PM Najib, will our luck hold out?

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“Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but, leave him when he is wrong.”

- Abraham Lincoln

COMMENT | The prime minister has again made this extraordinary claim - “In the end, 10 people died because we had no loyalty. All there was is a readiness to betray who? Our rakyat” - with regards to the “Sulu incursion” while reminding uniformed personnel to be loyal in preserving the country’s security.

I will repeat the same questions I had in an article I wrote when the prime minister first made this claim of betrayal - “This, of course, brings us to the next set of questions. Who were those covert agents? What sort of investigations and which agencies were involved in routing out these ‘covert enemies’? Why weren't the press and the people of Malaysia notified that our soldiers were killed because of leaked information? Were the families of the soldiers who were ‘sacrificed’ notified that their deaths were the result of an ambush because of leaked intelligence?”

I expect no answer, of course. A few friends have written to me “explaining” that “civilians” may have compromised troop movements and that is what our prime minister meant by “betrayal”. If you believe that civilians had compromised troop movement, I suggest we have a far greater problem than most people believe.

Of course, in this particular rejoinder, the prime minister claims - “When our own people betrayed their comrades when they fed information to our enemies, our enemies surrounded and ambushed…” - which implies that our men were betrayed by their “comrades”, in other words, by security personnel, which is worse but yet again no explanation will be forthcoming.

Were those families of the 10 people who died told that their loved ones perished because they were betrayed by their “comrades”? Was there an investigation into these treasonous acts? Was there accountability? It does not matter, does it?

And are the Malaysian uniformed services "Muslim" uniformed services? I get that the majority who serve are Muslims but why does the prime minister feel the need to draw on Islam to remind the uniformed services to be loyal for the security of the country? The answer to this, of course, is obvious. Non-Muslims are constantly told that we are not patriotic enough, that we shelter under the security provided by brave Muslims and most importantly, there have been far too many Umno politicians and “activists” who remind us that government institutions are in reality “Malay/Muslim” institutions.

So yes, the Arabisation process being what it is, the professional standards of our uniformed services at the level it is, and this constant need to remind Muslims that loyalty to country means loyalty to the political establishment, it is no surprise that religion would be used to bolster support. Of course, if you are a non-Muslim in the uniformed services, you could either learn from this Islamic analogy thrust upon you or tune out.

I have said it before and I will say it again. I despise the propagandising of the state security apparatus. This happens all over the world. The prime minister’s rejoinder was delivered at a function organised by Wanita Umno - a wing of a political party - so this was a political event and not a government event.

Of course, in this country, the lines are willfully blurred so I wonder what would happen if Pakatan Harapan, or God forbid the DAP, organised a Ramadan event to honour the sacrifices of our uniformed services. Would these service people who embraced the “gifts” doled out at this Umno event be accepting to gifts offered by the opposition? Or would they be told by a government flunky not to intrude where they are not wanted...

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