My Anthem

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Malaysia's turn for MILITARY COUP, after TURKEY?

Desi interacts wit' many Bloggers across the political divide -- here's a piece from a fellow BUMmer I call "Knot a Midnight Voiz" -- Go read more at his Blog, nothing tastes as gOod as ORIGINAL, ask Colonel at KFC! -- YL, Desi




Sunday, July 31, 2016

After Turkey military coup, Malaysia's turn?

An argument broke out over teh tarik one night at Wangsa Maju's NZ mamak shop. A friendly one between old chums.

It started out when one of the attendee passed a remark that if a military coup were to happen in Malaysia, one will not find a situation of people coming out to defend Dato' Najib as happened in Turkey.

The discussion eventually developed into a debate with the preposition: After the Turkey military coup, it will be Malaysia's turn for a military coup. An electronic engineer, mathametics professor, and a building contractor on the affirmative (or pencadang as known in school) side. A retired banker, on-vacation diplomat and architect on the negative (or pembangkang).

Losing side pay for the bill. Except that the debate was already started before a judge could be selected.

Using his deductive ability, the mathematics professor viewed that the only option left for Tun Dr Mahathir to bring Dato Najib down fast enough is through a military coup.

He failed to topple Najib via UMNO General Assembly, vote of no confidence in Parliament, and allegedly through illegally formed "Special Taskforce". He couldn't amass the million signature for his Citizens' Declaration. In fact, CD has faded and the formation of a new political party was a new story to keep his cause burning.

His call for a million political rally to call Najib's resignation will not happen. Thanks or no thanks to the red shirt, last weekend's call for rally did not happen. The referendum he called too will not even begin. There is no constitutional provision for such.

Mahathir will never get an audience to see Agong. PM does not need to block. The Malay rulers aren't interested. They cannot forget the two constitutional crises Mahathir orchestrated to curb rulers power.

If he has no patience to wait for the general election, then he will pursue a military coup. That is if he still has the cloud in the military.

The diplomat, who has some understanding of military, argued that the Malaysian military establishment is not tuned for military coup. Malaysia emulated the British system in which the military is not an independent entity.

Unlike modern Turkey that was established by a military coup led by Mustapha Kemal, Malaysian military has a constitutional leadership as symbolic head of the various military branches. The Raja-Raja Melayu are insistent on the continuity of constitutional monarchy and rakyat self-rule. A republic will end their existence anyway.

Turkish military has a history of coups because it is inscribed in their establishment to uphold a secular system of government. This give them justification to bring back order (they pereived disorder) in government.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan have been on an Islamist path since his Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power. And, the Kemalian secularist ideology military have been against it. When Erdogan was *Mayor, he was removed through a "military"-backed coup.
* Correction

Malaysia has no such precedent thus it will not happen. This invited the electronic engineer to interject.

He said past Malaysian Prime Ministers which stayed long had family members to lead the military to prevent any form of military coup from developing.

The active opposition campaign worker claimed Tunku Abdul Rahman had his nephew, Tunku Osman Tunku Mohamed Jewa as the first Malaysian Armed Forces Chief of Staff. While, Mahathir had brother-in-law, General Tan Sri Mohamed Hashim bin Mohd Ali as Chief of the Defence Forces.

Another observation he highlighted was Tun Abdul Razak never did the same but he was no example to show he cannot sustain without his man or family heading the military. But, Pak Lah and Najib were better examples.

With the Department of Justice filing and despite attempts to raise issues against DOJ and the AG, public opinion is getting more and more overwhelming, Najib's is presumed guilty in the court of public opinion, and dedak eaters' back are against the wall.

If other avenues have been exhausted, then a military coup is ripe for the taking. The engineer with years of experience in telecommunication and electronic research felt there are indications the lower ranks are no more pro-government.

Lumut parliament seat fell to opposition albeit a retired Navy Admiral. A senior lecturer at the National Defense University, Prof Dr Ariffin Omar joined DAP and is now their Vice Chairman. It is bewildering as to how a former Aliran activist could join such establishment.

Even a controversial character like Dr Ridhuan Tee is a lecturer there. Do they vet the trainers and curriculum to train future military officers?

There was silence for a while.

The contractor seek permission to add on to what was raised by the telco man. He said it will be good to have our colonel friend in the discussion so that he can give the military insight.

He said Malaysia and Turkey always get mentioned as the two most progressive Islamic countries. Would this not attract interference from outside to destabilise an Islamic country and superpowers would want to put their puppet?

Bear in mind, both Malaysia and Turkey have geo-strategic value. Malaysia is in middle of the trade route of Straits of Malacca and South China Sea. While, Turkey is the gate of Europe and Asia, the gate of Mediterranean and Black Sea, the gate of Mediterranean and Red Sea.

