The Fight is on, yet we are still sleeping...

It'd been a rather busy/ interesting week for politicians, activists and the concerned rakyat. If you still don't know what's going on, I think you'd better go douse yourself with cold water and read the news here:


BERSIH rally

There was the BERSIH (Coalition for Clean & Fair Elections) rally on Saturday where the people marched from Dataran Merdeka to Istana Negara to successfully hand over the memorandum to the Agung's representative. The list of participating Opposition parties and NGOs can be found here.

There have been a lot of contradictions to what was reported in the mainstream media and the non-mainstream media. I wasn't able to be there, but the pictures tell the truth. Contrary to the number of people IGP Musa Hassan put as 4,000 as reported in The Star; >40,000 people actually took to the streets.

Abdullah "Pantang dicabar" Badawi is panicking; he said "many ordinary folk opposed the street protest as it caused them much inconvenience." It's true... many of the ordinary folk (mostly apathetic Malaysians) do oppose the protest (my friend called me from KL just to complain about, what else? the JAM!!), but it's an undeniable fact that many of the ordinary folk (lawyers and rakyat alike) are also angry at the state of the judiciary and government and demand for a clean and fair election!

You want the majority to rise, we give you the biggest march in a decade! Pak Lah/ Nazri, are the protestors still the "minority" now as you see them?

Photo courtesy of Seng Keat

More photos here.

One very intriguing post from twsim on the apathetic state of Chinese Malaysians, which I very much agree with. When other people rallied in the streets, did you just laugh at them, say they have nothing better to do to oppose the government, shrug off the matter or don't even know the cause of what's happening? Then you must have been sound asleep.

Forum on Judicial Crisis

On Friday, a public forum on the judicial crisis in Malaysia was held at the Sunway Hotel, Penang. I was there. The whole thing was rather low-key, I must say. There were no posters put up, no sign at the hotel lobby, and I only got to know about it via SMS. Even downstairs, the hallway seemed remarkably silent as someone quickly ushered us into a hall filled with some 200-300 people. I guess the people coming-going at the Macalister Road food stalls were even more. Again, most people in Penang are likely still asleep or clubbing at the Garage.

Anwar Ibrahim at the podium

It was the first time I saw Anwar Ibrahim in person. Indeed, he's an enigmatic speaker. Yet, I was not convinced by his speech after some discussion with my friend. Did Keadilan present us with any alternative to fight the judicial rot? Any alternative policy to vote for the forthcoming election? Is it really true that there will be no race-based politics if the Opposition comes to power? All of this he cleverly skipped, as any wily politician could.

It was also the very first time I saw a wily politician make his escape ala Tony Leung in Lust, Caution style. Halfway through the Q&A session, Sim Tze Tzin suddenly took hold of the mic and said to the audience, "Sorry, Datuk Seri has another program in Bayan Lepas", and Anwar literally leaped off the stage, after a quick handshake with Rajendra. Then he said, "Sorry, I'm also very busy, bye!" and also made a quick dart for the door, much to the amusement of the crowd. The crowd dispersed smoothly after that.

Bangsa Malaysia

The 2nd Malam Bangsa Malaysia was held at Dewan Sri Pinang last Saturday. SK was the one who invited me to attend, and Chean Chung further encouraged it. I was glad I did. It was a great eye-opener to see and know that there are actually people out there committed to fighting for the Malaysian people, for our sake.

Afterwards we signed our names on this poster

Some random thoughts. After getting over the initial shock of walking into a room filled with people whom I didn't know, I got a second surprise to see that most of them were middle-aged, or old! Where were the youths and young working adults? True to say there were a few, but for a mere 10 amongst 100, it was suffice to say there was a genuine lack of youngsters. One former headmaster/pastor (I forgot what..) stepped up during the Q&A session to voice his thoughts. The old Indian gentleman spoke, at the same time holding a walking stick, his legs wobbling, and his glasses thicker than my car windscreen, but he spoke with so much eloquence, and so fervently with a sharp mind, that my ears burnt red and I felt so ashamed at that very moment that my love for this country was not more than him. (Some photos of the speakers and participants that night.)

A speaker brought up a Malaysian mentality. He said many of us are more than willing to give out our IC number in all sorts of contest forms, but are more than reluctant to sign our IC on any petition that would be handed to the government. How true this is! How can anything change for the better if we are not willing to step up to bear responsibility on our words and actions?

Haris Ibrahim also brought up the Project Irrelevant. That very night, I practised Project Irrelevant when I filled up an appliance warranty form. I felt proud to do that.

Religion: Irrelevant
Race: Malaysian

During dinner, we were invited to watch a 30-minute clip on a short movie directed by a young, talented man Fahmi Reza, titled 10 tahun sebelum Merdeka. Watch it on Youtube. It's one of the biggest conspiracy in Malaysia, by UMNO, about how our independence came to be, something that is now being removed from our high school Sejarah books.

The talented Fahmi Reza and his labour of love

When I was in primary school, I always thought that it is a crime for people to openly ask for other people to vote for the Opposition. In fact, it is not a crime. It is even more less a crime for us to go out to the streets and hold peaceful demonstrations to ask for a clean and fair election.

