Tuesday, July 05, 2011

My thoughts exactly...

I think all Malaysians are aware of the political riot that will occur this coming Saturday, July 9.
What do you think of this "Bersih"? Will it help? Or is it just an excuse to create chaos?

Two sides of the story that I learn.

One side, said that this "Bersih" is nonsense because they are questioning what was agreed by the Malays, Chinese and Indians during the 50s or 60s (my history is really bad, sorry)...which are the official language of Malaysia (Bahasa Malaysia), the official religion of Malaysia (Islam), the special rights of Malays as the original citizens and also the power of the king and sultans, and they also agreed to NEVER questioned those four things. So, basically this side of people think that "Bersih" is breaking the agreement.

Another side said that it's time for a change, which is "Bersih". They said that those agreement was made during the time of independence day and it's been more than 50 years, so they want equal rights with the Malays.

So, which is right and which is wrong?
I won't say any of it is right or wrong because both sides are right and also wrong in their own ways.

Because this first statement, they just worried that if they grant equal rights, people will start questioning about religion rights, language rights, King and Sultans rights. I won't say that it is wrong to be worried, I mean this is Malaysia, and this is what resembles Malaysia, some people from the "Bersih" side are trying too hard to change Malaysia into Singapore. Like English as the main language, no azan from the mosque, etc...I mean, what the hell? No one said that you MUST speak Malay to every single bloody person. You don't see the Japanese, Italian, French, German, or even Vietnamese questioning their official language, right?
As for religion matter...if you don't like the azan...then why on earth you decided to move 5 feet away from the mosque in the first place?
So basically, yes, I understand why the first side wants to worry.

As for the second side, I won't say that they are wrong either. I mean, yes, they have been part of Malaysia and practically helped to improve Malaysia's standard of living all these years as well.
So, I understand if they want some equal rights as Malaysians. They will probably feel like their hard works in helping to develop the country are not being appreciated.
I totally get it.

HOWEVER...I think what about to occur this Saturday...will bring nothing but trouble to the country.
Because if you want your message to come across...you need to leave them with positive reaction. What's going on right now is leaving a negative impact to the unity of the society.
Again, I believe I mentioned this quite a few times already.
This thing happen when people don't know how to respect each other. They only want to argue and do illegal assembly and pin points all the things that they don't like without any effective solutions.
Seriously, there's a solution to all puzzles...but this riot is not the solution.

Even if the government grant what "Bersih" demands...I'm sure there will always be someone who wants more and more and more and more...
Tolerance and Respect...two things that need to be thought to Malaysians.
Maybe I should suggest to the Ministry of Education to include a new subject focusing JUST ON THAT MATTER in schools.

*photo from Tumblr


Ahmad Aliff Yusof said...

I commend you on your natural stance. But actually why some Malays are pissed off because non Malays are starting to ask ridiculous things. Non Malays always asking for equality in the country. The main reason is that they want the Malay to compete with them on level playing field. They said that the current government policy is lavishing the Malay people at the expense of non Malays. But non Malays with all due respect, they are not realizing that the Malay don't want to compete at the first place since independence. Meritocracy is not part of Malay culture, and the non Malays failed to understand that. From my general observation, the current generation non Malays want to protest the government, because they are sick of the inequality that they feel. However, some Malays also sick of them because they refuse to speak Malay language, refuse to understand Malay culture, refuse to accept Islamic tradition which binds our culture, reject Jawi script, only speaking to their own race, having more Western name than Asian name. Malays are very charitable people, you go to their (old Malay) house, they'll serve you something. The 9th of July will be join mostly by Malays, not fighting for equal rights, but politicians and citizens to topple the government. I'm always neutral in my stance, but I don't think Bersih 2.0 is a great idea to make your ideas heard. In fact, it creates more division among us, which the young, passionate, but stupid generation of today don't bother to care

Wani said...

yeah. I hate anything that will cost road blocks and traffic jam...and kinda sad that some Malaysians (including Malays) are ashamed to speak Malay language. I mean, I met a family of Chinese-Indonesian family and they speak Indonesian to each other...NOT Chinese. Even the little ones, I bet they're not even 7...and they are speaking in Indonesian. Which I admire very much.

dongui_1 said...

