Dear Brother and Sister Malaysians from BERSIH, PERKASA, UMNO Youth and PDRM,
I wish you all the best and safe journey.
While I may not agree with your approach, I respect your opinions. I respect that you are fighting for something you believe in. And, our friends at PDRM are doing their duty as our law enforcement arm.
I would be happier if the government allocates space and provisions for people to march, because it is within the rights of the people – and it’s more fun. In the Klang valley, I have suggested Putrajaya. PDRM can work together with the marchers to ensure a smooth journey.
We can designate a route and provide safe passage for all. We can to take care of the wellbeing of the people, even prepare water in case people are dehydrated and ambulances in case people are unwell. Provide space for temporary stalls, selling all kinds of fun stuff like paraphernalia, ice kacang, cendol, gift items, etc. We need to chill out a little, we can disagree with each other without hatred.
As for those who are marching – please remember that you are marching not against enemies, but against fellow Malaysians. It is just that you have differing opinions.
As I wrote in an earlier article, ‘Bersih 2.0 – is there a third alternative?’, to me, peaceful demonstrations are the right of the people in providing check and balance.
We need to manage rallies in practical ways. In the future, there will be other marches – people may march for better schools, for one stream schools, they may march against child abuse. Some may want to march for the Obedient Wives Club, or some will walk against it.
People will walk against potentially hazardous projects; they may walk for the environment. We need to learn to manage big rallies. We need to allow for the Rakyat’s requests to be heard, with minimum risk to the lives and wellbeing of people, minimum disruption to business.
I will not be surprised; BN has plans up their sleeves already. They will sooner or later pack their millions of members and supporters in stadiums to show their strength. It is ok, as long as the rules are the same for everyone.
We need to have peaceful demonstrations. We keep saying that marching and street protests are not our culture. But culture is a work in progress. If we move towards a democracy with street demonstrations as part and parcel of it, we must do it Malaysian style. I guess a stadium is better than nothing. We have set a precedence – Demokrasi ala Malaysia.
We need to keep true to our Malaysian culture and values. We should not fail to remember our culture of working together, of gotong royong, of respecting one another with polite salaams and greetings of peace.
Happy agreeing to disagree in the most Malaysian way. Remember the YDP Agong’s advice, jangan sampai,
"Yang dikejar tak dapat, Yang dikendong berciciran".
Peace, anas zubedy