Thursday, May 3, 2012

How UMNO Failed Malaysia on 28th April 2012

May 01, 2012

MAY 1 — Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail, the Datuk Bandar of Kuala Lumpur, failed us when he forgot that he was a public servant and instead, became a servant of the ruling party of the day.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein failed us when, even after the experience of Bersih 2.0, he oversaw, as Home Minister, the unnecessary violence wreaked on an almost wholly peaceful gathering of citizens who merely were out to state their concerns over what they see as a flawed electoral process. And to rub salt into the wound, in the aftermath, Hishammuddin sought to justify the unwarranted violence.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak failed us when as Prime Minister of all Malaysians — regardless whether they support him or not — he uttered not a squeak to ensure his flock (and as citizens, we are his flock) were facilitated in gathering peacefully to voice their concerns.

The mainstream newspapers — The Star, the New Straits Times, Berita
Harian and, but of course, Utusan Malaysia — failed us yet again when they sought to justify the wrongs and entrenched their position as propagandists rather than the chroniclers of truth that they are supposed to be.

And while the police and the ruling party may want us to believe that the organisers of Bersih 3.0 also failed us, I disagree because everything that Fuad and the authorities did to prevent their citizens from gathering at Dataran Merdeka, I believe, was a formula to encourage a few hotheads to breach the barriers and they got what they wished for — an excuse to blame the organisers.

Some, like the New Straits Times, say the organisers should have taken the option of gathering at Stadium Merdeka as offered by the authorities and that would have prevented any incident. Really? Why not argue that if Fuad had allowed Dataran Merdeka as a venue, there would not have been any incidence either? But Fuad acted as if Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) — an oxymoron after Saturday’s events — is his personal turf. Why so adamant Fuad? Independence is not only yours to savour; it is ours as well.

I have never voted for the opposition parties in my life. Now, months towards retirement age, I will ashamedly say that every election that I have been eligible to vote, I blindly marked X next to the “dacing” symbol. Yes, I had my concerns about issues. But I always felt that the Barisan Nasional was the better alternative, despite its shortcomings, despite its corruption and abuse of power, despite its authoritarian ways.

But in recent years, many a time I have looked up and asked the Almighty, is this what we deserve — a choice between bad and slightly worse? When Bersih 2.0 took to the streets in July last year, I stayed away, monitoring their progress on the news portals. I believed in their cause but I was one of the many who asked what use it would be to gather like that. Nothing will change.

But, like the many who were appalled at the way our ordinary fellow citizens were herded up like cattle and bundled into Black Marias to Pulapol and who were appalled at the way the authorities and the mainstream media tried to lie to us in subsequent days that there were only 6,000 “violent” protesters, and that they arrested a quarter of them, I decided then that I would be at Bersih 3.0. I believed then that whether things changed or not, I would be there to tell this Government, this ruling party that I have supported for more than 30 years, that I, too, want them to change things.

There have been so many accounts in cyber world of “My Bersih 3.0” experience — some heart wrenching, some angry, some bitter and some, in the spirit of all the great religions of this world — Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism — urging forgiveness and asking us to move forward.
But this is what I saw.

I saw friends who had never shown an interest in politics coming with their wives and children to say they wanted free and fair elections, because rightly or wrongly, they believe that the electoral system is flawed. They were not there to be violent.

I saw in the narrow alleys cutting through to Lebuh Ampang, a group of young and old Muslims, praying as a Jemaah in their distinctive yellow T-shirts. They were not there to be violent.

I saw many mothers and their teenaged daughters; fathers holding up small children. They were not there to be violent.

I saw the normally reticent Chinese, many young people among them, taking to the streets — either in green “Stop Lynas” or yellow Bersih tees. I saw this refined old Malay gentleman, well dressed and in his 60s, holding on firmly to an equally distinguished looking Chinese gentleman of similar age, marching to show that they were friends united in a cause. I saw this elderly Chinese lady, caught by a skull-capped, bearded PAS Unit Amal, as she almost stumbled and fell while taking photographs. I heard him say: “Aunty, jaga-jaga sikit. Jangan jatuh…”

I saw the lawyer-type Indian gentlemen and ladies marching proudly, side by side their spouses and children, laughing and joking in between chanting “Hidup Bersih.” I saw them passing water bottles to those who did not have any; I saw them aiding the old; I saw them carrying the young; I saw — after such a long, long time, Malaysians who represent the spectrum of the Malaysia that should be, united in purpose.

None of them were there to be violent.

