Hornbill Unleashed

November 6, 2014

Time for a youthful cure to Malaysia’s chronic un-democracy

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Hazlan Zakaria

To the point of pushing the seditious envelope, here I stand advocating revolution. A call to arms for Malaysia’s young, to rabble-rouse and bring forth change in power.

Guided as I was by an unlikely ditty, a patriotic song from the mists of childhood memory:
“Putra Putri negara jaya
Bersatu berpadu tenaga
Padamu harapannya bangsa
Seandai cita-cita

Putra Putri sejati mulia
Kota bandar desa sepasti
Padamu harapan dewi suci
Bakti jasa jiwamu
Menegakkan nusa
Mendirikan bangsa
Putra Putri dewi
Cekal gagah berani”
The lyrics to Putra Putri, a classic patriotic melody. Produced by RTM, a rousing number to galvanise the young. Calling the putra (princes) and putri (princesses) of the land (race-neutral as it were), to work towards a better outcome.
But fitting perhaps to the now, a call to action if you will. A direction for the reawakened youths, in a Malaysia with a need for urgent change.
A call for revolution, to brave the tides of sedition. To sing the song of defiance and force the hand of would be tyrants.
To replace the pedantic plodding grasping ancient holdovers, with the dynamic youthful change agent in more democratic flavour.
For indeed Malaysia as it is now, lies enshrouded in chronic un-democratic stupor. A nation being run to ground by lackadaisical dinosaurs.
A diagnosis most succinct, in the face of all the stupidities and ridiculous statements that old-rule by the one party-run ruling coalition have wrought and continue to wring.
In this I was inspired, or perhaps reminded by the roar that was heard, though belated.
The mass and charge that punched through ivory tower gates, of the alma mater from which both my parents are graduates.
As dedicated bodies moved with the zeal and ardour, the massed student-ry at the gates of Universiti Malaya.
As the charge of their courage broke the chains, the symbolic prison which their universities became.
An echo twice heard, thrice blessed and four times looked out for, at a time when our land suffers under chronic un-democratic terrors.
Just as their predecessors did when the cries from Baling brought tears down the cheeks of students.
The echoes of injustice and rakyat’s fate, like hope resounds in the beat of marching student feet.
But perhaps it’s easier to borrow the words of Sean Penn, in his rendition of Joe Wilson in the movie Fair Game and his delivery of the famous “privilege few” soliloquy scene.
For my cheap words is perhaps not currency enough to buy the dear sacrifice of the young, to do which I am so brazenly calling upon them.
So I borrowed these famous lines, from the movie which depicted a husband and wife and how the braved persecution to expose the cover-ups behind the US pretext to invade Iraq.
As Penn’s character recounted the “offence that was committed … was committed against you. All of you”.
For while in our context only one popular figure is on trial that seems to matter nowadays, the real victims of potential manipulation of justice are not only him but us and all of us.
“If that makes you angry or feel misrepresented, do something about it,” continued Penn’s character.
And as he had regaled, democracy like the American republic, is left in the safekeeping of the rakyat and its survival depends entirely on their continuing efforts to keep it.
“The responsibility of a country is not in the hands of a privileged few. We are strong and we are free from tyranny as long as each one of us remember his or her duty as a citizen.
“Whether it’s to report a pothole at the top of your street, or lies in a State of The Union Address, speak out! Ask those questions. Demand that truth.”
In our case, just because you are not blue-blooded, ruling-party-born or electorate anointed means not that your voice has no meaning, for that same principled compass that guides all conscience exists in all of us, just as is enshrined our democratic rights.
And as he continued, “democracy is not a free ride … but this is where we live. And if we do our job, this is where our children will live”.
With that ladies and gentlemen is the clarion call for which I hope we all will stand. For the future is truly not only invested in the young, but are the product of their actions as well.
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