An open letter to Tunku Abdul Aziz — Jo-Kuan Yee
MAY 6 — Dear Tunku Abdul Aziz,
No doubt not everyone who was there near Dataran that day is a supporter of clean and fair elections by peaceful means, some were thinking along more aggressive means, and some were just hooligans. However, even if there were hooligans in the crowds, that does not take away our right to assemble peacefully in protest of any issue that we see is not right, which is protected by the highest law of this land, the Constitution.
Did we break any laws by gather peacefully near Dataran? I don’t think so. Peaceful assembly does not break any laws even the hastily passed Peaceful Assembly Act, and definitely not the Constitution. You condemn the violence and damage done on that day — and so do we, as committed by any party. But you seem to just focus on us and not on the gross brutality of the authorities against us.
I am not a member of any political party or a social activist, but just an ordinary citizen of Malaysia who earns an honest living and faithfully pays my taxes. I follow closely the issue of the electoral system and proposed reforms, but what has actually been done was very disappointing. Don’t you agree with me?
I was outraged to discover that the actual amendments to the Election Offences Act not only just ignored the PSC’s recommendations (not to mention the minority report), but also makes the election process even less transparent. Further was the revelation that both the Election Commission chairman and deputy are Umno members. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back in convincing me to make the final decision to join the Bersih 3.0 rally together with my wife, and it was our first time participating in such an event.
Dear Tunku, as a senator denominated by the Penang government into the Upper house, why didn’t you speak on our behalf to the authorities to allow us to gather peacefully in Dataran Merdeka? Just as Penang citizens gathered in Speaker’s Square, it was totally peaceful when the police were doing their rightful duties in controlling the traffic and monitoring the safety of the participants, instead of acting violently against citizens. Why didn’t you as a senator speak on our behalf?
We really respected you as an ex-TI chairman who has spoken out on many issues concerning good governance. But now, as a senator, do you speak on our behalf and on the pressing issue of transparency in the electoral process? The views and position you have taken this time have made us very disappointed.
Dear senator, I hope you are reading my open letter to you. Finally, although we may have been beaten up, tear-gassed, misunderstood and condemned, whatever the case, the pressing issue still remains. We, as the people of Malaysia, spoke out loudly on April 28, all over the world, and we still hope that you will speak on our behalf as a senator pressing for real reforms to the electoral process, so that it may be a clean, just and truly transparent process, so that we as voters, can truly choose the people’s representatives whom we prefer and the government that we prefer in this coming 13th General Election of Malaysia.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.