Articles, Opinions & Views: The Mahathir and Anwar saga should end - 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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The Mahathir and Anwar saga should end - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Our "Great Leader"
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?”
― Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

Last month I asked if Dr Mahathir Mohamad should serve a full term. The thrust of my piece was that it would legitimises Anwar's ascension if Mahathir served a full term and the prime minister-in-waiting to lead an election on his own instead of relying on vague promises of a handover. This would silence critics who claim that Anwar was handed everything on a silver platter and did not have to "fight" for anything.
The question everyone should be contemplating: isn't it time to move beyond Mahathir and Anwar when it comes to the leadership of this country? It is almost impossible now because both men have stamped their imprimatur on various acolytes, but there is always the hope that recent political upheavals would result in a cadre of leaders not beholden to the current toxic political duo who are still scheming to lead this country when their time is clearly up.
I would take any of the young leaders within Harapan to lead the country, no matter which camp they belonged to, instead of these two old politicians whose shenanigans are holding this country hostage. If I was not constrained by the realpolitik of the situation, I would include dozens of non-Malays on the list. The reality is that Harapan Malay politicians would never support a non-Malay candidate, and non-Malay politicians would never dare to attempt to claim the highest office in the land.
It is the same with the opposition, such as it is. I would rather young leaders – Khairy Jamaluddin is an obvious and mainstream figure – but also someone like Umno Youth chief Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki and the numerous other rabble-rousers in Umno, instead of the dreary nonsense coming from the old guard of the Umno crippled giant.

Khairy Jamaluddin
If Umno is going to disband and form a new entity, I would hope it is the young Turks who are leading it instead of the craggy visages that are hung up on trying to play Mahathir’s game. Even the recent sex scandal is merely a replay of an older stratagem. Nobody is concerned, even in dirty politics, to come up with something new. It has got this bad.
One politician told me, that if Mahathir goes, Najib could go free. Really? Does anyone actually believe this? So the only thing keeping Najib in line is the old maverick? Do people realise how ridiculous this kind of thinking is? No matter what Mahathir does, if he goes, and he will eventually go, the reality is that Najib will always remain in play unless Harapan has the backing of the majority of Malaysians, which it currently does not have.
Get used to the fact that Najib is going to outlast the old maverick. It all depends if Mahathir can make Umno irrelevant, which is probably going to be the old maverick's legacy.

Abdul Hadi Awang
Don’t get me started on PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang. I would take a virulent youth-powered Islamic party over the ramblings of Hadi and his sly interactions with the old maverick.
If you read the Islamic blogosphere, you would understand there are many young leaders in PAS who understand that for the time being there needs to be a middle ground when it comes to relying on non-Malay support, but who are drowned out by the old games of Hadi and Co. Malaysiakini columnist Bridget Welsh ends her excellent piece on PAS highlighting the waiting game when it comes to the influence of younger party members. Isn't anyone else tired of the Mahathir/Anwar saga? When people say that Mahathir or Anwar has the “experience“ to lead this country, do they know what they are saying? We are in this mess because of these men.
Claiming that Mahathir wants to correct his mistakes seems idealistic. Why would he? His does not think his mistakes are institutional, because if he did he would have no problem correcting them. Mahathir has never had a problem with power by fiat. He gives people examples of this nearly every day.
No, his problem has always been succession. He has said this. He picks the wrong people. All this started because he wanted to overthrow Najib Abdul Razak. Mukhriz Mahathir said so in (2017) his defamation case against Najib’s press secretary, since settled: "Mukhriz was replying to a question by Sarifuddin Tengku Ahmad's lawyer, Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos, on whether he agreed with his suggestion that the former premier had attempted to topple Najib from 2015. "The former Kedah menteri besar agreed with the suggestion, but added that the plan likely began in 2014.“

Mukhriz Mahathir
I say vague promises, because there is nothing concrete that reinforces the idea of succession beyond the sniping that goes on between the Mahathir and Anwar camps. The more this mess gets played out in the press, the more likely it is that whatever semblance of coherency that Harapan has, goes down the proverbial crapper, empowering the far-right forces in this country.
I believe that of all the candidates, PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim has a legitimate claim to the throne of Putrajaya. While I still think this, as the days go by, it is becoming increasingly clear that the sooner Malaysians get over this fixation on Mahathir and Anwar, for better or worse, we can decide the future of this country through democratic means, instead of the political skullduggery that passes as democratic norms in this country.
I am exasperated but mostly bored of the Mahathir and Anwar show. The former has proven that his autocratic style of leadership is infectious when it comes to the non-Malay component in Harapan. The same excuses that the MCA and MIC and all the other satellite parties that orbited Umno during the old maverick's heyday are now used by the DAP and Amanah.
Meanwhile, the factional politics within PKR have taken a turn for the worse and this recent sex scandal has demonstrated that PKR is a compromised party, which is more damaging to Harapan than the manoeuvres of the far right and the deep Islamic state. Anwar cannot seem to get a grasp of the situation, where minions from his camp run riot and the Malay political establishment is gleefully licking their chops at how inept the prime minister-in-waiting is when it comes to maintaining party discipline.
While this is not solely Anwar’s fault, the reality is that PKR has been slipping away from Anwar for some time now, and there are many who think that leadership in this country should break free from the Mahathir/Anwar dynamic, even if they would use either to further their agendas.
Mahathir claims that he needs three years or thereabouts for corrective work on the country. Whether you believe this or not is not the point. This is personality politics and as long as Mahathir has the support of his coalition, there is nothing Anwar can do about it.
Public comments from Anwar is that the old maverick needs the “space” to do his magic. What this country needs is space from these two leaders. The sooner Malaysians get over the toxic contributions of these two, the better to chart the uncertain future of this country.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 4:56 PM  
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