Articles, Opinions & Views: The real issue of the Umno-PAS union - 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."
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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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The real issue of the Umno-PAS union - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, March 09, 2019
UMNO - Piss oops PAS marriage
Malaysiakini : "Wherever the real power in a government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our governments, the real power lies in the majority of the community and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents." ― James Madison
COMMENT | The Bangsa Malaysia propaganda will not save anyone from the far-right rhetoric of Umno and PAS. The real danger of the Umno-PAS union is not in their rhetoric – which is more potential policy proposals rather than empty polemics – but rather the reactionary nature of Pakatan Harapan’s response to this union.
Most Malay political operatives in Harapan cannot even bring themselves to utter the words 'Bangsa Malaysia'. The only people who use this term are the non-Malay political operatives in Harapan and their enablers that feed into the Malay far-right narratives of the loss of Malay political and economic power.
DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang is wrong when he claims that Harapan defeated the lies and hate of Umno-PAS and won GE14. What Harapan managed to do was just squeak past between the goalposts. Harapan is now deathly afraid because they do not hold the holy grail of Malaysian politics which is majority Malay support. This kind of thinking is misguided and does not reflect the reality of a post-May 9 Malaysia.

Umno-PAS, meanwhile, have to grapple with the reality that they will never be a force to be reckoned with in urban – non-Malay areas – because no matter how Harapan stumbles, the alternative of an Umno-PAS rule is worse than the failures of Harapan. What they can, and have done, is to ensure that Harapan Malay power structures conform to the narratives and policy proposals that they set and not to the egalitarian agenda that Harapan ran on.
When PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang claims that the reason why Umno and PAS are “getting married” is that they can rightfully reclaim rule over the non-Malays, this is neither controversial nor disingenuous. The much sought after Malay base probably think this way too which is why Malay political operatives do not bother countering this narrative with the Bangsa Malaysia propaganda. It didn’t take long for Umno and PAS to understand that there will never be a sole protector of Malay rights and Islam in this country anymore.
The narrative Hadi is pushing, specifically, the talking points about Malay/ Muslim unity is exactly the same as what ex-PAS leader Nasharudin Mat Isa did three years ago when he was leading Najib Abdul Razak’s Global Movement of Moderates (GMM). You can read my take on it here and the importance of meaningful choices when it comes to the Malay/Muslim political schisms in this country:
“If every party is shovelling the same manure with a different shovel, then chances are that angry disenfranchised youths will turn to seductive religious voices in the belief that some meaning will be given to their lives and a solution to their economic and social estrangement.”
The racial discourse in this country has become even more problematic after the historic May 9 Harapan win with people attempting to navigate between various freedoms and the realpolitik of "Malay" rule. Remember when lawyer Art Harun (now Election Commission chief) told Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng not to be stupid when the whole fiasco about issuing government statements in Mandarin first cropped up?

I argued what the limits in this “New Malaysia” are and restated my case that this whole Bangsa Malaysia nonsense gets Harapan into more trouble than it is worth – “The problem with the Bangsa Malaysia ‘Kool-Aid’ is the negation of race and the hypocrisy of action(s) that precede or proceed it. It is always better to acknowledge your ethnicity and the reality of racial and religious politics in this country rather than put forward a hypocritical narrative that the non-Malays have to subscribe to in order to share power with the majority Malay community.”
In that situation, Art had to qualify his criticism: “I am not racist. And I am not talking about Malay rights or the proverbial mertabatkan Bahasa Melayu and stuff.” Which is what happens when progressive Malay political operatives and intellectuals find themselves in the quagmire of post-May 9 racial politics.
Meanwhile, Malay Harapan political operatives who viewed the removal of Najib as the primary goal of regime change, now have to contend with this idea that the Harapan (non-Malay and progressive Malay) base wants political and institutional reforms. As one Harapan Malay political operative told me, “How do you expect us to win when you want us to fight with one hand tied behind our back?”
He sent me a long text message berating me for not supporting the return of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s realpolitik. Mind you, this was not a Bersatu member. However, I am very well aware of the realpolitik of the situation. I wrote a decidedly morally ambiguous piece when commenting about Bersatu vice-president Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s 'by hook or by crook' electoral strategy.

“You really think that someone like Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has a finger on the pulse of the agitated Malay electorate or the guts to acknowledge the Umno system without resorting to the kind of euphemisms that people like Rashid have no time for or, to be honest, understand?” “You want us to lose, is it? Which is how he ended his long rant."
Lose what exactly? Forget about the unity of the ummah. The reality is that the political landscape of Malaysia is not conducive to the kind of Malay/Muslim hegemony envisioned by Malay political structures which want to be the sole custodian of Malay rights and Islam. While Harapan could lose certain states, they will retain certain states because the non-Malay base will never buy into the rhetoric of Umno-PAS.
The electoral numbers and party positioning just do not add up for PAS and Umno. And the former realises - or at least those political operatives who still speak to me - that eventually, squabbles will begin in the union because for now, PAS is not interested in expanding while Umno is just interested in clawing back its territory.
Federal power will never again rest in the hands of a sole Malay structure. Instead, it will be diffused amongst disparate power groups. What the Umno-PAS union really demonstrates is that Malay power structures cannot do it on their own anymore. This is the most important point of the historic May 9 Harapan win. The federal government and Malay power structures have changed. The real issue of the Umno-PAS union is not a war against non-Malays but rather a war in the Malay community.
The difference between Harapan and the Umno-PAS union is that the latter have reconciled with the reality that the political landscape has changed while the former is still invested in the idea that one party should represent the Malay polity.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:30 PM  
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