Articles, Opinions & Views: Amanah’s sound and fury - 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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Amanah’s sound and fury - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, December 17, 2018
Malaysiakini : What do we do now? - Bill McKay (The Candidate)
COMMENT | To be honest, I have always been ambivalent about Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah). As a splinter group of PAS, its creation was mired (rightly or wrongly) in the kind of DAP politics despised by the hardcore but not necessarily the Hadi supporting faithful of PAS.
Which is why Mat Sabu (who would make a better minster of tourism, arts and culture then his current Defence Ministry portfolio, which seems beyond his ken) reminding the Amanah faithful that they need Pakatan Harapan because they cannot stand alone, is music to the ears of many in PAS who still bear grudges.
The Amanah AGM has been getting some attention because the usually quaint party has been been expressing some sound and fury. This is to be expected in AGMs of these sorts (coming off a big win) especially from younger delegates.
It is a venting mechanism, which allows the older mainstream power brokers to get on with the business of maintaining power, but presents a veneer of radicalism. This “radicalism” is a good talking point for mainstream parties stuck in a rut of conventional politics, which they do not wish to abandon.
You know what is funny ? Amanah could be the kind of political party that could be effective in this country if it just discovers its cojones. However, this AGM does provide some interesting theatrics. If Amanah was really serious about reform, indeed if Harapan were really serious about reform they would pay attention to the issues brought up in this AGM.
I would argue that Amanah power brokers should make these issues “official” party policy so that Malaysians – however they identify themselves  – would have a better understanding of Amanah’s stance instead of relying on the fact that urban voters consider them a “moderate” Islamic party. A few issues stand out.
(1) What is the government hiding about Yemen?
This is a good question. Is the present government hiding anything that the former regime did in Yemen? Remember Saudi Arabia essentially uses other (Muslim) countries as mercenaries. I assume that with all the shenanigans that the House of Najib Abdul Razak was up to with the House of Saud, our boys were used as some sort of bargaining chips, for the 1MDB cover-up.

The present government should make public exactly what we did in this war which caused the death and misery of thousands of Muslims in Yemen. I can understand how the government would be hesitant in being transparent. Muslims in Malaysia are brainwashed into thinking that Muslims have to fear non-Muslims when it comes to their safety and security, hence revelations of how our troops were used by the House of Saud, in a conflict that is turning out to be a humanitarian disaster, would be shocking.
Remember that the kind of Islam that the House of Saud exported before the money ran out radicalised youths into believing that established Islamic hegemons were a detriment to the “true” power of the faith. Want to know how Muslims youths are radicalised? Well, one of the ways is that recruiters point to the horrors of Yemen perpetuated by corrupt Islamic kleptocrats.
(2) Malay privileges
I think it is great to hear a Malay/Muslim delegate of the ruling coalition party expressing the desire of most of the non-Malays in this country. However, wouldn’t it be great if Amanah actually made this official party policy? If the remarks of this young delegate sounded remarkably similar to the provisions of Icerd, why then did mainstream Malay and non-Malay power brokers remain silent, especially if this meant reaffirming the kind of Islam that is supposed to be to the kind preached to the thousands that showed up at the anti-Icerd rally?

Non-Malays need not worry, though. According to Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (photo) other governments need something like Icerd but here in Malaysia, we are unique and Islamic power brokers are more than capable of looking after everyone. So, we get a delegate calling for time limits on discriminatory practices and an older Harapan politburo member claiming that the Islam they profess is better than any international treaty. Who do you think is right ?
Remember, removing Malay privileges is not so that the non-Malays can compete with the Malays. Instead, it so that the Malays can compete with the non-Malays. These rights or privileges, or however you define them, are holding back the Malay community. Progressive voices in the community, which include academicians and politicians, have been saying this for years. This is why we get far right politicians making claims that if there was “discrimination”, why is it there are rich Chinese? The answer is obvious, Because those practices have not held back the non-Malays but instead screwed the average Malay.
(3) Essay writing competition
Some people do not think that this is a good idea. I think it is a great idea. I do think that this competition should only be for Muslims. Firstly, non-Muslims talking about Islam plays into the hands of certain morons and secondly, I do not want to read a piece by a well meaning or deluded non-Muslim, which would probably be used as propaganda to show how peaceful the religion of the state is.
But here is the thing though. Amanah has not given us its definition of “religious extremism”. How does Amanah define its stance when it comes to the other Islamic narratives out there? As far as I can see, what separates their form of Islam and the extremist ideas is better propaganda that works for urban audiences, but does very little for the rural heartland.

Is Amanah offering something different from mainstream Muslim narratives in this country? If you really want to change mindsets and use the propaganda organs at your disposal, here is my suggestion. Give someone like Siti Kassim (photo) a weekly talk show on RTM or whatever it is called now.
When it comes to Islam, unless Amanah can demonstrate otherwise, all these protestations about being different from PAS sound like a distinction without a difference.
(4) Broken election manifesto promises
So let me get this straight. The youth delegate rips up some paper as a symbolic gesture of how the rakyat feels of the Harapan broken promises but is confident that Tun would fulfil the promises in the manifesto? The same Tun that said the promise was made because they – Harapan – did not expect to win? The same Tun and Co, who have said that these promises are unrealistic to keep, considering the sensitivities of certain demographics?
The same Tun and Co, who have been waffling on nearly every single major campaign promise and claiming that further investigation meant that certain pernicious laws were of benefit to them? The same Tun who has said that our national debt is a trillion ringgit but we can afford R&D for a new third national car? But do not worry, apparently even Prophet Muhammad broke a promise, once, so how could we blame mere mortals, right?
(5) Empower the ulamas
I would think this is a good idea if the ulamas in Amanah were offering something different from PAS. But do we really need the ulamas in AMANAH getting into contentious religious squabbles with PAS and then retreating with their tails between their legs and agreeing with PAS, when the dust settles?
(6) Stand up to Mahathir on the third car
“Do not play safe, because we want to retain our position,” a delegate said. This may be true and it is linked with another important issue, such as taking care of the East Coast communities. Standing up to Dr Mahathir Mohamad goes beyond just the proposed third national car. It means a rejection of the kind of politics practised by Mahathir. Right now the coalition is dominated by sycophants. What happens when Mahathir is no longer in play? What is Harapan’s agenda, beyond just jailing kleptocrats?
So the big question is: can the sound and fury coming from Amanah translate to action? Or is this just an opportunity for some good press aimed at the demography that is keeping them afloat?
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:59 AM  
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