Articles, Opinions & Views: Anti-Lims sentiment is red herring for DAP's genuine failings - 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."
“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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Anti-Lims sentiment is red herring for DAP's genuine failings - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Sunday, January 10, 2021

Malaysiakini : “The Party knows more about us than we know ourselves,’ the woman replied.”― John le Carré, 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold'.

COMMENT | I have been receiving - for reasons unknown to me - all this literature about the “anti-Lims” movement that seems to be consuming the DAP base and political elite. No doubt, now that Perikatan Nasional seems to be staggering under the weight of hubris, incompetence and disloyalty, the “Lims” can have a moment of peace while the base turns its attention on the possible fall of the PN regime. Or maybe not.

To be honest, I have no interest in the internal politics of the DAP beyond the fact that its mono-ethnic internal politics is the kind of politics that makes all this “Bangsa Malaysia” propaganda more ludicrous. I guess while Anwar Ibrahim has to look after PKR's Malay core, whoever is controlling the DAP has to look after its “Chinese” core.

You could buy into this narrative that whatever is wrong with the DAP is because of the "Lims". Honestly, we could have a whole discussion on the dysfunction of the leadership of the DAP under their influence, but we would be missing the bigger picture and indulging in personality politics which is what poisons the discourse.

The real issue with the DAP is not that Lim Guan Eng or Lim Kit Siang have a monopoly of the leadership of the DAP. I read all these articles, texts and long emails by insiders to me or by public figures in the media about the leadership issue with the Lims or how the DAP works but all of them miss the point when it comes to why the DAP is a complete failure when it comes to “saving Malaysia”.

The fact that the DAP base crows about how the DAP is the most successful party in whatever coalition that is meant to save Malaysia never mind the fact that securing the vote of the Chinese community means bupkis when it comes to the realpolitik of this country, the failure of the DAP is that now everyone knows – but would probably still vote for them – is that they have no real intention of being a part of reforming the system.

The DAP, in particular, is a victim of its own propaganda success. The party’s scorched earth policy when it came to race relations with regard to what the MCA was doing with Umno and the rhetoric surrounding the failed Umno policies – which Pakatan Harapan had no problem emulating – was effective propaganda for non-Malays. But, like all propaganda, it came back to bite the collective behinds of the DAP political class.

Sure, the backtracking and failure to implement campaign promises are important factors in the dissatisfaction with Harapan, but the DAP seemed to be the weakest link in that government even though it had the strongest mandate. However, people could forgive a lot if only they did not feel that they were being played for chumps.

A young non-Malay voter who has decided to leave the country told me that what she is worried about is that in five years, the situation could be worse. I get this a lot from young Malaysians. What they had hoped for was not radical change but rather a steady pace of change that would not target them as pendatang like how their parents were targeted.

When I interviewed Lim Kit Siang (which seems ages ago) and asked about the lessons learnt from collaborating with PAS, he said: “The political alliance with Parti Amanah Negara in Pakatan Harapan is fully justified if the component coalition parties can learn the lesson from the rupture of Pakatan Rakyat, that any political coalition is only viable and sustainable if the component parties of the coalition abide by the common policy programmes agreed among them for there is no other basis for a genuine political coalition of equals to succeed.”

'Smugly demonised'

The problem is not that there has not been a common policy agenda or initiatives but rather it is that the DAP has allowed itself to be subsumed by the policies of "Ketuanism” in the belief that compromising on its supposed egalitarian agenda would either reap political benefits or sustain their positions in Malay power structures.

The hypocrisy of not working with “kleptocrats” is the kind of dissonance that the base accepts but the majority of Malays look upon with derision. It is not that the majority have a problem with working with kleptocrats; it is that the DAP has smugly demonised everyone else for doing the kind of thing they claim is anathema to them. For some odd reason, the DAP seems to think that the people who vote for Umno and PAS are dumb.

Now, sure you could blame the “Lims” for this but what of the new, supposedly younger, DAP leaders we are told could usher in a new paradigm. I obsessively track these young leaders on social media amongst other ways, and they more often than not regurgitate the kind of political and social bromides that their “elders” indulge in.

In the English-speaking sphere, what these young leaders do is ape the kind of discourse from Western sources ignoring the fact that the political and social dialectic in this country is completely different. But then again, I suppose the target audience for such politics is the kind of urban groupthink that sustains the Bangsa Malaysia propaganda.

This, of course, is not counting the numerous young leaders who are more interested in engaging with the Chinese grassroots and view the whole multiracial propaganda of the DAP as some sort of quaint means to an end instead of thinking of it as the foundational ideology of a progressive wing of Malaysian politics.

Indeed, I see more “multiracial” engagement in Malays, from young PSM members who perhaps understand the demographic they are dealing with and the role the majority polity plays that could change the political landscape of this country.

The political establishment is again going through convulsions, and the reality is that the DAP is going to have to pick a side again. Hopefully this time, the DAP has the political will and backbone to stand up for its supposed egalitarian and multiracial ideas no matter who they side with.

You do not need new leadership to do this. You only need leadership with the cajones.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:17 AM  
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