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:
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.