Friday, July 15, 2011

Yellow broom to sweep thieves

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad failed to see that the July 9 march was about Malaysians against political thieves.
Asked to comment about Bersih 2.0 prior to the rally, Mahathir said, “I hope that it is not a clash between the Malays and the non-Malays.
“The Malays with the government and the non-Malays with Bersih. And also, it should not be Muslims against non-Muslims. That is the danger in Malaysia. You play that game, you will divide people. You divide people and then there will be no peace in the country.”
This is a subject that Mahathir is an expert in; these are the tactics he used to divide and destroy Malaysia.
However, in Bersih 2.0′s case, Mahathir was wrong. Malaysians were united behind the call for free, fair and clean elections. It was not a fight between Malays and non-Malays.
It had nothing to do with Islam versus Christianity or other faiths. Bersih’s eight-point plan for electoral reform does not distinguish between race, religion or social class.
The former PM is only protecting his privileged existence and shielding all the secrets of the acquisition of his wealth when he ruled Malaysia. He insulted both the Malays and the non-Malays when he said that Malays will clash with the non-Malays in Bersih 2.0.
Mahathir cannot even understand what it means to be Malay so how can he even understand what it is like to be truly democratic?
Malaysia is careering straight into a political upheaval. When Bersih 2.0 called for free, fair and clean elections, Umno and its sympathisers, which included the extremist group Perkasa, panicked and went into overdrive.

Umno/BN running scared
Umno/BN’s fears over the “Walk for Democracy” resulted in a security clampdown with blockades and multiple arrests, and as expected the police came down hard on the protesters.
Like the first Bersih rally of 2007, the peaceful march was sabotaged when the police used baton charges, water cannons laced with chemical and tear gas on the crowd.
Perkasa’s leader, Ibrahim Ali, had suggested another calamity similar to the May 13 racial riots. He will probably like to cause amok and bloodbath, fighting till the last to protect Putrajaya.
Whilst Ibrahim’s remarks were not considered seditious by the government, those of Bersih 2.0 and others, who only championed democratic calls for reform, were said to be highly inflammatory. In addition, the colour yellow was banned.
Umno is fearful of losing its privileged existence. They are afraid that the end of their 54 years of unchallenged rule is finally at hand. We have been complacent and allowed these political thugs to remain in power, because we have been an apathetic nation with our “tidak-apa” (don’t care) attitude.

Najib’s miscalculation will cost him
The desperate Najib and his Cabinet enlisted the help of the King to advise against street protests, ostensibly to head off a racial bloodbath. Najib also made an offer to Bersih 2.0 to hold its planned march in a stadium of its choice. But this also came to nought as Najib back-tracked on his earlier deal.
In addition, Bersih was deemed an illegal organisation and its leaders barred from entering the city. So, instead of making the King look like the saviour of a tense situation, Najib left His Majesty with mud on his face.
Najib’s rash decisions will cost him dear, this time. He miscalculated. Perhaps the colour yellow is the one that befits him.
The security forces must also understand that Bersih 2.0′s fight, is their fight as well.
The rakyat is angry about cronyism, corruption, nepotism, the use of race and religion to divide us, the spiraling fuel and food prices, the use of smear tactics to discredit people, the non-transparent way contracts are awarded for public projects and the waste of taxpayers’ money.
The police and army need to know that only a few of them at the top benefit from Umno’s largesse. If the system is built on a fair and equal foundation, then more of them will be able to benefit from the increased funding made available because of the reduction in the diversion of money to Umno and its cronies.
So when Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi warned that the army is prepared to preserve the peace, we wondered if the army will act against the rakyat, who only wanted a peaceful march to defend the country against political thieves.
All that Malaysians, including the army and police, desire are free, fair and clean elections.

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