The whole country is abuzz about the whole BERSIH thingy. Got a text from a trusted source about the rally that took place yesterday and passed the word around to a few people who i know like to mingle with the weekend crowd in KL. (Im not a big fan of going out to KL in weekends, pening seeing the crowd, where everyone brings their mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, etc etc etc, u get my drift)
Anyway for those that have been living under a coconut shell, Bersih is a group of about 71 entities – including some registered political parties (correct me if im wrong) who organized a peaceful protest/rally in Dataran Merdeka to urge the government for electoral reform, changes in voting/polling and also fair and equitable access to the national media. Some 40,000 – 50,000 people were gathered in KL wearing Yellow shirts/headbands for the peaceful protest before they were sprayed with water and tear gas which caused most to disperse.
Was reading some friend’s blogs earlier about this issue, some supporting and some opposing
and some purposely writing something about bersih just because it’s one of the hottest keyword in Technorati right now, come on, just admit it! I respect everyone’s opinion, seriously, I do. So have a listen to mine with an open mind. I’m not well versed in politics, that I’ll readily admit, unlike political bloggers who shake the blogosphere and have the police knocking on their door soon after but this is my simple, uneducated (in politics), layman’s view of the subject.
“This is democracy, Malaysian style” That was the caption of the opening vid on Al-Jazeera’s report showing protesters been sprayed with water and tear gas – video available in YouTube. From Wikipedia, “Democracy describes a small number of related forms of government. Its name comes from the ancient Greek for ‘rule by the people’.”
Malaysia practices democracy which includes freedom of speech but do we really have freedom of speech? Remember not long ago when bloggers were getting caught for what they wrote on their blogs? At that time even those makciks who write about their mundane life with their kids and what they cooked for dinner were worried they’d be questioned
tho god knows why they think that the people up there would actually care about that (yea I am kinda referring to you, makcik).
It was a peaceful protest in the beginning (based on news reports). I dont know about you, but marching and occasionally shouting “power to the people” is peaceful to me. Its not like they were passing thru town, hurling rocks at authorities and passerbys and breaking windows. Its when the tear gas and water was sprayed on the people when the situation turned helter-skelter.
I think that the people up there should not look at this in such a negative light. But more of a chance to look at themselves, saying ‘what have we done wrong that 40,000 to 50,000 people were willing to protest’ and ‘what can we do to change that’?
Maybe it’s time for Malaysia to listen to the voice of her people. The question is, Is she ready for it?
I hate writing about politics but I had to give my 2cents after reading some other posts about it. Like i mentioned earlier, i know almost nothing about politics – never want to know and never will. The things stated here are my personal opinion. Feel free to add yours in the comments :)