Articles, Opinions & Views: Tommy Thomas is not anti-Malay - 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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Tommy Thomas is not anti-Malay - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, June 03, 2021

Malaysiakini : "I knew I would step on the toes of many people."  – Tommy Thomas (Consider This)

COMMENT | I have no idea why Tommy Thomas’s response to a question of the prime minister of the day choosing a predominantly non-Malay cabinet would be so controversial. After all, we live in a country where the idea that the highest office in the land is verboten to non-Malays, hence it would be a Malay prime minister who would be choosing the cabinet.

Furthermore, we live in a country where it is the mainstream political discourse that Malays should be dominating positions in the state and nobody thinks that the reason why this is so is not because the non-Malays do not have the “best and the brightest” but because it should be based solely on racial and religious criteria.

This policy reality makes any objective assessment of the way appointees carry out their roles impossible because a Malay-only leadership, by its definition, means that any objective assessment of their abilities is moot because race is the determining factor. Qualified independent Malays would be unsuitable for such positions.

In other words, Thomas was not questioning the intelligence of the Malay community but rather imagining a scenario where the exclusion of Malays from the system - as it is now for the non-Malays – would not be the end of the country.

Indeed, a Malay prime minister who would appoint such a cabinet would do so because he or she wanted to make a point. And that point would be, not that race and religion are meaningless. The very act of appointing a non-Malay dominated cabinet is in itself a political and racial act but the idea that, by birthright, only Malays could be in positions of power in this country was a fallacy and detrimental to a functional democracy.

Now, Thomas may be accused of being naïve when he articulates something like this because an idea like this could only have the faintest possibility of fruition if there were no race-based parties and religion did not have such a stranglehold on this country. 

Of course, no prime minister would do this because to do so would be political suicide. We live in a country, where there is no secular and egalitarian alternative in the political system.

And since no non-Malay political operative would ever dream of even saying that he or she has sights on the highest office of the land, a Malay prime minister who would do this would be making a calculation that his or her influence in the Malay establishment and appeal to the voting demographic are so strong that this cabinet could weather whatever political storm that would occur.

Into the maelstrom

So-called multiracial and egalitarian parties collude with the mainstream Malay establishment to sustain a system that disenfranchises the majority under the guise of racial and religious privileges while maintaining an antagonism against the minorities. 

The urban and rural divide is exacerbated by gerrymandering and a state-imposed agenda of a lack of technological accessibility, and more importantly, a racial and religious dogma that reinforces a feudal mentality.

So you can accuse Thomas of being naïve. You can accuse him of being radically optimistic. You can accuse him of being intentionally provocative but you cannot really make the argument that he is anti-Malay.

For instance, if you ask any politician from this Malay uber alles government, or indeed any Malay politician, if they would dismantle race-based policies, they would answer in the negative. Indeed, the whole system is predicated on defending the rights and privileges of the Malay community and the rakyat are swept into this maelstrom.

Former attorney-general Tommy Thomas

If every time a non-Malay (especially if they come from Pakatan Harapan) needs to worry about restoring honour for the Malay community, maybe the federal government and state governments should just legislate and make it clear that non-Malays and liberal Malays can never be qualified to do so?

Mainstream Malay grievances are not defined by economic issues, but rather by fidelity to rights and privileges that favour the ruling elite or the political mainstream. This is why Malays who question the system – and I would argue that they most often do this because they understand the deleterious effect on their own community – are demonised as “liberals” or deviants.

When Thomas was attorney-general, the biggest question from his critics was would he be able to “defend” Malay rights and privileges like any other Malay AG would? 

Only in Malaysia, if you are a non-Malay, would you be asked to defend racial policies and if you said that you believed all Malaysians are equal you would be considered “anti-Malay” or "racist".

The real issue with Thomas’s idea is not that it is anti-Malay, but rather, any form of egalitarianism and equality in this country would be considered anti-Malay.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:33 AM  
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