Many a time I choked up — like when they burst into the national anthem and despite the heat and the rush of bodies, trying to stand at attention. Like when they played around with the huge yellow balloon, pushing it from one to another, like a carnival. Like when I saw the children and fathers of different races looking out for each other, offering a tissue or a sweet, holding up umbrellas for the old. Like when this teenaged Chinese boy asked me: “Uncle, why you not wearing yellow?” Like when the old Kelantanese man — whom I knew not from Adam — spoke to me in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman: “Dah make? Make dulu. Lama nak tunggu.” (Have you eaten? Better eat. It’s a long wait.)

Who, I ask myself, among them was there to be violent? To whom should we pose this question?

Tell us Tan Sri Fuad. Tell us Datuk Seri Hishammuddin. Please tell us Datuk Seri Najib and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Please tell us Datuk Seri Rais Yatim because you, who once led unruly demonstrations when you were in Semangat 46, had so many mean things to say about us. Tell us Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, you who ruled us for 23 years and brooked no dissent — who among this crowd of elderly to very young, representing the 1 Malaysia you all pay lip service to, who were the violent ones out to overthrow the Government?

Perhaps there were some amongst the tens of thousands who were carried away and broke the barricades. Perhaps it’s a sign of the level of trust and confidence that people have in their Government that some believe agent provocateurs planted among the crowd started the trouble. But pray tell Datuk Seri Hishammuddin and Tan Sri Ismail Omar — what justification was there to punch, kick, tear gas and baton charge so many of us who were on our way back and were so far from the scene of the incident? Our pain and our blood are on your hands.

Barisan Nasional has not learnt from the past. They do not listen. They only want us to listen. As far as I am concerned, July 9, 2011, and April 28, 2012, made up my mind and that of my family and friends.

In a perverse way, the Barisan Nasional has achieved what it could not through its sloganeering — a growing number of Malaysians united in purpose.

That spirit, Datuk Seri Najib, you cannot break, no matter how many baton charges, how many beatings, how many tear gas canisters and how much chemical-laced water you throw at us. You know why? Because you failed us.


Nuzila said...

UMNO like any other political party has its flaws. That is for sure. As a citizen we should only have only thing in the mind, that is TO PROTECT THE SOVEREIGNITY of the country and we have to make sure who has the capability to manage that. So far only UMNO and BN manage to do that "successfully" and it is not wrong if they still manage it because Al-mighty is always there to make sure they did. PAS fails in Kelantan. Keadilan collapse because of its leadership. DAP getting greedier and selfish. Why would any citizen would want to make changes when the change is not even better than the present? If UMNO or BN has flaws, correct them by not pointing their wrongs but give them the solutions to fix the wrong. That is the responsibility of the citizen. This is not the time for changes but it is time to enhance or improvised the system for the betterment of the people. That goes for the new generation too. We have to breed a generation that has balanced in their life between herelife and afterlife. It can never be one lower than the other. It has to be balanced and that is the things that we need to focus. Just my humble thoughts.

Jeep Driver said...

It is very clear by your comments that you have totally missed the importance of power lies with the Malaysian rakyat. "PAS fails in Kelantan"; "Keadilan collapse...leadership"; and "DAP getting greedier and selfish" - all these statements are absolutely untrue. You are just like UMNO - having the symptoms of denial where the actual fact that power of the Malaysian rakyat has been taken away by a dictatorial government who does whatever it wishes with the people's money and cheating and lying its way day in and day out. If the current government continues with its current practice, Malaysia will be bankrupted very soon. Have seen the latest figures of how much Malaysia has borrowed? The figure is astounding. In addition, who in the right mind would used violence against a group of weaponless people who just want to stand up for their own rights. The acts of the current Government have reached the point, if there is no true change, our country will be no different from North Korea or Myanmar.

Anonymous said...

Kancil driver

the law already stipulated that Dataran Merdeka cannot be used for the Bersih Rally. It must therefore be a KOTOR rally. What is wrong with Stadium Merdeka?

Bersih 3.0 a challenge on govt’s will to enforce law — Dr Ongkili

.....Dr Ongkili also held the organisers of the demonstration fully responsible for the eventuality that had taken place during Saturday’s illegal gathering.

He said that the authority had declared Dataran Merdeka out of bounds in order to avoid inconveniences to businesses and city travellers, offering instead alternative sites for the peaceful demonstration. Even the High Court ratified the decision of City Hall.

“But when you have the president of Pakatan Rakyat openly urging demonstrators to storm Dataran Merdeka, we then have a bunch of leaders who are disrespectful of the law of the land and instigating supporters to openly commit offences....

Anonymous said...

Could u come to a bank to rob it and say to the staff and tell them

"Look we come in peace, we have no weapon, do not hurt us, we just want the money".