All the food, oil, product and navy ships of the world pass through them. For a basic idea, read this 1998 paper here on Turkey's strategic value to build on with later years political, military, trade and financial developments.

The architect disagree. Malaysia and Turkey are different. Having been there on many occasions, he said the Islamic profile of Malaysia and Turkey vastly differ.

Islam has a constitutional position in Malaysia and the Muslims are generally still practising. Turkey is only a country of Muslims but only certain part of the country practise Islam. Generally they tend to start praying in their old age.

The idea being bandied about by Malaysian Islamic activist to promote the idea of Erdogan as a new caliphates for Islam is delusional. The sentiment that brought out supporters to come out in support of Erdogan and willing to risk their life was not Islamic sentiment but Turkish nationalism.  

The Western media depicted it as fight for democrasy but that it not quite true. The role of the west is more complicated. But, this notion of rise of Islam and caliphate in Turkey as promoted by our Malaysian Islamist are hogwash.

The caliphate idea are influenced by Ikhwanul Muslimin and now being championed by ISIS is hogwash. Maybe it arise because Anwar was close with Erdogan and Anwarinas' ABIM and IKRAM could be taksub for Erdogan. The rivalry between Mahathir and Anwar may have stemmed from him being jealous of this relationship. Mahathir was never heard to acknowledged Erdogan.  

The rise of caliphate and Ottoman empire is a dreamy romanticism of the past. Brexit is too early an indication to claim the end of regional grouping of nations and the return to the individual modern nation state. Still, it is far cry from the Medievel and Renaissance era of city state which were the backbone of empires!

Lastly, Turks are secular and for all practical purposes, they are Europeans. They have not joined EU but is an important member in Nato. They have the largest armed forces in Nato. They are with Nato including US to fight ISIS.

The retired banker and now regular contributor to a media chipped in. The recent geo-political conflicts in the region has to be understood to understand the military coup. Turkey is in a perfect storm of crises, as Global Research summarised their crises are in Syria, and with EU, US, Kurds, Nato and Russia.

There are conflicting interest by siding or being together with any party. To cut it short, there is that possibility that the US could be behind the military coup. The hint lies in is how Fox News attacked Erdogan and also his supporters for reacting to the coup.

It is not so much for the French and EU reaction to call on Erdogan to respect for law and human rights in restoring order. They have always been finding reasons to prevent Turkey from joining Europe. More so with many ISIS attacks on French soil.

The electronic engineer interjected to highlight the accusation of Erdogan of breaching human rights had always been Western media propaganda.

The banker replied true or maybe not. Erdogan will need to fortify himself. That is understandable but the purge on the military could get carried away. It has happened in the past in the Middle East, where suspension of democrasy is in perpetuity and throws the country into dictatorship.

Nevertheless, there are reasons to believe the US is behind it. They have not been happy with Erdogan for taking a blind eye on ISIS. Erdogan had allegedly used ISIS to attack on Kurds and Syiah factions in Syria while at the same time cooperated with US to see Bashar Assad defeated. However Erdogan did not support the US-backed rebel fighting against Assad.

Since Russian came into Syria in the war against ISIS, they had taken a pro-Assad stance. The US got uncomfortable with Erdogan when he became friendly with Russian. The Kemalian military are pro-US. The airbase commander where US launch their attack on ISIS was taken in for participating in the coup.

A recent report from Russia Today accused a former American NATO commander was behind the coup. Macedonian Online claim Erdogan was saved by Russian.

The electronic engineer interjected again. This was a people uprising against the military. Unless there were covert operation behind, can't see how Russians are involved.

The diplomat stepped in. There was a report by BBC that claimed Erdogan had been purging the military of staunch secularist ideologists to fortify himself. He used to be overthrown by the military thus it could be pre-emptive move by him.

The BBC report did mention that the military expected another round of purging in August and a certain faction of the military felt they were affected thus reacted.

However, it is preposterous the US is involved. It was badly planned and executed. Some reports described it as amateurish. The higher hierarchy in the army was not involved.

The electronic engineer stepped in. How about the case of the Turkish dissident being protected by the Americans? He was capable of pulling a military coup from inside. He has influence with people inside police, army and government.

Banker interjected. The person we are talking about is Fethullah Gulen, the exiled liberal-inclined cleric in asylum in Pennsylvania. Gulen was together with Erdogan. So there could be internal political struggle that led to this coup.

The architect spoke to ask to return to the subject of a possible military coup in Malaysia.

