Bersih 3.0 Johor Baru — Christopher Ling
APRIL 25 — Dear Johoreans,
As 428 approaches, I feel a great sense of pride to be involved in organising “Duduk Bantah” (sit-in protest) to be held on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Dataran Bandaraya, Johor Baru from 2pm to 4pm. It will be a time of celebration — celebration for freedom.
Late last night, while listening to the newly-released Bersih song “Tears of Malaysia” — “Together, let us reach for freedom peacefully ... The future of the country lies upon us” — I reflected on my involvement in the nation-building process, specifically the city-building process for the past three years.
We have done new voter registrations, voter education, PACA training and now Bersih 3.0. All was for the sake of what I treasure: Freedom. Though we are free to vote, without a free and fair election, are we really free to choose? If an election is not free and fair and clean, the results of the election will not reflect the people’s choice.
So, dear Johoreans, come out in large numbers to say: Let the people decide. Let the voice of the people be heard.
I have lived in Johor Baru since 1993. I love Johor Baru. I love the people of Johor Baru. This is the city where I settled down, bought my house.
This is the city where I planted my gardens and ate what they produced, metaphorically speaking. This is the city where I married my wife and had four daughters. I seek the peace and prosperity of the city I live in, because if it prospers, I will also prosper.
Jimmy Carter said: “My faith demands — this is not optional — my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”
The Bersih song continues: “You, you can really make a difference ... Can you see the tears in the eyes of Malaysia?”
I want to make a difference for Johor Baru.
To echo the words of Abraham Lincoln: “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.”
I’m not sure whether there’s a long way to go, but I’m sure we are on the way. I hope one day in the future, in a better and brighter Johor Baru, I will be telling my four daughters’ children, “Grandpa did something for your generation.”
* Christopher Ling is chairman of Johor People’s Action Group (JPAG) and a member of the Bersih 3.0 JB organising committee.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.