An childhood friend who spent seven years in Malaysia during the 1960s when he studied at Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur was pretty horrified at the state of Malaysian politics as described in the book by S. Thayaparan, Commander (retired) Royal Malaysian Navy. My friend bought the book whilst browsing a bookshop in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Originally a Thai national and now an Australian citizen, he left Malaysia in the late 1960s to continue his studies in Australia and last visited Malaysia in 2004 or over 12 years ago.
Having read through some chapters I find that Commander Thayaparan's description of Malaysian politics in both the ruling and opposition camps very much concurs with mine, especially with regards to how both sides play the race and religion card, with the main antagonisms right now being between ethnic Malays and Chinese and between Muslims and Christians, which have especially worsened since the May 2013 general elections.
Whilst mainly opposed to the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front coalition), Thayaparan pulls no punches in his criticism of the follies and weaknesses of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (People's Pact). The book was Published in 2014, before the fallout between the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) and the formation of a new opposition pact the Pakatan Harapan (Pact of Hope), comprised of the DAP, People's Justice Party Malaysia (PKR) and Amanah (formed by a breakaway faction of PAS).
Being and ethnic Indian and presumably a Hindu by religion, Thayaparan has the advantage of being able to step back and observe the current and increasingly polarised and dysfunctional political mess in Malaysia from a detached, objective, unemotional perspective. He also sees the situation from the real-political perspective of how matters are, rather than from an idealist perspective of how they should be but are not - well at least not yet. He also chides especially those in the opposition camp and their mostly urban-based supporters who tend to condemn the rural voters of being "stupid" or "ignorant" for continuing to vote for the ruling party for reasons of their own economic survival, when they should be reaching out to such voters and win them over with better solutions to their immediate concerns than the ruling party has done so far.
Commander Thayaparan writes in a witty and highly readable style, which got me laughing at some parts over the naive, short sightedness of the opposition and their supporters, as well as their intolerance of any criticism, even from opposition supporters. This by the way is what has made me step back too, when I previously insisted on believing that the opposition are political angels who could do no wrong.
Whilst his book has received endorsements from key members of opposition parties, in my humble opinion. I believe that with the fallout between the DAP and PAS, the opposition has suffered a serious setback, especially in terms of its ability of the urban-oriented DAP and PKR to reach out to the rural constituents whom PAS has influence with and who currently deliver the majority of parliamentary seats to the ruling party, and which can potentially split the vote in the ruling party's favour in three-cornered fights, or so the opposition fears.
Speculation aside, we will only know the actual mood of voters at the next general election in 2018, though I would not be surprised if the opposition pact gets fewer seats.
My friend who studied political science in Australia and at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, tends to agree with me that we cannot view especially Asian politics from our elite, urban, English and Western educated perspective, but rather we should from the socio-economic-cultural perspective of the masses who form the bulk of voters in elections.
I strongly recommend, Commander Thayaparan's NO COUNTRY FOR RIGHTEOUS MEN AND OTHER ESSAYS IN A CULTURE OF OFFENDEDNESS.
Saturday, 19 December 2015
Sunday, 5 April 2015
Our leading anti-KiDEX fighter Mak Khuin Weng and spokesperson is so right about how we citizens are being scheissed (shat) upon by politicians out to use us for their own political ends and how when they don't need us anymore they cast us aside like used toilet tissue.
In reality we are just pawns in the battles between modern day feudal warlords conducted within a structure and behind a facade of a Westminster style parliamentary democracy.
Mak mentions "previous prime ministers" who took care of the citizens interests and yes Malaysia was certainly at its economic heyday under a rather controversial past prime minister whom many either love or hate.
Sure, he may have served his and his cronies' own interests as well but economically it was go-go days for all Malaysians as well with a booming economy and low unemployment.
However, since he stepped down over 10 years ago, Malaysia has gradually descended into the politischeisshaus and equonomiescheisshaus (political shit house and economic shit house).
I used to call him "bagairo san" (Japanese for "Mr. Fool") until he stood up to the currency speculators, whilst his opponents and enemies supported the speculators and from then on I admired and supported his ACTIONS against the super wealthy currency speculators who were wrecking Malaysia's economy and undermining ordinary people's livelihoods, including those of some of my friends and a cousin, even though I did not and still do not support that past prime minister's party or any of its coalition member parties.
However, I am also very wary of his nemesis who regards a leading neo-conservative warmonger and architect of U.S. imperialism's predatory wars on Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries as his good friend.
More recently, across the causeway, another no nonsense former leader was loved and hated by many but last week thousands of his nation's citizens lined the streets to pay him tribute and their last respects.
There is speculation that now with the "cat" gone, the "mice" in his party will "play" in a power struggle which will see the country which he helped so much to build up being gradually brought down by the warlords within his party battling each other for power and position. Hopefully for our neighbour's people, this will remain just that - speculation.
Anyway, this kind of rot is everywhere, not just in our two countries but all over the world and as history testifies to, when such situations are at their nadir, a "phoenix" has usually arisen and has lead the people and nation back to a golden age.