Mathematics professor stepped in. By comparing the situation in Malaysia and Turkey, it can be concluded that it differs vastly. Our military people would not have collaborated with foreigners to pursue their domestic agenda.

Furthermore, the Malaysian military have no domestic political agenda. They may have personal opinion on local issues but the chain of command would not interfere in political affair.

Contractor asked: how about the possibility that US tried to interfere in our internal affair because of  our position on the 9-dash line issue with China? Maybe they wanted us to take on China like the Phillipines so they set-up a coup?

The architect replied, "Then, if that is the case, the DOJ was more a political coup or psy-op to assist Mahathir to topple Najib. Already there are questions as to how Mahathir could do it other than wait out the general election?"

Math prof pondered to ask: is it possible for Mahathir to collaborate in an American covert op? Boy, it is an upside down world. 

Consequently, there was a consensus that the connections and situation does not add up for a military coup. There is a general law that applies on military personnel as well as civilian for waging a war on the Yang Dipertuan Agong.

It is treason and if found guilty, they should be hanged. But how come the nine Lahad Datu intruders escaped with life sentence? At least, four of them should be hanged. Some judges are getting wishy washy. 

One of us shared something on several new military appointments. It strengthen further the argument a coup won't happen in the near future.

By the time the new subject to argue over, as to which side should pay, came up, the mamak waiter came over to inform that someone paid for all. A friend was waving from afar with a thumbs up sign.

* Edited 1/8 10:00 AM



Wednesday, August 03, 2016

After Turkey military coup, Malaysia's turn? (Part 2)

Monday was Hari Pahlawan or Warrior's Day to commemmurate the sacrifice of our servicemen and women in defending the nation.

We text our colonel friend a greeting with the link to the Sunday posting. Colonel was caught in a mine and lost a leg in a jungle operations near the border around 30 years ago.

Every Hari Pahlawan our gang will be reminded of a friend who died in one of the many Nuri heli crashes. He came from a poor family and was the hope of his single parent mother. It had always been a puzzle as to why he made the sacrifice for the nation when he does not have much to give?

The colonel, who was promoted from captain few years ago, replied in a serious tone:
The armed forces will not overstep it's constitutional boundary in such lunacy and grandiose undertaking.

With certainty, the armed forces pride itself in its professionalism and value the tenets of democratic country form of civil-military relationship. In layman term, that means a firm but respecting civilian control over an apolitical military.

His Majesty is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. We swore allegiance to His Majesty and we serve at his pleasure. It is therefore preposterous, even insulting to the servicemen and women; to argue that the armed forces as an institution will raise armed against HM and by extension HM government!
He explained that soldiers are trained to take orders and carry out instruction. There is not much room for discretion.

The manual limits the power of the officers at the various level thus decisions need to refer to their superior. Every action comes with the required communication and order up and down the line.

And, how is a group of soldiers to do a coup when the procedure to requisition arms for operations is a tight. This was instituted after the Al Maunah incident. To overthrow a government is a massive exercise, it requires lots of arms, equipment and vehicle. Where will they gets it?

Then he said with a sterner tone, the fact that you are writing this indicates that perhaps the armed forces may not be doing enough to DISPELLED the MYTH military could participate in such a coup.

We explained that we are writing to preempt any Malaysians from thinking along this line. So he said if you are fishing, we bite because it is necessary.

Logical as it maybe, the threat could come from those that have left the force. A friend called to express disagreement and complained our posting had no conclusion. It was intended to be so.

He went further to say the welfare of the generals and top serviceman are taken care upon retirement but there are too many rank and file to be taken off. That could start resentment against the government.

Now, yours truly was brought by a little nutty upstairs former reporter to meet a retired captain and general moe than a decade ago. In both instances, there were conversation on the subject of a coup. They said the same thing. It will not happen but one did utter the word, "I'd take a bullet for him, anytime."

Ohhh ... powerful words.

We were invited for a roti canai on Monday by an elderly gentleman, who had served and sacrificed for the nation.

In the casual chat, there were lots of reminiscing of the pasts. It was nevertheless relevant to understand and get a perspective of the present. Isn't that why we need to know history?

Then he shared many stories that would not have found it's way in the history book, or any autobiography or memoir. Some of it were shocking and dispel most of the common understanding and/or perception on event/(s) and person/(s).

He was giving the message that media and bloggers should take the effort to go down and find out what really was happening, especially in the past.

The action of a person today - good or bad, great or poor - may come about from what happenned during their childhood. His family, parents, social environment, culture, and socio-economy of the times have its influence the person's make-up.

Seek for the information beyond the quick biography of a person on RTM that typically is too good to be true.

A friend chipped in. He attended a wedding over the weekend and it striked on him when the father of the bridegroom said he agreed to the marriage for one and only one reason.

