This article is a response to an article in TMI by Pak Sako. Click here to read
I refer to your respond to my article in TMI – Bersih 2.0 – Is there a third alternative?
Over the past few weeks I have gotten the chance to chat with many of my friends who are in business. It seems there is a census among us – the majority of the business people are pro making sure that our elections are freer and fairer.
We would definitely like to see more transparent rules of law and processes in making sure our elections will get the right people who we voted for. But, we also find the uncompromising position taken, that it must be done in KL not wise.
In other words while we are positive about the Bersih 2.0 walk, but we question the wisdom of doing it in downtown Kuala Lumpur ; as we see that there is an alternative that can provide a similar platform to get the message across. I do not know if the majority of us in business feel this way, but my bet is, the sentiment is across the board.
As businesspeople, clearly we have our own biases. We would be biased towards business. Our purpose and contribution to society square on one and only one action – to create a customer and make him or her happy within an ethical framework. Anything that disrupts that purpose is seen as anti-business; be it a weekend march to central KL or an election full of fraud.
Malaysians must understand that while we cannot be purist, what we do is provide them and their children jobs, products and services. We do hope that our feedback is not taken lightly. Our Goal to march and insist for freer and fairer elections can remain, but the platforms can change.
Your article misses many points perhaps because you do not believe in the Middle Way approach. It seems that your article only picked ideas you consider negative, and neglected mentioning the important things that was the crux of my article.
1. The Rakyat have a right to air their feelings. Peaceful demonstrations are an important part of check and balance in democracy
2. Businesses cannot afford to lose millions of ringgit every time the Rakyat demonstrate
3. We need to also consider the rights of others, as we exercise our rights
4. Avenues for peaceful demonstrations must be provided in places which are as non-disruptive to businesses as possible.
I agree that temporary and moderate sacrifices in material gain and comfort out of the spirit of solidarity are sometimes necessary for achieving certain noble societal goals as you have suggested. But that is not for you to decide. Have you asked the businesses and workers in down town KL? We cannot impose our ideas on others and force them to bear the costs, unless you are willing to compensate them in kind. But we can agree to disagree.
Contrary to your view that I am a Pavlovian grasping for a middle path, I am a Malaysian Muslim who is trying to follow the following verse in the Quran,
“And thus have we willed you to be a community of the middle way, so that [with your lives] you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind, and that the Apostle might bear witness to it before you.” Quran 2:143