Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Politicians politicize, not Islamize, military traditions

Recently in Lahad Datu and nearby Semporna and Sungai Nyamuk, we suffered the loss of 9 armed service personnel, mostly policemen. We must and will remember them and their ultimate duty to our nation.

I do not plan to write any new post to eulogize them but to merely reproduce two which I had written more than 3 years ago, not only for us to remember their deeds but to be wary of some pseudo-warriors who in the name of Islam would exploit and politicize them and in the process diminish the contributions of the true warriors.


Last Post to the Malaysian Last Post

06 April 2010

It would have happened sooner or later, for the Warrior Day’s celebration to be syariah compliant. Apparently the Muslim clerics have deemed the military remembrance ceremony held annually to remember our late warriors and the nation’s debt to them as non-halal.

In The Malaysian Insider’s article Ex-servicemen divided over changes to Warrior’s Day celebration we have comments from:

(a) Retired Lt-Gen Zaini Mohamad Said who said: “Moving the ceremony is obviously for the better, I am quite sure it is for the better and will satisfy our multi-religious society.”

(b) Retired Maj Rashid Hassan Basri who said “I hope the celebration in Putrajaya will abandon the old practices; what is the point of playing ‘The Last Post’, it is not ours, it is a Christian tradition.”

While it’s not for me to question the Muslims on their perspective that celebrating Warrior’s Day or better known as Armed Services’ Remembrance Day is akin to idol worshipping I need to correct some errors and in one case, total bullshit, and also to point out what they have missed in their religious-centric pronouncements, as follows:

(i) Not every warrior who gave his life to the nation was a Malay or Muslim. Let me remind you of non-Muslims who were posthumously awarded the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa like Captain Mohana Chandran al Velayuthan, Warrant Officer 2 Lenggu anak China and many others, and those who were posthumously awarded the Pingat Gagah Berani like Lt Choo Yok Boo and Lt Chang Tat Min.

*Additional note (27 Nov 2013):

I wrote to Malaysiakini a letter titled Chinese M'sians, too, have died for one Malaysia in which I pointed out that our killed-in-battle Chinese Police heroes, like:
  • Yeoh Chew Bik (killed by communist terrorists (CTs) at Sebarang Perai);
  • Koh Ah Cheng (killed by CTs at Bukit Kepong police station; ironically the communist assailants were led by a Malay communist, Muhammad Indera);
  • Loh Ah Chu (killed by CTs at Bukit Berapit, Perak);
  • Chan Eng Teck (killed by CTs at Bukit Berapit, Perak);
  • Ang Lock Say (killed by CTs at Bukit Berapit, Perak);
  • Yeap Sean Hua (killed on duty while apprehending a criminal at Setapak; another policeman, Fong Thean Kit, who was off duty but heard the shot gave chase and apprehended the killer); [Important note: Both Yeap (posthumously) and Fong were awarded Malaysia’s highest gallantry award, the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP).]
  • Chin Chin Kooi (Special Branch chief inspector who served in the police for 21 years - shot at point blank range and killed by unknown slayers; before he died he managed to shoot back); [Important note: Chin was posthumously awarded the SP];
  • Lee Han Cheong (a sergeant and Police Field Force (PFF) patrol leader was killed by CTs near Bidor);
  • Deputy Comm Khoo Chong Kong (killed by communist subversives in Perak).

I was also very disappointed by a Chinese person who attempted to diminish the deeds of the above warriors by commenting, words to the effect, that "today's reality" does not reflect the above. Chinese ultimate sacrifices to the nation are just that, sacrifices to be respected and remembered, not to be politicized by running dogs, for them to spin this and that way to diminish the armed servicemen's contributions.*

So while we understand that the Islamists may want to move the location of the service for whatever reasons they have rationalised, please remember some warriors were non-Muslims. Thus it’s presumptuous for Lt-Gen Zaini Mohamad Said to claim that “Moving the ceremony is obviously for the better, I am quite sure it is for the better and will satisfy our multi-religious society.”

Sometimes it’s better not to speak on our behalf as we don’t agree with you, General - it's just that we can't do anything about your nonsense!

(ii) The ceremony is about remembering our respect and debts to the late warriors, and not about idolising or praying to them. Please don’t conflate your religious beliefs with a remembrance ceremony.

Putih tulang dikandung tanah, budi yang baik dikenang juga – that’s all the ceremony has been about, but trust someone to come up with the bullsh*t that it’s akin to idol-worshipping.

(ii) The Last Post has nothing to do with Christianity. This allegation is sheer nonsense.

As Wikipedia and a number of other publications tell us: 'Last Post' was originally a bugle call used in British Army camps to signal the end of the day.

The name derives from the practice of inspecting all the sentry posts around such a camp at the end of the day, and playing a bugle call at each of them. The 'last post' was thus the last point of this inspection, and the bugle call signalling that this post had been inspected marked the end of the military day. This custom dates from at least the 17th century.

