Articles, Opinions & Views: Can Anwar be the opposition leader Harapan needs? - 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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Can Anwar be the opposition leader Harapan needs? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Friday, May 08, 2020
Malaysiakini : “Anwar was definitely ‘crazy’ about becoming the prime minister. But he cannot be (PM) because, in the past, he had so much support. But now, people support me and say, please do not let him become (PM).”  – Former two-time prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad
COMMENT | With the rather tame announcement by Anwar Ibrahim that he is the opposition leader, the big question is, will he continue to genuflect before the Malay political establishment – which is different from the Malay base – that has rejected him since he was cast out from the Umno paradise?
At this point, Anwar, the beleaguered aspirant to the throne of Putrajaya, seems willing to forgive anyone if it means getting closer to power. Anwar’s comments about his willingness to accept Bersatu back in the fold if they accept the “reform” agenda – whatever that means – should give Pakatan Harapan supporters a pause. His statement about Azmin’s Ali’s treachery being nothing personal has destroyed whatever shred of credibility Anwar has left.
In case people are confused about this, let me be very clear. The problem with Azmin was never that he was ambitious or wanted to replace Anwar as the head honcho of PKR or even that he wanted to be the next PM.
This is politics and if Anwar could not even handle power grabs within his own party, people should be sceptical of his skill set when it comes to balancing party politics, coalition agendas, oppositional politics and the vast bureaucracy if he came into power. If Azmin demonstrated solidarity with his party when it came to issues affecting his party, it would not make a difference if he had a sub rosa agenda against Anwar. This is politics, after all. However, Azmin’s continued reliance on outsiders to foment trouble and consolidate support and the eventual "Sheraton Move" was what destroyed Harapan.
Anwar’s claims that this is not about him, that he is “not the divine incarnate of (some) sort (to be) designating my successor” is a good soundbite, but if this were really the case, Anwar should fall on his sword and make way for a younger group of leaders instead of acting coyly with the very people who destroyed Harapan.
And this is really the problem, right? Anwar thinks that by claiming Azmin’s (above, left) treachery was nothing personal, it makes him sound magnanimous but all it does is make him sound egotistical. Azmin and his treacherous cohorts not only betrayed PKR, they betrayed the Harapan base. Bersatu betrayed the Harapan base but did not betray its small base.
Look, there is nothing wrong with having a big tent party. There is nothing wrong with having diverse ideologies within a coalition. However, there must be a common platform. Anwar’s going on about the “reform” agenda is meaningless because, unlike what some folks say, Harapan had time to implement, or at least attempt to implement, the reform agenda when they were in power. But they chose not to. Instead, they prostrated themselves before a potentate who was scheming in the shadows.
When Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah trolled netizens with his, "Are you confident that Harapan did not steal or (were not involved in) corruption?” comment, the Harapan faithful were up in arms with political operatives asking if Saifuddin had lodged a report with the MACC.
But while economists, NGOs and anti-corruption watchdogs were already raising the alarm about cronyism, corruption and corporate and political malfeasances, they were brushed aside and all the people seemed interested in was ensuring that “Najib” did not come back to power.
Satees Muniandy, the state assemblyperson for Bagan Dalam and international secretary for DAP Socialist Youth, while taking his shot at Bersatu’s Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who earlier in his career pushed conservative American values – the genuine ones, not the Trumpist horse manure – wrote:
“Wan Saiful is now conveniently blaming vocal DAP leaders, namely Ronnie Liu and P Ramasamy, for the collapse of the Harapan government when the fact is that it was people like Muhyiddin (Yassin) and Azmin Ali who caused the collapse with their treachery against the coalition and Mahathir.”
Of course, Anwar knows that Chinese-baiting was exactly the kind of politics that was acerbated when Bersatu joined Harapan. Of course, it was disguised much better in the sense that the target of these “yellow peril” narratives was blaming the Najib regime for cosying up to the People's Republic of China. Even DAP political operatives jumped on the bandwagon and were part of nativists' narratives that further entrenched anti-Chinese narratives as mainstream Harapan dogma.
The old maverick has publicly stated - when he had that kumbaya (a prayerful plea to God) moment with the DAP a couple of years back - that it was the agenda of Umno to demonise the DAP because this is what Malay politicians did after all. The anti-DAP – read Chinese – propaganda was enabled by DAP’s political ineptness and their failure to present a cohesive egalitarian and secular alternative.
I wish DAP strategists and policy wonks would write about the real issue that many in the Malay community have with the DAP and which is reflected in the blogosphere and social media. The mainstream narrative is not “Chinese hate” but rather the hypocrisy many Malays believe the DAP exhibits.
This hypocrisy also extends to Anwar. You know why folks like Mahathir always say that the Malays do not support Anwar? Part of it is because he always seems more interested in genuflecting to folks who have kicked him out; always attempting this "nice guy" act.
Underlying the Sheraton Move was a deep insecurity that Harapan, if left unchecked, would lead to a new dawn in Malaysian politics where a strong multiracial and secular-inclined coalition would supplant the traditional feudal corrupt power structures. If Harapan was under the stewardship of leaders who actually believed in their manifesto, this would have been the death knell of race-based political parties in this country.
DAP and PKR have the most potential – so far unrealised – which is why the establishment fears them. This is why we get partisans pushing the narratives that the "Malays" will not change and the system won't change and that it is Harapan which has to bend. Amanah could be the dark horse, the truly progressive Islamic voice, but they are being neutered by the far-right and agents of the fascist state.
Malaysian politics is a tragic comedy. The tragedy is that the Malay political establishment fears a ruthless, progressive Malay/Muslim leader who subverts ideas of Malay privileges. Would anyone really complain if important posts were filled with corrupt-free, competent “Malay” technocrats, vernacular schools scrapped for a secular, egalitarian education system, and the religious bureaucracy and its funding redefined as class-based entitlement programmes under the aegis of religion of the state benefice?
The comedy is that Anwar, apparently, fears that too.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:02 AM  
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