Articles, Opinions & Views: Anthony Loke is right about ceasefire with PN - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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“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.”

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“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
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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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Anthony Loke is right about ceasefire with PN - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “He serves his party best who serves his country best.” ― Rutherford B Hayes
Anthony Loke’s idea of a ceasefire with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to tackle the issues that the country is facing is the kind of rational ideas that are lacking in this highly partisan political terrain. Of course, Loke had to qualify this rather constructive idea with the usual “personal opinion” caveat which just goes to show you that in this milieu advocating for putting country before party – any party – is a radical or controversial idea.
Here’s the thing; it is not really such a controversial idea in the first place. In most functional democracies, ideologically disparate political parties work together on major issues. The idea that any Pakatan Harapan party ab initio cannot work with this PN government because this government has demonised the DAP or the opposition is ludicrous. The fact is when the opposition buried the hatchet with the old maverick, it paved the way for the Harapan, theoretically at least, to be able to work with any Malay uber alles political entity.
The fact of the matter is that Harapan-led state governments are already working with the Federal authorities on numerous issues and all this political theatre, while great for ginning up the base, is doing nothing to move the country in a direction that would secure its future, albeit tenuously, from the ravages of this pandemic. Indeed, what this pandemic has demonstrated is that things need to change and if it is not done with clarity of purpose, all this partisan bickering does is exacerbate the situation instead of ameliorating it.
Some people are taking great delight in the instability of the PN regime not realising that ultimately what emerges from such chaos is not something good, but rather a wounded grievance fuelled creature which would further plunge this country into a situation which Malaysia may not recover from.
I maintain that we should support the policies of the government that are working and proven beneficial to most Malaysians. We should signal out policies and personalities of the new government that 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.
The question is, can Harapan be a part of those policies, considerations and discussions? Can Harapan as exemplified by the way Harapan states are run, be part of the consensus of the PN government? Would this be beneficial to the country even though it may not play well with the base?
We should also keep in mind due to the internal politics of PN there are personalities and power groupings which would be opposed to such consensus making between coalitions and would work behind the scenes to sabotage any such initiatives. Furthermore, they would attempt to ignite racial, religious flashpoints to derail any form of consensus making and predictably, opposition political parties would take the bait, and it would be business as usual which has proven to be disastrous for the country.
So, this is not going to be a walk in the park, and it should not be viewed with doe-eyed optimism. However, the benefits of all parties possibly reaching some form of consensus and working to move this country away from the geopolitical consequences of this pandemic outweighs the reactionary fears that we should all just retreat to our respective corners and eagerly await the next big general election. Look, most political operatives do not want consensus. They want strife and division. They want to stoke partisan issues so they can score points on that imaginary scoreboard which keeps the country in perpetual regression.
We should use this pandemic as a testing board to form new ways of engaging and forming policy instead of relying on a Manichean worldview of all or nothing partisan politics. Loke working in a bipartisan manner with Umno’s Nazri on party hopping is a good start. Time will tell if this is merely just window dressing, but Umno's Nazri Aziz is right when he said: "The highest court in the country had [previously] decided that an anti-hopping law cannot be done because it will prevent an MP or an assemblyman from practising one’s basic human rights.
“But we must think of a way. All of these were done by humans and as humans, we can use our brains to find ways to stop it.”
Loke was on point when he said the current prime minister should be magnanimous and have a sit down with all political factions. Any faction which does not want to sit down and have a pow-wow because they think they cannot work with another faction on racial and religious grounds, tells us something about what they think of this country and how they are putting their party first instead of the citizens of this country.
Loke was also on point when he argued that subject to certain conditions, “political parties may cooperate with the government without becoming a part of the ruling coalition”. Nobody is arguing or should be arguing that Harapan political parties need to be part of the PN coalition – especially when there are elements who claim that they cannot work with the DAP  – when the DAP has bent over backwards giving them everything they want.
What is important is that everyone who voted for whichever political party has a voice in important policy considerations, especially when we are in a pandemic that is wreaking havoc on conventionality. Of course, all this depends on the PN government and so far, they have done nothing to indicate that working for the betterment of everyone is an agenda for the coalition.
The prime minister should stop all this “Rukun Negara” nonsense. The “opposition” should stop attempting to dispense the Bangsa Malaysia kool-aid. Instead, what both should be doing is attempting to form some sort of consensus, tenuous or fragile it may be, because this is the perfect opportunity to attempt to work together for the betterment of Malaysians.
Otherwise, we are in for a big fall. Some would argue, it is what it is.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:49 AM  
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