Articles, Opinions & Views: Can Latheefa Koya tame the beast? - 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

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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Can Latheefa Koya tame the beast? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, June 08, 2019
Malaysiakini : “However, that does not mean he is legally guilty in the eyes of the law. Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor remain innocent until the court passes a verdict of guilty.” - Latheefa Koya
COMMENT | Where do we begin with the appointment of Latheefa Koya as the new MACC chief? For a start, we begin by putting our cards on the table. I will go first. I am one of those people who hopes that Latheefa will play a constructive role in creating a new Malaysia in her new job. I am realistic – pessimistic may be a better word – that there is only so much she can do in two years and political agendas will define her reality, not legal ones. This is the nature of big picture politics.
The quote that opens this piece reflects this. Latheefa was responding to DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang’s rather preposterous notion that “innocent until proven guilty” should not apply to former premier Abdul Najib Razak because he lost the election. In making this rebuttal, Latheefa established herself – in the mind of this writer at least – as one of the few political operatives who would buck the party line and engage in rhetoric other than partisan-based nonsense.
Keep in mind that in an interview with Malaysiakini, Latheefa described herself as a political activist, ("By the way I prefer to be called a 'political activist' than a 'politician') hence she would (or should) appreciate all this noise coming from certain quarters who are concerned in the way how she was appointed. Her remarks past and contemporary demonstrate that even Latheefa Koya thinks the process is important and this is not merely “noise”.

Mahathir was acting within the law when he made Latheefa the head of the MACC. This should not be in dispute. While his actions were “legal”, his rhetoric supporting his actions were the usual strongman nonsense. This revolved around mocking consensus, demonstrating yet again his dismissive view of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, secure in the knowledge that the weltanschauung that kept him in power for years would support his decision even though it was a mockery of the “reform” agenda that Harapan campaigned on.
Just last year, Mahathir said that the MACC and National Audit Department should be off limits to the prime minister - “This means that the prime minister and the government will not have the power to [appoint,] dismiss or demote the positions [in these bodies],” he said. “Furthermore, even the budget allocation for these bodies will be determined not by the government but by the select committee.”
So while some like PKR leader William Leong are vilified by partisans, it just goes to show that when it comes to the old man, he says things but he has no real intention of carrying them out. So when people question the manner of this appointment and speculate on the political basis of this appointment, it is not only credible but also a reminder to rational Malaysians that we should always be mindful of what political operatives say and do, especially when it comes to a political operative like Mahathir Mohamad.

So when Amanah president Mohamad Sabu says that the Grand Poobah will “assess” Latheefa’s performance, this sounds more ominous than reassuring. But hey, that’s just me.

An example of big-picture politics would be the desire of many of Latheefa supporters that she will take down the old man in Sarawak – Abdul Taib Mahmud. Let us look at this realistically. The current Grand Poobah of Malaysia has said that people always talk about “Taib’s corruption” and to bring him “evidence”.
At the beginning of the year, Taib was cleared of all charges with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong stating, “Attorney-General Tommy Thomas had studied the case against Taib and determined that no prosecution is necessary. The minister-in-charge of legal affairs said the MACC had received information on the allegations from the Bruno Manser Fund and Sarawak Report. “But the contents of such information is the same as was previously investigated.”
Could Latheefa Koya offer “new evidence” against the alleged robber baron in Sarawak? The reality is that going after someone like Taib is a political consideration instead of a legal one. After all, if it has been determined that no prosecution is necessary, then going after the tiger may seem futile unless Latheefa somehow manages to bring new evidence within two years.

How would her boss who has been called a kleptocrat - by the same people who now want us to give him leeway - take to this? After all, Sabah and Sarawak are vitally important theatres of operation for Harapan’s political war and Taib is part of a historical chain of money politics between personalities who now lead this country and their protégés who are waiting for their chance to claim the throne.
Keep in mind that Mahathir has claimed that removing Najib has reduced corruption by significantly - “So I would say we have reduced corruption by about 90 percent. We no longer have people complaining when they go to the office, they ask for money." In the same interview, he also said that Najib was a worse leader than PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim so he worked with Anwar to replace Najib. This, of course, is kind of strange but indicative of the politics at play here.
So since corruption has been reduced by 90 percent, perhaps Latheefa does not have such a difficult task ahead of her. So all this talk of sending "shivers" down the spine of corrupt people should be viewed with skepticism considering Harapan has made Najib the sole architect of the corrupt system that they vowed to reform.
Why does someone like Lim Kit Siang suddenly claim that the MACC should not be complacent? Hasn't he been writing screeds goading the authorities to investigate various individuals instead of corralling support to reform institutions which would empower those institutions to carry out their remit without fear or favour?

Questioning the manner of Latheefa’s appointment, although futile, is not merely noise which amounts to nothing though it does mean we have to be aware of the politics surrounding the issue. For instance, Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy wrote a bold piece pointing to the internal schisms at play in PKR, which is a valid point, but he does not go into the political concerns of the DAP. The DAP has hitched its wagon to Anwar and any attempt to destabilise his power base is of concern to his allies.
And let us take Gerakan's call for Latheefa to demonstrate her impartiality by reopening the investigation on Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. While the charges have been dropped and the base is convinced that these were trumped-up charges, I wonder what the response would be if the new MACC chief did reopen the investigation into Lim Guan Eng and the political fallout from such a move.
It would be more constructive if political operatives discussed ways to curtail the power of the PM and how to reform institutions (the latter like how Mahathir talks about but has no interest in doing) instead of taking the opportunity to score cheap political points by trolling each other's base.
You do not need a two-thirds majority to reform institutions and even if you did, political operatives should work in a bipartisan manner to do this. Harapan political operatives should take the lead and seek support from Umno if they really need the numbers to initiative legislative reforms. But is anyone really interested in doing this?
I believe that someone like Latheefa Koya can do some good. She can go after the corrupt religious bureaucracy, the nexus between political and corporate power, the prison bureaucracy, various governmental institutions and their non-governmental accomplices. All of which can reduce the corruption that the prime minister seems to think Harapan has already reduced.
In two years, she could do a lot to dismantle to the corrupt institutions which support political power if she has the political will. What she needs are the tools to do this and to work independently of the political establishment.
While I am hopeful of the former, I am doubtful of the latter.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:39 AM  
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