Hi Wani,
1st of all, I'm impressed that you are able to speak your mind on issues that the government of the day call "isu-isu sensitif" and TABOO (hence shouldn't be discussed at all!).

I think this is the first step to understanding and then dispersing any misunderstanding between the different groups in our country

Then again, I'm also dumbfounded that you think that BERSIH is what you think it is: to fight for equal rights of non malays (??). It is in fact a fight for FREE and FAIR ELECTIONS in Malaysia. I was- like you- quite skeptical about BERSIH's motives and all.

Here's my story:
I came to korea through an internship programme to work 1 year with a Korean company. I've never quite bothered about Bersih until the launch of BERSIH 2.0 in KL. First I saw the opposition leaders, I was thinking "Yet another opposition event!", then I saw the other people I hardly recognized, people from Sisters of Islam, SUARAM, and of course, Pak Samad. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw A. Samad Said, our sasterawan negara, endorsing this program. It struck me then, that the leaders of BERSIH are all NOT from PKR, DAP or PAS, they are a collection of lawyers, human rights activists, artists, doctors, professors and ordinary people... A Samad Said always reminded me of the poem we learnt in Tingkatan 1 or 2- "The Dead Crow". Curious, I started reading articles explaining what BERSIH really is about. What it wants are basically FREE and FAIR Elections! Not hak rakyat Xbumi, or any agama-related issues! It is very clear that the support cut across all social and racial barriers. Malays, Chinese and Indians support this. You know why? Because the demands are non-partisan. Meaning it's APOLITICAL. Why wouldn't a fair government support the 8 demands below?



You tell me, HOW is this list bad? If you would like to know more on WHY the 8 demands should be fulfilled, i can sit down and patiently tell you, one-by-one, the reasons as to why we need them. Take number 1), did you know that we still have 170 year old pak ciks who are "alive" and voting? That is why we need to clean the electoral roll and implement automatic voter registration.
If these demands are fulfilled, it doesn't mean the government will be toppled. It doesn't mean the opposition will come into power. It CERTAINLY doesn't mean that the country will cease to recognize the Malays special rights and the basic rights of other citizens.

dongui_1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dongui_1 said...

It took me awhile, but I'm finally part of the BERSIH effort in Korea. Funny how things turn out, that the 2 organizers here plus myself, are from different backgrounds. Alfian and Thency are from a human rights NGO based in Korea called the "May 18" foundation. I'm just an intern here. We're all so different, yet this cause has brought us together. From this, I TRULY feel like there's hope for unity in our country. By coincidence or, if you will, by fate, three of us have different skin colours: Malay, Chinese and Indian. All of us young Malaysians wanting a better future for our country. All 3 of us standing together against unfair treatment by the people who walk the corridors of power. We have to ask ourselves.. Hendaklah kita tanya sesama sendiri: "WHY shouldn't the government give us fair elections?" "Mengapakah kerajaan tidak mahu pilihanraya yang lebih telus dan adil?
I look forward to a future of Malaysia where the rakyat TRUST their election commission to do their job FAIRLY, where the rakyat TRUST that each of their votes won't be lost in a flawed and unjust electoral system.

If you want I can recommend some good writers: One of my favourites is Din Merican.

I end this with Pak Samad's puisi: Unggun Bersih

Semakin lara kita didera bara -
kita laungkan juga pesan merdeka:
Demokrasi sebenderang mentari
sehasrat hajat semurni harga diri.

Lama resah kita - demokrasi luka;
lama duka kita - demokrasi lara.
Demokrasi yang angkuh, kita cemuhi;
suara bebas yang utuh, kita idami!

Dua abad lalu Sam Adams berseru:
(di Boston dijirus teh ke laut biru):
Tak diperlu gempita sorak yang gebu,
diperlu hanya unggun api yang syahdu.

Kini menyalalah unggun sakti itu;
kini merebaklah nyala unggun itu.

