“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."
Are we going down the road of Sri Lanka? By P Gunasegaram
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Malaysiakini : Their debts are 101 percent of gross domestic product or GDP, the sum
of goods and services produced in a year, ours 68 percent. Importantly,
they don’t have enough foreign exchange to service their foreign debts,
we have more than enough.
Lanka also made the really bad move of banning fertiliser imports and
relying instead on organic fertilisers which resulted in a major
shortage of food production locally. This is an example of what bad
decision-making by incompetents can do.
Moody’s rating is Ca for
Lanka - that means highly speculative and likely in, or very near
default, with some or little prospect of recovery in principal and
Malaysia’s is A3 - it signifies that the issuer has
financial backing and some cash reserves with a low risk of default.
A-/A3 is the seventh-highest rating a debt issuer can receive and is
four rankings above the cut-off for junk bonds - not great but not bad
In short, we are not anywhere near what Sri Lanka is now, make no mistake about that.
we vulnerable? Yes, if we go on like this for a long time - it may take
a decade of massive mismanagement and corruption to get there and it
would need successive bad governments. Our quality of government right
now is the poorest it has ever been, so yes, we could be headed that way
if we continue like this.
Lanka defeated the separatist, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
in 2009, giving rise to major optimism about the future. But a series of
poor governments, including several involving the Rajapaksa family,
brought the government to its knees this year amidst widespread public
Often people highlight Sri Lanka’s wasteful
spending on food, fuel, and electricity subsidies to appease voters as
one of the factors that caused this crisis, pointing to Malaysia’s
government also spending a large amount on subsidies.
situation is considerably different. We are net exporters of energy, so
we can afford to subsidise energy. The problem is who are we subsidising
- high-energy consumers who tend to be rich. That’s the wrong thing to
For food, we were about to do the wrong thing by removing
subsidies and lifting ceiling prices on chicken, eggs and cooking oil.
But the government did a U-turn
and instead now says a new ceiling price will be fixed. If that wrong
decision was carried through, it would have caused major problems for
Chicken and eggs are the mainstay proteins for many
Malaysians. Government figures indicate the subsidy on them is less than
RM1 billion per year. Guess what the subsidy on fuel is - RM30 billion -
cut that subsidy by just 3 percent and we easily cover the food subsidy
for those three essentials.
really the food subsidies don’t do much damage and help to feed the
poor - give them nutrition. It’s the fuel subsidy that we need to watch
because much of it goes to the rich who can afford to pay more.
the longer term, we need to gradually decrease subsidies and give
targeted help to the poor. As well, we need to be more self-sufficient
in food to insulate ourselves from supply disruptions. I dealt with this
further explained we are not feeding our children properly. Unicef
figures indicate that in Malaysia, 20.7 percent of children under five
suffer from stunting and 11.5 percent from wasting, 12.7 percent of
children (5–19-year-olds) are obese.
That’s not flattering at all
and extremely worrisome. We are far away from being developed in the
full sense of the word. That’s why food subsidies are essential for now.
Nepotism and corruption
draw parallels between Sri Lanka’s nepotism caused by President
Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his family who held key positions in government.
But again, the situation is different in Malaysia.
We don’t have
nearly as much nepotism here as in Sri Lanka where at one time the
Rajapaksa family controlled most key ministries. But what is worrisome
is the increasing corruption and patronage at all levels of society.
has reached such levels that it is no longer a shame to be corrupt -
for example ‘Malu Apa Bosku’. When criminals and to-be criminals are
glorified and given a high place and respect within the ruling party we
have to be really, really worried - that indicates the leadership and
the party itself is rotten. That trend is nothing less than dangerous.
We have to nip that in the bud.
The clear lesson from Sri Lanka is
watch who you vote into power or pay the price. If you vote the
incompetent and the corrupt in, that’s a sure recipe for disaster. It
combines robbing with wrong decisions which have no professional insight
and no intention to improve the welfare of the people, the worst
possible combination of all.
now would have been well on the way to reform if Dr Mahathir Mohamad
had honestly wanted reform. But he returned to his old ways instead and
chose a former discredited finance minister and buddy Daim Zainuddin to
initiate change. It was no surprise that he eventually lost control.
only way for Malaysians is to vote for the party which will be the best
for the country. Choose wrongly and you will pay the price. Malaysians
voted correctly in the last elections but the politicians, led by
Mahathir and ably aided and abetted by Muhyiddin Yassin and Mohamed Azmin Ali betrayed them.
vote back this bunch which betrayed us and who now rule through the
back door and who have nothing but their own self-interests at heart is
the most foolhardy thing we can do.
To return the country to some
semblance of normality, the structural changes needed are known to all -
crush corruption, pro-growth policies which are equitable to all, an
excellent education system, a trained workforce, build national unity
We need honest, competent politicians for that and most
of all, political will. Again, exercising our vote carefully and sending
the right messages to all the political parties will be crucial.
much as that power of choice remains in our collective hands, we must
exercise it with caution and discretion. Sri Lanka’s lesson is this: Put
power in the hands of the wrong people and they will destroy the
country - eventually.