Articles, Opinions & Views: What would Harapan do differently if they were in power? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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Hindu King
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."

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What would Harapan do differently if they were in power? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, January 16, 2021

Malaysiakini : "It is rather disappointing that the government did not have the courtesy to consult 46 of our esteemed medical colleagues, who signed the open letter to the prime minister, to pick their brains as to how best to move forward."  - Dr Musa Mohd Nordin in his article.  

COMMENT | The Perikatan Nasional’s emergency declaration has given Pakatan Harapan an easy emotional target, which is another distraction from the pandemic that is crippling this country.

When Harapan does comment about the pandemic, it is normally about how the current government - or should that be wannabe dictatorship - is mishandling the pandemic. This is fine up to a point but if Harapan is really paying attention, people are beginning to ask, what would Harapan do differently if they were in power?

So far, the PN government has been more interested in grabbing power on the excuse of battling the pandemic but shown very little aptitude as to how to exercise such power beyond warning folks not to question their power.

All this plays out in the press and on social media but what is lost is the fact that the rakyat does not have an alternative strategy when it comes to battling this pandemic. 

The reason, of course, is because this emergency issue is better optics than actually telling the people who would vote for you how a Harapan government intends to handle the pandemic.

For someone like me, and maybe for you too, I would rather Harapan present a strategy which highlights the difference between their approach to handling this pandemic and the failing bungling strategy of the present government. It would also reassure the rakyat that Harapan has a plan which could see them out of these dark days.

The biggest question I get from people is not how the current government is screwing up the handling of this pandemic. The question I get is, what would anyone else do about handling this pandemic?

In Musa’s piece mentioned at the beginning of this article, he lists the various areas where the government needs to intervene to ensure a holistic approach to this pandemic. 

This makes sense and covers the major bases when it comes to a response. I would argue that beyond worrying about the virus, the rakyat are interested in the relief measures of any government.

The PN government is saying that the emergency will allow them to co-opt private healthcare to ease the burden of our national healthcare system. 

Reportage on this issue indicates that private healthcare was always open to the idea of collaborating with the government. The big point here is not of the use of emergency powers but what is Harapan’s agenda in working with private healthcare.

Do they have an agenda beyond saying that private healthcare has always wanted to work with the government as some are saying now? Harapan says it wants the emergency lifted. Fair enough, we all do or should want it to be lifted but what is the framework that a Harapan administration would work with the private sector?

In its brief time in power, we saw how Harapan worked with the private sector, remember?

Most folks - supporters and detractors - of the government, have one thing in common. That is confusion. Confusion as to what exactly the movement control order (MCO) means. Confusion as to rules and regulations that are undefined or worse creates the impression that it would worsen the pandemic.

Interstate travel is banned but arbitrary exceptions are made for specific groups that feel like pandering. Certain businesses are closed but others are allowed to operate, well, just because. 

Nobody has any idea if this MCO will work because it is not as strict as the first one that did bring down the curve but subsequently because of the political class, we are back to square one.

There is a strong mistrust for what the government is doing and the statements and strategy coming out from the occupants of Putrajaya does nothing to allay those fears and mistrust. Take the issue of testing. The Health director-general claiming that the system is under such a burden has decided to scale down on testing.

Musa and Mohammad Farhan Rusli in an op-ed piece wrote: “The key element in the blueprint of action to mitigate this Covid-19 national emergency must surely be a well-executed 'Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support' (FTTIS) system recommended by the WHO which has fallen terribly short in its national implementation.”

Now, what can the average rakyat make of this? Think of it this way. If the government feels that it is “safe” for whatever reason to scale down on testing, how do you think the reaction of people when it comes to paying for their workers to be tested?

If the narrative - rightly or wrongly - that the government is not too concerned with asymptomatic cases, don’t you think that this would contribute to spreading of the infection because of Covid fatigue?

Better strategy

I understand that the Selangor state government has decided to ramp up testing and this no doubt is a better strategy than the national one when it comes to testing. However, it is important to remember that a national strategy is the only effective means of containment.

The Harapan government in waiting beyond offering criticism has yet to unveil its strategy in combating the virus. Its strategy in dealing with the welfare of the most disenfranchised during this pandemic. Its strategy on how to revive the economy. Moreover, this is important because what the Harapan government is not is a stable coalition.

We have seen what an unstable coalition can do when it comes to this pandemic. The main reason why the handling of the pandemic by the PN government has been dodgy is that they are a dodgy alliance of political operatives, who put their political survival over the healthcare of the nation.

The problem is that Harapan is also a dodgy alliance of political operatives and the fact that it is busy fishing for more unlikely partners to form the government, indicates that their response to the pandemic could be as problematic as PN’s.

This is why it is vitally important that Harapan demonstrate that they are cognisant of the issue involved and that they have a detailed strategy as to how to handle this pandemic. 

What is the Harapan financial relief strategy? How are they going to deal with the private sector? How are they going to reform the healthcare system to ensure that frontliners are taken care of and are able to sustain during this trying time?

What we need are fewer articles by Harapan political operatives on why the PN regime is atrocious and more on how a Harapan government intends to get us out of this quagmire.

Because even if they wrest power from the current government, it is pointless ruling a sick and weak country which is the breeding ground for further political instability.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:04 AM  
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