Articles, Opinions & Views: Najib's conviction – another day of infamy for Malaysia - 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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Najib's conviction – another day of infamy for Malaysia - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Malaysiakini: “If you want a government where you can sleep easy at night, if you want a government that can ensure certainty for the future, then support Barisan Nasional.” - Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak to Chinese businesspeople in 2013.   

"Corruption is widespread in this country and must not be tolerated, or Malaysia will not emerge as a first world country." - V Sithambaram
COMMENT | Najib Abdul Razak's conviction is no doubt some sort of catharsis for Harapan supporters. The long and twisty road to Najib’s conviction has been littered with the kind of astonishing political shenanigans that characterise the “immaturity” of the polity that some folks use as an excuse to not push forward fundamental reforms. Keep in mind that when Najib made the statement, which serves as the opening quote of this piece, in 2013, his regime was voted back into power.
For instance, when DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said that he would even work with Najib to “save Malaysia… if the prime minister is prepared to admit that he had led the country on a wrong tangent and that Malaysia must be saved with far-reaching democratic and institutional reforms”, all this seems like a bad dream now.
For many of us old-timers, we never thought we would see the day when a former prime minister of this country, someone who has – let us be honest – unfettered power, would be sentenced to jail by a court of law for essentially stealing money from the rakyat.
This is just another day of infamy for Malaysia, which counts towards the various scandals that were overlooked during the long Umno watch, such as the imprisonment and assault of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, the mass graves of Wang Kelian, the enforced disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat, the murder of Teoh Beng Hock and numerous other “days” which Malaysians have grown accustomed to. Mind you, we always knew that politicians were stealing money from the rakyat.
We always knew that the institution of political power was corrupt, that the machinery of the state was moulded to fit the state’s narrative when it came to the judicial process. Indeed, certain politicians, who would later become “saviours”, were assumed untouchable when it came to the malfeasances that occurred during their reign. While I am relieved that the court came to the decision that it did, it would be foolish for anyone to think that Malaysia is on the road to reform, especially when it comes to corruption.
As some have pointed out, Najib has “two other chances” to prove his innocence, which is inaccurate because he has two other chances to reverse his legal fortunes, but this is the land of endless possibilities and happy endings.
July 28 is not a “great” day for Malaysia. It should serve as a reminder that for decades we voted in corrupt governments because we deluded ourselves into thinking that the “power-sharing” formula in a multi-racial country was all that we had. Indeed July 28, if Najib is allowed to carry on with his business as usual, may prove to be an omen for the shape of things to come.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (above) is right that Umno needs to make a “political decision” since its leaders in the upper echelon are all facing corruption charges. To not make a political decision now would be political suicide. Najib’s appeals buy his loyalists some time but unless Najib can reverse his political and financial fortunes, current Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin may have accelerated an end game that Malaysia has not seen in decades.
This will be an election where the results are unpredictable, not because Harapan is strong, but because the motley political parties that embody Perikatan Nasional are in a life and death struggle for their political survival.
Najib's corruption case is just the tip of the iceberg or the pustulent head of the boil when it comes to the political and criminal nexus in this country. I think most Malaysians know this. They know that corruption is systemic and not isolated.
Now, thanks to Abdul Hadi Awang, it is also a religious issue, with the PAS president tweeting “that a bad Muslim can repent, while those who do good but have no faith, will be rejected on judgment day”. This, of course, is why the former prime minister again took an oath that he had done nothing wrong.
But so what if he had? According to the likes of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, it is better to be led by corrupt Muslim leaders than honest non-Muslims, which is probably why some Harapan supporters are scratching their heads, wondering why folks still support Najib and Umno.
I too do wonder, now that Muhyiddin has started the culling process of “corrupt” Umno leaders, will the old maverick (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) not feel so uneasy about the optics of embracing Umno again? After all, the old maverick was extremely vocal that he could not work with Umno leaders who were facing criminal charges in court.
Now that a big fish has been netted, what will be the political permutations of Malay power structures? Bridget Welsh made an extremely important point here: “The party election after GE14, which ended up with Najib-aligned Ahmad Zahid Hamidi winning only 42.2 percent of the delegate votes (the remainder of the votes were split among his two competitors, Khairy Jamaluddin and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah) was one of those moments. It was an election not as driven by money and an attempt to break out of the Najib straitjacket.”
Make no mistake about this. While this verdict pushes the spotlight away from the internal squabbles of Harapan, whenever Umno squabbles, they never squabble alone. All parties will be dragged into this fight, and no doubt, the proxies of Malay power brokers will go to town wanting scalps, now that the gloves have come off.
Umno Youth information chief Shahril Hamdan’s comment that this is a turning point for Umno, coupled with Khariy’s rejoinder for Umno to rejuvenate itself, is rational political rhetoric. It will not gain any traction with the grassroots and the potentates within Umno.
This is a life and death struggle, not only for political life but also for personal freedom. Harapan should not breathe a sigh of relief. It should be preparing for the most vicious election that will determine if Malaysia continues down its dark path.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:45 AM  
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