Articles, Opinions & Views: Harapan may win GE15, but what are we winning? - 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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Harapan may win GE15, but what are we winning? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | "Where’s your messiah now?" – Billy Crystal
Ramesh Rajaratnam in his piece "Cutting off our nose to spite our face?" on the face of it seems to articulate the despondency some Harapan supporters feel at the moment and his rejoinder of the calamities that will befall us if the old devils are voted back in seems like a reasonable call for political pragmatism.
Like most Harapan supporters, he likes to use analogies when it comes to the slow pace of change. A sixty–one year clogged drain, a sixteen-month-old baby clumsily walking and spouting gibberish is useful, I suppose, when it comes to appealing to emotion instead of intellect when justifying policies, positions and backtracking.
But it really does not make sense. Harapan is not some neophyte political entity which suddenly came into power because of broad populist support. They are not some upstart who shook the political Establishment and grabbed the reins of power.
They are seasoned politicians who have run states, had to deal with splintering political coalitions, handled race and religious issues, battling the machinations of a hostile federal government and had to contend with a political hegemon which controlled everything from the state security apparatus to the propaganda organs which are now failing.
Say what you want about Mahathir Mohamad, but he has decades of experience. Indeed, many of the politicians in Harapan have had decades of experience. They have access to professionals who, for years, have been sidelined and they have within their ranks, activists and bureaucrats – retired and still serving – who are eager to reform the system.
Not only does Mahathir know the game, he practically invented it. Indeed, in the run up to the election, many activists – who at one time were against him – were telling large crowds that the benefit of having Mahathir to lead the coalition, was that he could pick up the phone and get things done.
The then opposition pointed to Selangor and Penang as examples of how a New Malaysia could be. Politicians were crowing the fact that the Harapan regime would attract talent that would form the basis of a new kind of governance, and that reforms would level the playing field so everyone, regardless of race or creed, could participate in our democracy.
So this idea that the Harapan regime needs more time or that they are “inexperienced” is horse manure. People in the current regime are placed in positions for certain reasons, and the reality is that the chaos serves a purpose. This is the Malaysian system, the malaise of the system, if you will.
How many years do you think it would take to replace a system which is based on the misinterpretation, mischaracterization and flawed rationale of an article in the constitution like 153? You should ask Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof (below) because he has read the Constitution.
Take the CEP report which is deemed an official secret, although to be fair, at one time Economic Minister Azmin Ali had no issue with it being released for public consumption. The church mouse response from coalition partners is to be expected, but what I found interesting was the lack of response from the “Malay” opposition.
I elaborated on it here: “Another important question is why isn’t the opposition interested in finding out the recommendations of the report? Of course, what we are dealing with here are systemic problems that did not happen overnight. Najib Abdul Razak was the logical conclusion of decades of governmental malfeasance and some of the very people who lead the government now are in charge of reforming it.”
Which brings me to the old devils. Those ten points that the writer raised probably means something to non-Muslims, but looking at the political terrain at the moment, it means very little to the majority who support Umno and PAS. This may scare the non-Malays, but it does not scare the majority.
Indeed, most Malays who vote – the political mainstream in this country has defined the Malays as people who are interested only in privilege and entitlements, and based policies on this belief – will look at that list and probably see some benefit to their community and the political parties they vote for.
They see no real danger from making a choice and accepting the consequences that the author seems to think applies to everyone, regardless of race or religion. So when Ambiga Sreenevasan (below) tweets that “We thought they were different,” it is kind of sad – in the Trumpian way – because it points to how the non-Malays thought things would change, but for the majority of Malays, it was about knowing that the status quo would remain, which was what was told to them by the then opposition.
The subtext of the Harapan campaigning by Malay politicians (and some non-Malay politicians) that the status quo would remain, only that the klepto–in-chief would be kicked out, has become the focus of a regime which understands that it does not command the majority in the Malay community.
Ambiga isn’t the only one who advocated for regime change and is now wondering aloud if things will ever change. Before the election I told Harapan to stop meandering and make Mahathir the grand poohbah, wrote pieces on choosing between the lesser of two evils, lectured the “undi rosak” kids, never missed an opportunity to shoot fish in a barrel when it came to BN policy decisions without commenting about the complete lack of vision by the then Harapan opposition.
DAP politicians tell me that speaking up on issues makes them a target for Umno/PAS, and now their own coalition. I tell them they are going to be targets of Umno/PAS no matter what they say. And not speaking up against policies which affect non-Malays, but which play well to the race and religion base, makes them the running dogs that they accused the MCA and MIC of being.
Also by not speaking up now, they will do more damage to the cause - if there even is one - later, because how could their non-Malay base take them seriously after the performance they put on when they have federal power? This is a test, perhaps the final one, for non-Malay politicians of Harapan to demonstrate a political will for reform when they have federal power.
When Lim Kit Siang writes of the possibility of Harapan winning the next general elections, that we should prove wrong the wet blankets who want racial and religious disruption, who he is talking about? Elements within Harapan? People should stop blaming Mahathir and Bersatu for all these problems. The problem is that he is not getting any blowback from the DAP or PKR or Amanah.
If all you’re going to do, is the base policy on what the far right and what you believe “moderate” Malays want in terms of privileges and entitlements, what kind of new Malaysia are you trying to create? Some people use the excuse for not speaking up as a tactical move to win the election.
It is a scary realization, being politically powerless. I would rather the Harapan regime fail, even though they made radical changes, then fail and do the same thing BN/Umno did. The problem is they think they can win, by doing the same thing Umno/BN did and wanting people to acknowledge there is a new Malaysia.
The taxman cometh for Najib’s daughter? There’s a list of the progeny of politicians (and their benefactors) in every party who should be considered.
If that’s the way you want to define “winning”, that’s fine, but what you should do is make it clear that new Malaysia is exactly the same as the old Malaysia, only without Najib and family.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:14 AM  
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