Articles, Opinions & Views: Tommy Thomas and the burden of race - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy


 
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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

Photobucket
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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Tommy Thomas and the burden of race - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, February 04, 2021

FairMalaysian : Well, we need have to argue that perhaps Malaysia is the most racist country in the world. Its institutionalised racism and its uncanny pretense all these years has taken a toll.

Someone appointed in MARA allegedly steals by way of commissions in the millions. When the MACC broke the news yesterday, I was not surprised at all. A Malay stealing from the funds allocated for Malays. Beyond all this, even his religion never made him feel it is wrong to cheat on the money he has been entrusted with.

It looks like the MACC's budget has been increasing over the years. Does this mean that corruption has also been increasing. There is a possibility of putting corruption in the backburner if those in the power and civil service refuse to accept bribes. And is it a coincidence that the civil service consists of mostly Malays. Isn't it a shame that this scourge has had a permanent residency.

I have to say this. Once I went to see someone senior in the civil service to get something done. I was told that he was saying his prayers as he is very strict with his five times prayers a day. Eventually when we met, it took me some 45 mins to get an answer on what he could have given in under 10 mins. He was simply beating around the bush to drive home a point - to be rewarded for his effort to "help". Of course, I never got it.

This is not to offend anyone or any race but this is how sick this country is. When Najib,Tengku Adnan, Md Isa and a number of them lay their hand on people's money, it begs the question on how far Islam as the religion of the Federation had failed. These are no ordinary people, they were leaders. If this land can produce a devout and a simple religious leader like Tok Guru, why that had become an exception rather than the norm?

Malaysiakini : “Everything I did was painted in racial tones and hues. And they succeeded. The brainwashing achieved its objectives.” - Tommy Thomas

Reading excerpts from Tommy Thomas’ memoir about, amongst other things, his brief stint as attorney-general (AG) for this country, it is amazing that a non-Malay could do anything without being vilified by the state because of their ethnicity.

His message about a dithering Harapan when it came to reforms - imagine that, the prison board, perhaps the most relevant authority when it comes to the death penalty; welcoming abolishing the death penalty but Harapan political operatives dithering and pandering – is of no surprise, the reality of the racial dynamics and a festering 'Don’t spook the Malays agenda' is perhaps the greatest impediment to reform in this country.

While you could have an honest discussion about policies waffling when it comes to Harapan, the fact that race is always a factor when it comes to policy and personalities make such conversations impossible. Not to mention the disingenuous reading of our Constitution and political norms that non-Malays feel are verboten to redefine.

As someone who has worked in the security apparatus of the state, as a non-Malay, there are always times you begin to wonder if what you are doing is going to be judged through a racial lens. Nobody likes to talk about this but it truly happens.

Every time there is a non-Malay in power, no matter which coalition appoints them, the rakyat will be left to wonder what kind of racial shenanigans are going on and how much pressure is the "race and religion" brigade applying to this non-Malay person in power.

Forget about objectively assessing an individual's actions because we now know, thanks to Thomas' clear statements, that he and the other high-ranking non-Malays were vilified not by their actions but rather because they were non-Malays in a government which the Malay political establishment always thought was their exclusive province.

And this is really the insidious nature of these Malay "uber alles"-type governments which I suppose even Harapan was afraid to confront from within. As a non-Malay in a position of power, you will always be second-guessed.

You will always be expected to conform to the Malay narratives of the state because, if you do not, you get people like Umno/PAS and even from the government who appointed you, sabotaging you.

And it is really scary because, when it comes to issues of national security, you want whoever is making decisions to do so based on facts and evidence. Honestly, if a Malay AG had released a supposed Islamic terrorist because they were unlikely to make a prosecution, what do you think the reaction would have been?

How could anyone work effectively but more importantly carry out his or her obligation without fear or favour? This of course is not uncommon. In newsrooms, offices, and wherever Malaysians gather, the spectre of race is always present.

Dropping charges against LTTE 12

The fact that the state has always used racial and religious flashpoints to further nativist narratives is evidence that the political and bureaucratic leadership of this country has no intention of ever reforming no matter who has the political power.

The fact that the current prime minister – according to Thomas – attempted to exert his influence in further demonising the LTTE 12, is indicative of how much trouble this country is in.

The fact that Malay right-wing forces in this country could exert influence or at least attempt to do so over the AG's office and harass then finance minister Lim Guan Eng, and for Guan Eng to even think of resigning to keep the peace, points to the eventual collapse of any form of independent government.

Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng (left) and former attorney-general Tommy Thomas

Whatever issues you may have of how Guan Eng carried out his professional responsibilities, the reality is that he, like Thomas, was never judged by his actions but rather by his ethnicity.

For instance, when the state security apparatus was disappointed as reported in the press, that Tommy Thomas had dropped the charges against the LTTE 12 because of lack of substance, were they disappointed that a non-Malay did not have the conviction to carry out the prosecution? This is certainly the narrative that was coming out of right-wing types when the charges were dropped.

After all, the state security apparatus, as exemplified by the inspector-general of police (IGP), has demonstrated a willingness to coddle the religious kidnapper of M Indira Gandhi's child.

So why should it surprise anyone that the state security apparatus expects the AG to conform to right-wing narratives like the Perlis mufti who said of the LTTE 12:

"DAP leaders who openly state support for LTTE terrorists should be prosecuted and arrested. How dangerous for the country if there are political leaders involved in supporting terrorist groups and efforts to shed blood?"

Hence, if you are a non-Malay, could you ever trust anything coming out of the state, even if it comes from the mouth of a non-Malay? Indeed, Thomas made some bold moves but what would have happened if he decided to prosecute the LTTE 12? What would have been the reaction then?

I would argue that it would have made right-wing nutters extremely happy if Thomas, as an “Indian”, charged and prosecuted the LTTE 12. This way, he would provide a fig leaf of credibility to the sham charges and would confirm to the Malay community that a non-Malay was protecting their “rights”, which in this case meant prosecuting political operatives and ordinary citizens for having LTTE paraphernalia.

And that is the burden of race in this context - it makes you either an accomplice or an outsider.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:10 AM  
14 Comments:
  • At 3:37 PM, Anonymous ANavamani said…

    Good you have given or were ready to give your blood for the country while still working for the country. In short you and your ilk who put the Nation first instead of race or religion, now, is/are most equipped to talk .I salute you.Bless you.

     
  • At 3:39 PM, Anonymous ANavamani said…

    I just typed. Where did it disappear?

     
  • At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A very true assesment of what, religion and unvaverimg stupidity of imbeciles.

     
  • At 8:46 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Well written and Let the Truth Prevail.

     
  • At 9:34 PM, Blogger glassman said…

    Don't you have followers? I'd expect a few responses.

     
  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Well Bro, what can you say about a Political Phantasmagoria created race named 'Melayu' after Mereka? Even Allah swt never unified any ethnics into one race as the Quran state so.

    To simplify, all those calling themselves as 'Melayus' are Hypocrites @ Munafik and what more calling themselves as Islam when they are still in the 'Mode of Kafirun'..

    So let the dogs bark as the Truth of Realities can only be observed by those in the Path of Santana Dharma viz the True Islam preached by Nabi saw..

     
  • At 6:24 AM, Blogger Krishnathan said…

    Excellent unbiased comment. I could write more but the true anger in me may divert into racial curses and within a few days may be in remand by these racist government

     
  • At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Lt Cdr (rtd) Hu said…

    I feel you sir. Read TT’s book and as someone familiar with the law, and being born and lived in Malaysia; everything written and said unfortunately reminded me of my own life as Malaysian.

     
  • At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    After so many decades still the same things.
    Rotten to the core. Just another different episodes.

     
  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger People Power said…

    Hat's off Major Swami

     
  • At 10:11 PM, Blogger Banne said…

    Racism in Malaysia is worse than apartheid in South Africa. The trouble the government always deny. Getting worse each day. I don't see any light for things to improve. From becoming a tiger in the 70's to a pussy. The majority have to wake up to vote wisely before we're in a path of no return.

     
  • At 3:20 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    That's a very honest comment and an accurate one on the state of affairs in this country. Where are the states-men and women of Malaysia who dare to stand up and
    1. call the lies to Malay supremacists' narratives; and
    2. rally the nation to a new narrative and direction?

    I suspect there aren't many who would care to inconvenience themselves or risk their carefully cultivated lifestyles to do so. So Malaysia... so sad and sorry for you- you must be raped and pillaged by your sons and daughters.

     
  • At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What was written is nothing new & has been going on since independence. The so called 'custodian of race & religion' have been looting decades ago and the news got out. Now, everyone is looting poor Malaysia. I remembered what my dad told me, British couldnt trust anyone, therefore soldiers were brought in from India. Can we trust the Malay politicians?

     
  • At 3:22 PM, Blogger Syed MB said…

    Vote wisely? First of all we need to have some (relatively) honest leaders with integrity before anything can ever change.

     
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