No amount of rallies and street protests will bring about reform as that will require greater effort, including the public demanding a higher standard from the government, say political analysts.
Commenting on the upcoming Bersih 5 rally, which some have said is pointless as no changes have come about even with the massive turnout last year, the analysts pointed out that rallies are only meant to magnify and educate the public on the issues that need to be addressed.
“Bersih 5 for example is a platform to unite those who are unhappy with the current administration under Prime Minister Najib Razak,” independent analyst Khoo Kay Peng said.
“It brings attention to issues the public are not happy with, such as the electoral, governance and corruption issues, among others
“But at the end of the day, the public has to understand that a change can only happen if it comes from them. They have to vote or else, even with Bersih 6 to 10, they would be useless,” Khoo added.
A survey conducted by Selangor’s think tank Institute Darul Ehsan (IDE) last month, showed that only 45 per cent of the respondents believed peaceful assemblies, such as Bersih 5, are the answer if the people want to push for any resolution to the 1MDB scandal and related issues that have been plaguing the country for the past two years.
The survey also showed that 33 per cent of the 1,761 people polled said “No”, while 22 per cent are unsure.
A street poll FMT conducted around the city centre earlier this month also saw many youths expressing disappointment over the lack of results produced by the countless number of rallies held in the past.
This prompted a response from Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah who said change doesn’t come quickly, but that the public should not lose hope as yet.
“The public has to understand that no politician can save them, and that only they can save themselves. If they want change, then they have to fight for it,” Khoo said.
“If they, especially the dominant race, the Malays, don’t vote (for reforms), I’m going to be frank, nothing is going to happen.
“The majority must demand for something better and tell those governing that we want a higher standard. If you don’t deliver, we are going to vote you out.”
Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak, the head of the Political, Security and International Affairs Council with the National Council of Professors, agreed.
He however, said that the public is perhaps tired of the excessive politics in the country in general.
“So, we have to do what is necessary and ensure we do not go overboard as the people just want to move on with their lives.
“They have to overcome all sorts of day-to-day obstacles like the rising cost of living. So, although rallies may be an important platform to voice out public concerns, don’t go to the point where we further burden the Rakyat,” Mustafa said.
Bersih 5 is set to take place on Nov 19. Among the demands this time around are institutional and electoral reforms, as well as Najib’s resignation.
Nawar Firdaws@FMT Reporters Online