Articles, Opinions & Views: 2021 - Harapan’s reckoning - 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."

& Infor
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2021 - Harapan’s reckoning - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, January 07, 2021

Malaysiakini : “Totalitarian solutions may well survive the fall of totalitarian regimes in the form of strong temptations which will come up whenever it seems impossible to alleviate political, social, or economic misery in a manner worthy of man.” - Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

COMMENT | Mukhriz Mahathir said that corruption is the "number one enemy" of the Malays, which is somewhat queer for many reasons, the most important of which is that he is wrong. Forget about who is saying this for a minute but the number one enemy of the Malays is religious extremism.

Recall that great photo of the old maverick standing shoulder to shoulder with Zakir Naik. If a picture says a thousand words, that photo probably said millions.

Zakir said it is better for Muslims to vote for corrupt Muslim leaders instead of honest non-Muslim leaders. Now if a preacher who said this – and he has said worse – is embraced by the political establishment, what message does it send to the fractured Malay polity, especially when it comes to state-sponsored religious dogma?

Malaysians have voted in successive corrupt regimes for decades and the opposition by first breaking the two-thirds majority and winning certain states demonstrated that it had an alternative narrative which resonated especially amongst the urban and semi-urban polities.

Since then, political attitudes for whatever reasons have changed. So this idea of working with kleptocrats is just so noughties.

The fact that Pejuang borne from the treachery of Bersatu can declare the demise of Pakatan Harapan is demonstrative of how ineffectual Harapan is.

Anwar Ibrahim should concentrate on strengthening the opposition but if the opposition cannot even declare with certainty that he is their prime minister candidate and instead engage in subterfuge when it comes to this issue, all the more incentive for Anwar to seek the backing of outsiders.

All these legacy coalitions, which are actually a facsimile of the BN formula, have caused too many problems for the DAP and multiracial parties.

Zaid Ibrahim – can I say Zaid Ibrahim or do I have to ask someone for permission, to use his name? – tweeted it best when he wrote: "Lim Kit Siang should stop labelling Umno as a kleptocratic party. He was in bed with kleptocrats. He is still probably in bed with them. Just because these kleptocrats were not charged and left Umno does not mean they are 'cleaner' than Umno."

I also like what Zaid tweeted about Jakim. He said: "Jakim should be given more powers. Why stop at certifying halal cake shops? Let's certify all Malay men - if they are worthy of being certified halal." Which, truth be told, is kind of what all this rampant religious extremism has always been about, the certification of the Malay polity by the state. But this is a topic for another polemic.

Since hooking up with the old maverick to dethrone the Najib Abdul Razak regime, the slippery slope has reached its logical end, with the DAP working with Umno in Perak. 

Mind you, I have no real issue with that equation and have written about how bipartisanship is the way forward from all this Manichean nonsense that passes as political discourse.

The year 2021 will determine how badly the dysfunctionality of Harapan has affected the base. Mohamad Sabu is right when he said that the Muhyiddin Yassin regime is firming up its support. The only reason why it can do this is because it knows that Harapan is in the manure house.

Anwar’s problem is not that he was willing to work with Umno, but he had failed to get the numbers. This screwed up not only his credibility but also Harapan’s. 

The fact is that many folks in Harapan were spooked with all these manoeuvres because they believed that if Anwar was successful, Umno would have such a hold over him, that his allies would suffer.

And by “suffer” I mean to be denied the position of influence within the new administration. So you better believe it that when Anwar’s ploy failed, there were sighs of relief in Harapan. 

Even Anwar’s rhetoric of PKR having a Malay/Muslim core is not as problematic as it sounds. What is problematic is the fact that Anwar has failed to articulate beyond political bromides what the agenda of his Malay Muslim core is.

Harapan was not interested in creating a counter-narrative. A counter-narrative that Harapan's Islam was about promoting a first-class education for Muslims, weeding out corruption in the political and religious class, ensuring the healthcare system is one of the best in the region and ensuring a plurality of Islamic voices so that young people do not join extremist groups that pose a danger to the citizens of this country. You could, if you were smart, define this as a "Malay" right.

Jeyakumar Devaraj 

As PSM's Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj said - and here is someone who has actually worked and learnt from the disenfranchised Malay polity - "If you stop affirmative action for the rich Malays, even the poor Malays would accept it," and added, "... that if policies are focused on the B40 community, regardless of race, the Malays would still benefit the most as they make up the majority of the lower-income group.”

Think about this. We are going into 2021, with the still unknown consequences of the pandemic hanging over our heads. Economic and social vagaries brought upon by the pandemic will be a major issue.

The Islamic deep state is already drawing up an agenda that would mean more repression for the majority community, which ultimately means that the social and economic ecosystems of non-Malays will be affected. With all this going on, Harapan is squabbling over who will lead Harapan?

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 not for the deep Islamic state.

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.

What is Harapan at the moment? Harapan sure as hell could not tell you. Political operatives are busy writing about the kleptocrats and attempting to paint an idealised picture of the past when the reality is that corruption has always been with us, but now we have the added toxicity of religious extremism, which only exists to serve the political class.

There will be a realignment of Malay and non-Malay power structures in 2021 and whether this means the end of Harapan remains to be seen. 

One could argue that a realignment means the end of Harapan as the base envisioned. Harapan was owed this reckoning.

Have a productive and safe 2021, Malaysia, whoever you are.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 6:05 AM  
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