Articles, Opinions & Views: Do we need to support this new government? - 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

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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Do we need to support this new government? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Malaysiakini : "We choose sides and then fail to see the wrong committed by our side. When someone does question an irregularity, we pick on that person, instead of seeing what he or she is trying to uncover." – Mariam Mokhtar
COMMENT | M Santhananaban's piece about why we should support this new government does not make his case for support. Besides, what does support mean anyway? Non-Malay support? Malay support? This, after all, is a “Malay uber alles” government. When you start from that position, it is extremely difficult for the government to make the case for inclusiveness. Ironically, when it comes to the discontent of certain quarters for the current government, Santhananaban articulated the same point when it came to those who thought that the Pakatan Harapan regime was suspect.
He said: “There now seem to be some misgivings about the composition of the government, its conduct of state affairs and the content of some statements coming out of Putrajaya and Parliament.”Santhananaban seems to think that the election was won on a big lie, that of PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim assuming the mantle of leadership. Actually, the big lie was the manifesto.
Harapan showed no political will after the election of fulfilling it. The big lie was the fact that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad – who Santhananaban oddly seems unable to name – proclaimed that the manifesto was a burden and that it was a fiction created because Harapan did not think they could win.
If Harapan had fulfilled its campaign promises, nobody would care if Anwar was the next prime minister. If the old maverick had diligently pursued the ideas in the manifesto, he would have gained enough political capital to name a successor of his choosing and the Harapan faithful would have dropped Anwar like a hot brick.
Keep in mind that the people who make up this government are the power brokers and political operatives who Santhananaban has referred to as "Kleptomania Incorporated (KI)". As Santhananaban correctly pointed out in a perspective piece about the anti-Icerd rally, these folks were always in the game for regime change.
“Kleptomania Incorporated (KI), the members of which were the power and the power brokers up to May 8, has manoeuvred and used these undercurrents to seek not clarification or refinement of some policies and initiatives but something larger – a premature exit for the legitimately elected government which has done seven months in its five-year tenure. They ended their anti-Icerd rally on that prayerful note. KI is now unrealistically upbeat about change!”
Ultimately, it was Harapan which could not sustain change and KI were right to have faith that Harapan could be brought down. It is pointless claiming that detractors - Harapan MPs – of Mahathir's machinations and dereliction to the manifesto as undermining the prime minister and the government.
As far as Harpan’s diplomatic snafus are concerned, these were the preoccupations of, as Santhanaban puts it - as he did with Icerd - “...a rather elitist and exclusivist issue, one that is well articulated in Putrajaya and the drawing rooms of affluent homes in Damansara Heights and Kenny Hill”.
While I don’t think this is particularly true of Icerd (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) and as someone who attended the anti-Icerd rally, I do think that Santhananaban main points - of indoctrinated ignorance, governmental incompetence - when it came to messaging and governmental policies for the disenfranchised were spot on.
The fact is that most often critics from within the Harapan government and the prime minister were folks who put reforms over party and the irony is that even if the government had carried out reforms, the treacherous actions of Mohd Azmin Ali, the machinations of Mahathir and the political manoeuvrings of KI would not have been mitigated.
This idea that criticism should be done behind “closed doors” is exactly the kind of politics as usual that Malaysians have been duped into believing is responsible governance. It is complete crap. I want to see how political operatives manage the expectations of their base and their role as facilitators and enablers of policies.
Forget about “undermining” the old maverick. What screwed the pooch, as far as Harapan goes, was that PKR never acknowledged the factions within the party even though everyone knew they existed. This proved the most damaging to PKR, not that members of Harapan were “attacking” the prime minister. Besides, the prime minister was too busy undermining his coalition.
If Anwar had got his house in order before Azmin had a chance to consolidate his support with the remnants of KI, Harapan could have had a fighting chance. Instead, the power brokers in Harapan were too busy sucking up to the grand poobah and sending mixed messages to the base.
This new government is deemed as a "corrupt" government. How it was formed, the numerous compromised political actors - who currently have much influence in this new government and the government's religious imperatives - demonstrates exactly the kind of thinking that Santhananaban in numerous public pieces claimed to deplore. After all, it was Santhananaban who wrote eloquently about corruption in the system and the country here.
“Corruption is deeply embedded in the system. To work towards zero-tolerance, it requires much time, new laws, better enforcement and an efficient prosecutorial and court system. In other words, a whole new cast of actors is needed.” Does the former public servant think that this is a concern for the Malay uber alles government?
The reality is that the Malay uber alles movement was already gaining momentum. This was not about reforms and changing the system. Mahathir more or less made it clear from day one, that he was only interested in getting rid of Najib Abdul Razak. Meanwhile, Azmin and his supporters from day one made it clear that they were not interested in Anwar becoming the next PM.
Ultimately, we do not need to “support” – whatever that means – the government. After all, this government is not merely tackling the elephant in the room, which truth be told is not the coronavirus virus but rather how the government is going to maintain loyalty when it crept in through the backdoor.
While this pandemic is going on, the current government is also making deals which consequence is the return of KI to power. The new regime is consolidating its power while the opposition has to tread carefully because there are folks who would accuse them of putting party above country.
We should support the efforts of the frontliners. We should support the policies of the government which are working and which are working in other countries. We should signal out policies and personalities of the new government which are productive and good for all citizens of this country.
In other words, “support” should not be a given for any government but, instead, based on consideration of policies. This is all the more harder when the government is made up of traitors, self-proclaimed ethno-nationalists and avowed theocrats.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:48 AM  
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