Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Let's make sure July 9 won't be an anti-climax

Written by Iskandar Dzulkarnain, Malaysia Chronicle

Isn’t it a wonder, how God works in mysterious ways? Hostility against the Bersih Rally has proven to be a trying incident for the Government Of Malaysia and for the Rakyat (citizens). Everyone was anticipating dreaded repercussions that July 9 would turn out to be an anti-climax. And to the delight of Malaysians, it has become a win, win, lose incident.

Bersih won as the King had recognized the existence of Bersih2.0 and it can no longer be deemed illegal. His Majesty’s agreement to an audience with Bersih to present its grouses is widely seen as a sign of recognition. Unless, we have missed something, Bersih can no longer be termed illegal and neither can the Bersih Rally be termed as an illegal rally.

The people have also won, as Bersih’s message has resounded across the nation and has reached the ears of many Malaysians. This latest development is also seen as positive because it has allowed the Rakyat to avoid an ugly confrontation with the hostile forces led by the government and its henchmen. Now Malaysians need not fear wearing Yellow or marching to the Stadium to show support. Or they should not have to, because the reality is that arrests are still going on.

Soul searching

The Government has a lot of soul searching to do. They have to ask themselves whether they have won the battle but lost the war? Now, that ‘Bersih’ is recognized by the Government and invited to hold the rally at a stadium of their choice, from morning till midnight as Najib puts it, it is a welcome relief for the people, and a slap in the face for all those who tried so hard to aggravate the Bersih Rally.

As the fear of arrests dissipate, calmness has returned to the nation’s capital and even more of the Rakyat may pluck up the courage to attend the Rally in a show of support.

As hundreds of thousands are expected to turn up, there is no way that the stadium will be able to accommodate so many cars. Most Malaysians may have to park a few kilometres away from the stadium, and take a slow march all dressed in yellow to attend the rally. Without any fear of arrests, the word should be passed around to show support for Bersih. I bet most people would not have to walk far, as the crowd of yellow swells with marchers from all directions. Two kilometres away from the stadium, a traffic jam of humans will be formed as a sea of bodies converge to form a slow bottleneck.

To be on the safe side, only wear yellow on the day of the Rally as a show of respect to our understanding authorities. We do not want to raise any undue tensions leading to D-Day. Now that the threat has passed, and tensions have cooled, let’s not try to rock the boat. We should thank the authorities for acceding to our demands to hold the rally. It also means that the memorandum will be presented to the King. It also means that our nation’s leaders have acknowledged our concern that something serious must be done to reform our electoral role.

Above expectations

Seriously, this is beyond Bersih’s wildest dream and expectation. Now the Rakyat can hold the rally in a controlled environment without any threat of violence and bloodshed. There will also be no chop, chop here, chop, chop there, or flying kicks everywhere as Silat Lincah and Perkasa will be ordered to stand down. And with the giant loudspeakers at the stadium turned on full volume, the Rakyat can take part in triumph, while those outside the stadium listen in interest.

Should the government do a sudden U-turn to declare the wearing of yellow apparel as illegal, Bersih can still make a last minute announcement the day before, to ask all activists and supporters to wear Orange or any other colour it sees fit.

Rightfully, Bersih should be thankful it is now free to dispense its message legally and lawfully. But the awful joke is that even Prime Minister Najib Razak does not know if Bersih should now be lawful or unlawfu. And the arrests are still continuing and yellow t-shirts still illegal.

Even so, despite the fumble in being overly eager to bow to authority, there is absolutely no excuse for us not to lend support to Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections.

Just that we have enough enemies, let's not be too proud and make more. Lie low and let's see each other on that wonderful day. Your honorary presence will make or break this nation. So make sure You Be There!

- Malaysia Chronicle

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