Articles, Opinions & Views: Harapan's gathering storm - 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

Photobucket
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's gathering storm - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Malaysiakini : “The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has— from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness.”  ― Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left
COMMENT | Ronnie Liu’s piece about the raging storm dividing Pakatan Harapan partisans is interesting, but not in the way people think. When Liu (above) writes that Harapan supporters are divided on the Chinese schools' issue with regard to comments made by Education Minister Maszlee Malik, and then goes on about how the education minister should be a minister of education for “all” Malaysians, he is missing a very important point.
When support is divided, there are generally two broad sides. In this issue, for instance, there are Harapan supporters who value issues regarding Chinese schools and who are offended by the education minister’s remarks, and there are Harapan supporters who support the education minister and have their issue with vernacular schools or place such issues lower down on the scale of priorities.
Liu’s call to the prime minister that Malaysia needs an education minister for “all Malaysians” is the kind of inept politics that he is accusing Maszlee of. How does an education minister for all Malaysians differ from what Maszlee has been doing? Beyond his public gaffes, what is Maslee not doing in terms of policy that reflects a new Malaysia policy shift? Liu does not tell us.
First off, by prioritising one side over the other, in this case those Malaysians who value issues related to Chinese schools, and implying the other side is not part of the Bangsa Malaysia agenda, is self-defeating. Liu makes the same mistake that P Ramasamy made in his criticisms of the education minster: “While P Ramasamy is correct to point out that Maszlee is behaving like an Umno clone, what he fails to highlight is that the entire Harapan government is behaving like the BN regime. This Malay/Chinese narrative is still defined along the same old lines instead of the promised egalitarian policies that Harapan campaigned on.”

Hectoring Maszlee (photo, above) for what he said about the matriculation quotas is only a valid criticism if Liu can demonstrate what the “new Malaysia” agenda is, with regard to education. Can Liu point to any policy decision by Harapan that is egalitarian, merit- or needs-based when it comes to education, that differentiates it from BN policies? If Liu cannot do this, calling for the removal of Maszlee is disingenuous and hypocritical - and which only feeds into the far right narrative that the DAP is pulling the strings in Harapan or is after Malay politicians who are parroting traditional Malay political narratives.
Liu says the Harapan government is attempting to promote Bangsa Malaysia. Fair enough. Please give us policy decisions and initiatives which are the opposite of what BN did when it was in power. Please give us an example of how the Bangsa Malaysia agenda has replaced the so-called power-sharing formula BN shoved down our throats for decades.
What of the Harapan supporters who support Maszlee? Are their views not important? This is what happens when Harapan made a pact with Mahathir and reaffirmed BN era politics with the inclusion of Bersatu into its ranks. You have Umno/BN supporters who believe that Harapan is the new BN and who never subscribed to the Bangsa Malaysia propaganda that the opposition – mainly the DAP – propagated. What about their views? I may not agree with their views, but for non-Malay Harapan politicians to dismiss them, after relying on their support, is a politically dangerous move to make.
As far as they are concerned, someone like Maszlee is articulating the kind of mainstream politics that sustained BN for years before it was bogged down with the corruption scandals of successive Umno potentates. What does this mean? It means for these supporters who were willing to give Harapan a chance, they were signing up for the kind of racial politics that sustained BN all those years and which got wide-ranging support from all the communities.

Instead of recognising the divisions among Harapan supporters and discovering ways to bridge the gap between non-Malay and Malay supporters, Liu merely replays the same talking points that Malay and Chinese politicians have been regurgitating for years. It would have been so much simpler if non-Malay politicians would just state their stand clearly and say they believe that education policies, for instance, should be needs-based, and reject racial quotas outright, instead of contorting themselves and attempting to justify the propaganda of Bangsa Malaysia when the reality in terms of policy is exactly the opposite.
Another way is to concede that the Bangsa Malaysia propaganda is bull manure and acknowledge that Harapan wants to maintain the BN system without the rampant corruption. To some Harapan supporters, this may be anathema, but to others, especially the “conservative” Malay base of Harapan, this may be welcomed.
Targeting Maszlee because some people in Harapan lack the cajones to acknowledge that all those promises Harapan made cannot be fulfilled because these would “spook the Malays”. Targeting a Malay minister using dodgy logic and hypocritical arguments is more damaging politically than not fulfilling promises.
The funny thing is that Harapan can dig itself out of this mess. I am fairly confident that no matter what the DAP does, it will not lose non-Malay support – but then again who knows, maybe the non-Malays are capable of much more in how they hold their elected representatives accountable than what I give them credit for – but Harapan, because of the hypocritical nature of how some non-Malay politicians behave, could weaken the Malay support for Harapan.
Don’t confuse winning the social media game as translating to electoral gains. People are not stupid. Non-Malay politicians have to commit to a truly egalitarian agenda or concede that their Bangsa Malaysia propaganda has come back to bite them on their behinds.
Either way, there’s a storm coming.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:53 AM  
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