Articles, Opinions & Views: Icerd and the hunt for Waythamoorthy - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

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How shall I deal with you?

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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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Icerd and the hunt for Waythamoorthy - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Malaysiakini : "Some protesters were charged with murder simply because one police officer was bleeding whereas hundreds of protesters were severally injured.” – P Waythamoorthy, Hindraf leader
COMMENT | There used to be a time not long ago, when silence by non-Malay political operatives when it comes to Malay sacred cows was enough for the Malay far right. The end days of the Najib kleptocracy necessitated a ratcheting up of the Malay supremacists’ ideas. This meant if you were against discriminatory policies, you were a “racist” for attempting to cause instability in the Malaysian social and political landscape for promoting egalitarian ideas.
I explored this issue here (two years ago) – “In other words, standing up to bigotry and racism becomes a racist act and questioning those very provisions or policies that divide us along racial and religious lines becomes a racial political agenda. This is funny because oppositional parties are bending over backwards and in doing so engaging in the kind of political behaviour that contributes to the system of oppression that has sustained Umno all these years.”
This is exactly what is happening to P Waythamoorthy, a political operative who has been told to resign for comments made 10 years ago and because the Malay far right needs a causality in the culture wars that they are pinning their hopes on to return to federal power.
The irony is, of course, nothing Waytha has said in connection with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd) warrants the kind of sanctions put forward by these Malay supremacists.
Indeed, Waytha is the convenient scapegoat for the political machinations of a government which has found itself in a political quandary not because they have been outplayed by the Umno/PAS opposition, but because they do not have the scrotal fortitude to carry out the reforms they were shrieking about before May 9.
Indeed, as one Umno political operative told me, for those “stupid people” who think that New Malaysia is not about race and religion, this is a wake-up call for them. The fact is that this whole Icerd controversy is something that works only because of the statements to further the Bangsa Kool-Aid narrative.
Waytha as a political operative at least has been honest about his racial politics. True, I have had many public spats with him about his political stances but his political narrative - for better or worse - has been to put himself forward as an advocate for Indian issues, much like the way that Chinese issues are framed as a “Malaysian” agenda.
This, of course, goes against the Kool-Aid which demands that our culture be sublimated by some opaque Western notion of assimilation. Mind you, assimilation is a one-way street with the Malay "new Malaysians" exempt from this silly idea.
When it comes to Malay supremacy in terms of Article 153, Waytha like most Harapan political operatives has been extremely circumspect. For instance, when questioned on the “time limits” of those special rights (affirmative action policies), which Icerd is supposed to limit, Waytha stated that there is no time limit when it comes to the special rights as provided in the constitution of Malaysia. Indeed, he expressly stated that if there was such an issue, then Icerd would not be ratified.
In one of my earlier articles, I referenced an Umno minister who claimed that the special rights of the Malays would go on in perpetuity. So far, nobody from Harapan, certainly not a political operative like Waytha, has suggested otherwise. Indeed, when it comes to a provocative issue like Icerd, Waytha has become the poster boy for Malay anger, simply because the non-Malay members of Harapan have decided that they do not want to tackle this issue because to do so would put a target on their backs.
Impact of discriminatory policies 
Before May 9, the same politicians were talking about Bangsa Malaysia and after May 9, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng proudly declared himself a “Malaysian”. However when it comes to anti-discriminatory legislation, which could pave the way to a more equitable Malaysia, nobody wants to spook the Malays.
When questioned about Icerd for issuance, this is what Lim had to say: “We did not raise the issue. It was Waytha who did.” Pressed on DAP’s stand on ratifying the Icerd, Lim said his focus now was on improving the country’s economy. “My concern now is addressing the country’s economy,” he said.
Huh? This is funny of course, because even if we take Lim’s cowardly deflection at face value, discriminatory policies do affect the economy. Discriminatory policies affect the economic viability of not only the non-Malay community, but more importantly the majority Malay community in this country.
Discriminatory policies affect employment opportunities, education opportunities and the very ecosystem which sustains a vibrant economy able to withstand the vagaries of turbulent world markets. But do not let this little detail get in the way of not acknowledging, much less defending, a policy that could actually save Malaysia. And never mind that Waytha is a part of your administration.
GK Ganesan’s piece, “Will Malaysia’s ratification of Icerd ‘injure’ Malay rights” is an admirable defence of Icerd but presents its own set of problems. If Malay rights – however you choose to define, misinterpret or just plain fabricate it – are anathema to a New Malaysia, and if Icerd does not “injure” these rights, why bother ratifying it in the first place or object to it?
What Icerd does is remind people that we are equal. At the very least, special provisions could be attempted for marginalised communities to make them equal. You may disagree with affirmative action programmes for the minority, but you have to be invested in the system to believe that, by virtue of race, you have certain privileges.
This is why PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang gets to say that there should be a Muslim-only cabinet and his minions attempt to clarify his position, which only makes it worse. This is why you get the top cop in Terengganu claiming that the crimes of the pendatang are hampering the peace of the Malay community and even someone like then home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claiming that lethal force is used by the cops to protect Malay life. All of this is a matter of public record.
As of writing this piece, so far nobody has come to the defence of Waythamoorthy. I mean, Icerd is dead in the water. The Harapan grand poobah has said that it cannot be ratified, with reasoning that is predictably mendacious. Zahid has actually threatened that the Malays could run amok if this is passed, yet he has not been hauled up by the state security apparatus for threatening the peace and stability of this country.
Who gets screwed when it comes to this issue? The Indian minister who is left holding the bag of horse manure, which is what this issue has turned into. And this is most important lesson of this fiasco.
In this New Malaysia, if you advocate egalitarianism or anything that stifles the discriminatory system (even if you are left holding the bag), you are on your own.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:45 AM  
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