“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”
General Douglas MacArthur"
“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, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.
“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."
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | What a pathetic end to Dr
Mahathir Mohamed’s political influence, as his party Pejuang is wiped
out in the Johor state elections.
It wasn’t even a face-saving fight, as
all its 42 candidates lost their deposits.
In fact, most of them were far below
the threshold (12.5 percent of the vote) to keep their deposits. Even
their best performer, Zam Zam Hashim, won only 4.8 percent of the votes
in the Kukup seat.
For someone who once aspired to lead Malaysia
as a successful Asian Tiger, someone respected globally for speaking out
against powerful countries, it’s a sad finale indeed. For a 96-year-old
man who probably does not have many years left in this world, it’s a
mournful conclusion with little chance of any more “comebacks”.
all the wrongs in his first 22 years as prime minister, he was given a
second chance. Yes, many warned against “the sly old fox” joining
Pakatan Harapan, but he was a necessary antidote to a dire situation.
This was because Umno had craftily managed to entice PAS away from the
old Pakatan Rakyat, allegedly with non-heavenly rewards of some RM90 million.
(Just RM90 million? Shouldn’t that be RM90 billion? Surely, a major political party can’t sell out their principles so cheaply?)
Ecstatic victory turns sour
him or hate him, he did help break through some psychological barriers,
especially among Malay voters. For example, while Harapan formerly had
problems campaigning in Felda areas, Mahathir attracted thousands to
huge rallies there. And when Election Commission officers cut out his image from campaign billboards, it backfired big time.
when Harapan, with Mahathir’s help, defeated the all-powerful BN in
2018, the old man was treated as a national hero, almost like a
superhuman who could walk on water. Anybody who criticised him was
slammed as if they had committed blasphemy.
Only Rafizi Ramli was
brave enough to “tegur” or check Mahathir early on by pointing out that
the senior cabinet appointments were made without PKR’s agreement, even
though it was the party with the most seats. He was scolded by the
public and not supported by most PKR colleagues. Only MP Wong Chen spoke up to defend Rafizi.
So, I don’t blame him for being reluctant to stick his neck out again and get back into politics now.
remember posting on social media in support of Rafizi then, but most
people criticised me, asking me not to be a “wet blanket” and “bicker”
over ministerial appointments. Ah, if only they could foresee Mahathir’s
plans to break apart PKR by cultivating Azmin Ali’s faction so that he
could deny fulfilling his promise to hand over power to Anwar Ibrahim.
That split was the key weakness in Harapan that led to the great
Sheraton Move betrayal.
only Mahathir, in the last few years of his life, had the decency to
keep his word on the handover of power. If only he had the vision to
look at the country’s long term future and not return to his old nasty
habits of petty political manoeuvres. If only he was sincere to push
through widespread reforms, instead of being an obstacle.
after two years or so, he could have retired in glory as an elder
statesperson, basking in the rakyat’s grateful adulation as The Man who
Karma bites back
didn’t. When the Sheraton Move began, he tried to play more political
games (remember the “unity government” nonsense?). But eventually, even
he was outsmarted by Muhyiddin Yasin and his gang of conspirators. As
the Malay proverb goes, “as cleverly as a squirrel jumps, eventually it
falls to the ground too”.
I am extremely tempted to say that this is karma coming back to bite. As I’ve written previously,
many of his old sins have boomeranged onto him. For example, he could
not legally appeal the decision by Bersatu to kick him out of the party
(even though he was the founder) because he himself had amended the law
to prevent such appeals!
And while he now moans
about kleptocrats like Najib Abdul Razak, he needs to reflect on how he
himself made money politics a staple when he was PM the first time
around. Similarly, while Muhyiddin thought he was very clever with his
Sheraton Move, he finds that Umno has now turned around to betray him
and destroy Bersatu.
So beware of the payback of karma!
I at least have to credit Mahathir and Pejuang for not joining most of
their former Bersatu colleagues to betray the voters’ mandate given to
Harapan in the 2018 general elections.
Salvaging the mess
after “the rice had become porridge”, to cite another Malay proverb,
Mahathir could still have salvaged something from the mess. Yes, Pejuang
was a pale shadow of Bersatu but it could have still worked with
After all, on Jan 24, Anwar had said that all opposition
parties – including Pejuang, Warisan and Muda – should cooperate under a
“big tent” for the Johor election.
Pejuang could have accepted
this offer, like Muda did, and negotiated a few seats to contest.
Surely, the party would have performed much better with Harapan’s
Yet Pejuang rejected the olive branch, declaring arrogantly that it was “the only true opposition party”. Talk about an overinflated ego. Clearly, the old man was unwilling to accept scraps from Harapan, led by Anwar.
Mahathir now has to endure the humiliation of seeing his party smashed,
and the pain of watching the country gradually fall back into the grasp
of what he calls “kleptocrats”.
Before this, he could have still negotiated for maybe four or five
seats with Harapan. Now, he has much less bargaining power, if any.
Pejuang now tries to save face by arguing that they lost because voters were not familiar
with their logo. But why did Muda do much better with a new logo? And
come on, Pejuang’s best logo is the old man’s face, not some strange
logo that looks like a bear – or a toilet bowl.
various letters and campaign speeches to the Johor voters, he was
ignored, regarded as an irrelevant piece of history, as BN (and the
alleged kleptos) romped to a huge victory.
“This means that Mahathir has lost his influence among Malay voters,” concludes James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute.
not even discuss the non-Malays who now despise him. When a leader who
has spent his life championing and leading the Malays, only for them to
turn a deaf ear to him as he nears the end of his life – well, it’s a
bitter pill for the doctor to swallow.
Mahathir could have been a
true statesperson who really made Malaysia great. But again and again,
he chose the path of political games for short-term gains. And now, he
himself can taste the sour fruits of his actions as we slide downwards
as a nation.
So perhaps his sorrowful end is indeed well deserved.