Articles, Opinions & Views: The problem with working with Umno - 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."

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The problem with working with Umno - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, March 22, 2021

Malaysiakini : “With so much chaos, someone will do something stupid. And when they do, things will turn nasty.”- Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

COMMENT | DAP’s Anthony Loke is correct when he says that depending on how the next general election turns out, the political class in this country will need to reconfigure the political power system and this would mean, Umno and the DAP collaborating in some way.

Here is the thing. It makes sense for the two parties which represent the “Malays” and the “Chinese” to collaborate on the political front. However, the problem is that for decades the DAP has been the whipping boy for Umno. 

Umno leaders or at least those who have left the fold have made public statements acknowledging that the demonisation of the DAP was propaganda meant to deflect for their own political failings.

The fact that Umno can come up with euphemisms like “strategic partners” when dealing with the DAP, is evidence that when push comes to shove, Umno can work with the DAP on mutually beneficial political goals. 

The fact that state-level political cooperation is possible makes the genuine conservative in me smile - but also exposes the lie that any cooperation is impossible.

In my last article, I argued that sections of the Malay establishment and political operatives from across the spectrum would rather engage in political shenanigans of making deals or halting democratic processes through “emergencies” by using the pandemic as an excuse than to have elections. The reason for this is obvious.

Potentates in Umno know someone like Loke is more right than wrong that with the state of decay and internal warfare in the Malay establishment, scared political cows would have to be sacrificed if there is no clear winner in the next election.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim

This of course brings us to the nonsensical statement that Anwar Ibrahim and PKR are in talks with “Umno” on a possible collaboration. First off the PKR president is in talks with political factions within Umno which may not represent the vox populi of Umno. 

This is why we have Pakatan Harapan political operatives disavowing working with the so-called “court cluster” of Umno and Anwar and his coterie attempting to spin any association as based on the “good of the country” or screwing with Bersatu's electoral prospects.

This is also why folks like Ismail Sabri Yaakob and whichever cabal that supports Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin run around claiming that Umno members should not be influenced by Anwar while other Umno members attack Bersatu and their proxies while making sympathetic noises or remaining silent about the moves Anwar makes.

The fact that many political operatives in Harapan understand the danger of collaborating with factions within Umno, as opposed to Umno itself, is indicative of how tenuous the political situation is now with all the moves made by the state against Umno political operatives but also Harapan political personalities.

In this political milieu, there is really no question of working with Umno. As it is statements made by the various factions within Umno contradict one another but the fall back has always been that nobody in Umno should work with the DAP. 

Indeed when PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, whose party has been called a political prostitute by an old Umno hand, has to take this insult in his stride, this should tell us about how many in Umno feel about collaborating with PAS and PAS knows this.

DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke

Loke, who is DAP organising secretary, said: "More people are saying that one way out (of our political crisis) is for Umno and DAP to come to the same table. But this needs political courage and will from both sides. Is Umno prepared to even talk about it?”

The fact that the two biggest parties, in terms of representation and voter share, cannot find common ground because both sides use race and religion (in their own ways) to gin up their respective base, indicates that this country will never move forward.

Meanwhile, the DAP when collaborating with Malay power structures has bent over backwards to accommodate policies and diktats which caused more political and social upheaval in the communities they represent. 

The old maverick made statements about how lopsided policies were made in favour of the Malay community at the expense of the non-Malay community but nobody could talk about this during Harapan’s tenure, which informs us of how duplicitous the agents of change were. 

It is not that the DAP cannot play nice with Malay power structures, it is that it plays too nice and ends up alienating the base and folks are left wondering, why vote in the first place?

Another issue is that the political base of non-Malay political operatives, and by this I mean the base which was birthed with the ejection of Anwar from the Umno paradise, has sublimated desires for systemic change in favour of a Manichean agenda of replacing Umno or whatever bogeyman they can come up with in lieu of promised egalitarian reforms.

Now, at this time, Umno is fractured to the point that various potentates and their proxies are waging war in the press. Can you imagine any kind of working relationship between Harapan and Umno at the moment? With PAS on the sidelines, who knows what kind of mischief they would engineer to further demonise the DAP.

It has always been like this. Remember in the 13th general election when Harapan did well? The old maverick made statements that reflect how the Malay establishment thinks of the DAP.  He said the Chinese community has been taken in by DAP's "propaganda" to topple a "corrupt Malay" government. 

This unfortunately has always been the default position of Umno and the Malay establishment. Like spoilt children, they cannot take “no” for an answer , which is why even in the go-go years when the MCA was riding high, Umno pressure groups were attacking the MCA when the MCA was attempting to stand up to policies that would have further disenfranchised the Chinese community.

Unless Umno comes to grips with the reality that. for the time being, the DAP is the best partner they can have and unless the DAP understands that they could go the route of the MCA if they continue genuflecting to Malay power structures with their sycophantic behaviour towards Malay power structures, we may be able to hold off the inevitable for a little while longer.

Sadly, demographics is destiny and one day the majority of Malaysians will be wondering what the fuss was all about.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:00 PM  
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