Articles, Opinions & Views: What is Harapan’s game plan? - 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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What is Harapan’s game plan? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, April 27, 2020
Malaysiakini : “The subtle and deadly change of heart that might occur in you would be involved with the realisation that a civilisation is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless.”– James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
COMMENT | The only thing Ong Kian Ming’s two articles – about Umno being in a dilemma and at the same time being a threat to Perikatan Nasional (PN) – managed to do was point out that Umno was still a formidable force in Malaysian politics and the political parties which were in a dilemma were PKR and DAP, not to mention how Bersatu posed an ongoing threat to Harapan.
In fact, Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan's retort to Ong’s pieces is a clear articulation of realpolitik but more importantly, a message to the Umno base of a vision of what a democratically elected Malay uber alles would look like, unlike this backdoor government. That’s the game plan for Umno and PAS and the non-Malay satellite parties which orbit this mainstream Malay power structure.
What is Harapan’s game plan?
It is pointless talking about Umno's dilemma and how it is a threat to PN when the real dilemma of Harapan is that it cannot even decide who is leading the opposition. You want to talk about threats? Well, how about the threat Dr Mahathir Mohammad (photo) is to Harapan? How about the threat that Bersatu poses to Harapan?
How about the dilemma Harapan always had, when it said it was a secular-leaning, multi-racial coalition, which had to bend over backwards to include Bersatu, which we were told was needed to secure the Malay vote? Post-election political operatives were bending over backwards not to offend Mahathir, except for a few brave souls, while the rest spun and sometimes even lied that all was well in the house that Harapan built. Even now, the thought of the DAP leading the opposition sends shivers down the spines of political operatives – which is funny, for who knew they had spines – and there is all this deep discussion as to who leads the opposition.
Harapan’s greatest strength is that it was supposedly a coalition that had no race-based parties. Now, the argument could be made that racial politics dominated the Harapan discourse in substance, but in form they were a multiracial coalition and this was a good start. Good enough to wrest power in certain states from the Umno hegemon and good enough to make the Malay establishment fear the rise of a multiracial block because the “Malays” were split.
Hooking up with Mahathir and Bersatu poisoned the well when it came to Harapan’s multiracial discourse. PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim’s “don’t spook the Malays” comment would have not been as bad if he did not have a race-based political party – Bersatu – which was actively seeking not to spook the Malays.
Balancing racial expectations and preoccupations in a multiracial party is less difficult when all your partners are dealing with the issue, but when you have a race-based party which, by its nature, is there to promote a racist ideology and you have to spin or ignore that, it becomes problematic.
When asked if he was slated to be the opposition leader, Anwar had said: "For Harapan now, yes, although we say we need to continue to engage with other opposition leaders." This is exactly the kind of nonsensical messaging that continues to weaken Harapan. Although I am on record as saying that Anwar deserves his shot at the hot seat, the God honest truth is that the mandarins of Harapan have to sell this idea that the only two people who could possibly lead Harapan are former prime minister (twice) Mahathir and Anwar.
Unlike the old maverick, Anwar (photo) has the weight of expectations of the non-Malay community on his shoulders. The base of Harapan is the non-Malays. Umno/PAS and the saboteurs from Harapan are in a win-win position because if Anwar fulfils or exceeds those expectations, they will use it against him because their base is steeped in racial and religious anxieties which (they are told) only a Malay-based political party can assuage. They will claim that Anwar’s subservience to the non-Malay community is at the expense of the Malay community.
If he disappoints the non-Malay community, then the far-right will win as well. They would spin this as further evidence that a multiracial political party will not be able to survive and the non-Malays were taught a lesson in pinning their hopes on a “Malay” reformist.
So, the choice is between the former, whose alleged machinations brought down the Harapan government and the latter, who was running around like a headless chicken while the treacherous Azmin Ali brought down Harapan.
These are the men, who are supposed to lead the opposition in taking down a political foe like Umno, which ever since the election has been determining policy (with PAS) through public protests, backroom deals, a compliant Harapan politburo and a slavish devotion to Mahathir, who in one incident of extreme hubris dared Harapan to fire him. You know those people who are always warning Harapan that if they do not have a Malay leader to lead them, then Umno and PAS will “win”. Well, they are already winning and the reality is that they may continue winning until the cash cows dry up and the country truly becomes one of Donald Trump’s crap hole nations.
What does Harapan want? The one good thing about PN coming into power is that we know what a Malay uber alles government looks like. Granted this pandemic took everyone by surprise and PN would have to temper its racial and religious impulses. If there was no pandemic, it would have been worse because Umno would realise that it could destroy PN at any moment and it would still be to their advantage.
All this should not detract from the fact that Harapan insists on playing the old game when they should be an alternative to the racial and theocratic nation-destroying strategy of BN and PN.
But maybe it is too late.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:09 AM  
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