Articles, Opinions & Views: Hate speech is the politically incorrect expression of mainstream M'sian politics - 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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Hate speech is the politically incorrect expression of mainstream M'sian politics - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Malaysiakini : "But what I am afraid of is that this positive promotion of a way of life. This is what is happening here now. They are saying that people should actively promote homosexuality, that you should try. It is not necessary that you should try. There are certain things which are bad. That you needn't try. Just accept that it is bad. We are not made that way.” – Dr Mahathir Mohamad on homosexuality, 2001

COMMENT | Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s suggestion that Asean formulates policies that curb free speech on digital platforms in the guise of curbing hate speech has been called out for being hypocritical.

Hate speech has not been normalised in this country. To make such a claim, we have to point to sources which demonstrate how such speech at one time was considered anathema. The reality is that hate speech has always been the vulgar political and religious expressions of the state. Whether doctrinal or legislative, such speech was merely the expression of state actions.

When it comes to racial or religious issues, the state has always either through legislation or political norms, endorsed hate speech as a means to reflect the racial and religious superiority of the majority but more importantly, has been accepted by mainstream political operatives as the realpolitik of this country instead of something to be raged against.

Martin Vengadesan alludes to this and makes an important point here when he writes: “That’s why the poor bumiputeras in Malaysia still keep voting for the party that stole from them – because they are fooled by the false sentiment that the same people who have kept them poor are defending their cultural and religious rights against vague and imaginary threats.”

That “false sentiment” is the result of indoctrination political and religious and enforcement by a system which jealously guards its provinces. Whether you're talking about special privileges, the rights of Malays or religious superiority, the idea that the "other" and their rights are subordinate is the basis of the political discourse and legislative policies in this country.

Deviation, especially by Malay/Muslims, from this is the main threat to the established order. This is why folks like Sisters of Islam and activists like Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, are targets of the state.

Activist Fadiah Nadwa Fikri

The bigger danger in curbing free speech under the guise of combating “hate speech” is that when it comes to totalitarian-leaning regimes – like the ones in Malaysia – the people who most often suffer are those who think that “hate speech” laws are a panacea for uncivil behaviour. 

They ignore the reality that uncivil behaviour – hate speech – is the reflection of political dogma in this country.

Weird disconnect

I have no idea why the PM would make such a ridiculous suggestion since he has been part of the religious and political establishment which traffics in hate speech, all of which are considered foundational principles of “ketuanism”.

Hypocrisy then becomes more than just the moronic behaviour of political operatives who are convenient targets but who are also a distraction from the injustices the system perpetuates.

There is this weird disconnect when it comes to talking about hate speech in this country. I do not mean the hypocrisy of folks pointing out the hypocrisy of Perikatan Nasional (PN) all the while engaging in a hateful speech to make their point. 

No, the disconnect is thinking that “hate speech” is confined to political actors and not that it is the political currency of this country. 

The real hypocrisy is not of ministers being a racist or bigoted jackass in Parliament or making ridiculous statements in the press. The hypocrisy and the one that causes the most damage, is continuing to fund (when you claim that your mandate is for a change) the religious apparatus and not even bothering to change the agendas of such organisations, all the while indulging in rhetoric and bromides meant to narcotise the non-Malay/Muslims base. 

This is just but one example of the kind of hypocrisy that is often overlooked. You cannot point to the hypocrisy of politicians and their hate speech when you put up with supposedly secular and egalitarian political parties which align with race-based parties to gain political power. And when in power, reinforce norms and legislation meant to sustain such inequalities.

Not only is this hypocritical but it also further entrenches ideas that are based on bigotry, racism and tribalism that find expression through hate speech and then validated by supposedly egalitarian political parties.

The fact that political operatives use such incidents as the PM's hypocrisy as political capital with no real agenda to secure the LGBTQ community fundamental human rights through legislation - which the courts have demonstrated is possible -  is indicative of the hold such ideas have on political operatives, some of whom probably believe on moral grounds that the LGBTQ goes against their culture or religion.

The fact that race and religion are not mutually exclusive in this country means that any forms of hate speech laws – whether you subscribe to them or not – are based on policies that are determined by the religion of the state in service of political ends.

Kedah MB Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor

Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor when cancelling Thaipusam holiday told everyone not to “politicise” the issue. “Politicise” is code for making trouble. Do not make trouble when it comes to your religious beliefs because religion is a political means to an end, and the religion of the state always trumps everything and everyone else.

Little difference

We are dealing with a political and religious bureaucracy that seeks to define the racial, sexual and religious identities of the majority of Malaysians. 

This did not start with PN, but rather it is the underlying ideology of mainstream political parties in Malaysia. In other words, non-Malay/Muslims political parties have played a part in sustaining the very systems that continue derailing the foundations of our democracy.

When it comes to the LGBTQ community, for instance, Pakatan Harapan or PN it really does not make a difference. When Harapan was in power, then religious czar Mujahid Yusof Rawa assured everyone that Jakim was investigating cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman.

Elaborating on the role of the MCMC, he was reported in the press as saying – “MCMC has the power to bar social media content which causes unease among Muslims.”

This is the main point of hate speech laws in this country. The fact that the sensitivities of the majority would be the main, nay the only consideration, when it comes to defining hate speech. Remember when Harapan attempted to enact the Racial and Religious Hatred Act to protect Islam and other religions?

The LGBTQ community is more than just a scapegoat, it is a red herring. A distraction from the very real problem which is not – in this context – the pandemic.

The real problem is the rise of religious extremism which has been left unchecked not because of benign negligence but because political operatives have been diligent in dismantling the guardrails of democracy in this country to ensure a political base which is narcotised on race and religion.

The normalisation, in this case, is the validation given by political parties to racist and bigoted agendas in the hopes of gaining political power.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:32 AM  
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