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7th Rangers: Be cool in God's country by Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN, formerly of the 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

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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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Be cool in God's country by Commander (Rtd) S THAYAPARAN, formerly of the Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, July 07, 2012
All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring. - Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters) 

COMMENT There has been a ratcheting up of racist rhetoric against the Chinese community of late by Umno, culminating in the rather odious challenge to PAS by Umno's Kemelah state assemblyperson Ayub Rahmat that ‘hudud law' be implemented in Johor for everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim. Notice Ayub's unfortunate choice of words, "The Syariah Criminal Code (II) 1993 State of Kelantan does not reflect the true requirements of Islam. It creates discrimination in terms of execution (among Muslims and non-Muslims)."

In other words, it's "unIslamic" to have a set of laws that discriminates between Muslim and non-Muslim and because this is Malaysia, between Malay and non-Malay. Do you see where I'm going with this? Like most Umno politicians Ayub does not see the contradiction between the Umno obsession of upholding Malay rights, which in turn is translated into unofficial and official institutionalised discrimination, and the so-called egalitarian perspective of Islam.

Never mind that Ayub has conceded that the Islamic policy of his own Umno is, well, unIslamic following the strict criteria of his own definition. Prime Minister Najib Razak may crow of the "moderate" Islam practiced here in Malaysia but the reality is that the Arabisation process has taken root and the ruling regime is ever willing to use it as a weapon of fear against Muslims and non-Muslims, as I wrote in my fear culture piece.

Ayub's broadside is one of many politically motivated provocations meant to incite the multiracial/religious Malaysian polity into reliving their long buried racial or religious nightmares. Nightmares which only Umno and the power-sharing formula can shield them from. Unfortunately for Umno, this does not go down well, with a sizeable section of the voting public which considers anything coming from Umno as anathema. I roll my eyes whenever I hear the common refrain by this regime and some others who indulge in the most grotesque behaviour in name of Islam and yet claim that theirs is a religion of "peace".

When we have those paragons of purity at University Putra Malaysia indulging in an orgy of hate against the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community and 'immigrant ethnicities' and our prime minister declaring that there is no place in Malaysia for the LGBT community all the while members of his own party disseminating the "pendatang" narrative, who could honestly make the argument that the kind of Islam promulgated by Umno is anything but divisive to this country?
 

The pink elephant in the room

But what is most sickening about this whole sordid mess is that the real targets of these hate campaigns are Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenavesan and the various ‘opposition' personalities. Whatever collateral damage is accrued as far marginalised communities are concerned is par for the course as far as Asian values go. Non-Malay/Muslim bigots are quite content to let their Malay/Muslim counterparts claim the field, all the while basking in their so-called inclusive rhetoric which seems to only revolve around corruption and the division of the economic pie instead of any real philosophical principles which would require sustained commitment.

DAP chairperson Karpal Singh is always accused of rocking the Pakatan Rakyat boat whenever he keeps PAS on the straight and narrow ‘secular' road as far as their Islamic preoccupations are concerned but with Umno ever ready to play the Islamic credentials card, Pakatan partisans should throw their support behind politicians like Karpal whenever PAS shows any signs of wavering. And let's face facts, Pakatan loyalists would like to put this whole ‘Islamic' state issue in the backburner but with the likes of PAS ulama chief Harun Taib stirring the hudud pot for whatever reasons, we ignore the pink elephant in the room at our own peril.

Add to this PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat
"congratulating" Umno for attempting to impose hudud in Johor and one can't tell if a game of religious chicken is being played or is there some darker sinister agendas at work. I have known for too many true believers in PAS who believe that the goal of an Islamic state supercedes that of any multireligous/racial dogma of Pakatan. Even worse, I know a few influential Umno diehards who are sympathethic to those aims.

With former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad declaring Malaysia an Islamic state and the Islamic ‘Hadhari' of his immediate successor, thoughtful observers would understand that the battle for Islam is not merely an Umno and PAS issue where it is easy to choose sides, but rather a ticking time bomb which can only be defused if and when as a nation we choose to tackle this issue once and for all. All this is very amusing of course coming right after Najib advised his Umno brethren to "cool it" as far as provocative "racial" statements are concerned. Notice Najib's rather unfortunate choice of words.

