Articles, Opinions & Views: PN’s half-past-six emergency - 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.”

“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."
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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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PN’s half-past-six emergency - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, October 26, 2020

Heads of the Half Past Six Government

: "They just need to repackage the word 'emergency' to avoid public panic. They won't call it 'darurat' but will give it a new name. Something for Covid-19."  - From a source reportage by The Malaysian Insight.

COMMENT | There has been much hand wringing over this backdoor government’s possible use of “emergency” to disrupt the democratic norms and processes of this country. Highly intelligent folks have been giving the rakyat the low down on what exactly is an “emergency declaration” and why we do not need it.  

Now that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has decided that there is no need for an emergency declaration and that politicians should not threaten the stability of the government, the rakyat can breathe a sigh of relief. While the rumour mills spinning that all this was to threaten MPs into falling in line or that this was needed because the pandemic was going out of control, the reality is that this was a means to an end for political power. From the beginning, it was so transparent.

All the rakyat really have to understand is this. One, this is not the kind of emergency that you think it is, the kind where there will be armed forces on the streets with possible shoot to kill orders and with movements restricted when the country shuts down because the state restricts economic and social norms. Two, that the horse manure spin of this being a “health emergency” instead of a “political emergency”, insults the hard work done by frontliners and to be fair, the state’s response to this pandemic which has earned this country praise from international health bodies.

Whether the Agong decides to have this “health emergency” is really besides the point. What this government has done is make it clear that it is so insecure that it would use mechanisms of the state needed for the most dire of circumstances, to sustain an unhealthy political class.

What this backdoor government has done is to put the final nail in the coffin when it comes to the institutions of this country. Even former prime minister and now convicted criminal Najib Abdul Razak never managed to do that and we all know he did a lot. If anything, this emergency, if it was granted, would demonstrate how life in this country goes on normally because the PN state is deathly afraid, that if it locks down the economy any further, the majority – and I mean the racial majority – will suffer more in this pandemic and this would lead to social, and yes racial agitations, that the state cannot handle and which ironically would mean that we need a real “darurat”.

Instead, unlike what an emergency is supposed to do, which is to disrupt normalcy, what this half-past-six emergency would have done is disrupt the political process – may be even necessitating the lockdown of certain politicians because of “health emergency” reasons.  The reality is that while there would have been more state security presence on the streets, especially in places where the opposition has control, economic activity would not be disrupted like how it would in a real emergency.

Indeed, what this government is desperate to project is a sense of normalcy, because to do otherwise would cause an economic meltdown, which would see the end of the establishment. The key of this half-past-six emergency can be found in the words of the treacherous Azmin Ali, where he said this:“Under these circumstances, it is only right and proper that we stand united behind all efforts at mitigating the pandemic and flattening the curve while ensuring minimal disruption to the economy."

Two points need to be considered. The first is the narrative that Anwar Ibrahim, who predictably opposes this fiasco, is somehow to blame for the desperate plays of this government. Azmin said Anwar’s recent moves to unseat the Muhyiddin Yassin government was “clearly the work of a power-crazy individual driven by selfish and egotistical motives with a pathological sense of entitlement as if the post of prime minister is his birthright”.

This narrative, which only the most duplicitous and mendacious person would subscribe to, is the narrative that the failures of this backdoor government are the results of the normal – for this country – democratic moves made by political operatives. A subset of this narrative is the criticism against the old maverick, who said that this emergency only gives more power to Muhyiddin. Folks claim that when in power the old maverick never needed an emergency because he tilted independent democratic institutions to favour his regime.

Well, duh, this happens all over the world in democratic countries where political operatives game the system to favour the political parties they represent. What do you think is happening in the United States, where the GOP is attempting to shape the Supreme Court of the United States (Scotus) to favour their party, which even if depleted could still promulgate “conservative” ideas for decades to come? That is a democracy, folks. This is why elections matter and Pakatan Harapan should have attempted to reform the system – but it never got down to this.

The second point to keep in mind is the PN state government's great concern for the economy. There is no way they would disrupt the economy because they know if they did it, this country would collapse, resulting in people who would take to the streets. Not for ideological reasons but for survival. They would be the kind of violence that only true economic deprivation brings. And truth be told, even the state security apparatus would not be able to be funded to handle something like that.

As it is, my sources within the state security apparatus – retired and still serving – related to me how mandarins of the state security apparatus are not on board with this idea. As it is, they had serious concerns when they were deployed during the lockdown, which they said, gave the wrong impression of the armed forces to the rakyat. Besides the logistics, maintenance of an army presence in “hot spots” takes money and the kind of coordination that would be a distraction – perhaps even a deadly one – when it comes to battling the rising numbers of this pandemic.

It is really pathetic that this backdoor government has to resort to something like this and drag the royal institution into this mess, merely because they want to remain in power. As someone – and I guess I part ways with many folks – who believes that there are legitimate uses for emergency powers, what this demonstrates is that this government has no backbone, no political street fighting instincts and only the misuse of dangerous state instruments to further its political fortunes.

Now that the Agong has said that there is no need for an emergency declaration, the government has lost credibility when it comes to issuing statements concerning the pandemic. The fact that the Agong had to allude to disruptive politics demonstrates that even the palace knew that this was a political play.

What this half-past-six emergency would have encouraged was street-level corruption, because the state security apparatus will be given more leeway and less oversight. It would also probably encourage institutional corruption because the new emergency norms will necessitate further lubrication of the bureaucracy, which makes sense considering that the plutocrat class is badly affected by this pandemic.

When he had his tiff with the Badawi regime in 2006, Mahathir Mohamad said of this country - 'half-past-six country which has no guts'. Why does it not surprise me that another of the old maverick's deputies turned PM has demonstrated (yet again) the truth in that statement.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:58 AM  
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