BERSIH is Malay for clean.
On Saturday, a number of rakyat (citizens) made their voice heard. The King has seen their heartcry, and the government has been given a solemn warning that the present generation are not to be taken lightly.
1. I had read the memorandum some months ago, and very impressed by suggestions and I think they are very valid and, more importantly, doable steps that can be taken to restore the credibility of the Election Committee and the electoral system.
2. Despite the fact that my mother nearly missed her bus back to Penang on Saturday due to the traffic jams (I getting ready to ask who should I refer to to get a bus ticket refund if we missed it), I’m happy for the outcome of BERSIH’s rally. That the King was willing to receive the memorandum from His people, is a glimmer of hope that there could be reforms, initiated not by the Prime Minister, but by the Sovereign of the country Himself.
3. I’m impressed by the planning done for the rally, right down to the 500cc superbike pillioned by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to break through the traffic jam to reach the palace gates on time.
4. Its funny to read of the government now fully utilising the mainstream media to condemn the rally and label 40,000 people braving heavy rain and police action, chemical sprays and tear gasses to pursue something they believe in, a political gimmick (The Star, 12Nov2007, page 2).
Dear government, if it is a political gimmick, wouldn’t you agree, they are surely outdoing your gimmicks (like sending an astronaut to space! Haha!)? There is no smoke without fire. The opposition parties are one thing, but to get over 70 non-governmental bodies to cooperate with them, is not an easy thing to do. Obviously they have good reason to support the rally.
The government has just proven its iron claw on mainstream media (read free speech) in its response through and the content in it (mainstream media).
5. It’s a fantastic feeling to see many Malaysians saying Daulat Tuanku!, showing that people have not given up hope on their King, or given in to the idea of a puppet King.
6. Its wonderful to see a good number of non-governmental bodies, including the opposition, identifying issues of common benefit to the people, like the importance of clean elections, and setting aside differences to pursue it wholeheartedly. If only this could be trend in many issues, where constitutional adherence, as well as common and civil good takes first (and only?) place, then the opposition would be able to form a credible alternative to the ruling coalition, and give the people real sense of security when voting against the ruling coalition.
7. Watching some of the videos, I found the crowd to be quite rowdy indeed. Angry, incensed, verbal abuse of the police and government. It could quite easily have been a very violent encounter. Don’t blame all the violence on the police.
The civil disobedience displayed was not quite the stuff we would have seen Ghandi practice.
8. With the ‘success’ of BERSIH’s rally, we must ask ourselves how far are we willing to make civil disobedience a Malaysian way?
Does this rally become the precedence for all future unhappiness?
Fuel prices are going to be raised soon. What colour should we wear this time?
9. It’ll be interesting to know how many of the numbers that appeared, actually know what the memorandum contained? More interestingly, how many were really interested in governmental reform and understood the implications of the reforms on themselves? Eg, if the new government is sworn in and bumiputera priviledges are reduced (in accordance to constitution), how many of the 40,000 would say “Long live the government”?
10. The rally eventually adopted a very Muslim flavour to it, with the shouts of Allahu Akbar quite pronounced. Its no surprise however, as many of the protesters were Malays, but I wonder if Lim Kit Siang also echoed their hails? I’ve nothing against the Muslims in this regard, after all we have all learnt to tolerate the five-times-daily prayers at mosques, but seeing this is supposed to be a rakyats’ rally, I’m not very comfortable with the resulting Muslim taste to the BERSIH rally.
11. Today we hear the cries of Daulat Tuanku! because we still have hope. Would we be saying the same thing if His Royal Highness, after reading the petition, does not do anything? We need to decide on our response. We have now put ourselves in the hands of the Malaysia’s Sovreign. Do we accept the Sovreign decree, or turn against Him as well and continue protesting?
12. The winds of change have come, be prepared for a new government, here are just two possibilities we must be prepared for:
a. Foreign investment may slow down, as investors may withold funds as the wait and see the stability and outcome of the first government change in the history of independent Malaysia
b. If the new government inherits huge debts, further fuel subsidies may be cut, resulting in higher fuel prices
c. The opposition parties have NEVER been able to totally agree on a political manifesto because of their extremely diverse objectives. There is no indication of change in this area in the recent months nor years, and there is no guarantee that things will be better, let alone the same, if the opposition gets into power.
d. If the King decrees the implementation of the points outlined in the memorandum, and the ruling coalition still wins, are we ready to accept the fact, or shall we go on another rally?
13. The country is far from being BERSIH, and Saturday was a start, but I wouldn’t want Saturday to be a trend.
Christians, be reminded. Whatever reforms we succeed in making, will never usher in the Millenial Kingdom. As long as the government is being run by men and women with a sinful nature, there will be results of that same nature, corruption, injustice, selfishness, etc…
True national peace and properity on earth will only be realized when the Lord Jesus comes to reign on the earth for a thousand years, and the false ‘holy grail’ called democracy is done away with and replaced by the monarchy of the King of kings, and Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Come Lord Jesus!