Articles, Opinions & Views: What else is there to talk about besides the 3Rs? - 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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What else is there to talk about besides the 3Rs? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, July 06, 2019
Malaysiakini : “When all are guilty, no one is; confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing.” – Hannah Arendt, On Violence
COMMENT | Malaysiakini recently ran a couple of pieces on the '3R surge', which basically means Malaysians have been talking about the sacred cows of Malaysian politics – race, religion and the rulers – more after the Pakatan Harapan win. Political operatives have been blaming one another for this, but the reality is that as long as Malaysians support race-based parties, either individually or in coalitions, there will always be talk of the 3Rs.
As long as there is no alternative that forms the basis of a strictly secular and egalitarian government, this propaganda of a 'Bangsa Malaysia' will eventually be the ruination of whatever is in opposition of the far right of this country. While Umno and PAS continue to frame the narrative of mainstream Malay politics in this country, non-Malays have to be content with their supine power structures that rely on a base which allows them plenty of leeway.
The fear of losing federal power does not reflect the reality that non-Malays, by rejecting the paradigm of BN, created in a shift of power at the state level, and a new dynamic which eventually brought down the Najib Abdul Razak regime. Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku Rakyat Sabah (Star) president Jeffrey Kitingan says that politics needs to be more issue-oriented. But every issue in this country is predicated on "not spooking the Malays.”

Star president Jeffrey Kitingan
Political operatives from Bersatu and PKR have warned that Malay support means that the acceptance of egalitarian policies is not tenable.  Meanwhile, DAP - before the historic May 9 win, it was all about policies which would benefit 'everyone' - has suddenly lost its voice. A political operative from DAP, who has big ideas about how to move forward the ministry this individual is in charge of, tells me that every decision has to take into account the racial and religious dynamic, which more often than not cripples the decision-making process.
"Everything we do is under a microscope, and we have to be careful because if we say or do something that remotely touches on race or religion, we will be attacked by Umno and PAS, members of our coalition, and even from individuals from the party itself," this individual relates. This is just a snapshot, but in a situation like this, does anyone really have to consider why we are talking about the 3Rs more after the election?
Far right not solely to blame
While I sympathise with this political operative, the reality is that Umno and PAS are not solely to blame for this. While I get that most partisans do not care if Harapan lives up to its ideals and its manifesto, the political reality is that Umno and PAS are using this – and rightly so – to demonstrate to the majority that the coalition can't keep its promises. Indeed, when you think about it, what the Harapan win has done is rejuvenate certain ideas about race and religion, and non-Malay compliance when it comes to them.
As Kitingan says: "These are raised because of our racial politics. Umno is for Malays. They are raising up the sentiments of Malays and Muslims."
This plays well to a certain base, who seem to forget that Bersatu was formed because, in the words of Mahahtir and the complicity of PKR and DAP, the 'Malays' needed to be reassured that a Malay-based party would look after their rights and privileges.

This is why merely pointing to the far right as the cause of the escalation of racial and religious rhetoric is bunkum. When Kitingan says get rid of race-based parties, what exactly does he mean? Get rid of something like Bersatu, which we are told is the reason why Harapan won the election? Get rid of Bersatu, which dominates the policy-making decisions of Harapan? Mahathir has since asked 'Malays' from other Malay parties to join Bersatu -“Yes, join Bersatu. When our group is big, we become strong, but don’t stop others from joining the party (Bersatu), let them join.
“If we are split, we become weak, united we stand, divided we fall (bercerai roboh, bersatu teguh). (But) we find that there are people forming new parties, (now) we have become six, soon there will be 10, (then) 100. There are 30 people in one party, how to win (the election)?”
To give credit to Kitingan, he does strike at the heart of the issue when he says this: "Well, if you have a constitution that says some people have more rights than the others, then they will pursue the rights as the basis for their politics. This is happening." Kitingan is right when he says that eventually, this issue will have to be addressed. He talks about education and other policy reform as a means of tackling this issue, but that can only happen if a foundation is built on which younger, more reformist-minded leaders can build upon. This is not happening.
Indeed, it is not the population that needs to be educated on this issue. It is the political class which determines if there is a new Malaysia. People will vote for whichever candidate they think best, based on whatever criteria they have. If people do not have a choice, but are instead voting for more or less the same candidates, you can bet your last ringgit that the question of constitutional reform will never be addressed. The realpolitik of the situation is that the non-Malays have always survived in this country.
Indeed, what irks the far right and probably forms the basis of their politics is that in many ways, the non-Malays have thrived; while because of the policies of the Malay political class, there is a Malay polity which is disenfranchised from the mainstream success that a large class of non-Malays enjoy.
Ultimately we will always be talking about the 3Rs, because mainstream power structures have left us little else to talk about.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:30 AM  
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