Side Views

A lack of sincerity is what pisses off city folks — Stephen Ng

April 25, 2012

APRIL 25 — I had half expected that this would develop, despite the Najib administration promising that the Bersih 3.0 sit-in protest could go on. 

The prime minister will not allow civil society’s push for democracy to topple his government under Barisan Nasional for the past 55 years. Frankly, since Bersih 2.0 on July 9, Najib Razak has not learnt his lesson from history that no government that continues to fight the people will last long.

Whatever happens on Saturday will cost his government a big price. Two things I wish to remind Najib Razak and his men:

— That if the government continues to fight civil society, it will no last very long

— That if the civilians are treated with brutality or arrested, or charged in court, as threatened, it will create more anger amongst the people. Each of us has a network of at least 100 people around us. People like Ambiga Sreenevasan or Pak Samad Ismail would have thousands of supporters. You touch anyone, it will have a multiplying effect that will never be matched by even the biggest tsunami!

Although I was not involved in Bersih 1.0 or Bersih 2.0, I was watching the news and making my own assessments. The time has come for me to go down to the ground with my fellow Malaysians to push for democracy. I can see that the momentum built for Bersih 3.0 is sufficient to cause a political earthquake in the 13th General Election, given that the Bersih demonstration in 2007 merely caused a political tsunami.

What I read of late has pissed me off over the way in which the Kuala Lumpur Datuk Bandar, Fuad Ismail, has conducted his duty. Sheer arrogance and a lack of sincerity is the style that we see so often in our civil servants and their political masters.

If previously it was the police that behaved thuggishly, this time I believe it will be City Hall officers behaving like they are the bosses. The Datuk Bandar should realise that although 1.9 million urban citizens may not participate in this Saturday’s Bersih 3.0, the people are watching the way things are developing.

It is time for Fuad to learn who his bosses are at the end of the day. He should also read the book on Bersih 2.0, as compiled by the Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee, to realise how fellow Malaysians have risen up as one. This is something that Najib, Muhyiddin and Hishammuddin will not be able to fight.

As the saying go, if you cannot fight, ask for a truce. But this is not the way the Najib administration appears to be responding to civilian pressure. On Saturday, it is not the terrorists who will be going down to the ground. It is the rich, the poor, the learned, the educated, the professionals, from all walks of life.

Making their decision independently, I know of at least five people who are planning to go to Dataran Merdeka. Each person is angry at the way the BN Government treated its people in the 709 Bersih demonstration. They are all professionals, and one has a good career, and at least three of them have homes in Sierra Mas and Valencia. Most of us will be going down to the ground for the first time.

My wife just told me that at her office, a big group of people have decided to also show up. From the forum organised by Tindak Malaysia on “How Clean will the 13th General Election be?” last night, I can feel the pulse and the anger of the people.

The people are simply angry at the BN administration, which has overstayed its welcome for far too long. People are angry at the way corruption has worked its way into all strata of government departments. People see how RM240 million is being given out to a family with no experience in raising cattle, only to be used to purchase luxury condominiums.

People are also angry at the way young Malaysians like Teoh Beng Hock ended up dead, at the hands of an agency that is supposed to fight high-level corruption cases like the NFC, PKFZ, Perwaja, MAS, Bank Bumiputra and so on. Instead, MACC went after the Selangor mentri besar for donating cattle to his constituents for Korban.

I am sure even within government agencies there are hundreds of thousands of fellow Malaysians who have seen through the hypocrisy of their leaders, whose promotion depended mainly on their links with their political masters. This alone is sufficient for them to lend their support to Bersih 3.0. It will come to a point in time that even the civil servants will join the rest of Malaysia to push for clean and fair elections.

This is what Najib should realise after using the hardliner’s approach on Bersih 1.0 and Bersih 2.0. The more the people of this country suffer at his hands, the faster it is that the BN Government will be toppled. None of us, who are pro-Bersih citizens, even talk about toppling the BN Government, except to push for cleaner and fairer elections.

Give us a clean and fair election, and clean up the electoral roll of some three million doubtful voters — and we, and I am sure Ambiga, Pak Samad, Maria, Chin Huat, will back off, since you refuse Dataran Merdeka, owned by Malaysians, as our assembly point.

It is the insincerity of the Najib administration that pisses me off, from the day I have been monitoring the Bersih news. Stop playing a game of tug-of-war, and admit that the electoral roll needs a lot of cleaning up. If you lose, lose with dignity.

Najib, remember, you are only an elected leader of the government! We will show you who we are — the BOSSES!

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.