"We would like to remind our members to not issue any statements that touch on sentiments of any race or anything that can cause problems between BN component parties," he said. In other words, Najib is only concerned of "the problems" as it relates to the workings of his component parties and not to the larger multiethnic Malaysian community. Just to belabour the point. Something is only ‘racist' (for example) if it is defined by BN component parties and sanctified by Umno. Non-BN supporters are left totally out of the loop. And who exactly are these ‘members'? Do they include members who belong to right-wing Malay rights groups? Former prime ministers?
 

Mahathir's greatest hits

Mahathir is reviving his greatest hits collection when he attacks the Chinese community with the overused canards of minority subversion and dominance. ‘Kingmakers' he shrilly proclaims them while in the belly of the Umno beast - Utusan Malaysia - the editorial warlocks stir the cauldron of communal fears of Machiavellian alliances between the Houses of DAP and PAP. The narrative is simple. The Malays are splintered at the mercy of the devilish Chinese ‘pendatangs' who want nothing more than to physically and psychologically enslave them. The Malays are weak and only Umno can protect them. So what if Umno gets rich in the process? Doesn't this ‘service' require remuneration?

As has been demonstrated in numerous articles, Mahathir gets the math wrong as far as the kingmaker demographic goes. But wonky numbers has never deterred Umno from spinning a horrid lie. This whole country is built on dodgy numbers. The same narrative applies to the way how Islam is practiced in this country and the rest of the world where despotic regimes in all their banal varieties hold sway. The faithful need to be protected against anything that would shake their faith. If their faith in Islam is shaken, what then of their faith in the ruling classes that lord it over them?

All this ‘kingmakers' talk must really piss off the Hindraf lads. If the Chinese are the kingmakers, what then of the poor Indians? And it does seem unfair. So-called Chinese advocacy groups are in general timid and cautious when criticising the regime. And who could blame them, considering the firepower against them. They may not in reality be the clear and present danger to the Umno regime but they have been anointed as such and all the state's propaganda organs are at work portraying them as placing the destiny of the Malay polity in harm's way.

But if you really want to read the bleeding edge in racial and religious discourse, you should check out the Human Rights Party website and the commentary by the Hindraf faithful. Whatever my criticisms of Hindraf, only they have had the cojones to rage against the Umno machine in an open and official manner instead of the sub rosa rhetoric which perhaps even I am guilty off. If they ever get the support of a majority of Malaysians, they will truly be the clear and present danger that Umno so fears.

Even RPK (blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin) has taken a stab at the Indian and Chinese communities. At least in this regard the Indians are not left out. And this makes me happy. His blog post about how the Indians and Chinese are to "blame" for keeping Umno in power was an extremely funny read. Like Mahathir, he gets the demographic numbers wrong but then again Pete (as he is fondly known) was never a numbers guy. His forte is stirring the shit and seeing who complains of the smell.

Why should RPK get all the brickbats? I have more or less made the same argument in most of my Malaysiakini pieces. I have discussed the complicity of the Chinese and Indians communities of sustaining Umno hegemony with their obsessions of their communal preoccupations defined by Umno. I have heaped scorn of those who complain but don't vote. I have pointed to the uncomfortable fact that there was always opposition parties (who may have played the game badly, but then again how well was BN playing?) but not enough opposition support. Of course, the Malays and the vote banks in Sabah and Sarawak are part of the numbers game but let's concentrate on those vocal communities who define (for better or worse) race relations in Malaysia. Spare me "we voted out of fear" or the countless other BS rationales for voting BN because the usual justification of former BN voters was that "we do not have a credible opposition" (sic).

At the end of the day, it's all about money anyway. Whenever we see these political or religious types pontificating about religious or cultural values, one should consider this Dorothy Parker quote as dictum rather than bon mot, "If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to." Malaysiakini.

posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:12 AM  
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I do not aim to please anyone. This is my blog, there is no blog like this. I am not mainstream. Read my disclaimer before posting comments and threatening me. Not to worry, I will not quiver in my boots. If you are not happy, no problem, just take a hike!!

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