Articles, Opinions & Views: We will never have needs-based affirmative action in M'sia - 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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We will never have needs-based affirmative action in M'sia - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Malaysiakini : "You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore." – William Faulkner
COMMENT | PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s comments on his commitment to needs-based affirmative action policies instead of the race-based ones in place are problematic for a variety of reasons. All of us, and by us I mean mainly the non-Malays, have heard this story in various incarnations before. I give Anwar credit for saying it, but the reality is that on issues such as this, there is a chasm of difference between saying and doing. It also points, I suppose, to the different ways in which political operatives like Anwar and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad play to their bases.
In addition, it exposes a kind of shadow play in the delivery of Anwar’s comments. He said that when he is the prime minister he will speed up the process. Really? If this is a priority for Pakatan Harapan and indeed the current prime minister, why is the process stalled, and more importantly, why isn't Mahathir leading the charge to speed up the process?
While Anwar says something like this, Mahathir, who acknowledges that Bersatu is a racist party, claims that this particular form of racism is not ”against other parties that are not race-based, such as fellow Pakatan Harapan component members PKR, Amanah and DAP.” This is somewhat dumb if you really think about it.

Why? Because while Anwar at least has the cover of a multiracial party, Mahathir's Bersatu has no choice but to be the champion of Malay rights and privileges, because it has to live up to the obligation placed on it by the non-Malay power brokers in Harapan in securing the Malay vote. The issue here is not how either of these political operatives play to their bases, but rather how there really isn’t very much difference in their ideological stances. I will give you an example.
Anwar uses the old canard of involving the “private sector” when it comes to resolving this issue: "...I also told the Chinese conglomerate that attended today's event that if they do not want race-based policies, they should do more." Keep in mind the “private sector” is code for the Chinese community. Part of the Malay agenda strategy is to conflate the plutocrat class and the Chinese community.
And just last year, Mahathir, in discussing race-based policies, said that more scholarships need to be given to Malays since the Chinese "are largely in business." And in business, he added, "you can make tons of money."
Reinforcing the narrative
What does this do? It reinforces a standard Malay political and racial narrative that pits one community against another. It misrepresents the historic and economic realities of the Chinese community as one that is a threat to the Malays. It wrongly places a burden on the Chinese (conflating the community with the plutocrat class) to correct the economic and social disparities of the Malay community, which has everything to do with the race-based policies in place.
Is there discrimination in the private sector? Yes, there is. Should it be ignored? No, it should not, but conflating it with the institutionalised public discrimination and race-based, agenda-driven policymaking is one of the reasons why needs-based affirmative action policies will never see the light of day. Let us be very clear. If Harapan were committed to needs-based policies, they would embark on it without hesitation.

The irony for Malay political operatives, of course, who always link the public and private sectors when it comes to race-based discourse, is that if they implemented something like the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, for instance, they would be killing two birds with one stone when it comes to discrimination in the public and private sectors.
What happened with the Icerd debacle is further evidence as to why there will never be needs-based affirmative action policies in Malaysia. Part of this is due to the urban elites that Anwar seems to have a problem with, and which has become part of the racial discourse. Indeed I took a swipe at Chandra Muzzafar here – “It also places the non-Malay intelligentsia as part of the problem, which mainstream Malay politics routinely does, instead of part of the solution in dismantling a compromised system.
"While there is some truth in that, it is pointless asking everyone to come together on an issue which is fundamentally about the rights of everyone versus the privileges that come with being in the majority.” Part of this is also the unacknowledged hostility and racism that Malaysians engage in.
When it came to the Icerd issue, this was on full display – “Of course, people are blind to some things in this country or worse, do not really care. This idea that the state was racist, which created a separate space for the non-Malays to compete, live and die in, has resulted in a discourse which not only alienates people but also encourages a siege mentality in the non-Malay community.”

Look, back in the day, Wan Saiful Wan Jan (photo) argued that affirmative action is morally wrong in two essays that have since been taken down. He also made the claim that arguments against affirmative action could only be made by Malays because of the political realities of this country. Interested readers can read excerpts of it here.
Since joining Bersatu, he has apparently changed his mind. And this is really the problem. Nobody really wants to have needs-based policies. Malay and non-Malay political operatives do not want to risk their grip on power, because it is one thing talking about needs-based policies, and another implementing it. Political operatives know this. They get away with this because they know that the Harapan base will be pragmatic and not demand needs-based policies, because they do not want a return of Umno-BN – which is somewhat hilarious seeing how things are playing out in Harapan now.
Needs-based policies will always remain a pipe dream.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 4:45 PM  
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