Side Views

7,605 steps to freedom — May Chee

JAN 13 — My husband wears a pedometer whenever he walks.  It read 5500 when we left KLCC and 13105 when we stepped on the grass at the Stadium Merdeka. That meant he executed 7605 steps following the route taken by the Himpunan Kebankgitan Rakyat leaders leaving from KLCC. 

As usual, we enjoyed the camaraderie prevalent in such rallies. People we met in the washroom in KLCC remembered us during the march to the stadium. They were from Terengganu, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, etc, from every nook and cranny of Malaysia. Just fantastic! Though the crowd was made up mostly of our Malay brothers and sisters, I believe there was more than adequate representation from the whole of Malaysia. 

Clearly, from the banter we had all along the way, was this clarion call for Change. Ubahlah, Kali inilah, Undur BN, Undur Isa Samad and all accompanying chants pointedly showed Malaysians need and yearn for Change. As Ambiga rightfully reiterated, “This is it”, Change must come now. 

BN has been given the mandate for more than 55 years to govern the peninsula and almost 50 years, Sabah and Sarawak. The land flowing with milk and honey they promised has since been inhabited solely by themselves and their ilk, leaving many others living in subhuman conditions. This is unacceptable. We were a blessed nation with vast resources. There’s no reason why some of us are expected to be resigned to a fate so cruel and not one of our own making but that of our corrupted and greedy leaders. 

The exploitation, oppression and political repression by our modern-day overseers, mouthing reforms just smack of plain hypocrisy on their part. They behave as if they are an alien authority, flogging the common rakyat for more and more. Their greed knows no bounds. Stupidity, too, if they think they can continue in their avaricious ways. 

Our education system is in disarray. The schools are nurseries for racism and our local graduates, unemployable. Institutions meant to uphold justice and to protect the masses have been rendered impotent. Mind-boggling, massive illicit outflows. Poison unwanted elsewhere was brought in to pollute our air and water which soon, will make zombies of our people and lit up like Christmas trees. Biting the hand that feeds you as in the case of Felda. Funds like LTAT, EPF and others being whimsically used or abused by those in power without a thought for their contributors. Daylight robbery, more like it. I would call all these bad calls a betrayal of our trust. 

Should we still put up with all the above and a whole lot more? I concur with Wong Tack when he said, “Enough is enough!” A new change of government may not instantly bring back a land flowing with milk and honey but at least we can avoid one with radioactivity in the air, cyanide in the water, forests wiped out, oil wells dried out, a bankrupted nation destined for oblivion! Am I saying that the government in waiting can and will do no wrong? No, but like Dr D Jeyakumar of PSM said, we must continue to “pantau” our elected leaders as power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We must learn to be actively involved in the making of our own history and not allow others especially the ones we have seen so far, to impose their will on us. We will direct our own destiny. 

We know what the present government has done to us. We know for sure they are incapable of change, after all, didn’t some of them say, we don’t need change. We need and must have change. Vote in the same government and we’ll go down the same road. We have to cross to the other shore. We can’t do this alone but we can accomplish it if we are together; if we are one. 

As PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang has pointed out, the 4 states ruled by the Opposition so far have done a lot better than their predecessors. If that’s anything to go by, shouldn’t we give them the mandate to rule the nation for the next term? Do we look like we have any other alternative? The PR de facto leader has admitted there’s room for improvement and has pledged that a PR federal government will have zero tolerance for corruption or any attempt to plunder the people’s wealth. We will hold him to his pledge. If he doesn’t, Mama Bersih will deep-fry him for sure! 

The series of Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat rallies culminated with one in the Stadium Merdeka, an iconic reminder of our independence and our first liberation. DAP Secretary-General, Lim Guan Eng was smart enough to remind the crowd of the freedoms we should have and need as a free people. To be rightfully accorded the dignity of a free person, I couldn’t agree with him more when he said we should be free of BN. That’s the first step; to be free of the devil we know. 

It’s time to leaven our bread. We must rise to a new life. We were given a new lease of life by our founding fathers. Somehow along the way, our destiny was hijacked by the devil we know. Our Malaysian identity was supposed to be that impenetrable rock, that somehow allowed itself to be wounded for so long but now from its wounds, a new life pours forth. A life without the devil we know; one with hope. 

I, for one, will place my hopes on those who have experienced the desert of their lives while being incarcerated than the devil we know who roamed free to plunder. I believe during such times, apparently so empty, they would have delved into the depths of their souls. If they are at all the people they want us to believe that they are, and if their hearts and generosity had remained intact then, I believe, they will set us forth on the way to freedom. I believe the Almighty would not abandon those who seek freedom for their brothers and sisters for salvation is not the washing of souls but the restoration of the human person in all dimensions – a total liberation of the human person. 

Ito was spot-on in delivering his songs on Change and Unity. We can’t lose if we have both of that. We will triumph. There’s hope as National Laureate, A. Samad Said, now in his 80’s, opined for he  finally saw in that sea of humanity in Stadium Merdeka”s KL 112, a sea of souls. How can we not beat the devil we know? 

Last but not least, kudos to those who enabled the rally to be peaceful. PDRM — I’ve not lost faith in you. Thank you for sticking to your guns (no pun intended) and not execute any measures that your conscience would have condemned. 

Thank you and God Bless.

* May Chee reads The Malaysian Insider

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.


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