His future daughter-in-law came from a family of "orang baik-baik (good and respected people)." It is all about bloodline.

Any serious endeavour with any person requires a thorough knowledge of the background of the counterpart.

The elder gentleman went on. Historical cycle is about the past repeating itself. The cautionary message he gave was someone's psychologically scared for life could be dangerous.  

Then he went on to talk about Erdogan and Turkey.

Malaysians should not be too quick to pride ourselves when being mentioned together with Turkey. We cannot even compare to their size, population, economy, history, technological capability and military.

At the back of our mind, he may have read our latest posting. And, he asked do we know the Turkish President Teyyip Erdogan.

The west has and more so now are working overtime to depict him as a dictator. Make that comparison with other dictator or potential dictator whether he is so.

Somewhere somehow, the elderly gentleman was saying to look the other way instead of looking at a military coup to topple the government. The person saved by the military coup could be holding his own coup. Some analyst already spinning that story in the western media.

If there is any possibility of Erdogan moving to be another dictator, there is every reason to think so. He does not take a neutral position and leave the executive role to the Prime Minister as per past Presidents.

Erdogan now plan to place the military under the control of the Presidency. He already purged the military, judiciary, and government by the tens of thousand. The 11 soldiers alleged attempted assassination on him were arrested.

German court was criticised for barring him from speaking to 40,000 Turkish supporters in Cologne. He accused the West of supporting the undemocratic coup attempt. US was criticised for harbouring Gulen.

This need some history. Erdogan established the AKP after he left the Welfare Party to moved a way from their fundamentalist stance for a more moderate position to be more in tune with Turkey's secular constitution.

When AKP won a landslide victory in 2002, Gulen assume the Prime Ministership. Erdogan was still banned from politics by the judiciary. He assumed the post after court cancelled the election result of a constituency which made way for a by-election for him to win.

Erdogan and Gelen went a long way back. It could be internal rivalry.

Hassan Nafaa, a political  science professor at Cairo University wrote in Al Ahram. He felt it is too presumptous on the western media to spin Erdogan to take the dictator route. To conclude his analysis, he left it hanging:
In spite of the fact that the recent military coup marred his personal image and that of the current regime in Turkey, it has given him a new and great opportunity to change and improve that image.

Will Erdogan take advantage of this opportunity? Or will his habitual vindictive instincts and thirst for power prevail? The forthcoming weeks and months hold the answer to these questions.
So it needs a more thorough understanding of Erdogan the man.

In an article [read here] on Pentagon's 208 page study to do a psychological profiling of dictators, it is filled with descriptions such as "neurological abnormalities", "insecure, impotent, masochistic, and suicidal neurotic narcissist" to describe Hitler, "ardent nationalism" for Ho Chin Minh, "unpredictable and two-faced" for Khrushchev, "highly neurotic and unstable" for Castro, etc.

More from James Fallon MD in Psychology Today here.

In fact, the subject of Erdogan's narcissist tendency was discussed in a social engagement portal, Quora here.

If Erdogan actually orchestrate a military coup to pull off his own coup and bring about change and rebalance the geopolitics in the region, it must be a truly brilliant move. However, does it have to come at the expense of hundreds of life?

Erdogan would not have made an act to cry at his close friend's funeral. He look sincere enough when he carried the coffin of a dead supporter.

It comes down to understanding military coup.

Naunihal Singh view occurance of military coup tend to involve "states that were neither strongly authoritarian nor strongly democratic (anocracies), marked by low economic development and a past history of successful coups."

It's success has a lot to do with how confident the ranks are with the planned attempt. Any political support for a cause in less developed democrasy has a lot to do with the probability of success.

Since Napolean Bonaparte in 1799, military coup has occurred in "new states of North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa." Coup claim to be revolutionaries but seldom are. Samuel Huntington described the success of coups depends on the strength of political institutions and participation level.

An understanding of military coup in Asia can be found here.

Tun Dr Mahathir is in the midst of a coup against the government of the day. He admitted he is a dictator but claimed "people did not demonstrate against me before". Off course, it is a political statement to make him not look so bad in front of his former political enemies.

However, it is unlikely he has any known bizarre traits similar to any other dictators or up and coming dictators mentioned. As we used to describe, Mahathir was a benevolent dictator.

Prof Din Merican puts it, "Dr. Mahathir is a superb politician and an intellectual with strong work ethics. Some of us may not like his politics because of his Machiavellian streak. But we must at least acknowledge that it was the Tun who put our country on the world map."

Din went on to post here a letter from one Noramtaz Abdullah to express her amazement with Mahathir's physical development of the country.

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