Bersih’s demand for clean, free and fair elections is proving to be too ‘demanding’ for the government. Members of the community, who disagree with the need for Bersih 5, must understand that if the proper channels for lodging complaints about governance and democracy had been open, there would have been no need for the Bersih rallies.
Opposition MPs have their hands tied, and they are thwarted at every attempt to introduce institutional reforms. Umno MPs do nothing, as they would rather not change the status quo. It is precisely for these reasons, that the people will set the agenda for change. Their voices will be heard, in Bersih 5.
Some of you may think that the quest for democracy is an overnight process. Others, tire of going on marches with no tangible results. Bersih 5 is about our demands for clean, free and fair elections. Nothing wrong with that is there?
People of other countries have taken decades to oust their corrupt regimes. Citizens were tortured, killed and subjected to a climate of fear, like the people of Poland, Tunisia, South Africa, or Burma.
You need to ask yourself this: “Why are the authorities fearful of the Bersih 5 march? Why have the Red Shirts been set loose on the streets, harassing and harming people just because Bersih has demanded clean, free and fair elections?”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is right about “1Malaysia” but the irony is that his slogan is uniting us against corruption, injustice and abuse of power.
You may wonder why Maria Chin Abdullah, her family and the organisers of Bersih have received death threats and some have had mock images of decapitations sent to their phones.
These messages were designed to scare them, but it has only increased their resolve and ours too.
Decades of indoctrination have damaged the mindsets of many Malaysians. The process can be undone, but the work has to start now.
Some of us feel so helpless, that we think corruption is here to stay, that no amount of highlighting or protesting will help. Others have been so deeply indoctrinated, that they think that a bit of corruption is acceptable. Wrong!
In Bersih 2, the government tried to entice Bersih to assemble in a stadium, knowing full well that the stadium management would disagree, thus causing disarray, because there would be insufficient time to organise another venue for the Bersih march.
In Bersih 3, the authorities accused the Opposition of collaborating with pro-communist sympathisers to topple the government. They arrested several members of Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM), for wearing Che Guevara t-shirts. This was considered “proof” that it was an attempted coup. This vain attempt to stop the march failed.
In Bersih 4, the use of the race card to disunite Malaysians and dissuade them from attending the rally, failed.
This year, for Bersih 5, the religious card was invoked. Last Friday’s sermons warned Muslims that attending Bersih would expose them to extremist and liberal ideas. How low can Jakim stoop, to spread the government propaganda throughout the mosques?
In overseas locations, many students will be apprehensive about joining the Bersih march. It is well known that the government intimidates Malaysian students, and Special Branch operatives masquerade as mature students, to snoop at events, and note the more dissident voices among the student population.
The irony is that these students also realise that they are Malaysia’s future. The stand they make today, will help shape the Malaysia of tomorrow. They can determine the path this country takes.
Law graduate and former student leader, JoFan once defended the student population and said, “…to the Special Branch, we are doing this not to lower the image of our country, but to show the world how much we love and care about this beautiful country we call home.
“We gather because it is our duty to speak up. If not us, then who?
“If not now, then when?
“We gather because we want a better Malaysia. And more so as students, because we are fighting for our future.”
Source : Mariam Mokhtar@The Heat Malaysia Online