On a more philosophical or spiritual level, as Hinduism believes, we are in the Kali Yuga and as the world descends further and further into the cesspit of self interest, corruption and depravity, which is ended when God incarnates on earth to sort the mess out.
SB 12.2.12-16: By the time the age of Kali ends, the bodies of all creatures will be greatly reduced in size, and the religious principles of followers of varṇāśrama will be ruined. The path of the Vedas will be completely forgotten in human society, and so-called religion will be mostly atheistic. The kings will mostly be thieves, the occupations of men will be stealing, lying and needless violence, and all the social classes will be reduced to the lowest level of śūdras. Cows will be like goats, spiritual hermitages will be no different from mundane houses, and family ties will extend no further than the immediate bonds of marriage. Most plants and herbs will be tiny, and all trees will appear like dwarf śamī trees. Clouds will be full of lightning, homes will be devoid of piety, and all human beings will have become like asses. At that time, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear on the earth. Acting with the power of pure spiritual goodness, He will rescue eternal religion.
SB 12.2.17: Lord Viṣṇu — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the spiritual master of all moving and nonmoving living beings, and the Supreme Soul of all — takes birth to protect the principles of religion and to relieve His saintly devotees from the reactions of material work.
SB 12.2.18: Lord Kalki will appear in the home of the most eminent brāhmaṇa of Śambhala village, the great soul Viṣṇuyaśā.
SB 12.2.19-20: Lord Kalki, the Lord of the universe, will mount His swift horse Devadatta and, sword in hand, travel over the earth exhibiting His eight mystic opulences and eight special qualities of Godhead. Displaying His unequaled effulgence and riding with great speed, He will kill by the millions those thieves who have dared dress as kings.
SB 12.2.21: After all the impostor kings have been killed, the residents of the cities and towns will feel the breezes carrying the most sacred fragrance of the sandalwood paste and other decorations of Lord Vāsudeva, and their minds will thereby become transcendentally pure.
SB 12.2.22: When Lord Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears in their hearts in His transcendental form of goodness, the remaining citizens will abundantly repopulate the earth.
SB 12.2.23: When the Supreme Lord has appeared on earth as Kalki, the maintainer of religion, Satya-yuga will begin, and human society will bring forth progeny in the mode of goodness.
Here is a Gnostic Christian perspective entitled The End of the Kali Yuga by Samael Aun Weor, which has many similarities with the Hindu concept of four ages.
The Atlanteans, who had bodies that were three meters in stature, created a very powerful civilization. The Atlantean continent was immense; it extended from the south to the north, from the austral region to the septentrional. This Atlantean Root Race had its four seasons, or ages.
During their spring or Golden Age, borders and passports were unnecessary. Frontiers did not exist, and everywhere there was love among humanity. Innocence reigned upon the face of the Earth. One who knew how to play the lyre could shake the universe with its melodies. At that time, the lyre had yet to be smashed into pieces by falling upon the floor of the temple. This was because the Solar Dynasties were still governing.
As the Age of Silver arrived, everything from the Golden Age diminished. However, human beings were still in communication with the ineffable beings who are known in Christianity as Angels, Archangels, Principates, Thrones, etc.
When the Age of Copper arrived, the radiant splendors of the Golden and Silver Ages became dark. The same splendors of the past did not exist. People started to establish frontiers, wars were begun, hatred was born, as well as selfishness, envy, greed, etc.
Finally the Age of Iron, the Black Age, arrived.
Obviously, the Age of Copper was the autumn, and the Age of Iron was the winter of the Atlantean Root Race.
During the Age of Iron, the Atlanteans developed a very powerful, materialistic science. They built atomic rockets in order to travel to the moon. In fact, these Atlantean ships were so powerful that they were able to travel to Mercury, Venus, Mars, and generally to all of the planets of our solar system.
The article continues continues-
The words of Daniel the prophet come to my memory at the very moment of writing this:
The four winds of the heavens strove upon the great sea.
And four beasts came up from the sea and they were diverse one from the other.
The first beast was like a lion, and had eagles’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
And behold another beast, a second like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise , devour much flesh.
After this I beheld, and lo another like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given unto it.
After this I saw in the night visions, and the fourth beast, dreadful and terrible and strong exceedingly, and It had great iron teeth and everything that the beast devoured broke into pieces and it stamped the residue of the pieces with its feet. It was diverse from all of the other beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
...And shall devour the whole Earth, and shall wear it down and break it into pieces. And he shall wear out the saints of the most high, but when judgement takes its seat, the judge will take away his dominion and the kingdom will be delivered unto the kingdom of the saints.
The kingdom will be delivered unto the saints with the arrival of the new Golden Age. Obviously, the four beasts that Daniel saw in his vision are a reference to our four ages: the Age of Gold, the Age of Silver, the Age of Copper, and the Age of Iron, which is our present age.
In the Iron Age, humanity always arrives in the state in which it is presently. Thus, this is how this fourth beast (Iron Age) has been as dreadful and terrible as Daniel said, diverse from all of the other beasts (other ages), but his end will come from night to morning. As it is written, the day of the Lord will come when it is not expected. He will come “as a thief in the night.”
