Side Views

Why am I not surprised? — Shanker

JULY 6 — So, the Home Minister remains adamant that Bersih is an illegal outfit, notwithstanding that the highest Ruler in the land has implied his acquiescence by meeting with Bersih representatives yesterday.

Sigh … what else can we say about Umno that hasn’t been said already? The whole world has taken flight at an unimaginable rate in this 21st century; changes are happening all around the globe — just witness Thailand’s maturity in the democratic process …

And yet our Umno boys think they can run this country ala some caveman attitude from the Ice Age — “Me Tarzan, you Jane. Listen to what Tarzan say, or Tarzan thump you with Tarzan stick”.

But why should we be surprised, eh? The stakes are pretty high; for Umno to accommodate a two-party system after 54 years of power is like asking Al Capone to start selling cendol instead of moonshine. Their tongue is simply too addicted to the lustful delicacy that power is.

So, when an Umno minister like Hishamuddin proclaims Bersih as illegal, it means more than just posturing for “security” reasons. It means they would do whatever it takes to avoid being held accountable for all their misdeeds over the past three decades.

Thus, you can bet your bottom ringgit that if it suits Hisham and company, then they would declare a coconut illegal just to save their skin.

What Hisham and Umno need to realise is that Bersih is symbolic; the coming together of NGOs as Bersih is not so much in the forming of an entity, as it is a collective representation of the people’s aspirations — WE WANT CLEAN ELECTIONS, GET IT?

And for how long are you going to try and contain that? How long would you go on illegitimatising our vision for a better country and a better future? How long will you demonise our requests for a fair, transparent and just system?

The T-shirts, the posters, the rally — those are just symbols. But what they represent are our aspirations. Aspirations of people like YB Michael Jayakumar, who pay their taxes and fight for the poor and the downtrodden. They don’t ask for the spotlight or photo op moments in newspapers. They don’t wish to make fancy overseas trips on the back of taxpayers’ money and then mouth off to others to tighten their belts. And for such aspirations, these folks are placed under incarceration. Nama je Malaysia, tapi politik — ikut model Myanmar …

So remember Hisham, Bersih is about the people’s aspirations.

And for how long are you going to declare that illegal?

* Shanker 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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