Articles, Opinions & Views: Muda should not hitch its wagon to Harapan - 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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Muda should not hitch its wagon to Harapan - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Muda Chief cavorting with Zakar Naik an extremist

Malaysiakini " “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

COMMENT | I have no idea what the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) stands for ( I believe that the Commander and P Gunasegaram are very right)  . However, there is something of a nascent grassroots level game-changer in Muda if it can spread beyond the urban environs.

The fact that the geriatric political establishment is nervous about this young political party bodes well for Malaysians who want change. The fact that Undi18 is causing some political operatives to notice young people is a good thing.

It would be a pity if Muda just became part of the fumbling opposition of this country. Johor Muda chief Mohd Azrol Ab Rahani's description of ongoing talks with Harapan is extremely disappointing.

Haven’t we all heard this before? Huddled talks about seat allocation, logo use, and the anointing of chosen ones to bring down Umno/BN?

If a party was sincere, the fielding of a candidate should not be about getting a winnable seat but rather about disrupting in the hopes of gaining a foothold independently to then act independently by building consensus to change the system.

I get it. Look, the young leaders or members of Muda may have at one time or another been part of the oppositional political establishment. Social activists who are part of Muda also may have deep ties with Harapan.

We have a generation of young people who were brought up in mainstream oppositional discourse. There is history there but the future is built on a rejection of the old ways.

In this instance, Muda, whose registration was a tortured process and perhaps an indication of the unease of the political establishment, is merely playing to the script of the older established political parties instead of charting new ground.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim talks about fielding young candidates in the upcoming Johor election but what is the point if young candidates merely ape the rhetoric and policy failures of their elders? In other words, young candidates are just cosmetic changes to age-old problems.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim

I get that Muda needs to establish its brand and build relationships but what exactly is the game plan here? Winning a couple of seats and then becoming part of a coalition mired in the kind of paralysis that a party like Muda was created as a rejection of?

Yes, Muda needs to highlight issues facing young people in Malaysia but as the rise of young leaders all over the world has demonstrated, youth issues are part of larger community concerns that voters who reject old leaders want the young leaders to address.

Charting new ground

Young leaders all over the world are either charting new ground or warring with the older establishment in their political parties, to advocate and change the system for everyone, not merely young people. Young leaders do this because it is normally young people who are affected most by failed policies.

I am one of those people who would roll the dice on young leaders taking over the country but this would mean that young leaders have to reject the established system.

More importantly, they have to also reject the morally and intellectually bankrupt political strategies that have resulted in this country going down the path of failed statehood.

What is Muda’s role if attached to Harapan? I get the DAP is supposed to shore up support in the non-Malay community, Amanah is supposed to assuage religious precautions, while PKR is supposed to project “Malay” leadership that we are told is essential to gaining power in this country. Is Muda supposed to court the youth vote?

Is the presence of a couple of Muda leaders in the corridors of power supposed to gaslight urbanites into believing that things are slowly changing even though they aren't? There are young leaders in Harapan who rely on old leaders to float to the top. This surely is not the model Muda wishes to emulate?

This is why, beyond echo chambers, the oppositional vote base is cynical. The people who are the most cynical are young people. And why are young people cynical?

Well, in 2018, when DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng reminded young people to vote wisely, he said “Once you give up, they win. Who wins? Those in the ruling clique. The status quo will remain."

Young people are apathetic because they think the opposition in this country, following its business-as-usual politics, is already a component of the status quo.

Independent entity

Claiming Harapan is the lesser of two evils is not the kind of catchphrase which makes young people think they better get voting but it displays a profound lack of understanding of what is expected from an opposition.

Don’t bother erecting that strawman of young people wanting a perfect system because young people are not naïve.

People often deliberately conflate idealism with naiveté and this just makes the discourse more difficult because telling young people they should vote for you as "though not perfect, you are still better" is not an effective strategy.

Young party members telling other young people that they listened to the “party elders” and have accepted the party’s stand does not inspire confidence either.

Muda, despite the very prominent presence of its president Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, was supposed to be a rejection of politics as usual.

Honestly, you've got to give it to PAS. Even though they know they will probably lose, this still does not stop them from standing for elections despite rejection by their coalition partners and the voting public.

The same goes for a political party like PSM. What Muda needs to be is an independent entity that will reach a consensus with any political party sharing their agenda despite having different ideologies. This is the meaning of a big tent coalition, in case you didn't know.

Syed Saddiq said Johor could be the start of something new. I assume something new does not mean politics as usual.

Young people who want change want to believe that voting will lead to a possibility of change and when politicians using the same strategies as the entrenched establishment ask them to be pragmatic, they either want to spoil their votes or not bother showing up at the ballot box at all.

Muda’s rhetoric has been sterling but unfortunately, they seem to want to head in the direction of the majority of political parties in this country. If Muda fails on its own, it is better than succeeding by turning into just another component beholden to Harapan politics. Of course, failing with Harapan is even worse.

Malaysiakini journalist Zikri Kamarulzaman wrote a great piece on how the odds are stacked against a political party like Muda. I see this as Muda having nothing to lose.

What could be disruptive to the system is if Muda plays the political game as if it has nothing to lose.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:40 AM  
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