Articles, Opinions & Views: The hysteria over 'basikal lajak' - 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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The hysteria over 'basikal lajak' - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, November 09, 2019
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “But what I do I do because I like to do.” - Anthony Burgess, 'A Clockwork Orange'.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, in keeping with his ministerial portfolio, should be applauded in his efforts to reach out to the basikal lajak subculture. Attempting to understand these kids - instead of attempting to capitalise on the death of kids like Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi - is one of the better plays of the Pakatan Harapan government.
I am sceptical of any government programmes to “guide” juveniles because eventually they turn into indoctrination programmes, but let us see how this plays out. External religious and political forces shape Malay kids from working-class or middle-class backgrounds. What we are talking about here is a host of variables that should not be dismissed by convenient political and social bromides.
The reality is that those kids who perished in the Johor bicycle tragedy were out looking for thrills, and in their minds they were invulnerable. Isn’t it always like that when you are very young? You think that nothing can hurt you or at the very least, it will happen to someone else.
The woman who was acquitted has to live with the fact that the kids are dead. She certainly did not go out that day thinking that today was the day that she would run over kids who were engaging in dangerous behaviour. So this idea that stricter laws and getting all worked-up are going to make our roads safer is delusional.
Young people are going to do dumb and dangerous activities because kids have been doing that since we painted our exploits on cave walls. We live in a culture that glorifies thrill-seeking, and then wonder why people engage in such activity. Most people watch the Fast and Furious films, for instance, and get their kicks vicariously. Some people watch those films, mock the inaccurate details and then street race for real.
As usual, the state security apparatus is talking about cracking down on parents and kids of this particular subculture. People are talking about safety issues without realising there are deeper issues at play. The kids who engage in this sort of activity are not worried about their safety. They are certainly not worried about the safety of others.
In fact, what attracts them to this is the danger. Carrying out dangerous acts with your friends encourages a sense of a shared community. Breaking the law, evading the police and other adults are part of the communal experience, and sharing and relating the experience to other kids, in turn, encourages behaviour which is not only dangerous, but also contagious.
Add to this a family life without supervision or too much supervision, and what we have is an explosive cocktail of youthful invulnerability and the need for connection. Experts use terms like “peer pressure” and what is needed is a secure family life, which is probably true, but also ignores the reality that young people will always do dumb and dangerous stuff.
When adult street racers race their cars, they are not looking for safe tracks to satisfy their adrenaline ”jones”. It is the same with kids, who have less power, influence and impulse control.
People have been telling me that the full force of the law should be applied to these kids and their parents. Really? I often speak to young people who are part of the various subcultures that most adults do not know exist. When I volunteered at a drug rehabilitation centre, I spoke to many juveniles about their experiences.
I know one kid who is a street racer (from a very young age) who gets paid to ride a bike for another kid. This is weird to me (not the getting paid part, but rather, where is the glory in someone else riding your bike?) but the racing subculture has many nooks and crannies which defy simple explanations by experts and the state security apparatus.
Deputy inspector-general of police Mazlan Mansor said, "The Royal Malaysian Police is an enforcement body. We need a strict law for this issue (basikal lajak) and others which can adversely affect public order and well-being.” Really? So the PDRM is going to handle this issue like how they handle the Mat Rempit issue or the numerous other juvenile delinquency issues that plague this country - with a heavy boot and hypocrisy to match?
Young kids tell me that they read and hear of religious and political figures breaking the law all the time and getting away with their crimes. They look upon the state security apparatus as adults taking it out on them because they have no power, except for the way they choose to live their lives or getting away with the crimes they commit.
Some juveniles grow out of the subcultures they choose to inhabit for a time, but some move on to other more toxic cultures because they never manage to escape that spiral of delinquency brought about by unstable family backgrounds or addictions, but dismissed by so many people as a "lack of moral fibre".
I hope that Syed Saadiq focuses on this issue, and not merely use it as just another avenue to burnish his brand. Sports is big business in this country, but what he should be focusing on are the issues facing young people. And I do not mean middle-class young people who are pissed off that their votes did not magically create a "new Malaysia". I mean the young people who have no idea that their world is not the small, often brutish, world they inhabit, restrained by race, class and religion.
I hope the young minister gives them a fighting chance to avail themselves of the opportunities and privileges he has had, and not further box them into an existence where the only avenue of escape is the open road with no brakes.
Some kids are lucky enough to have safety nets, some kids not.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:40 AM  
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