Loyal Followers

Monday, March 04, 2013

A Nation At War With Itself


“Non vi si pensa quanto sangue costa.”
Paradiso xxix, 91.

The soldier fought his battle silently.
   Not his the strife that stays for set of sun;
   It seemed this warfare never might be done;
   Through glaring day and blinding night fought he.
There came no hand to help, no eye to see;
   No herald's voice proclaimed the fight begun;
   No trumpet, when the bitter field was won,
   Sounded abroad the soldier's victory.
As if the struggle had been light, he went,
   Gladly, life's common road a little space;
   Nor any knew how his heart's blood was spent;
Yet there were some who after testified
   They saw a glory grow upon his face;
   And all men praised the soldier when he died.


The Soldier by Sophie Jewett (from The Pilgrim and Other Poems, published under the name Ellen Burroughs, 1896)

Let’s face it.

We are a nation which is at war with itself. We do not even have the ability to unite under whatever circumstances anymore. Not even when our sovereignty is being challenged; foreigners invading us; displacing our people from their homes; making claims that our land belong to them; killing not one, two or three, but eight of our brave men.

All we do and seem to care about is politics, politics and more politics.

At a time when all of us, Malaysians, should don our patriotism on our forehead, what do we do? We quarrel. We blame each other. We call names at our police.

We spew stupid and baseless conspiracy theories about how our government is stage-managing this incident in order to declare emergency so that a general election does not have to be called.

Over on the government side, we have talks of the Sulu bandits being invited to Sabah by the opposition. An investigation is now, apparently being launched to find out about the truth and who was behind it.

People, what has become of us? Have we become so blind; so partisan that there is no avenue at all where we all could just forget about politics for just a little while and UNITE for the sake of this country of ours?

Have we become so sick of each other that nothing could take us away from this culture of hatred?

At the very least, can’t we shut up as a mark of respect for those heroes who have fallen? For their families? For the fathers who have lost their sons? For the mothers who have sacrificed their sons? For the wives who are now widowed? For the kids who are now fatherless?

Where is our compassion? Are we not human anymore? Is partisan politics all that matter to us nowadays? Have we abandoned all civility and good conscience for the sake of politics?

All of us should be united in the face of ONE common enemy now. Instead, what are we doing?

As of right now, I am ashamed to be Malaysian.


Anonymous said...

It is not that we're obsessed with politics. We recognise the root of our hatred for each other - politics. And that root has to be uprooted and burnt to a crisp, and then crushed and allowed to fertilise the soil for a new Malaysia. Thanks for your thoughts, and angst, but they are misplaced.

Anonymous said...

Who made Malaysians this way in the 1st place...

hurricanemax said...

we are only UNITED as 1Malaysia when we play badminton finals...everything else we got brainwashed into letting politics, religion, race and even education to split us down the line. Malaysia Boleh indeed!

Anonymous said...

anonymous, i know who. It's anwar with his hate mongering politics

Anonymous said...

The hardcores in politic i believe not many. The sinners too not many. The majority r the ppl who wants to live in harmony peaceful prosper in this materialistic world...they are the decision maker.

Anonymous said...

Sorry mate but I think there is no issue of unity. We are united. In being united does not mean that we cannot criticize the terrible handling of events which lead to the needless death of our police officers. The glaring question that is on everybody's lips is where the hell is the army. Why only after 2 weeks and 8 cops dying we are sending in the troops? The cops are not trained in such warfare. It should have been a military operation from day one with air support and heavy artillery. If not to use, for show of force.
The government has failed us and only after the needless death and uproar they seem to be acting now albeit with AirAsia getting free publicity.

I am not ashamed to be Malaysian. We are united that we have ever been. We want the invaders to be dealt with and to be killed off swiftly. This is a sovereign land. This is Malaysia. Who the fuck is Sultan Sulu.

I am ashamed at how the custodians of our nation has handled it. There is a difference there.

Anonymous said...

i too do understand the objective of this event. Army should have been called in earlier. We want the invaders to be dealt with immediate effect, not prolong manner.

We are all Malaysian, we are united but we are divided by politics, this should be implemented 100% when our Premier proclaim 1 Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

Firstly I want to give compliment to many who left comments here. I'm glad not seeing fb or YouTube kind of cursing or bombardment. To an extend, I'm sad to say I agree with the author. We let all these happened. We let politic play with racism, and let it walked free, not knowing it hurts the thin trust that took longer time to build. We let racism took advantage of us thru corruption because it gave us leniency, and think that it's ok because everyone is doing that, but not knowing that we rotten the root of our socio-political value. We let our friends tag others by their skin color and not confront that. We let innocent people get locked away and we kept silent. We failed to see the power of unity, the value of democracy, because we chose the easier way out - to hate, to criticize, to complaint, instead of promoting a better country. Politicians says what ppl want to hear, and we did not stop them from thinking ways to tarnish other political party or races.. We shaped it this way... We deserve it this way...

Anonymous said...

Btw, can someone send some flowers to our police force at LD? They deserve some support from us... although our leader might not be making a good decision...

Tiger said...

Art, if you talk like that, BN fellas will tell you to get the hell out of Malaysia if you're ashamed.

Anonymous said...