Thanks for hearing me out :)

Ahmad Aliff Yusof, I disagree that BERSIH is to grab political power. Please refer to my comment above :). In this BERSIH movement, the protection of Malay special rights/equal rights for non-malays is NOT the issue. We just want free and fair elections. Did you know that the SPR promised to look into the original BERSIH demands in 2008 but "mungkir janji"?
Did they clean the electoral roll to get rid of 160 year old "people" who are still in the SPR system? NO
Did they look into providing indelible ink during voting? NO
They did NONE of the things BERSIH 1.0 asked for.
BERSIH sat down and talked with them for 2 years. And in 2010, when SPR still berdegil untuk implement these very basic changes, the committee decided that it's time to take things to the next level (peaceful demonstrations). I can talk more on why peaceful demonstrations are essential in a healthy democracy like US, UK, even KOREA, but I think I should stop here :).
Here's a good article explaining why civil disobedience is required in a healthy democracy.
Hope you understand where I'm coming from in my argument. Thanks!

Wani said...

Well, thanks for such long comments. But you must understand the very first thing...what I wrote here, is based on the opinions on both party. I don't write my views from what I read from the newspaper or from what I heard from the radio or from what I saw from the news...what I wrote basically based from the opinions from those who are with BERSIH and those who are against BERSIH. THAT...is what you SHOULD UNDERSTAND from the start of the post. Which is why I ended my post with RESPECT and TOLERANCE. Just to clear it up to you. Thanks for reading it though.

dongui_1 said...

Sorry Wani, it seems that I have perhaps offended you. I really didn't mean to sound too harsh.

I just want people to know that BERSIH is fighting for a free electoral system, not anything else.

And when ppl try to politicize it, it makes us (the volunteers) really... frustrated. But I believe that people will come to their senses sooner or later. As Einstein said: For every action, there will surely be a reaction :P. (I'm an engineer, so excuse my nerdy-ness). So we should expect arguments against anything we do. The key is to reason and and earn respect+justification for what we're doing to achieve our ultimate goals.

Note: Really hope that everything will proceed peacefully tomorrow. No violence and just people practicing their rights to demonstrate. In the final analysis, I'm sure it's every Malaysian's dream to have good governance + citizens who are united :).

Wishing you good health,

dongui_1 said...

Oh in addition to that, I understand that you're coming from 2 sides. But sooner or later, you'll have to lean either way. It's pretty impossible to achieve total neutrality in everything we do, although it's good that people make an effort to be as close as possible (to being neutral) :). Again, thanks for entertaining my comments.

All the best!

Wani said...

I'm not really offended, it's just my style of speaking is quite direct. If I'm offended my sentence will be more harsh. I just notice that you misunderstood the post, so I thought of clearing it up to you. Well, I always look things from both sides. And when I look at both sides for this case...I'm just not interested to be in any side. Besides, this whole rally is really causing me a lot of pain and stress. Regardless of who is at fault, I think this whole rally thing is not such a good idea. It succeed in getting the attention...but does it manage to get the ears and eyes of the government to really listen n look at what is being demanded? I kinda doubt it...

Ahmad Aliff Yusof said...

To Dongui,
It's politically motivated. I can assure you. Why on earth Anwar Ibrahim is behind this if it's not politically motivated. You just want to because you want to get rid of UMNO government right? Don't get me wrong, I hate UMNO big time, but I loathe people who don't understand the history of this country and wants to organize stupid rallies. Wait, why are you reading or writing comments on blog? Don't be a coward to just support BERSIH 2.0 from home like playing CS or Dota.

dongui_1 said...

Ahmad Aliff Yusof,

I can assure you that we were all at Gwanghwamun yesterday supporting the BERSIH 2.0's 8demands :).

I don't care if there is an element of political motivation by the opposition to support this. The main thing is:
1) the steering committee is committed and proven to be human rights activists.
2) the 8 demands are pure and essential for our future development as a nation.

That's all.

You can see our pictures on http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/169398

I'm no coward, and I do not wish to state my support for any political parties here. But I am for free and fair elections, and freedom of assembly.

FYI, our country started with protests waaay back, so I don't think it's "not our culture" to have demonstrations:

dongui_1 said...


I respect your opinion. And I guess we can just say that we agree to disagree.
Also, I like your style! Hahha, too many people are afraid to be direct these days.

To your comment abt the government not listening, I really do hope they are willing to just, from now on, sit down and help make the democratic process (elections) in Malaysia cleaner and fairer for all parties.