Articles, Opinions & Views: My pick of top news of 2019 - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

Views & Articles
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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My pick of top news of 2019 - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Malaysiakini : "The headlines screamed at him as soon as he saw the paper. He almost screamed back." - Terry Pratchett, Going Postal.
COMMENT | My pick for the top news stories this year is a little different. Instead of five news stories, I am honing on three narratives and two news items. The three narratives I am focusing on are not new. What is new is that it points to the virulence of a system that Pakatan Harapan is incapable – for various reasons – of dismantling. These narratives confirm that the new Malaysia Kool-Aid is just as dangerous as the Kool-Aid Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin said BN was imbibing when they lost the last general election.
What we will be dealing with in 2020 is the collective failure of Harapan to establish a counter-narrative to the Umno/PAS narrative of racial and religious supremacy.
The reality is that Umno and PAS play the game better because they do not have to worry about the expectations of a base which was promised a new dawn in racial and religious dynamics.
PSM president Mohd Nasir Hisham is correct when he claimed that the agenda of Harapan seems to be creating superficial differences with the previous regime. The problem with this strategy is that eventually the base will either slip into apathy about the political process or revert to what they know instead of dealing with cynical pleas to emotion.
Here are the three narratives and two news stories.
The worsening 3Rs 

The race, religion and royalty narrative worsened this year. This happened for a variety of reasons.  Umno/PAS’ intellectual and moral bankruptcy is matched by Harapan’s. The Harapan base which was so long fed on a steady diet of the Kool-Aid, believed that a change of stewardship in this country meant a change of the racial and religious dialectic.They could not have been more wrong.
From PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim's “don’t spook the Malays” to the Old Maverick’s “react in a very Malay way”, the discourse has not been about policy but rather about how the majority would react to a policy solely based on race and religion. From my vantage point - This is why merely pointing to the far-right as the cause of the escalation of racial and religious rhetoric is bunkum.
When Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku Rakyat Sabah (Star) president Jeffrey 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? Or get rid of Bersatu, which dominates the policy-making decisions of Harapan?
The reality of Islamophobia

Some folks will argue that Islamophobia is not a real thing. Religious extremists made it up to justify their victimhood. The Harapan government has been peddling this victimhood narrative on the international stage and in national policy.I have often argued that the most influential minister is the one in charge of Islamic affairs.
Harapan’s religious czar, Mujahid Yusof Rawa (above), has babbled on about “compassionate Islam” but has done everything in his power to advance narratives and policies which are exclusionary and counterproductive to the supposed “moderate” religious agenda of Harapan.
If people have a phobia about religion, it is because those in control of the religion have demonstrated that their impulses are fascist instead of egalitarian, which religion is supposed to be about.
From my vantage point - Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said that he believes the opposition against khat was grounded in a phobia of Islam. My question is, can Muslims understand why some people are Islamophobic?
The recent close encounter in Selangor with unilateral conversion demonstrates that religion continues to be weaponised in the Harapan regime - something we were told would cease under the new management.
The sanctioning of fake news by the state

A man accused of supporting LTTE being escorted by police
Umno/BN did it and now Harapan is doing it too. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) threat and the communist threat have taken a life of their own. They have become a convenient weapon to attack the minorities in this country and the state has shown no interests in countering these narratives. 

Indeed what the state has been doing through its security apparatus is legitimising these narratives. Not only do minorities have to justify their place under the Malaysian sun, they now have to worry about the blowback from religious extremists who have a convenient hook to place their imagined grievances on.

From my vantage point - Demonising minority groups, politicians and activists as a threat to national security is not something new in Malaysia. DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang argued against the duplicity of the state in 2007, when the then attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail attempted to link the Hindraf movement with the LTTE in the infamous Batu Caves 31 murder trial.

"What was the justification for the attorney-general leading the attack on Hindraf for its alleged terrorist links? ... Gani said his linking Hindraf to the LTTE in his argument at the Shah Alam Sessions Court... was based on a police report. He said: 'Somebody lodged a police report that there is ground that these people have been going out to (establish) contact with this LTTE'," Lim said at the time.

The Lynas con

At a time when the environment is a major issue especially with young people, Harapan has chosen to backtrack on this by displaying the kind of mendacity they accuse their opponents of.  

Wong Tack, the activist turned politician, has been left out in the cold and this issue has become another embarrassing flashpoint between activist groups and the commercial interests of Harapan politicians.

From my vantage point - DAP Youth deputy chief Chiong Yoke Kong is on the ball when he demanded the minutes of the cabinet meeting be made public and the stand of each cabinet minister on this issue be revealed.

Malaysians have a right to know which cabinet member does not want to save Malaysia, or was just playing Harapan supporters for fools when he or she claimed that stopping Lynas meant saving lives and saving Malaysia.

Lowering the voting age

I am ending this piece on a bright note for Harapan. One of the more productive policies of Harapan is lowering the voting age to 18. While the “debate” on this issue was nonsensical, what a new Malaysia needs are young people who want to change the system. 
Now with all the racial and religious indoctrination being carried out by Harapan, the continued polemics of the far-right, the machinations of the deep Islamic state and of course the “charisma” of the big cheese, it remains to be seen if young people will engage with the process or slip into a fugue state which took their elders decades to come into.
From my vantage point - A good example of this is lawyer Syahredzan Johan’s tweet last year after Harapan’s historic win, where he wrote: “You know why #UndiRosak failed? Because we have not yet come to a point where voters see PH and BN as identical choices. Even the most cynical see PH as a lesser evil. And #undirosak proponents could not articulate their views further than 'we need a better opposition'.”
As I say at the end of every year, for anyone speaking truth to power - illegitimi non carborundum (Don't let the bastards grind you down'). 
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:43 PM  
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