Tuesday, 1 September 2015

National Day not disrespected

Brave New World (The Star)
2 September 2015

At midnight sharp, after everybody at Bersih 4 sang the national anthem and shouted ‘Merdeka’ with gusto, they left.


THE first thing that has to be noted about the Bersih 4 rally last weekend is how peaceful it was and how lacking in unpleasantness.
I have no idea how many people were there over the two days, but let’s just take a conservative estimate of 100,000 people.
Out of this huge (and very possibly even bigger) crowd, there were a few cases of food poisoning (allegedly from contaminated soft drinks), one broken ankle and one chap with heart palpitations.
A few people tried to break the police barriers into Dataran Merdeka, but it was said that they were stopped by the chairperson of Bersih, hardly the most Amazonian of women. That was easy, then.
And a couple of miscreants set off fireworks, but no one was hurt and the crowd did not panic.
Seriously, you would probably get more trouble from a school football match. So, let’s put to rest any idea that Bersih participants are troublemakers.
Right, so if they were not out to cause damage and hurt, what could possibly have been their agenda?
According to the Chairperson of the Advisory Board to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, its purpose was for Chinese Malaysians to offend Malay Malaysians by disrespecting National Day celebrations. Malays are sensitive about National Day celebrations, unlike the Chinese, he says.
Gosh, just when you thought Malays couldn’t be even more sensitive than they already are, one more thing is added to the list.
This one is quite funny, actually.
It reflects a total bankruptcy in ideas and logic. It is true that the participants were mainly Chinese, but not by any stretch of the imagination were the participants mono-ethnic in their make-up.
I wonder whether the gentleman thinks that the thousands of Malays, orang asli, Indians and who knows what else there were also out to offend Malays. Besides, at midnight sharp, after everybody sang the national anthem with tremendous gusto and shouted “Merdeka” with an equal amount of gusto, everybody left; leaving Dataran Merdeka all ready for the official National Day celebrations, which I gather went off without a hitch.
How then was the National Day disrespected?
But old Anglophiles are not the only ones who paint the national day celebrations as some poor victim of these nasty yellow-clad folk.

{The passages in red was removed by The Star}

There was a bunch of UMNO types who gathered at the Dataran on Sunday to ensure the national anthem was sung at midnight. You can feel their distress that this was not going to happen because of the horrid Bersih folk. These sensitive people need not have worried, the National Anthem was sung, and it was sung with genuine passion and hope.

The ugly head of racism has also popped up just as I expected, because those who oppose Bersih have zero ideas.
They use racially charged language to make accusations with no evidence and no proof.
They are using that old colonial weapon of trying to sow divisions based on ethnicities because that is all their little brains can come up with.
Maybe it might work on the bigoted and misinformed, but it doesn’t work on those who were willing to come down to the streets on Aug 29 and Aug 30.
It surely does not work on the Chinese boys who stood around their Muslim friends who were in prayer on the road, directing participants to give them space to conduct their worship peacefully.
Seriously, where is the proof that Bersih has some racist agenda?
Clean elections, clean government, a right to dissent, improvement of the economy and protecting parliamentary democracy are things which the entire nation needs.
That is what Bersih and the scores of thousands of people in Kuala Lumpur and all over the world were asking for.
Show me one shred of evidence that there is some hidden conspiracy afoot.
They can’t because there isn’t any.

The powers that be and their proxies can fling as many accusations that they want. They can be disparaging and they can insult. They can pass stupid laws banning the colour yellow to be worn. They can threaten arrests. They can do all of these things and more. What they can’t do is stop the people of Malaysia any more. They can’t stop us for demanding that our country be fixed because right now things are rotten. They can’t stop us because there are too many of us.

1 comment:

cakapaje said...

Continuing from your last para: And there'll be many more.