Articles, Opinions & Views: ‘They steal so much that they can’t give us free masks’ - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy


 
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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

Photobucket
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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‘They steal so much that they can’t give us free masks’ - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, March 21, 2020
Butcher with face mask
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | ‘Just the other day, I was out getting food after being stuck in my room…’“Around the world, governments talk about unity in a collective effort to tackle perhaps our greatest challenge since the Second World War. Here, in Malaysia, Muhyiddin played politics at his first coronavirus meeting when he excluded leaders of Harapan-led states. This is not leadership.”- Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysiakini columnist
COMMENT | It all started innocently enough with a trip to the post office. With the movement control order (MCO) in place, I was settling down to finally watch ‘Smiley's People’ online. Truth be told, with the backdoor government in place and the Covid-19 stalking Malaysians, I was not in the mood for politics.
My interactions with the police and medical services personnel who have been operating in my area have been cordial. They have been doing an extremely good job in dispersing crowds and advising people to stay at home. In fact, just the other day, I was out getting food after being stuck in my room the whole day, I was approached by a group of police personnel and medical officials. They got this old sailor a chair and placed me in a comfortable unused area so I could sit for a bit while waiting for my takeaway meal.
While I have nothing but derision for political operatives, my anecdotal experience with the state security personnel has been pleasant and they have been professional - looking out to help senior citizens and advising people to stay at home. Compliance has been generally rational where I live.
Anyway, a newfound friend of mine dragged me away from my laptop. He was a retired trader who was living off his meagre savings. He was only a few years younger than me but he insisted on calling me “Pakcik”. He needed to pay his bills and wanted me to accompany him to the post office. He suffers from a mild physical disability and while he is mobile, he is worried that he would cause an inconvenience to strangers and prefers it if a friend lends a hand. I enjoyed interacting with him because our conversations in Malay were always peppered with his observations and musings on contemporary city life viewed through the lens of his Terengganu Weltanschauung.
“We must always pay our bills on time, Pakcik,” he said. This virus should not be an excuse to be lazy in our payments, he continued, as we slowly drove to the nearby post office. I asked him why his kids were not doing this and he said his two boys had completed their technical studies and were working in Singapore and Vietnam. They send back money so at least he and his wife could pay their bills on time. He was strictly observing the MCO, going so far as to tell all his friends not to go to prayers but to stay at home and pray.
When we arrived at the post office, we were told that we could only go in if we had mask. Since neither of us had mask, we could not go in. My friend went ballistic. Speaking in his Terengganu dialect he said that he and his wife had finished the face masks they had. Since they were not hoarding because they wanted other people to have access to face masks, he now did not have any.
I diffused the situation, and these two seniors went to every pharmacy and even clinics around the area looking for face masks. Everywhere, it was out of stock. Here we are supposed to be fighting a war and there were many citizens who did not have access to face masks. What were we supposed to do? We went back to the post office and my friend started shouting at the personnel outside who refused to let us in. He bellowed, “They steal so much money and they cannot even give us free face masks?”
Just when I thought the situation was going to get worse, a young Chinese kid with blonde hair, came and gave us a couple of face masks. When we wanted to pay him, he merely shook his head and walked back to his motorcycle. Apparently, members of my family had the same experience and were lucky enough to have the same outcome - where a good Malaysian came to their rescue.
‘It’s about corruption’
My friend dropped me back at my place. It was a short drive but long on political polemics. They have stolen so much and they cannot even now stop their politicking, my friends exclaimed. When my friend calmed down, he said that this was not really about face masks. I know, I said. This is about corruption.
The corruption of the system and our souls, he said. “People are more interested in praying than seeing that the religious authorities help the rakyat.” This is the time when our religious leaders should be handing out face masks and hand sanitisers, and giving people proper information, he said in his stark Terengganu accent. “We have the money, Pakcik. See, they stole so much so of course, there is money,” he added. It sounds so simple when my friend puts it that way.
Former domestic trade and consumer affairs minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has expressed his opposition to the price hike of face masks, articulating that the deal that the former legitimate government came up with is better than what this backdoor government has come up with.
From a Malaysiakini report - "They (face mask producers) asked for the government to make it easier for them to get workers and also asked for permission to operate in three shifts without bureaucratic interference as well as to be given tax exemptions (for imports of material) from the Customs Department," said Saifuddin. Apparently, the producers did not ask for a price hike.
Let me be very blunt. The incident I described was not really about bureaucracy or anything like that. The post office was just looking after its workers and people should be wearing face masks. The problem here, as my friend and I discussed, is that instead of making these essential items part of the war effort, this backdoor government is condoning a price hike and in essence, encouraging hoarding.
What the government should be doing, instead of making backdoor political moves against its rival, is leading the war effort. Religious places should be distributing free face masks and sanitisers to its congregants (or for that matter, to everyone) instead of spreading toxic religiosity.
Honestly, when the Prime Minister’s Office allegedly pulls the allocation for parliamentarian Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, and add to this the “accident” of leaving out opposition states from a high-level meeting to coordinate action against the pandemic, can anyone really have faith in this government?
I’m be back in my bunker, but I’ll just say this. I don’t think this is a war. This is an occupation and the virus is winning because we have a leadership which is hampering the resistance.
Stay safe Malaysia, whoever you are.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:50 AM  
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