If you are not a registered voter, please go and register yourself. Else, do not complain.

If you are not in favour of how the government is handling the country and the people and can no longer stand the stupidity and arrogance of our wakil rakyat, go to the polls and vote for the opposition! Else, do not complain.

If you feel that by your one-person strength you are helpless and can do nothing, educate your friends by blogging, writing, and talking about it. Else, do not complain.

Fellow friends and Malaysians, let's not sleep anymore. The least you can do is, read and VOTE in the coming elections.


Chen Jie@陈杰 said…
do u ask DSAI what is his alternative???
Xweing said…
Yeap, somebody from the floor asked but DSAI dodged the question.
pik lay said…
panjangnya post ni...
家勤 said…
i did the passport system for Nigeria ,Senegal,Cambodia and etc.

None of it required to state "Religion" and "Race" in their system.

How come Malaysia as a country more developed than them required such thing ?

I really agree with the Irrelevant Project ~!
YSLim said…
in malaysia, we stated religion and race in order to clarify more details...

if you look at the statistic of crime, for sure it stated how many people in this race involved in this crime and etc...

as the citizen wish to know it.

some countries doesnt implemented it is because they are majority from the same race or religion,
it doesnt have any need to differenciate the race.
SK said…
It's time for us to walk the talk, people.

If you haven't registered as a voter, do it as soon as possible, exercise your democracy rights, otherwise, stop complaining as we've too much of losers around us.

As for the project irrelevant, the next time you fill in ANY form, put in IRRELEVANT for BANGSA and AGAMA. If you're compelled to state yours, you may want to get them to mention to you which part of our constitutional that mention about the BANGSA and AGAMA.

Stand firm on what you believe in, after-all, if we're not going to save this country, who will? Or are you expecting others to do the favor on your behalf?

That's loser.
dr. stan said…
im gonna vote BN
Xweing said…
yslim, i can understand from ur pov that v need to know the race in the face of crime. something like csi. "suspected homicide. white eurasian male in his 40s."

but religion is a personal choice. do v need 2 know whether the fella is a christian, buddhist, muslim, scientologist to commit the crime?

and neither do we need those kind of statistic in our SPM form, JPA form, drivers license, appliance warranty form, election form... ETC ETC ETC
Mira M said…
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree.

I agree with the whole "Bangsa Malaysia" sentiment. But to do away with information fields "gender, ethnicity, religion" is akin to erasing your identity. I understand that the aim of Project Irrelevant is to deal with discrimination. But why do we need to sacrifice our identity absolutely?

The human race is made up of diversity. We are different from one another because that is who we are. This shouldn't be the creed to support "anti-discriminatory" stance. With or without filling in those fields, people will still discriminate each other.

What should be the point of address is the discrimination itself. By rejecting the importance of the information, you are allowing discrimination to thrive. Look at it in a different perspective. You want to fight for equal rights - insist on equal rights for your identity, not by hiding them. You're right - religion is a personal choice. So insist on it. Be proud of it.

There are many reasons why information such as "gender, ethnicity, religion" need to be included. Because at the end of the day, you need to insist on fairness and equality. You need to be politically-correct. Details like these are important for identification. Even in the UK, a population made up of a mix of ethnicities, ranging from the Caucasians to blacks to Asian-Indians to British-Indians to Anglo-Chinese and etc... we still need to fill in the "gender, ethnicity, religion" fields when we apply for jobs, fill in our National Insurance Number forms, bank forms and such. Because over here, they are trying to discourage discrimination at workplaces, education centres and etc. They take into account everyone's different cultural background. Not everybody's religion allow certain medical procedures to take place. Also, in events such as death, these details help support the identification process. It also helps nailing down crimes such as identity-thefts or bank frauds.

Project Irrelevant should focus on making discrimination irrelevant in a society, not making a person's identity irrelevant through and through.
weixuan said…
nice post, xweing.

dr. stan,

I think the stand here is for us to go to vote, not who we vote (as long as we believe in whoever we do decide to vote).


I think you misunderstood the core of this project Irrelevent.

I mean, why on earth do I need to provide my religion/race for a warranty form/work application/phone line application? Is different services going to be provided based on that information? Am I getting two years warranty instead of three if I'm a Malay/Christian? As you can see, it is quite irrelevant.

sex/race/religion in general census is a whole different issue.
Mira said…

You could be right.

But I didn't misunderstand anything, though. I think you missed my point.

As a matter of fact, if you are getting unfair services because the information that you provided are being used against you, then you have solid reasons to back your claims that you are being discriminated.

But if you put in "Irrelevant", yet you are still being discriminated anyway, what do you have left to back your claims with?

It's not just for the sake of census. Please think of the bigger picture. In any case, we agree to disagree.
xoxo said…
Amazingly written :)
And Mira, I like your point! But xweing, I couldn't disagree with u.
I'd say, it's all up to the individual how he/she wants to fill up any darn forms :p

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