Articles, Opinions & Views: MCA should leave BN - but never join Harapan - 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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MCA should leave BN - but never join Harapan - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, October 06, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.” – Karl Popper
COMMENT | Should MCA leave BN? The short answer would be yes. Remember in the Balakong by-election, DAP national chairperson Tan Kok Wai challenged MCA to leave BN if it lost the seat. Not only that, he also said that MCA should join Pakatan Harapan in the future, if they agree with the coalition's principles.  I have no idea what Harapan’s principles are, but if Tan’s muddled thinking about race-based parties is anything to go by, these principles must be really screwed up. This is what Tan said about race-based politics: “Malaysia is a multiracial country. If race-based parties continue to exist, they could affect the harmony and unity among the people, as they are only looking out for themselves,”
How anyone can say this with Bersatu as the anchor for Harapan, when political operatives claimed that Mahathir and Bersatu were needed to secure the Malay vote, and a bumiputera congress was held to assuage the anxiety of Harapan-supporting Malays is beyond me. But then again, this idea of multiculturalism was always a non-Malay meme. Mainstream Malay politics is not about inclusivity.
So is this idea of leaving BN something MCA should consider? After May 9, MCA operatives have been more amenable to having conversations with me. Before, there was understandably a reticence in our conversations; these days, MCA operatives are more open to a kind of no-holds-barred discussion about the state of the federation. When I look over some of the social media data, graphs and what-have-yous that MCA operatives have me study, along with other open source material, I always tell MCA that they are misreading the “running dog” narrative that fuels mainstream non-Malay politics.
Look, the Chinese community, no matter what the Kool-Aid says, did not abandon MCA because they were a race-based party, but because they believed that MCA were subservient when it came to the racial and religious based provocations of the Umno state.
Why leave?
The 1MDB issue was a powerful narrative, but the truth is that MCA was bleeding support long before the excess of the Najib regime sealed Umno' fate of May 9. This idea that we are living in a postracial Malaysia is complete nonsense.
Even hardcore Harapan supporters make excuses for its racial politics because they know that ultimately what determines how 'new' the 'new Malaysia' really is how far the mainstream Malay polity will go. Non-Malays are shamed into agreeing with politically correct narratives of a postracial Malaysia.
The reason why the MCA should leave BN is not as some sort of display that the MCA disavows Umno, but because Umno may not last much longer. Better leave when Umno is at least still maintaining some hold over BN, then leaving as a fait accompli. Right now, Umno is losing the political war of attrition, waged by Bersatu and factions within PKR.
When incumbent PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali says that Umno representation may soon whittle down to nothing, people should pay attention. I have often said that Azmin is one of the most cunning political operatives in this country, and certainly one whose ascension will eventually determine the direction of mainstream Malay politics in this country.
Umno operatives tell me that if MCA leaves BN, this would sound the death knell of the party. They are wrong. The MCA is already dead in the water. I remember the days when the DAP had no support from the Chinese community and were alone in their fight against the Umno regime. This time it would be easier.
The MCA as an oppositional voice does not have to start from scratch. While people are comfortable with Harapan now, if the excesses pile up, there would be a shorter period for a popular revolt most probably within the non-Malay community.
This idea that people would not vote for MCA because they are a race-based party is naive. If DAP, which is supposed to be the non-Malay safeguard against bumiputera excess, lets non-Malays down, then MCA regardless of its 'race-based' status is the sole secular alternative in town.
Just to recap of what I wrote in my open letter to the MCA -“While I am ambivalent about you opening up, what I do know is that you do not have to be a multiracial party to advocate secular, egalitarian principles – contradictory as that may seem – and act as a watchdog for corruption in the new government.
At this moment, anything you say will be mocked, and your political operatives vilified. But here’s the thing. The same happened to the opposition during the long Umno watch, before the charismatic Anwar Ibrahim cobbled together an alliance which eventually brought down the Umno state.”
Remember mainstream Malay politics always demonise Chinese-based political, economic and social structures. During the election season, it was the yellow peril narrative (China) from Harapan and the Chinese-dominated federal government narrative of Umno. Both demonised a certain community with the aim of galvanising Malay support. This is the bedrock of mainstream Malay politics.
Stand and deliver
This is why the MCA needs to stand and suffer alone if need be, building back its base without Umno and certainly not with Harapan. If the MCA folds for whatever reason, non-Malay Malaysians will have no secular alternative which has been in the federal and state bureaucracy. There will be no other non-Malay power structure to rally around with the experience of dealing with Malay hegemons.
And while some people will laugh now that Harapan will never accept the MCA into their fold, who knows how things will turn out. There may very well be a split in the Chinese vote too. When this day happens, there will certainly be overtures to the idea of Chinese solidarity.
Right the now the gameplan is to destroy BN, but specifically for Malay power structures to consolidate power to ensure some sort of stability. The reality is that the personality politics as exemplified by the current prime minister will not last forever. Maybe not even a full term. Add to this the internal power struggles within Harapan and PAS, which is a far more dangerous adversary than Umno, and what we have is a possible spring of theocratic discontent.
The MCA needs to leave Umno and remain independent not as some sort of penance – May 9 is penance enough – but because soon Malaysians will understand that we will always need a secular racial alternative to mainstream Malay politics.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 3:56 PM  
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