Articles, Opinions & Views: Harapan will lose next GE if it takes its base for granted - 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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Harapan will lose next GE if it takes its base for granted - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, April 15, 2019
This is the elephant in the room
Malaysiakini : Why are non-Malay voters becoming disillusioned with Harapan? Is it because their daily lives have not improved under the new government? Or is it because Harapan has not delivered what was promised? – P Ramasamy
COMMENT | I wonder what P Ramasamy means when he says that “painful and unpopular decisions” have to be made to get the support of the rakyat. The problem with Harapan is that they are a pack of lily-livered politicians who care more about winning over the Umno/PAS crowd than taking care of their mostly non-Malay base.
The non-Malay politicians who claimed to have cajones of steel before assuming federal power, now appear to be fatigued and deflated. They spend their time simpering around Malay powerbrokers and whacking the non-Malay components of BN, and doing everything in their power not to spook the Malays.
It is kind of funny. The stereotype of the Umno voter is a “dedak” eater who votes in kleptocratic politicians for the “tongkat”. Well, in these last three by-elections, the Malays who voted for opposition politicians, did not give a damn about the enticements thrown their way by Pakatan Harapan, but instead voted opposition.
This would mean they did not care if the opposition could not do anything for them. This also means you either have to be really pissed off with the federal government, or you do not care if voting for the opposition disenfranchises you in some way. This was the narrative Harapan was pushing when they were the opposition, right? If you are Malay, you can be sure the Harapan government isn’t going to marginalise you, even if you do not vote for them.
I know some people in this by-election who voted for the opposition just to troll Harapan. Could this be some sort of bellwether when it comes to the non-Malay vote? Is KJ right when he says Umno could survive in mixed race constituencies? Who knows?

PM-designate Anwar Ibrahim (above, on right, standing) says the Rantau defeat is a reminder to focus on the people’s plight. This is typically what politicians say when they lose an election. What does this mean anyway? Was Harapan not focusing on the people’s plight, which is why the voters in Ranatu rejected the federal government? What a silly excuse to make in the defeat.
Harapan has been doing everything in its power to alienate their non-Malay base and screw over the progressive Malay element in Harapan. Non-Malay operatives have been bending over backwards attempting to project a benign face of Chinese influence in Harapan.
A lot of this has to do with the Bangsa Malaysia, now New Malaysia, nonsense that is seriously impeding Harapan when it comes to engaging with various communities, and instead attempting, in rhetoric at least, a one size fits all approach. M Kulasegaran (photo) must be embarrassed that there was an Indian swing to Umno. Does this tell us something about the Indians in Rantau, or does this tell us something about the way the Harapan elite deals with the Indian community?

The urban/rural divide is Harapan’s safety net. By safety net I mean enclaves where economics and culture are not beholden to the vagaries of religious, cultural and social diktats of the religious component in Malay power structures. It was like this when Umno/BN ruled supreme, but was supplanted by the various incarnations of what would become Pakatan Harapan led by Anwar Ibrahim.
While all politics is local, what the federal government should be doing is ensuring the Harapan base that voted for them (even when they were losing, but managed to break Umno's two-thirds majority in one of their defeats) is satisfied with their performance.
Instead, what the federal government is doing is attempting to replicate BN-style politics for a base which has no use for it. A base which believed that the reign of Harapan would move them away from the race-based and religion-influenced politics of Umno/BN.
Non-Malay politicians tell me they have to walk on eggshells when it comes to certain issues. They tell me the demonisation of the DAP seems to be working. Well, here’s the thing: if people are going to hate the DAP, they are going to do it regardless of whether the Umno/PAS coalition is in power or not. The narrative that the majority of Malays hate the DAP has always been around, but the DAP has survived, and even thrived. So do not use this excuse when it comes losing out to Umno/PAS.
You know what Harapan should be doing? They should be endorsing those so-called liberal Malays, because there is very little difference between the centre-right and far right when it comes to mainstream Malay politics. Instead, what the Harapan government does is bend over backwards attacking the very demographic which could change the narrative and encourage a new paradigm of mainstream Malay politics. A Harapan politician called me after the Rantau defeat and complained that the Harapan government needed more time. This is a red herring.
As I said in a piece warning that Harapan turning into BN was not the problem: “There is this dumb argument floating around that we should give Harapan more time since BN had six decades (or thereabouts) to “destroy” this country. This argument is not only ignorant, but it is also ahistorical. BN had functional policies at various times (just ask the current prime minister) and the opposition had a decade (or thereabouts) in control of certain states to differentiate itself from the federal government.”
It must be embarrassing to lose a by-election when Harapan campaigned “BN style”. It is as if the people rejected the politics Harapan claims it wants to do away with. Which is worse? Losing an election because you tried to ape Umno/BN, or losing an election because the voters rejected your progressive, egalitarian politics that could save Malaysia? I know which is worse.
Harapan has to decide which is worse.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:12 PM  
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