During the 19th century, 'Last Post' was also carried to the various countries of the 
British Empire. In all these countries it has been incorporated into military funerals, where it is played as a final farewell, symbolising the fact that the duty of the dead soldier is over and that they can rest in peace.

Where then is the connection to Christianity or Christian tradition?

It is nothing more than a (Commonwealth) military tradition. If Maj Rashid Hassan Basri believes that anything connected to the West is a Christian tradition, then he shouldn't wear shoes (Hang Tuah went around barefooted) or drive a car or a zillion other things that Westerners do.

It’s quite annoying to see people like him jump on the Islamic bandwagon by resorting to nonsense to blame what they support discarding as a Christian tradition.

Tunku Abdul Rahman was the man who had the National Monument built to honour as well as remember our heroes, men who gave their lives for our nation. 52 years have passed with PMs Abdul Razak, Hussein Onn, Dr Mahathir and PM Abdullah Badawi never raising such an issue. All of them were/are Muslims.

Trust Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Islamic Affairs Minister Jamil Khir Baharom to break half a century of military tradition. I wonder whether they were really conscious of their Islamic beliefs or playing politics.

*Additional note (27 Nov 2013):

Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi informed Parliament on 09 November 2010 that the small numbers of non-Malays in the Armed Forces was likely due to, among other factors, their 'low spirit of patriotism'.*


Lest we forget

07 April 2010

They shall grow not old ... as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.

Lest we forget.

Yesterday I posted Last Post to the Malaysian Last Post where I expressed my regrets over the religio-politicisation of Warriors' Day being held at the National Monument, as it had been done over almost the last half century.

But most of all I lambasted one ex serviceman for talking cock about the bugle-call of the Last Post and what it means to servicemen. That bloke would just sprout nonsense in order for him to jump on the religious bandwagon.

As I mentioned, Remembrance Day (Warriors’ Day) is about remembering (not forgetting) the deeds of our national heroes.

We remember their sacrifices and honour their invaluable service in defending our country. And we teach and remind our young citizens to be mindful that where they are today has been in large part due to the sacrifices of our heroes.

It’s regrettable that of all people, the Defence Minister became the person to politicise this important day by portraying the ceremony at the National Monument as idol worshipping and thus haram (forbidden) to Muslims. If he has to do or say something in this regard, he should be the very one to defend the servicemen’s right to continue the ceremony as they had been doing for the last half a century.

If we want to be Wahhabis, fine, then shouldn’t we get rid of the statue of Hang Tuah in the National Museum? Shouldn’t we also remove all the portraits and photos of our national leaders from the school classrooms and public offices?

C’mon, let’s be consistent, and bloody stop playing politics.

Today I read in The Malaysian Insider the news that Ex-soldiers ask for new monument in Putrajaya - it reported (extracts):

Former Malaysian soldiers want a new monument in Putrajaya to commemorate Warrior’s Day even if the celebrations are moved to the administrative capital due to objections from Islamic scholars.

The 130,000-strong Ex-Servicemen Association of Malaysia (PBTM) said a new monument is necessary as a respect to the soldiers even if it isn’t a replica of the iconic bronze monument of human statues in Lake Garden here.

Datuk Muhammad Abd Ghani also said the current July 31 celebrations is only symbolic and a mark of respect, denying claims it was unIslamic as stated by Islamic authorities who claim it should not be held at the site of statues or sculptures of human figures.

“It is an old military ceremony. We are not worshipping the monument as mentioned but it is just symbolic. What is important is our intention to give respect,” he told The Malaysian Insider last night.

I rest my case. And the Defence Minister should hang his head in shame.

Each has won a glorious grave - not that sepulchre of earth wherein they lie, but the living tomb of everlasting remembrance wherein their glory is enshrined. For the whole earth is the sepulchre of heroes. Monuments may rise and tablets be set up to them in their own land, but on far-off shores there is an abiding memorial that no pen or chisel has traced; it is graven not on stone or brass, but on the living hearts of humanity.

Take these men for your example. Like them, remember that prosperity can be only for the free, that freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it - Pericles c. 495 – 429 BC


  1. Kaytee,
    What makes it so different when you dictate christians to use other name rather than Allah in Bahasa Malaysia? Likewise, don't speak for the fellow sabahans/sarawakians as well as the Herald. How about that?

  2. In the 1960's and 1970's the Warriors day observance was done with full British-style pageantry, and that was before the Anwar Ibrahim government Islamisation drive.

    Even then , there were many officers who were uncomfortable with the undercurrents of idolisation and Christian ethos built into the ceremonies.
    We need to show respect and remember the fallen warriors , but in a Malaysian way.

    No need to slavishly follow Western culture.

    That American-designed Warriors monument (by the same designer as the Iwo Jima memorial in Washington) is most out of place in this country.

