Articles, Opinions & Views: Zahid bends the knee to Hadi - 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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Zahid bends the knee to Hadi - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, November 19, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Cowardice rightly understood begins with selfishness and ends with shame.” – José Rizal, Noli Me Tángere
COMMENT | Well, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Umno president under investigation, has finally kissed PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s ring, when he claimed that Umno and PAS should merge.
Hadi, with his silence, is playing hard to get (which just makes it more humiliating for Umno and gives the PAS base that extra boost), but really, has there even been a kleptocrat that he has not liked for the advancement of race and religion? I previously made two points on the only Malay opposition:
“Now that Umno is the opposition and a babe in the woods when it comes to opposition politics, they are subservient to PAS who have demonstrated that they are willing to go at it alone, if need be.” “The Malay opposition will define itself by offering a virulent counter-narrative when it comes to issues of race and religion. They will attempt to force the Harapan regime to demonstrate how committed they are in their secular principles, and of course their egalitarian principles – if they are committed to these at all.”
What is destroying Umno is not the fact that its members are jumping ship or that the state has initiated a slew of investigations into the corrupt practices that had the imprimatur of the man leading Pakatan Harapan, but rather the utter cowardice of the current Umno leadership to go at it alone if need be. That and the fact that there is no short supply of court jesters operating without supervision at present.
Handling dissent
The upcoming rally against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd), jointly organised by PAS and Umno, is the perfect opportunity for 'New Malaysia'. We get to see how Harapan handles legitimate expression of dissent. We get to see if it caves to the political machinations of Umno and PAS.

What is worrying, of course, is prime minster-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim's rejoinder to Harapan that Icerd should be studied more carefully with concerned stakeholders. This, of course, is mendacious. Numerous academics, activists and political operatives have argued that the special positions of the Malay and Islam will not be threatened by ratifying Icerd.
Why isn’t Harapan using the propaganda organs at its disposal to tackle this issue head-on, and expose the deceits of Umno and PAS, instead of caving in as usual? There are a few strategists in Harapan who I have spoken to who say that they are hoping this blows over. Their thinking is, do not pour fuel and the fire will sputter out.
When PKR’s Saifuddin Nasution Ismail says that Harapan should not let the opposition set the agenda, and at the same time says something like his party not intending to ratify Icerd (a 'covering your ass' strategy that I discussed in my previous article), it is allowing them to do exactly that.
The reform agenda is more than just battling corruption. It was supposed to be about creating a new Malaysia, free from the racist agenda of Umno – or so Harapan political operatives claimed before May 9.
Fear and loathing
The problem with this kind of thinking is that Umno and PAS have no other issue to define the opposition agenda. In a sense, they are not really fighting with Harapan, they are fighting against the current prime minister.
Zahid’s public demonstrations of affection for PAS is the coward's way out for a race-based hegemon which has no power left. Yes, they have saboteurs in the government who are feeding them information and stalling whatever reforms Harapan needs to carry out, but the reality is that what Umno needs to do is galvanise the base, not coddle the potentates.

Umno political operatives who are in limbo when it comes to the party's internal politics tell me that what defines Zahid’s every move is fear.  Sure, he has convivial relationships with certain Harapan power brokers, but he does not have the gumption to stand alone as a centre-right Malay political outfit. He fears that haemorrhaging political operatives means that eventually Umno will have to fold into Bersatu.
This public courting of PAS to couple with Umno is Exhibit A of the fact that Zahid is losing control of Umno. Say what you like about PAS, but they always had their religious struggle to fall back on. Setting up an Islamic state with syariah laws is PAS’s endgame. While some PAS people I have spoken to claim that demographics will eventually determine if syariah is normalised in this country, why throw away an opportunity for a chance to reshape the country with a sizable minority to demonstrate the superiority of Islam?
What Zahid gives PAS is an opportunity to make the far right religious agenda the centrepiece of Malay oppositional politics. While Umno had a history of political, social and economic compromise with the non-Malay power structures of this country, Zahid is willing to flush all of this down the proverbial crapper, because he fears that Umno will collapse into irrelevancy if they do not get federal power.
A stacked deck
People often ask, why do PAS and Umno play the race and religion card? Here is the thing most people forget. Umno and PAS especially know that they will not get any resistance when they do.
Zahid’s cowardice is reflected in the political behaviour of the Harapan political elite. The religious far right in this country understand that the Malay Harapan power brokers are too cowardly to articulate a genuine 'New Malaysia' agenda.

This is why Hadi gets to challenge Harapan to a pissing contest when he wants to compare crowd sizes. What we know of these types of religious people, is that they are always about with size. 
Who knows if PAS and Umno can pull of the numbers required to make a big statement. As yet PAS has not truly attempted something this big post-May 9. But even if there is a massive turnout of people who are confused as to what Icerd really is, is the Harapan political class going to exhibit the cowardice of Zahid and fold like they normally do when challenged by the religious far right?
This kind of cowardice when the former Umno regime did exactly what it wanted when it came to slaying sacred Malay cows will eventually lead to a BN redux – if it is not happening already.
Because if they do this, then like Zahid, Harapan may as well bend the knee to Hadi.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:12 AM  
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