Articles, Opinions & Views: DAP will always be the whipping boy for the far right - 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

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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DAP will always be the whipping boy for the far right - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, July 08, 2019
Malaysiakini : “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.”- Dwight D Eisenhower
COMMENT | In my last piece, I argued that discussions always revolved around the 3Rs because it was hardwired into mainstream Malaysian politics. A good example of this is the welcome asset declaration move by the Harapan government. No rational person should object to this move and the discussions on it should revolve around its implementation and the roles played by various government bodies in aiding the efficacy of this policy.
Instead, as with most policies issues in this country, the far right has managed to make this about race and religion. The DAP can take cold comfort in the fact that whatever political wounds it self-inflicts will always be overshadowed by the virulent attacks against it by the far right. This is damaging to the country, but makes it easier to rally the political base.
The DAP is in a difficult position. On the one hand, in the social media scene it has the support of anonymous netizens who, more often than not, do more damage to the DAP's agenda than the politicians who control the levers of power in this country. On the other, DAP has to contend with the far right, whose racism and bigotry is effectively stymieing efforts to push this country on to more egalitarian terrain. The DAP’s strong party discipline is a double-edged sword. You get party discipline at the expense of diversity of opinion, which is problematic in the long run for any political party.
The perception is that the DAP is monolithic, which makes it easier to stereotype the party and demonise its political apparatus. The fact that some DAP political operatives have no problem putting their foot in their mouths and, aided by online mobs, nurture a perception of arrogance and hubris. This aids the far right in its efforts to demonise the DAP. However, this should not detract from the reality, that the DAP, the only secular and multi-racial alternative, is in the crosshairs of the far right in a way which it was not before the historic May 9th win.
If anything the attacks against the DAP have become cruder, wallowing in the kind of easy racism and bigotry that should invite some sort of institutional response, but so far has been met by shrugs from the mainstream power brokers in this country.

The latest spiel of Hadi Awang (above) against the DAP over asset declarations may seem funny to some people, but the reality is that it has gained traction with the PAS and Umno base. Grassroots activists tell me that it is not the issue of asset declaration which is the problem, but that they view the DAP as being behind a sinister attack against Malay politicians using the instruments of the state. This feeds into the victim narrative of Najib and Co, and conflates legitimate legal action with political persecution.
Some people think it is funny, that Hadi seems to not understand communist ideology, but they are missing the point. Howard Lee makes the same mistake when he wonders if Hadi is “either dishonest and purposefully misleading his support base, or that he is just blatantly ignorant, simply narrow-minded and utterly misguided”. Hadi is neither. If anything the PAS politburo is keenly aware of its socialist foundation. Remember Tok Guru was one of the young Turks who dragged PAS into its theocratic glory. Hadi, like most successful PAS politicians, understands what his base instinctively needs, but more importantly understands the Islamic narrative in the context of mainstream Malay politics.
People may think that PAS is condoning corruption, but what they fail to understand is that we have a segment of Malaysians – maybe a large segment – who believe that being ruled by corrupt Islamic leaders is better than being ruled by competent and honest non-Muslim leaders.

Wait a minute. Zakir Naik (above) advocated the same thing right? Does anyone remember what Zakir Naik said about choosing between evils? It is a choice between the party which is closer to the Quran and nothing else. In a conference in Indonesia he claimed: “If you have to choose someone for protecting you, for helping you, if there is a choice between an unbeliever and believer – let him be Mahatma Gandhi, let him be Theresa May – if there is no imam, (even if) he may have got the Nobel prize for peace, the person who is imam, is a believer, is far superior than an unbeliever.”
Right now, Zakir is going on a tour of Kelantan, spewing the same kind of nonsense which most probably reinforces what Hadi Awang says. This is about a religious narrative and not a political one, although it may seem like one. The only way to fight this is, if Harapan Malay power brokers radically change the Islamic narrative of the state. So far they have shown no signs of doing this.
Lee’s response was rational, articulate, and had just the right amount of sarcasm, and the mistake is thinking that it falls on deaf ears. It doesn’t. Hadi Awang understands exactly what he is doing, but more importantly what Lee is saying. All PAS politicians understand what they are doing. The mistake is thinking that they are ignorant. All this makes it even more dangerous for the DAP. Yet the DAP always manages to make a strategic misstep, like when it decided to forge a friendship with the mufti of Perlis (below).

I was not thrilled with this idea: “How can the DAP have friendly ties with Asri? The mufti of Perlis has dismissed the corruption allegations against PAS president Hadi, claiming that Hadi was a modest and pious man. "What about all the things DAP has said about PAS president Hadi Awang? Will the DAP concede that it has been wrong about Hadi, and Asri has a legitimate point of view when it comes to Hadi?”
When I pointed out the futility of engaging with people like this, I got the usual spiel about how New Malaysia was about “reaching out” to people who you may disagree with, instead of what it really is, a desperate attempt at appeasement. Like the time Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy had to meet the same mufti, or the numerous other times the DAP had to go on bended knee to make it look as if the party was not “spooking the Malays”.
I am not a fan of politicians suing, but Tony Pua and Anthony Loke suing Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman is something I can get behind if only to discover how the judicial system handles the issue of political speech when it comes to the racists and bigoted political dynamics in this country. Could the DAP minimise these kinds of attacks? Maybe. Remaining true to their secular principles and stating clearly their stand on issues may be political disadvantages, but people are not stupid.
The hardcore base that supports Umno/PAS will never believe anything the DAP says. The only option is to attempt to get to the young people who could be the keys to a New Malaysia. This involves stratagems that heavily rely on the Malay components of Harapan. I am not hopeful.
Ultimately, when it comes to the far right against the DAP, the racial politics in this country and attempts to make this a New Malaysia, that great ending line from that Roman Polanski/Robert Towne/Jack Nicholson film collaboration comes to mind:
“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:25 AM  
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