Thursday, August 20, 2009

We want peaceful and non-disruptive demonstrations that get the message across

Below is our (zubedy) Bulan Puasa and Hari Raya Advert - it will be featured in the Star tomorrow 21st August. This ad is the fifth of the “What Malaysians Want " series. Thank you to all who provided feedback and suggestions.

What Malaysians Want:

Peaceful and non-disruptive demonstrations that get the point across

Peaceful demonstrations are part and parcel of democracy. Our Federal Constitution through Article 10 grants us the right to freedom of speech, expression and assembly. It is an excellent avenue for the Government to get direct feedback from the Rakyat. It provides our nation with another means of checks and balances – a must have for a society to stay just and stable. Peaceful demonstrations are also safety valves, healthy channels for the Rakyat to vent out their frustrations openly as opposed to going underground.

We need support systems and processes, a mature culture and approach towards peaceful demonstrations - one that expresses the Rakyat’s aspirations while minimizing disruptions. For the Rakyat, peaceful demonstrations are a last resort, when nothing else works, when all other avenues are exhausted. Peaceful demonstrations should not be the first choice used opportunistically.

Our constitution also assures the right to choose to support or not to support a cause. It guarantees the right to earn a decent living, to grow rich both materially and spiritually. When one party exercise their right, it must not infringe upon the rights of others. We must look at the constitution in its totality, not pick and choose whatever and whenever it suits us.

Both BN and PR governments need to assign appropriate spaces for the purpose of large demonstrations. Neither a stadium nor downtown Kuala Lumpur is suitable. All parties need to exercise empathy when choosing when and where to demonstrate; people need to march on roads not arenas but they need to stay away from areas where businesses are conducted.

When we take away the income of the poor even for a day, for some it may mean a day with no food on the table. For our foreign-born Indonesian and Bangladeshi brothers and sisters losing a day’s wage of RM 30.00 means a loss of one week’s income back home. Merchants and business organisations need sales during the weekends to survive and make a profit to continue providing employment to the thousands under their care. The nation cannot prosper when every time the Rakyat voice their concerns businesses lose millions of ringgit.

In ancient times, smart Kings apportion days for their subjects to air grievances so that they can listen to problems and mismanagement directly, bypassing ineffective and corrupt officials. Today in our era of democracy, peaceful demonstrations serve the same exact purpose. But we need to do it right; with empathy, the ability to place oneself in another’s shoes; from all sides.

The Rakyat has the right to air their feelings. They should be able to hoist their placards and hope to be heard. It is for government leaders, new and old media, and those with the means, to translate their call into news, policies and actions that makes a difference.For this to happen, we need peaceful and non-disruptive demonstrations that get the point across.

The goal is getting the point across.

At zubedy we believe at the heart, all Malaysians want good things for themselves and for their brother and sister Malaysians, simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind.

Let us add value,
Have a meaningful Ramadhan and Aidilfitri

The previous “What Malaysians Want Series “ were:

A Social Contract

Politicians who cooperate and compete to make Malaysia a better place

Development Without Corruption

A First-Rate Education


Anonymous said...

Bro Anas,

May you have a blessed and peaceful Ramadhan Al Mubarak..


Hoong Ling said...

thank you, dear

zhu m said...

i read your ad in the star (22 aug 09) and i must say i am glad one of us voice something about this in a much needed civilized manner. i asked my sister to read the ad and she was weirded out for a while.

keep going, man!