Articles, Opinions & Views: Sex, lies and hypocrisy in Penang - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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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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Sex, lies and hypocrisy in Penang - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Commander Thayaparan
Malaysiakini : “And what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite.” - Oscar Wilde, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’
COMMENT | The cancellation of Fa Abdul’s play 'Sex in Georgetown City' (later renamed 'Love in Georgetown City'), is the kind of fascist tactic that most Malaysians should be horrified with, but which goes unnoticed because people do not understand how religious extremists count on small wins to achieve a big victory.
I read Pravindharan Balakrishnan’s letter to Malaysiakini about the cancellation of the play and marvelled at how Pravindharan talked about “functionalism,” our education system and conflicting normative values, which made it sound like we were at a tea party instead of a knife fight in an alley, which is exactly what the fight against religious extremism is in this country.
It is ridiculous talking about our screwed-up education system when the reality is that in Penang, for instance, the state government, which likes to claim it believes in secular values, has made it a point to out-spend the previous state government when it comes to Islamic funding. Just last year when Lim Guan Eng was still chief minister, he crowed that RM4.11 million to Islamic affairs showed that the state government did not neglect the welfare of Malays and Islam in the state.
I have made this point numerous times. When you fund organisations that promote a specific kind of Islamic narrative, what you get are religious bigots and extremists, probably enjoying gorging on state coffers, spouting religious propaganda to clamp down on our public space and define public policy.
So when the Penang mufti. objecting to a play he did not see because of its original title, says this - “Art and entertainment activities that are left uncontrolled will only lead to the destruction of humankind” – what we are left with is not a religious operative attempting to crack down on our public space, but rather state-sponsored, state-funded and state-sanctioned religious thuggery, that is attempting to define art and what is acceptable discourse in our public space.
Forget functionalism, this is about fascism. This is also about lies and hypocrisy. Both of which are the currency extremists trade in. Penang PAS Youth information chief Ahmad Shafian Ujar claimed that this play will lead to ‘free sex, baby dumping, drugs and other social issues.”
Which community is he representing? I did not see Christian, Hindu or Buddhist religious operatives protesting this play. So he’s there not for the non-Malays, but for the Malay community, the Islamic community.
What does this say about these social issues? It tells us that these "social problems" are more prevalent in areas where religious dogma is public policy This is a fact. Now, those places, I am sure, are not staging English-language productions with titles such as 'Sex in Kota Bharu.'
So when this religious operative blames the DAP state government for not cracking down on plays like this, I blame the Penang state government for continuing to outspend BN in furthering the agenda of religious intolerance and for failing to redefine the Malay/Muslim agenda in Penang.
That RM4.11 million could have been spent on bolstering educational initiatives for young Malays and after-school secular activities for Malay students, instead of funnelling money to the Islamic affairs bureaucracy which, let me guess, has no state oversight. This is what people mean when they say that Pakatan Harapan is not changing the narrative.
Drenched with sex
Then there is the hypocrisy. These religious types always like to make it seem as if non-Malays are obsessed with sex. Even though this particular play was written and produced by a Muslim, the implication is that these so-called liberal values are always attached to “sex”. The reality is that the Malay/Muslim media is drenched with sex. The Malay press reports endlessly on the sex lives of celebrities. They report endlessly on the sexual activities of the average Malay rakyat.
The Malay readership laps up these stories. For all this talk about banning plays and works of literature by these religious hoodlums, what is in the Malay media is the constant exploration, or should that be exploitation, of sex.
One of the protesters of Fa Abdul’s play was worried that the LGBTQ agenda would be propagated by her play. How about this? A couple of months ago, Malay-language daily Kosmo! ran a cover story title – ‘Terseksa jadi hamba seks teman serumah’ (Coerced into becoming sex-slave of housemate). For the record, I am not an avid Kosmo! reader. I have many young Malay friends who pass me this kind of news stories because to them it demonstrates the hypocrisy in their community.
This particular story is about how a young Malay male named Zach, in a loving heterosexual relationship with Shira, is blackmailed into committing homosexual sex acts with his housemate, Fariz, after the latter lends him money which he cannot pay back.
I have not seen Fa Abdul’s play, but this rencana utama (lead story) seems to me something our moral guardians would latch onto. I am curious though: if someone is blackmailed into committing homosexual sex acts, is it still a religious crime? After all, Zach thought this was a test from god - Dia juga mengakui lebih positif dan menganggap perkenalannya dengan Fariz adalah ujian daripada Tuhan. How does someone get coerced into committing homosexual acts? Apparently, he could not repay his loan, so he had sex in lieu of repayment. Then the guy records their sex acts and blackmails him for more sex.
And Zach eventually reconciled his relationship with Fariz as a test from god - Dia juga mengakui lebih positif dan menganggap perkenalannya dengan Fariz adalah ujian daripada Tuhan.
Why isn't there a clamour to shut down Kosmo!? Because our moral guardians are more interested in clamping down the public space in urban areas than in the Malay/Muslim public space?
Or maybe they just understand that life is stranger than fiction.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:51 AM  
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