Articles, Opinions & Views: It's not that politicians don't care, they're afraid of youths - 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

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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It's not that politicians don't care, they're afraid of youths - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, May 13, 2021


Malaysiakini :"I'm tired of being crushed under the weight of greedy men who believe in nothing." - Jackson "Jax" Teller (Sons of Anarchy)

COMMENT | The recent survey by Merdeka Centre describing how youths are uninterested in politics and their belief that politicians do not care about them, is not only indicative of the failings of mainstream political parties in this country but also the systemic repression of youths in this country, especially the majority brought about by the state and culture.

This apathy among young people is not new. In 2017, Syahderan Johan (one of the more interesting young political operatives in play) responding to a spate of surveys describing more or less the same thing, wrote:

“These young politicians must be able to understand the aspirations and concerns of the youth of Malaysia, beyond the sloganeering and rhetoric. They must not merely echo the words of their more senior leaders. They must be able to know what the young people of Malaysia want and need.”

Of course, nobody, certainly not the political establishment has asked what youths want or need. While youths think that politicians do not care about them, the truth is that politicians are deathly afraid of young people and what they are capable of doing when they are motivated or inspired.

And really, when you think about it, young people are actually talking about issues that affect us all. Take a young person like Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, who was targeted by the state for saying exactly what some of us were thinking.

“What this young lawyer wrote was clearly articulated, well-thought through and needed to be said. It goes deeper than that though. It goes to the heart of the kind of feudalism sans monarchy that is this political system.”

Or how about former UM Association of New Youth (Umany) president Wong Yan Ke, who was also targeted by the state for questioning the use of emergency and the royal institution.

Umany in an article argued that the king “should not interfere in national affairs, but to always maintain a neutral attitude and play his role within the framework permitted by the constitution”.

Honestly this is the kind of rebellion that is needed in this country and it sure as hell is not coming from older political operatives with vested interests in sustaining the system. And this is what the state does, not silence young people, but rather silence young people who would slay sacred cows.

These young people are but two examples of youths who threaten the status quo and while these examples are about the larger systemic dysfunction of this country, the whole point of repressing youths starting at a very young age is to discourage them from rebelling against the entrenched system and interests.

This is why under various propagandistic tools like asian values or whatever morality that religions peddle, this idea that young people are ignorant and have to be subservient to values that supposedly served an earlier generation while ignoring context is drummed into the minds of young people in Malaysia.

And please forget about all these youth programmes that various governments have come up with in lieu of asking young people what they want and need. What are youth governmental programmes really about ?

These programmes exist to brainwash young people into thinking that the government is a benign entity which should be supported because - depending on the quality and efficacy of said programmes - governments bring some sort of benefit to their lives. Whatever they receive in terms of experience or skill sets is built upon a foundation of propaganda.

This said propaganda worms its way into young people and they conflate political parties with the independent institutions of government. They do not think of government institutions as independent but rather as an extension of political parties. They may not articulate it as such, but it’s all there in how they express what they think of government and its role.

This is why the system is based on the repression of young people, either through state interventions in how they experience education or how they worship god. It is worse for the majority who are brainwashed by state and federal institutions, and through various propaganda organs, into believing that their ethnicity and religion are under siege.

Indeed, young Malays are led to believe that starting families young and carrying on with traditions, which have very little use in the modern world, is something that sets them apart from the non-believers. This creates a whole set of variables which impedes their political awakening and crubrs their “rebellious” nature.

Meanwhile, social problems that youth face are blamed on a lack of religious convictions and a loosening of public morals, even though the same actions by wealthy elites or political operatives go unpunished and sometimes even rewarded. So, when young people see this in the political landscape, they of course want nothing to do with this kind of hypocrisy. And, say what you like about young people, but the one thing they are good at is pointing out the hypocrisy of older people.

When a Pakatan Harapan operative talked about the “youth vote” and was optimistic that young Malays were on the side of reform, I asked him how he came to that conclusion. While on an anecdotal level, I have met many anti-establishment young Malays, the vast majority of disenfranchised youths are products of religious schools or burdened with an education which does not make them competitive in the private sector.

The last thing they want is the status quo to change because it could be worse, or they are uninterested in politics because they are struggling to keep their head above water, all the while told by people they are “privileged”.

And let us be honest. Political parties have not changed anything in this country for decades and young people have only a limited time to change the system before they become part of the system.

When young people finally realise the power they wield, it will be a shock to the political system.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:49 AM  
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