Therefore, in these precise moments, we are in the beginning of the end. The Apocalypse tells us of the beginning of the end, and we are precisely in the end of our era, that is to say, the end of Kali Yuga, the end of this fourth beast (humanity).
You will see within a very short time how the cities of the world will fall. Everything will be reduced to ashes, the earthquakes will intensify frightfully, they will be each time more and more powerful.
Therefore, you will be witnesses within a very short time, in your bodies of bones and flesh, of the events which will occur between the years of 1982 and 1992. You will remember by yourselves and then you will remember what we have written here. Alas, it is necessary for us to pay attention to these times, for the end is at hand.
With solar mechanics we can demonstrate that the solar system is arriving at the end of a great voyage. Truthfully, I say unto you that every voyage of the solar system around the zodiacal belt has always finished in a great catastrophe for our planet.
As for this humanity, the scripture states, “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Therefore, “Babylon the great (this present humanity), the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” will be destroyed, and from this perverse civilization of vipers, none will remain, not even one stone upon the other.
Meanwhile, more mainstream Christianity sees the solution in the second coming of Christ, whilst the Jews see it in their much awaited messiah.
Whether the above is to be taken literally or allegorically is up to the reader to decide. After all, nations and societies have gone through four stages - ie. establishment, a golden age, decline and degeneration and as history testifies to - when certain nations or regions are at their economic, political, moral and cultural nadir that a no nonsense leader emerges to lead the people to smite the evil doers and sort out the mess.
Good article Mak. Keep it up.
Mak's article follows below.
Where are we headed as a nation?
April 2, 2015
Malaysia is a hotbed of controversies these days. Over at the Barisan Nasional (BN) camp, controversies include the Goods and Services Tax (GST), dubious accounting and business practices (1MDB) and the arbitrary unilateral subjugation via the Sedition Act.
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has its fair share of self-inflicted controversies including Hudud, the use of the word “Allah”, and the poor choice for a previous Menteri Besar for Selangor that necessitated a convoluted “Kajang Move” to resolve. This in turn created a huge rift between the coalition partners.
These actions by BN and PR are done to consolidate and perpetuate their respective power bases. PAS becomes more popular with the conservative rural Malay voters while DAP is scoring points with their staunch non-Muslim voters. For BN, the GST will supposedly help pay for the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) scheme that is popular among the poor – in effect, taxing all citizens (including the poor) to give back to the people.
While these two juggernauts fight it out, the actual important, day-to-day issues faced by the rakyat are being ignored. What sort of future are our politicians trying to carve for the people?
Our previous Prime Ministers – whatever your opinion of them – at the very least had the vision and direction on where they wanted to take the nation. Be it improving the living standards of the poor or reinventing our nation into a technological hub, there was at least a set plan which was then executed to the best of their abilities.
What is the vision of Datuk Seri Najib Razak?
What is the vision of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (or for that matter, his replacement as opposition leader)?
Instead of having a vision for the rakyat, the public are now entrenched as scapegoats in the convoluted machinations of BN and PR politics.
We are floundering as a nation and need better direction. Neither BN nor PR provide it. They continue to bicker amongst themselves while allowing wealthy private corporations to dictate the national agenda.
Case in point: The proposals to develop tolled-highways in Selangor that are not justified with proper studies.
As a Petaling Jaya resident leader (I am merely a Residents Association chairman), I had to step up and work with fellow resident leaders, and concerned citizens to highlight the issues involving a controversial highway known as Kidex and DASH (see: more acronyms). Worse yet, the federal government which should have championed the rakyat’s cause from the get go instead supported the concessionaires. In fact, in the case of Kidex, the federal government (BN) continues to do so despite the rejection by the state government (Pakatan).
It took multiple letters of objection and a joint rally held by the people to evoke a response from the powers that be. The fact that the rakyat are the ones forced to do the leg work to fight off the corporations (instead of our elected representatives and local councillors) only goes to show the level of systemic failure of governance, transparency and corruption on both sides of the divide.
To hide their own shortcomings, our politicians continue to divide us and pit us against each other, allowing feelings of hate, distrust and anger to fester and boil over. They are not building a nation but destroying it.
The politicians forget that their duty as leaders is not to enrich or empower themselves or their political parties but instead to shelter and protect the weak, to enable the people to prosper the nation and to strengthen our bond as brothers and sisters regardless of our individual beliefs.
Pakatan, please get your house in order. Appoint an opposition leader to replace Anwar Ibrahim and work out your differences. Barisan, cease and desist in making the rakyat pay for the mistakes of a few. Stop attempting to silence people for asking righteous questions that need answering.
Do what is right for the nation, not yourselves or your political parties. The more you tread your present path, the more you divide all of us. There will come a point in time when it will be all you can do – keep us separated at all costs. Don’t lead us down this path.
Mak Khuin Weng
Sunway Damansara Avenue 23 Residents Association chairman