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Bullying is cowardly, is this the kind of leadership our young will inherit? — May Chee Chook Ying

APRIL 19 — Read that at 3 this morning, the university students and protesters at Dataran Merdeka were attacked by 40-50 thugs. Their tents and supplies were torn down. They were both physically and verbally abused. Some women were kicked in the faces while fast asleep, many injured and one reportedly hospitalised.

No second guesses to whom these thugs are beholden to. Raiding in the middle of the night, at 3am? If they dared to flash the colour of their shirts, why didn’t they justify their actions in broad daylight? This is not the first time our courageous young people have been attacked or needed to seek medical treatment after being attacked. Is “lawlessness” acceptable by the powers-that-be but not peaceful assemblies? This is senseless!

Just yesterday, while having our evening walk, I told my husband, let’s try to go up to KL to buy our young friends some dinner. If I were their age, honestly, I wouldn’t be brave enough to “risk it all”, like what they are doing now, to make their stand. They have a right to be heard. This is supposedly the best democracy in the world. They are the future of the nation. Their dreams today will be the reality of tomorrow. And you bash them in their faces while they assemble peacefully? What were you thinking?

These bravehearts out there at Dataran could be our very own children. I cried when my eldest came back from school one day, knees bloodied, when she was in Standard 1, just staring school. Apparently someone raised the bar as she was about to jump over it during her PE lesson. There were days when she came home with rather short colour pencils when she actually went to school earlier with long ones. I shared this with some of my friends. I was just teaching across the road and could very well have gone there to tell the bully off. My friends told me to hold my horses. My girl needed to fight her own battles. I subscribed to this till my youngest. Some bullies are monsters! They think they need to denigrate you till you fall into depression. They think they “win” when your every dignity is stripped for all to see.

And do you think these bullies actually fight their own battles? Of, course not. They use “hired hands”. Those stupid enough to believe the tales they spin. Those stupid enough to be outraged by the lies they are told. Or in this case at the Dataran, those perhaps paid to do what they do best. Thuggery, and nothing else!

From what I read, the police present stood by, watched and took videos. I try very hard to respect those who are supposed to maintain law and order. I do try. In fact, I do pity them for what they have to resort to, to make ends meet. I think of the amount of money I have to fork out for my kids’ tuition and I ask myself, with their pay, how can their kids pay for these extra lessons? My son used to say that he daren’t tell his friends how much his father’s salary was.

But this is not acceptable. Even if your own beat up a defenceless person into a pulp and you stood by, not doing anything, I think it’s double whammy! You are supposed to protect the public and those students are your public. Their parents pay your salary and are your paymasters. Those thugs are breaking the law. Aren’t you supposed to bring them in? Those police who were on duty at 3 this morning at Dataran must be hauled in themselves! They have been negligent in performing their duty! What if those injured were their own kids? Funny, haha, is it now?

By throwing every obstacle at our young when they try to express themselves peacefully, the powers-that-be, let me tell you this — you are not going to win their hearts or minds. They will be hardened and disillusioned. I just hope, not bitter!

To those bravehearts out there at Dataran: Thank you for being so brave, for trying to make a difference. I do hope your injuries are not too serious and your spirits dampened. Do not let those goons put a stop to your cause. You know you have a right to be heard. You know you are stakeholders in this country, one whose direction you will be responsible for, soon in the near future. Learn, and do not do to others what you do not want to be done to you. Continue to be brave, continue to be positive, continue to fight for others, even if not for yourselves.

Touch your hearts and know that the Almighty is with you every step of the way. The truth will prevail. Justice will see the light of day. Be part of that light that will illuminate the path of this beloved country. One, whose hope rests on you.

May God bless you all and those lovely people who gave birth to you.

* May Chee Chook Ying 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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