Articles, Opinions & Views: Affirmative action a cheque with no stated amount, no deadline Part 3 - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy


 
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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

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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Affirmative action a cheque with no stated amount, no deadline Part 3 - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Friday, July 12, 2019
Malaysiakini : “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx, Eleven Theses on Feuerbach [These words are also inscribed upon his grave]
INTERVIEW | In the final part of this interview, PSM's Mohd Nasir Hashim assesses the performance of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Pakatan Harapan government in the year since GE14.
Question: These days with Islamic parties demonising socialism, how does one reconcile being a good Muslim with being an active socialist?
Mohd Nasir Hashim: Religions tend toward justice, truth, compassion and love. The Quranic verse (Al-Qasas 28:5) states: “And We wanted to confer favour upon those who were oppressed/exploited in the land and make them leaders and make them inheritors.”
This verse refers to exploited/oppressed workers. God not only blesses/favours the downtrodden exploited masses, but also emphasised that they will be the future leaders and be the guardian or trustees of the wealth of nations/world. This verse is socialistic and revolutionary.
The Quran mentioned that everything is created in pairs (Quran 36:36) that are naturally contradictory, but at the same time complementary to each other (the entire Quranic Surah Ar-Rahman 55), and our job is to balance them so that truth, compassion and justice prevail.
The strength of socialism is to critically analyse the dialectical inter-relationships existing between spiritual and material worlds, and also the intra-relationships within this material world (from slavery to socialism), and within this spiritual world (spirit, soul and lust).
The Quran also stated: “We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth” (Quran 41:53). If we want to know truth and justice, we must be fully involved in the communities facing hardships. Then we truly know the meaning of truth, justice and love for humanity.
We must then reflect on such happenings with our innate consciousness and personal experiences, before arriving at the truth and acting upon it for the betterment of society
What kind of Islamic narrative would PSM be advancing if it had influence in Parliament?
As for all religions, justice, compassion, truth, universalism, equality and respecting other races and religions are the sine qua non in Islam. The constitutional rights of those born in this country must be respected. The Quran is regarded as a living miracle, and Muslims should spend more time finding out its evergreen richness.
Post-May 9, what has been the most troubling development in your opinion?
Election promises not fulfilled. Playing the racial and religious game for political mileage. Dragging or shuffling of feet. Contradictory statements from ministries. The senior members, especially Mahathir, seem not interested to help during the teething administrative period. He is more interested in consolidating the power of his party by recruiting Umno MPs, or he is consolidating his position as the PM, or wants to have a strong say as to who should be the next PM.
The shaky internal conflict within PKR casts a dark heavy shadow on (the prime minister-in-waiting) Anwar (Ibrahim)’s premiership. The gradual loss of confidence of the civil society in the Pakatan Harapan government is disconcerting, and they become more apologetic by reversing their original statement when under pressure.
What do you think of Harapan’s progress in reforming the system so far? Where have they made progress and where have they regressed?
It is disappointing, to say the least. It irks me to listen to those who say that since they did not expect to win, they came up with a fantastic election manifesto. In short, they hoodwinked the people who thirst for change. They have two alternatives, either finetune the system or overhaul the system. If they decide to finetune, then there is a great chance of falling back into the old ways, creating havoc with neo-liberal policies or Mahathirism to cater to the whims of their nepotistic and cronyistic clientele.
If they wish to overhaul the system, they cannot do so because they don’t have the philosophical or ideological acumen to make such a move. So they procrastinate, lament and seek scapegoats. Therefore, the best way is to make cosmetic adjustments to the social, political and economic system and declare that they are different from the previous administration.
Most ministers and deputy ministers are my friends and are former activists, but they lost their way (marbles) when they took important positions, as if thoroughly indebted to the one who offered them such prominent jobs, to a point of being feudalistic and subservient to the master.
Their concern should be with the rakyat and if they wish to seek a balance, let it be in favour of the rakyat. Usually, the big corporate bodies and powerful individuals win because they are able to easily convince the leadership, thus the needs of the rakyat are conveniently sacrificed.
As for PSM, the struggle goes on. We were disappointed, but not enough to cause disarray. We continue to overcome our weaknesses and consolidate our strengths. Seeking alternative ways to reach people.
Do you think Mahathir has changed?
I don’t think so. Before the election, I commented that he was too arrogant to apologise. If he did so, it was due to political expediency. When asked why he apologised, his response was that it was a cultural thing to do. He did not specify what he was apologising for. At his age, it is difficult to change his mindset. If he wants to do so, he has to overhaul his entire philosophy of life.
He has gone back to his old ways by reintroducing his neo-liberal policy, whereby his cronies will be millionaires and billionaires. Yet my activist friends who are ministers and deputy ministers do not seem to care or are merely whimpering. So Mahathir continues to rule, recruiting Umno MPs to increase the numbers in his party and subtly become a threat to the other component parties of Harapan. Some believe that he is creating a new Umno 2.0 in Harapan.
The multiracial component of his thinking is not there. The country and people will be better off if affirmative action was meant for all races, and periodically evaluated to detect and steer the rakyat left behind by providing ample skills to be self-sufficient. But this affirmative action for a specific race continues with a change of label. Now it becomes a cheque with no stated amount and with no deadline.
What challenges is the new PSM chairperson going to face?
So far, there is no rivalry among the members. Problems are resolved through discussion. Differing opinions on how to approach the next election exist, and there is consensus on establishing PSM branches in areas earmarked for the coming elections. PSM will not use race and religion to garner support, but demystify and expose those who abuse them.
The issue of a socialist being anti-religion will be used constantly to downplay PSM's fight for truth and justice.
The statement - "Religion is the opium of the masses" - is often quoted out of context. The full quote is: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." People find relief through religion when they are exploited and have no place or alternative to turn to. Furthermore, socialist ideology is not a religion, not deterministic and not economistic.
What do you plan to do, now that the mantle has been passed?
I will continue to be with PSM and see it grow stronger under the new leadership to greater heights. I will continue to write, acquire new skills, marvel at the resilience of our people and the beauty around us. I will continue to learn about time-bound consciousness and innate/timeless consciousness, and the dialectical relationship between the spiritual and material world. Quantum physics provide a new dimension of consciousness, reality and against materialism.
Writer's epilogue: It does not matter if you agree with the political stance of PSM. The reality is that eventually the political class, bankrupt of ideas, will reshape the political terrain, where religious extremism will be the currency with which the majority of Malaysians will do political business. But PSM appears to never give up fighting for the rakyat disenfranchised by the system.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:18 PM  
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