Side Views

The real Bersih 3.0 — Gomen Man

April 29, 2012

APRIL 29 — A word of caution to the people who run Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider: there is an operation by paid hacks to flood your portals with seemingly “constructive” opinions about Bersih 3.0 and how this event was hijacked by Anwar Ibrahim, blah blah.

Some will even write how Malaysia’s democracy is truly alive and how Barisan Nasional is not the enemy.

Let us get some facts straight. More than 100,000 Malaysians from all walks of life turned out yesterday to call for free and fair elections. Old, young, rich, poor, the works.

Among them were supporters of political parties, and within this group were those who were probably itching for some action. The large majority of Malaysians dispersed and were shocked when tear gas canisters were aimed at them without any provocation.

Was this the strategy of hidden hands?

I don’t know but it does seem odd when the FRU fires tear gas at people who are going home or whose path to public transportation has been blocked off. The fact The Star and NST are showing only pictures of the overturned police car should tell you volumes of the hidden hands.

The vast majority came to show solidarity with those calling for free elections. These people understand that MALAYSIA IS NOT A WORKING DEMOCRACY when the foundation of any democracy — elections — is being subverted through the padding up of the electoral roll. And now we learn that the two most senior members of the Election Commission are Umno members.

That is like telling me that the gatekeepers of the country’s treasury are members of a gang of thieves. As long as the value of the vote is diminished through cheating and the award of identification documents to migrant workers, Malaysia cannot be a working democracy.

I would imagine that many of those who turned up yesterday are against corruption, cronyism, abuse of power, demonisation of religions, narrowing of space for freedom of worship, lack of judicial independence, etc.

If Barisan Nasional stands for all the above and defends the status quo, is it still correct to say that “Barisan Nasional is not the enemy” ?

In the days ahead, there will be a campaign of spin by the government. But those who attended Bersih 3.0 know why they attended and that tremendous feeling of solidarity.

* Gomen Man reads The Malaysian Insider.

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