Side Views

Bersih 3.0 Down Under — Mary O’Donovan

APRIL 27 — As the Australian girl who organised Bersih 2.0 in my hometown of Brisbane, Australia; I have sat back and watched the discussion about Bersih 3.0 with great scepticism.

Among my reasons for taking a step back, I told everyone that my studies must take precedence as I am in my final semester at law school. I told the Australian organisers that I thought it was better to have a Malaysian at the forefront of Brisbane’s Bersih 3.0.

Although this was all true, I think my reasons for taking a step back ran deeper. I couldn’t help but feel cynical about all of us coming together again, when no results conducive to change became readily apparent last time.

What will be different this time, what difference did all that time and energy I put into 2.0 make? Perhaps I feel a bit jaded. Did anything change at all with the world coming together to denounce the government’s actions the last time? I began to question if Bersih was ever going to make change happen?

Fortunately, not everyone else has given up hope. Fortunately, not everyone else thought we wouldn’t be heard. Fortunately, many people believe that we must keep moving forward until these changes become apparent.

I don’t know why, but something happened this morning that made me realise that I mustn’t give up hope for my Malaysian friends. I wasn’t sure if it was the realisation that the Malaysian government will continue to be corrupt until they realise they will be held accountable for their actions. Or perhaps it was the realisation that as a whole, we, both Malaysians and non-Malaysians alike, must continue to come together until these changes sought are implemented.

My decision has been made; I shall go to Brisbane tomorrow and support my Malaysian friends who are desperate to see changes in their homeland; because for me the reasons Bersih 2.0 occurred were ignored and I still believe in the process of democracy and the inherent rights afforded to me as a person.

But more importantly, I believe that coming together as one tomorrow will show the world and the Malaysian government that although changes are not readily forthcoming, I shall not give up until I am heard.

* Mary O’Donovan reads The Malaysian Insider.

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

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