Articles, Opinions & Views: Tanjung Piai is not a credible bellwether for non-Malay dissatisfaction - 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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Tanjung Piai is not a credible bellwether for non-Malay dissatisfaction - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, November 04, 2019
Malaysiakini : “And men are so poor in intellect that a few cold chills down their spine will be enough to keep them from ever finding out the truth about anything.” - Thomas Merton
COMMENT | Some people say that Harapan needs to be taught a lesson in the Tanjung Piai by-election. The perception is that non-Malays are weighing their options when it comes to voting for the Bersatu candidate. The idea is that losing this by-election will teach Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad some sort of lesson.
This is problematic for a variety of reasons. The most important reason is that elections are but a small section of the old maverick’s political chessboard. Control of GLCs, the leaping of political frogs, fermenting discontent in various power groups in his own Pakatan Harapan coalition, enabling the deep Islamic state and various other bureaucratic malfeasance are the instruments of strongmen. The big question is, do his allies enable the strongman?

Barisan Nasional (BN) played a good hand by picking a non-Muslim candidate. The optics look good as far as playing nice with the MCA, and it gives PAS an opportunity to demonstrate that it would support a non-Muslim candidate like how it was in the good old days of Tok Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat..
This is not meant as a slight. The reality is that while the rhetoric of PAS is politically incorrect, in substance it is the same as other Malay power brokers of Harapan in the way how they deal with their non-Malay counterparts.
If the MCA candidate loses, then Umno/PAS can fall back on the play that if they had fielded a Malay candidate, they may have won. Now, however, they get to campaign on a multiracial platform and leave it to their Chinese counterpart to point out how Harapan is falling when it comes to the very issues that the Chinese demographic holds dear.
Meanwhile, Bersatu has the weight of Malay privilege on its back and is going into hostile terrain where the Malay base is divided, and the non-Malay base exasperated at the slow pace of reforms, but more importantly views the prime minister and his party as Umno clones intent on replicating the very policies that brought this country to ruin.
The Tanjung Piai by-election further demonstrates how non-Malay political structures are merely proxies for Malay hegemons. The sight of Lim Guan Eng and other non-Malay politicians and bureaucrats canvassing for votes for Bersatu, which the Harapan base is split on, is an exact replica of how the MCA would appeal for votes for a flailing Umno. Everything old is new again.
This idea that sending a message – what message? – is what this by-election is about is simplistic - because the only political parties that need to learn any lesson is not the party in play (Bersatu), but rather, the non-Malay power structures.
If Mahathir loses with a Malay candidate, not only would Umno/PAS have proven – for the time being – that voters are dissatisfied with Harapan, but they can make the case that they could garner non-Malay votes, especially since conventional political thinking posits that BN is essentially a racist, far-right construct.
If Harapan were smart, it would have fielded a non-Malay candidate, and this proxy fight would have been a better alternative (for Harapan), instead of being a bellwether for “Malay” support. Having said that, I can understand why Harapan would not be eager to field a non-Malay candidate.
Would the rhetoric of discontent be the same if a non-Malay candidate from DAP or PKR was in play? It is easy saying that Mahathir/Bersatu needs to be taught a lesson, but would the rhetoric translate to an electoral win for BN because Harapan (non-Malay) supporters wanted to show their dissatisfaction at Harapan and not just Bersatu?
I have said it before and I will say it again: it is a deflection to lay the blame solely on Mahathir. The reality is that the DAP and PKR, both with non-Malay support, have been complicit in the betrayal of New Malaysia. Saying that Harapan needs to be taught a lesson and taking it out on Bersatu is pointless.
The only lesson that would mean anything, coming from the non-Malays, is that if a non-Malay candidate were rejected or a candidate (regardless of race) that is from the DAP or PKR. Rejecting a Malay Bersatu candidate is easy and merely reinforces convenient narratives that do not reflect reality when it comes to the role political parties play in the creation of a New Malayisa or a neo-BN.
What Terence Gomez has illustrated with his public comments about Bersatu’s political influence of GLCs is further evidence that non-Malay power structures have no real power or influence besides being enablers and cheerleaders for a “malaise system”. It is as if all that hand-wringing by ultra-Malay types was for nothing, which it was because the system has not changed.
I have no doubt that many people view Tanjung Piai as some sort of bellwether on the Mahathir administration, and so far what we have seen from Harapan politicos is the kind of pre-election behaviour that sustained BN for decades.
Politicians babbling about voting for the establishment that could pay your salaries, vote-buying shenanigans like development funds suddenly green-lit for Tanjung Piai and a host of other “cash is king” politics that were supposedly anathema to Harapan, but is business as usual after they claimed victory.
Even if the voters rejected such tactics it would not really mean anything because for the Malay demographic at least, Harapan – like Umno/PAS – will not stop attempting to subvert the democratic process by engaging in such tactics in the hopes of securing the majority Malay vote. If you are a non-Malay who thinks that Harapan needs to be taught a lesson, Tanjung Piai isn’t the election which would teach Harapan anything.
That test, a test of resolve for dissatisfied non-Malay Harapan partisans, would happen only when a PKR or DAP candidate is on the firing line.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:04 PM  
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