Articles, Opinions & Views: When Umno and PAS fight, M'sia will lose - 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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When Umno and PAS fight, M'sia will lose - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, April 01, 2021

Malaysiakini : "PAS has been troubling Umno since. Even today, they are troubling Umno. It’s nothing new." – Ku Li

COMMENT | The real issue facing Malaysians who do not want a theocratic state is not the hissy fit between Umno and Bersatu but rather the fallout from whatever happens between Umno and PAS. 

The Umno clash with Bersatu is just another manifestation of how Umno potentates and factotums jostle for power as they have been doing for decades, which has seen electoral losses but not a repudiation of Malay uber alles politics.

In nearly all my columns I have argued that the existential threat facing Malaysia is not the antics of a kleptocracy or a kakistocracy but religious extremism. As race and religion are not mutually exclusive in this country, the threat from majoritarian religious extremism policies is a clear and present danger when it comes to the social and economic ecospheres of this country.

In times of political uncertainty in the Malay political establishment, we can rely on two dominant modes of propaganda and repression. The first is to scapegoat the DAP for everything wrong with the country and the second, to promote “Islamic” policies which would act as connective tissue between supremacist ideas and victimhood narratives.

The Umno people I speak to have only disdain for PAS. Back in the day, they had a modicum of fear and respect for the revered PAS leader the late Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat, if only because he reflected the kind of Islam that was foreign to Umno folks. At least publicly.

As someone who had “issues” with Tok Guru and who publically expressed them, it is important to keep in mind that PAS supporters and the leadership under Tok Guru were steadfast in their narratives about a kleptocratic government, the high cost of living and the values of Islam in a Malaysia which was compromised.

What bothered the hell out of Umno in the old days was that they always had to demonstrate that Umno was the genuine defender of race and religion in this country. They were supposed to be the only game in town when it came to Islamic values in this country.

Hence, they were always trying to out-Islamise PAS in terms of rhetoric and policy but they were always hampered by the economic and social realities that were needed for a functional country and which would have been destroyed if Tok Guru and PAS had their way.

For decades, Umno was the gatekeeper of Islam in this country. Umno defined Islam and PAS was the voice of dissent, playing the long game of slowly building consensus against the narratives of the Umno state. 

Recently, because of a compromised Umno, they made inroads into mainstream Malay/Muslim politics and no doubt aided and abetted by the deep Islamic state.

Also helpful to PAS was their time in Pakatan Rakyat when the “PAS For All” propaganda was mixed in with the Bangsa Malaysia Kool-Aid. 

Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat and current PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang in earlier times

While those of us were warning the opposition that they could work with PAS but not enable the normalisation of Islamic policies and propaganda in this country, political operatives were extolling the virtues of the Islamic party under the illusion that PAS was different under Tok Guru.

They ignored the long-term implications of such placations. Remember Lim Kit Siang’s "Islamisation" through the Constitution bunkum, which came after PAS left the opposition?

No secular alternative

It really does not matter if it is the "court cluster" or the "cabinet cluster". What Umno will do, especially if they go to war with PAS, is to attempt to demonstrate PAS's political and religious irrelevancy by advocating or enacting extreme religious policies, thereby demonstrating that Umno is the sole defender of race and religion in this country. More importantly, it is in a position to implement such policies.

The fact is that the opposition led by Anwar Ibrahim would no doubt waffle when it comes to these types of policies or rhetoric because of the “don’t spook the Malays” narrative. 

And that whatever belated opposition by the DAP and non-Malay political operatives from Pakatan Harapan would just be defined as anti-Malay or anti-Islam propaganda points to the danger we are in.

Let me be very clear. There is enough empirical evidence that laws solely meant for Muslims in this country have a direct impact on non-Muslims hence this separate but equal canard is just another example of how religion is used by unscrupulous politicians to subvert democratic and social norms in this country.

Abdul Hadi Awang and PAS are not what is wrong with Islam in this country. PAS is a religious political party and as such their agenda is to Islamise this country. What is wrong with Islam in this country is that Muslims don’t have a secular alternative to Umno’s and PAS' interpretation of Islam. 

An alternative that is not merely an alternative interpretation of Islamic dogma and history but a real secular alternative in terms of policies to what is offered by the major Islamic political entities in this country.

A painting depicting Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi with Abdul Hadi Awang

Recent comments by compromised Umno political operatives on strengthening syariah law and going at it alone – all traditional PAS concepts – are dangerous because it puts more pressure on political and social groups that oppose such measures. It makes the opposition play defensive because they will not commit to any alternative other than mainstream religious narratives.

While the political establishment in Sabah and Sarawak can rattle their sabres about religious meddlings from the peninsula, the reality is that they will do what is best for them and the religious diktats will not be felt as harshly as in the peninsula.

Furthermore, as in many “Islamic” states, the political elites will be shielded from these laws and policies which the average Muslim citizen is subjected to. As it is, the “non-halal” economy is under relentless assault from the political mainstream operatives who are doing everything in their power to dominate the field when it comes to religious issues.

Umno still has not learnt that even if they win in their political fight with PAS, Malaysia will always lose and they will not inherit the gravy train. Instead, they would have derailed it.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:20 AM  
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