps false notion of there being no choice.
Sadly, he did not get the chance cast his vote that would see his beloved, if compromised, opposition take Putrajaya. He passed away a few months before the crucial vote, still believing that the Malaysia he loved was worth saving.
Neither would my great friend and moral compass, Bernard Khoo. He spent his life fighting the right fight – even if he sometimes vehemently disagreed with my positions – but also passed away before the polls, still believing that Malaysia was worth saving.
Last year, when I wrote about the forthcoming Merdeka celebrations, I said this – “Perhaps there is no point celebrating Merdeka or wondering why people have no desire to hoist the national flag. It is not that we have not achieved independence. The sad fact is that we have not earned it.”
If we do not speak truth to power, if we make excuses for the political elite out of partisan fervour, it would have all been for nothing. If anything, this year’s Merdeka reminds me that we have still not earned independence.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:13 AM  
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