I and many other Malaysians have turned cynical. We can't help it and don't trust the news from the MSM at all. We are fed enought propagandas, spins and lies since Mahathir's days.
I don't know what excatly is happening in Sabah, but I am inclined to believe that it's the 'Wag the dogs' scenario in Malaysia. Other wise why the kid glove treatment of the armed intruders. Aren't our policemen are so good at shooting parang wielding 'criminals'?

Whatever it is, the loss of lives of the security men and loss of livelihoods of the villagers are really regretble. Why don't you tell those holding power and clinging onto power have some conscince and don't make these policemen and villagers as their collateral damage in their attempt to cling onto power?

Singam said...

Art, while I understand and sympathise with your anger and frustration, we must also face the reality of what is happening.

Leave alone the fact that what is going on in Sabah was in fact brought about by the political ambitions of the incumbent.

What kind of leadership are we seeing in the face of crisis? Are the people in charge taking decisive action against the incursion or are they playing for political mileage? What can the people do in this instance? Go buy guns and book an Air Asia flight to Lahad Datu?

So people crouch over our keyboards spewing venom and conspiracy theories.

Even if the leaders were to try to rally for national unity at this time of crisis, suspicion about their hidden motives will surely plague those already disgusted by the gutter levels that politics has been reduced to.

That is the sad reality of Malaysia today.

Anonymous said...

Art, of late you sound like you have lost your sense of reason. Your logic has been threadbare. Combined, you sound like a pubescent girl which this piece of yours nicely showcases.

Why is it so hard for you to grasp that the bunch of bandits who have run this country for so long will go to any lengths to remain in power? As citizens aren't we even allowed to theorise?

I'm sure we are more united that your recent posts seem to suggest but don't act like you are the only decent one around, I don't even think you're that decent. So stop your wayang dude!

Both my folks have served in the defence ministry until retirement and if the need arises, my siblings and I will fight and you will crawl under the table! Don't think we don't feel for the cops! I would suggest you stick to what you do best, writing humourous posts.

Anonymous said...

Dear Art Harun,

Well said. I must admit that usually i find you too liberal for my taste (saya melayu totok).
But on this, I am with you 100pc.

At a time like this, we are still engaging in politics. There are dead bodies, but no, we must still score points.
I am getting sick with all this.
Everyone commenting on how it should be done. Wow, keyboard warriors.
I know this: we are so divided by politics that whatever action taken wd be the wrong one.
Had the govt authorised all-out shock and awe treatment from the get-go (as the clamor is now) and reprisal bombings happen (a not unlikely scenario), our govt will be blamed for not giving negotiations a chance.
You can't win, esp with the opposition crowd.
Saya sedih dan juga malu... Tidak ada langsung semangat kenegaraan.

radhi r

Merissa K. said...

For starters Art, I thought that the quote by Tocqueville perfectly embodies this post.

It is sad, yes. It is even more sad that based on the comments, it seems that the context and the point this post was trying to make was lost on some.

There shouldn't be any apprehension against unity. Nor should there be any need to have a reason to call out for unity. Without it, we're just a bunch of yankees disagreeing with one another, instead of a nation that we should be.

I share your sentiment. Though I can't say that I have been reduced to shame just yet. Have faith in the country and in the future, Art. More importantly, have faith in its people. There's always hope and there's always something more we can do.


Anonymous said...

Who are we? and what are we? Except for those privileged few who have to study/escape overseas, all of us, Malays, Chinese, Indian and "lain-lain" undergo the "national service" called "Ketuanization" or "BTNization" for the past 3-4 DECADES, so surprised at all the "Frankenstein"s produced so far? Welcome, we have just landed in Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

This episode clearly displays how corruption,greed and religious and racial propaganda has broken this nation.
The incumbent government have "wined n dined" for far to long. They are drunk with the nations wealth, until they do not know how to govern a nation.
Fellow comments maybe rude and at times childish, but that's the only venue to show their patriotism.If they didn't care, they wouldn't be here.
There are no opportunity for the other races to display their patriotism when all government positions are kept to a single race.
There are so many news reported bcos of the prolonged actions. If it had been swift, much less would have been spoken.And leave for time to heal.
After all this shouldn't there be change? ABU & TUKAR.

Anonymous said...

First of all, the reason why they didn't send the army in the 1st place because they need to contain the situation using the police because those intruders will be handled as criminals instead of war criminals. There's massive difference there. By sending army 1st meaning that we approved the Sultanate of Sulu and we agree to have war with them. What would happen when we arrested all of them? They will not be thrown into jails as they will be no longer a criminal. They will be a war criminal and we need something like Guantanamo Bay to place them. It's a lot complicated than just simply throw the army in so please think rationally before accusing the government don't know what they are doing.

HY said...

"It's a lot complicated than just simply throw the army in so please think rationally before accusing the government don't know what they are doing."

so y send the army now?

Senang said...

well written mate!

gudang gamers said...


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

oops.. I MEANT, ARMY!

Anonymous said...

You are right, Art. Where is the love? Finger pointing and ridicule is all I have heard.

Anonymous said...

Your earlier articulations were inspirational and represented a balanced and intelligent discourse.But sad to say this article and the one about badminton/LCW and of late you have shown that when it comes to nationalistic matters you are not able to cut it and instead become emotional just like the Malays in general.Please stop playing for a draw and get back to being the intelligent critic that we all admire.

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