Perhaps Jeep Driver forgot that the gathering was illegal at its inception.

Anonymous said...

pada saya, nak Bersih apa lagi. Dah menang 4 negeri masih kata tak bersih. Kalau kata pilihanraya tak bersih, lepaskan kerusi ADUN dan kerusi MP masing-masing, atau bubar DUN negeri buat pilihanraya semula. Ini tak tahu malu, dok kata tak bersih tapi masih simpan kerusi DUN dan Kerusi MP.
Bikin tak serupa cakap.
Dengar, ADUN Selangor dah kecut nak buat pilihanraya serentak dengan PRU13. Dulu bukan main nak bubar DUN Perak.

Sebenarnya dah adat politik, 2 kali lima aje. Dengki mengdengki sama satu sama lain akan terus wujud. Ini memang rancangan Iblis utk pecah belahkan rakyat dan negara. Democracy sebenarnya democarazy dengan "z" ditukarkan kepada "s" cuma kita tak nampak sebab Dajjal memang bijak berbanding kebanyakkan orang.

Anonymous said...

Sebagai salah sorang anak kepada anggota polis saya ingin bersuara bagi pihak rakan2 saya..

Memang negara ini negara demokrasi tapi tak bermakna sikap puak pembangkang especially Bersih berhak memaki hamun sehingga menjatohkn maruah serta harga diri pihak polis...anda menggelarkan anggota polis sebg ANJING kerajaan...jadi siapakah kami anak2 POLIS ini...adakah kami anak2 ANJING?

Tuduhan cacian yangg tak trbatas seolah2 semua anggota Polis kaki rasuah, tak bole di percayai dan sehingga tak sanggupp saya menulis disini...

Berlinangan airmata saya bila melihat ada diantara anggota polis di pukul , di terajang seolah mereka tak punya sanak saudara dan anak2 yg menanti kepulangan mereka dari bertugas...
... Maaf...!Bersih 3.0 ini menutup pintu hati kebanyakkan kami terhadap perjuangan puak anda kerana kami telah melihat betapa rakus dan liarnya perbuatan pendemo2 itu...negara akan hancur seandainya jatoh ketangan puak YANG TAK PUNYA PERI KEMANUSIAAN ini...

Kepada ayah dan rakan2 polis ayah, saya amat berbangga dan kagum melihat kesabaran dan dedikasi anda semua dlm melaksanakn tugas menjaga keamanan negara...

InsyaAllah ayah, saya akan belajar rajin2 supaya menjadi insan yang berguna terhadap agama, bangsa dan negara , menyara hidup keluarga agar ayah tak perlu mengharungi lagi episod duka dan hina ini....

Saya tetap berbangga dengan tugas ayah sebagai anggota polis, yang sangggup menggadai nyawa demi keselamatan negara. AYAH KAU LA WIRA KU....!!

Anonymous said...

SERDANG 23 Mei - Sultan Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah menasihati pelajar universiti khususnya pelajar Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), agar tidak melibatkan diri dalam demonstrasi jalanan.

Sultan Sharafuddin yang juga Canselor UPM, bertitah demontrasi jalanan amat tidak bersesuaian dengan budaya di negara ini kerana perbuatan itu hanya mengundang pelbagai masalah kepada masyarakat.

"Adalah menjadi kebiasaan manusia apabila mereka berkumpul secara beramai-ramai dan berarak di bandar-banda raya, ia akan mencetuskan hura-hara kerana akan ada yang bertindak mengikut emosi yang tidak terkawal," titah baginda pada majlis Gemilang Akademia UPM, di sini hari ini.

Titah baginda perbuatan tersebut mendedahkan pelajar kepada tindakan undang-undang seterusnya tuduhan di mahkamah dan tindakan dibuang universiti.

"Pelajar sepatutnya menumpukan perhatian di dewan kuliah atau di perpustakaan untuk mengulang kaji pelajaran bersesuaian dengan tanggungjawab sebagai seorang pelajar universiti.

"Kita perlu ingat bahawa ramai lagi pelajar yang tidak dapat peluang untuk belajar di universiti, oleh itu janganlah dipersiakan peluang yang ada itu dan menghampakan harapan ibu bapa serta keluarga," titah baginda.

... Meskipun hasrat kerajaan memberi sedikit kelonggaran kepada pelajar universiti untuk melibatkan diri dengan politik dan berpersatuan, tetapi ia perlu dilakukan secara berhemah dengan mengambil kira kepentingan masyarakat dan mematuhi undang-undang pada setiap masa, titah baginda......