Who Have Looked At
Death In The Eye
In A Foxhole
“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
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."
| Chin Peng's ashes and 'Heil Hitler!' salutes by Kua Kia Soong
| Thursday, November 28, 2019
|Cessation of Hostilities(Click on image to read the fine print)|
Malaysiakini : LETTER | One would have
thought that the return of Chin Peng’s ashes to his homeland would have
led to a sigh of relief that there is finally closure to our turbulent
anti-colonial history and perhaps some reflection leading to
reconciliation for all who have suffered tragically during the
Instead, Bukit Aman CID director Huzir
Mohamed has said that the police are investigating the group who had
reportedly brought in the remains of former Communist Party of Malaya
(CPM) secretary-general Chin Peng from Thailand to Malaysia.
it looks as though Chin Peng’s ashes are being treated like contraband
drugs, the possession of which could make the possessors liable to
this recent “storm in an urn” has been going on in West Malaysia, we
read another report that a graduating student at the convocation ceremony of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), had given a “Heil Hitler” salute during the ceremony. Despite such a blatant salute to
fascism, it appears that this student received none of the reprimands accorded the Universiti of Malaya graduate who had carried a placard calling for the vice-chancellor to resign for racism. The graduate at
UMS, known only as "Ibn Ruru" justified the salute by claiming
solidarity with the plight of the Palestinians against the Israeli
establishment, and venting his anger towards the Jewish people.
is interesting that these two news items should appear in the same week
given that Chin Peng was centrally involved with the anti-fascist and
anti-colonial struggles that led to our independence in 1957. Did we not
fight the Japanese fascists who were in the Axis with Hitler’s
Germany? One wonders what Malaysian students are taught today in
schools and universities about fascism, Nazism and World War II that
cost so many lives and resources. Who among our past leaders can we say
sacrificed more in the struggle against Japanese fascism and British
Today, we have forgiven the Japanese and our
prime minister is the main proponent of the "Look East Policy". The
leaders of post-colonial Malaysia never had any problems with the
British anyway - independence was handed to the Alliance on a plate even
though the British colonial power had sapped our workers and resources
dry by then. Forgiveness is indeed taught in all
religions but our nation’s leaders maintain that Chin Peng and the CPM
cannot be forgiven for their past actions during the Emergency. It is
clear, however, that these leaders are certainly capable of selective
forgiveness. Let us put all this into perspective.
the 12-year Emergency when the CPM was waging a war against British
colonialism, a total of 3,945 security forces, 2,473 civilians and 6,697
insurgents were killed. Because of this record, it is argued, Chin Peng
and the CPM he led cannot be forgiven. Now, how does this compare with
the casualties of the Japanese occupation?
Japanese Occupation of Malaya, more than 100,000 Malayans (mainly
Chinese) were killed in the three years between 1942 and 1945. The
Japanese killed 5000 Chinese in an operation called “Sook Qing” in just
one month in February 1942 in Singapore. During the three years of
occupation, 66,000 people were killed in Singapore.
atrocities committed in the name of Japanese fascism during the
Occupation left an indelible mark on those Malayans who suffered the
terror of those dark years. And yet we are, quite rightly, prepared to
forgive and reconcile with the Japanese even though their authorities
have not formally recanted for their fascist and imperialist actions as
the Germans have.
Do our history books extol the
patriotic role of Chin Peng and the CPM during the struggle against
Japanese expansionist aggression during World War II? The CPM-organised
Malayan Peoples’ Anti-Japanese Army was decorated by the British queen
in London after the war, but their contributions have not been
acknowledged in our own country. How’s that? And how do our school
textbooks portray this part of our history? All over the
world, the progressive democratic alliances were the true patriots who
fought against German and Japanese fascism during World War II. Can we
name any of our independence leaders who distinguished themselves during
that effort to liberate our country from Japanese occupation?
“History must not be written with bias,
Both sides should be given,
Even if there is only one side…”
nation’s leaders say that the CPM’s insurrection against British
colonialism was wrong but what alternative strategy did the Alliance
have to liberate the country from colonial exploitation? Do they believe
that independence could have been won without the insurrection against
British colonial power?
My research at the British
archives shows that the Malayan Emergency was essential for securing
western economic, political and military-strategic interests. With this
aim in mind, it was the British High Commissioner who had initiated an
“Alliance” formula between the Malay aristocracy and non-Malay
capitalist interests which led to the post-colonial status quo.
colonial strategy against the CPM and the workers’ movement can be seen
in the fact that the Emergency was declared by the British colonial
power in June 1948, while the CPM only launched their armed struggle in
December 1948. Against 10,000 Malayan National Liberation Army
regulars, the colonial power arraigned 40,000 British Commonwealth
troops; 70,000 armed police; 300,000 Home guards, “including aircraft,
artillery and naval support…perhaps the largest armed force in
proportion to population ever used in a colonial war.”
Short (UM lecturer, later Aberdeen University) was commissioned to
write the official history of the Emergency but his work was rejected by
the Malayan Government. Why?
Bukit Kepong was
screened by the BN government at every election before 2018, but where
is Mat Indera in the film when he was the Malay CPM leader who led the
assault on the police station at Bukit Kepong? This telling fact was
exposed by none other than the present Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu
when he was in the opposition previously.
The rest, as
they say, is history. The task for us reflective Malaysians is to
painstakingly record the contributions of all true, progressive
Malaysians who have contributed to our blessed homeland. Let Chin Peng
rest in peace while we continue our struggle against racism and fascism
in the world today. As the British Poet Laureate John Betjeman put it so
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 5:45 PM