Articles, Opinions & Views: Will politicians learn something from the beer promoter? Governing without being elected - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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“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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Will politicians learn something from the beer promoter? Governing without being elected - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Friday, November 23, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.” – John Steinbeck, East of Eden

COMMENT | I have known people like Edi Rejang all my life. Not all of them are Malay. Most of them are clever, though, hiding their racism behind a mask of politics. In Malaysia, this is easier to do than in other countries. These days, though, the lines are blurred. After the incident took place, some people who passed me the viral clip said it was because of Umno/PAS. As if racism like the kind Edi displayed is specific to Umno/PAS.
Poor Edi blamed tiredness for his bad behaviour. Maybe the folks of Kampung Manjoi were tired too. Maybe they were tired of seeing non-Malays enjoying themselves after a hard day’s work with a cold brew, laughing and talking with like-minded citizens. Maybe they thought that excessive laughter was verboten (forbidden, in German) in Bumi Melayu (Malay land) and it was their job to see that people do not have access to substances which encourage such behaviour.
When racists and bigots show their true colours, in America for instance, they are mocked and vilified online. When they lose their jobs, they are mocked and vilified. When they are teary-eyed in the press conferences, they are mocked and vilified. When they repent, they are mocked and vilified because people understand they may not be able to correct the injustices of the system but they sure as hell can mock and vilify people who would engage in such behaviour because they are emboldened by systems which encourage – with a wink and a nod – such behaviour.
DAP’s Lim Lip Eng (photo) said the reason why he lodged a report was because he wanted the state security apparatus to come up with solutions to “to eradicate racial tension and to promote harmony in our multiracial, multicultural society”. What horse manure is this?
It is not the job of the state security apparatus to come up with political or social solutions to such issues in this country. It is your job, Lim. It is the job of the politicians who claim they have the solutions and who people voted for.
And the tragedy, of course, is this. If this was a Chinese person who did this to a Malay person, you would bet your last ringgit that the consequences would be different. You would have non-Malay political operatives saying that the person deserved the full brunt of the law. They would be calls that this should not happen in this multicultural paradise.
Lim also said this: “I don’t want anyone to be penalised and I also don’t want any category of people (whether it be) race, gender or whatever - to be insulted.”
Who are the people routinely insulted? 
Really, Lim? Who are the people routinely insulted in this country? Who are the people called “pigs” and “keling” in this country? Who are the people routinely told to leave Bumi Melayu if all they want is to be treated like normal citizens? Who are the people who always have to turn the other cheek, because to do otherwise would spook the Malays? Does writing this make me a liberal or patriot?
I mean it is funny, right? DAP has now taken on the role of being the people who have to sanction (lodge a police report) and embrace (through teary-eyed pressers with mea culpa) racists because to do otherwise would paint the DAP as a party that is anti-Malay.
Just as the Low Yat criminals had their racism validated by the then Umno state by giving Malay tech entrepreneurs their own space, what Edi (photo) has done is make the DAP validate his “suffering” – his kids, his apology, his loss of employment – because to do otherwise would be seen as an attack against the Malay community, instead of the legitimate scorn upon a person who fails to realise that his racism could – “could”, mind you, because this is Malaysia – cost him.
Lawyer and activist Syahredzan Johan claims that this is not about Edi, and that we should instead ask ourselves why prejudice and hatred exist in this society. That is total horse manure. Why should we, who are normally the recipients of such abuse, have to contemplate the causes of racism and bigotry? We already know the answer. When PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang says that our non-Malay religions are not equal to Islam, are the good Muslims of Pakatan Harapan going to argue otherwise?
Think about it. You are told that your race is superior. You are told that your religion is superior. You are told that the other communities should be grateful to exist in your country. You are told that other cultures are unequal to your culture. You are told that you are allowed to run amok if things do not go your way. You are taught the other races should not intrude into your domains. You are told that the political system will protect you because nobody wants to spook your race. Does anyone really think that this is solely an Umno/PAS narrative?
Meanwhile, the non-Malays are taught to be circumspect. We are taught to play ball because to do otherwise would be to invite trouble. It does not matter if we vote in people to create a more equitable Malaysia, because those people who were voted in understand that spooking the Malays is not wise because even if you had majority support, you will always need such support – to do what exactly, I have no idea. Do not be liberal. Do not talk about subjects which encroach upon your public or private spaces. We have brilliant leaders who know when the right time is to broach these subjects.
This is what the non-Malays – and those Malays who believe that there is something wrong with the system – are told.
Governing without being elected 
So, yeah, this is not about Edi Rejang. Some people say that this is actually a Malay problem, that they have to decide how they want to evolve as a society. This is such a self-defeating defence of mainstream Malaysian politics. Why would they want to evolve when they know that the non-Malays will not stand up for their rights as equal citizens but instead coddle existing power structures for whatever benefit they think such enabling gets them?
Then we have Malay and Muslim activist groups that support Harapan, but attempt to define mainstream Malay politics as being under attack by “liberals” who want instant change. Completely false, of course. Nobody wants instant change. Some people just want certain pledges kept. What these activists want are for these “liberals” to remain silent, and to hope instead that change comes because Malay power structures really want change. Do Malay power structures really want change?
They never once stop to think that egalitarianism is not solely a “liberal” idea. However, more importantly, if they threw their voices in with the liberals, then there would be a bigger base clamouring for reforms instead of the usual power brokers and intelligentsia wishing to maintain the status quo.
Don’t you people get it? If the extremists have their way on issues like the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd) for instance, then they would be governing without being elected. They would be governed by mob rule or rule by theocracy, even higher than the sultans.
Politicians who use religion and race are just the Edi Rejangs who are elected and lording over the rest of us. We are all the beer promoters in their eyes. Hey Lim, you want to know who has a solution to that problem you want the state security apparatus to solve? The answer is how this young woman stood up to this guy. The answer is how she did not back down. She did not enable his bigotry.
Her defiance in the face of his bigotry is something political operatives should learn from. Her grace under pressure is more formidable than the thousands someone like Hadi may gather to spread his falsehoods. Her defiance and speaking in Mandarin was a finger to mainstream Malaysian politics. She probably did not intend it to be viewed as such, but instinctively she knew what was the right thing to do.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:24 AM  
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