Articles, Opinions & Views: The 'Don't spook the Malays' narrative - 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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The 'Don't spook the Malays' narrative - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, October 28, 2019
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “Everyone smiles with that invisible gun to their head.”― Chuck Palahniuk, 'Fight Club'
First, a rejoinder to Anwar Ibrahim who falsely claimed that Lim Teck Ghee was silent when billions were stolen. Not only was Teck Ghee not silent when billions were stolen during the Najib era, he was attempting to save Malaysia when Anwar was Mahathir’s blue eyed boy. Teck Ghee was not keeping silent when the looting was going on all those decades ago. You may disagree with Tech Ghee, but he was always trying to save Malaysia before it become it became a fashionable term, which Harapan has demonstrated means very little.
International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) lecturer, Ahmad El Muhammady's (above) rejoinder that social media comments could trigger communal violence is disingenuous for a variety of reasons. Social media comments do not exist in a vacuum. The trigger of toxic social media comments are the rhetoric of politicians and religious provocateurs.
The heated rhetoric (for example) surrounding Zakir Naik, is a reaction to the things he said , the things his supporters have said, but more importantly the way how the state acknowledges that he is a threat - barring him from speaking at public events – but coddling him for political reasons.
In 2015 when Eric Paulsen, former executive director of Lawyers for Liberty, was charged with “sedition” for tweeting that Jakim was promoting “extremism”, El Muhammady said: “The situation could have escalated. It only takes one person to do it (act of terrorism).
“We are lucky because we have not gone to that level of craziness. Our freedom is limited to other people’s freedom. It is not absolute.” The charges against Paulsen (below) have been dropped since, but you have to wonder at the inequality of it all when extremism, as a political tool, is normalized because the minorities are always told to watch their words in case somebody gets offended enough to start trouble.
Just like the recent example of the farcical LTTE threat, the provocations of state actors are not the issue, but rather those who attempt to exercise their rights, which are perceived by “extremists” as provocative acts, the double standards when it comes to the state defining "terrorism".
Zakir Naik gets to do his comparative religion scam and nobody thinks of not spooking the non-Muslims. How many times have you read on social media defenders of Naik claim he is speaking the "truth" when he talks about other religions, but get upset when non-Muslims speak the "truth" about Islam?
Why is it that non-Muslims have to be weary of not spooking the extremists, when it is the job of the state security apparatus to hunt down extremists and not merely bolster establishment narratives that are not grounded in fact and logic.
Remember when the mufti of Perlis wanted a Saddam Hussein strongman to unify the Malays: “The Perlis mufti makes public statements that he and his coterie are looking for a mass-murdering extremist to lead this country and the state security apparatus is worried about today's anti-Zakir Naik and khat rally? Imagine if a non-Muslim had said that he or she was seeking a mass-murdering psychopath to lead this country because they had had enough of Malay rule in this country. What do you think the response from the security and political apparatus would have been?”
What about when the young boy minister Syed Saddique threatens the DAP with open season, if they do not punish one of their own for critiquing a sitting prime minster over his policy decisions? The statement is a radicalizing agent for "crazies" who think that the DAP is infiltrated by communist and LTTE members who are going to destroy the Malay community. If this is not a trigger, I do not know what is.
Meanwhile, Lim Guan Eng (above), earlier this year, got into a mess with his statements that the Umno/PAS union was a declaration of war against the non-Malays. He clarified his original statement, but police reports were made against him and the political establishment was incensed by what he said.
Of course, when PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang says that non-Malays should be Pak Turut and that the DAP – which is a stand in for the non-Malay community, specifically the Chinese community – is out to supplant Malay power, a talking point of Umno/PAS, the political and security establishment seem to have no problem with this, nor the rhetoric of partisans who spread falsehood online in the service of this talking point.
In progressive countries, the citizenry are taught that they should not let the terrorists or extremists win by giving up their value systems or retreating into regressive measures. Well, this is the official narrative anyway. In this country, we are taught not to spook the extremists. It does not matter if people are expressing their rights of freedom of speech or assembly, but what matters most is the sensibilities of extremists are not offended.
What the state does is create these strawmen of a political or religious threat. It could be the LTTE or the “communist” ideologies. Targets are assigned and social media erupts in a frenzy of communal flame wars. While the straw man burns we have political and religious operatives fanning the flames knowing the danger, but expecting to profit from it.
So what happens? We get laws that further restrict free speech and dullards who think they would be protected from the very speech mainstream politicians use to ferment their base. The only losers in hate speech laws and regressive security laws are the people who think that such laws would protect them from the rhetoric of political and religious operatives.
The reason why extremists get their way is because the state enables their behavior. The state nurtures their grievances, but most importantly official state narratives seem to confirm their delusions that their race and religious beliefs are under threat.
Official narratives of threats to national security should be based on fact and not a political means to an end. However, of late in Malaysia, threats to national security have become threats to the majority community. I wrote about the Hinduphobia narrative and now of course, thanks to a propaganda comic, we have the “Communist” threat. Both are targeted at specific communities, but the underlying narrative is that the patience of the majority is being tested by these “pendatang ideologies”.
Recent comments by Hadi Awang (above) reinforces this neo-narrative. This quote in particular is important because it illustrates the mainstream dogma of Malay politics. Hadi wrote: “Remember! Islam teaches Malays that patience has its limits. Only Malays that are too stupid and weak spiritually or who have lost the soul of their race, lose their identity in their own land.”
Implicit in this statement is the threat of violence against the “Bangsa Pendatang”. It is also an attack against Muslims who do not subscribe to the group think that fuels mainstream narratives that the Malay community is under siege. Hadi, of course, does not explain or needs to define the limits of patience because the threat of violence needs to be left vague, so that any incident could be a trigger for communal violence.
Can anyone quote any instance where a non-Malay political or religious operative has warned of violence if his or her rights are not respected? The only people who make these threats are political and religious operatives who claim to speak for the majority “race”.
Recently, the prime minster of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad lamented that the Malays were not entitled to hold gatherings less they are accused of being racists. This is a politician who said that the non-Malays built cities and bemoaned the fact that even with all the discrimination they thrived economically .
He continued narratives that Malay culture was under threat by the political rhetoric of the non-Malays. Nobody cares if anyone wants to hold a conference, even if it was race based. What the prime minister did not say was this congress was about how the Malays were losing control in their land, which is a false narrative peddled since May 13. Like Hadi Awang, Mahathir with his “tolerance” spiel is furthering the idea that tolerant Malays are being bamboozled by the nefarious non-Malays .
The main talking point of this new narrative? Malay patience has its limits, especially when they have tolerated so much.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:19 AM  
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