    No disrespect for the non-Malays who served honourably, but the fact is most of the current serving troops as well as retired warriors are Malay Muslims.

    1. What the fuck with u?

      Religion has NO place in patriotism.

      WHO r u to dictate the ceremonial procedure to honor our warriors?

      Old soldier or not, u r just one hell of a closet bigot.

      CB, other fight to die for the country, so that u can talk cock & claim honors NOW!

      By yr Malaysian way, u want these ceremonial procedure to be islamized, so that what Anwar started can be completed. SAID it!!!!

      Aint that's what happened now, consider the current stage of the warrior day cerebration - if one can call that celebration at all!

    2. Violent death and putting one's life at risk in the line of duty is very closely linked to one's religious beliefs. This is true regardless of whether one is a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or other religions. There are very few atheists in the Army.

      It is no accident that the Western countries' remembrance ceremonies for their war dead have a strong Christian flavour. Even in the United States, which is officially a secular state, the military has strong religious foundations, with Chaplains in every battalion.
      But that's their country , where Christians are the majority. This is Malaysia, which has an overwhelming Malay Muslim majority in its Armed Forces.

      Our Remembrance day practices have to be aligned with what the majority of our current serving and retired military is comfortable with.

      Again, I emphasise, no disrespect for the non-Malays who also served with distinction in Malaysia's forces.

    3. You have forgotten that christians form the fucking majority in sarawak. Now they wanna use Allah in fucking bahasa malaysia.....So apa macam?

      So Dayak loves to use head chopping for their remembrance. So we should chop up those sulu (muslim) heads.......hahahaha

    4. Closely linked with one's religious believes!

      CB, bring to mind the incident just after the May13. Just after the occurance of that umno incided tragedy, most of the soldiers doing the rounds of the patrolling were from East M'sia.

      They did their duties so well that the rampaging amoks were brought under control. In fact, there were hospital reports indicating most of the causalties, inflicted by the military personnel, were the amok Malays.

      Then out of somewhere, an order was issued to replaced these East M'sian soldiers with the Peninsular Malay regiments. From then on, the causalties/deaths turned majority Non-Malays.

      So, u r an old soldier! Do u remember that far into time?

      What say u, NOW, about yr religious belief when yr sniper aim along racial target rather than amok behaviour?

      Aint that a disgrace to yr religion?

      So why be so selective now? Maybe form over substance - whether it's religious, wealth, ability. Is it carved into yr meme through years of tongkat nourishing?

      Perhaps, u r just like that mamak, trying to justify those atrocities by turning a blind eye. Perhaps a case of selective amnesia, that's so well mastered by that mamak.

      That mamak, WOULD NOT have peace in in his countable twilight days. Would u?

    5. "Violent death and putting one's life at risk in the line of duty is very closely linked to one's religious beliefs. This is true regardless of whether one is a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or other religions. There are very few atheists in the Army."

      Of cause there are very few atheist in military! Atheists are the minority of minorities in Malaysia (whole world indeed). Almost everyone has religion belief in Malaysia. How many atheist can you find? Huh? Religion is not the key decision to be a soldier or not to be. It appears you have made a false logic based on baseless assumption. Oh, can you let us know which atheist country has military comprised of theist?

      By the way, religion is good tool for counselling. Do you aware US Army also has Imam for job scope same with Chaplains?

      My Malay neighbour always express his sadness that most Malays don't read. (In fact, actually not only Malay, most of the new generations regardless race unable comprehend any article with wordcount more than twitter.

  3. You wrote: "Putih tulang dikandung tanah, budi yang baik dikenang juga – that’s all the ceremony has been about, but trust someone to come up with the bullsh*t that it’s akin to idol-worshipping."

    Dear KT, do please note that Mother Nature compensates people with small brains with a big mouth. See? Mother Nature is always fair unlike homo sapiens who will only help members of their own tribe and to hell with outsiders. ;-)

  4. Who the hell is George Wallace? Lets ask kaytee. Does George remind kaytee of Anwar Ibrahim? Hahahahaha, gotcha, kaytee

    InKaytee terminology, George just like Anwar is the greatest scum & chamelon. Hahahaha! Am I fucking right?

  5. Who cares ? This country has fractured along ethnic lines long ago. Let the Muslims die for this land. I don't see any nons defending this country unless we're invaded by Indonesia.

    1. Well, I care because with more people with mindset like you sure going to screw the country/world.

  6. So, by Old Soldier's logic, then World Aids Day, Labour Day, Earth Day, Teacher Day, etc are religion propaganda by Christians lah? (since they are founded by Mat Sallehs)

  7. While we were arguing about Muslims vs.Non-Muslims, the China PLA navy enforced their claim on James Shoal , just 80 km off the Bintulu coast with an armed task force.

    The area is believed to hod rich reserves of gas and petroleum.

    Its a matter of time before China eats Malaysia for breakfast.