In so far as Bersih is concerned, I am done lecturing on the concept of fundamental liberties and the rights of the people. I am done writing about the true concept of social contract and the duties of the State. Because, really, knock, knock, knock, and there’s nobody home.
So today I am going to do what I have not done in the past, namely, I would post links to the websites which, I think, depict the best of Bersih. In fact, they depict the best of Malaysia, really (it proves that one does not have to engage a super high powered Jewish company and pay them millions to sell a concept such as 1Malaysia. Bersih proves that when there is a unity of purpose, the people will unite).
Let me begin with part of the lyrics of Guns & Roses’ song, "Civil War":
"What we've got here is failure to communicate.
Some men you just can't reach...
So, you get what we had here last week,
which is the way he wants it!
Well, he gets it!…
Look at the shoes your filling
Look at the blood we're spilling
Look at the world we're killing
The way we've always done before
Look in the doubt we've wallowed
Look at the leaders we've followed
Look at the lies we've swallowed
And I don't want to hear no more”
We have read so many accounts of the Bersih rally. The best among which, to me, are:
i) My Bersih 2.0 Experience, by Marina Mahathir (guess what, she was there. Eat your heart our Tun DrM!);
ii) Someone Did Win on July 9th, by one Charis Ding (she had ice cream with the FRUs!); and,
iii) BERSIH 2.0 - Was it worth it?, a note on Facebook by my facebook friend, one Abdul Haleem (telling us, among others, about the true kindness of Malaysians, super cool policemen and FRUs who made fun of his disability).
The most endearing story is of course about Auntie Anne, the Lady of Liberty, a 65 year old lady who took a bus alone, and walked all the way from the General Hospital to the rally centre. She took the prize for the best quote as well:
“Why do we have to feel so scared (and threatened) in our own home land.. and by own countrymen?”
The most enduring pictures of the Bersih rally, which would still adorn the Malaysian museum of liberty 100 years from now are:
The other one is this:
Pak Samad Said, our National Laureate, has been tireless in his efforts for Bersih. On the 9th, this 76 year old walked and walked and walked, until he was stopped by the police near the Istana, where he had wanted to deliver the Bersih memorandum to His majesty the King. According to Pak Samad, His Royal Highness had said “can” when asked whether Bersih could deliver the memorandum on the 9th. Alas, it was not to be.
Pak Samad is however, Malaysia’s new hero.
One of the best video of the rally, to me, is this one:
The saddest incident which took place during the rally was of course the death of Allahyarham Burhanudin Ahmad, who succumbed after the police fired tear gas at the crowd he was in. I will not fault neither Bersih nor the police for his death. However his brother alleged that the police actually refused to take him to the hospital while he was lying breathless on the ground. A van only came about one and a half hours later, by which time it was too late. If that was true, then it is tragic that the police had acted in such an inhumane way. I hope that’s not true.
Al-Fatihah to Allahyarham. May God bless his soul. But he died doing what he believed in. He died fulfilled.
Unfortunately, until the time of writing, there has been no utterance of condolence at all from any of our leaders in the government nor the people in the authorities, especially our police. All that was said is “do not blame the police for his death” and “the police was not responsible for his death” as well as “Bersih caused his death”.
Is it too difficult for us to put aside political differences for a while and be a normal human being? Can’t we in this our of sadness for his family at least pay our respect to him and express our condolence to his family for their loss?
The strangest things about the Bersih rally are:
i) Ibrahim Ali, the war general without any war to go to, was nowhere to be seen. There was a report saying about 20 Perkasa members were seen having coffee at Taman Titiwangsa. The Bersih rally proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Perkasa is not what it is made out to be. It has no supporters. It has no specific agenda other than to vomit racist rhetoric and cause havoc for nothing.
ii)Despite being officially declared by the Right Honourable Prime Minister that the silat guys are the 3rd line of defence, no silat fellow was seen strutting his or her stuff during the rally. Someone with a wicked sense of humour twitted that the silat guys just arrived at Pasar Seni at 8pm after the rally. Lol!
iii)No communist, foreign provocateur or Christian with subversive intentions were arrested by the police. There was also no call to overthrow the government either by locals nor foreigners. And yes, the USA had not landed in the middle of Dataran Merdeka together with NATO in order to help the Malaysians to overthrow the government. Minister Rais is wrong, yet again (err…when has he ever been right? Hahah…)
iv) Who was it who said that traders and stall owners would lose a lot of money if the rally went on? Traders and stall owners were making roaring business.
Among the most ridiculous things which were said about and after the rally are:
i) most participants were Malays and these Malays were being used by DAP. Some newspaper said the Malays were being used by PAS. Make up your mind guys. Ibrahim Ali said the rally goers were paid. I have only one question to these guys. What are you smoking? Give me a quarter please.
ii) Ambiga had committed treason and her citizenship ought to be revoked. Ibrahim Ali said that. Need I say more?
iii) The Prime Minister said UMNO could muster 6000 people on short notice. Bersih could only gather 6000 people in 3 months. UMNO could flood KL with millions if it wanted to. Ho ho…try give a permit to Bersih Mr Prime Minister and let’s see how many will turn up. By the way, Patriot could only bring 500 people.
The real victor is of course the people of Malaysia. Despite our well known rudeness on the road (well, let’s just wait till the balik kampung event starts next month), Malaysians of all races, faiths and walk of life walked in unison, side by side for one purpose. They chatted. They laughed together. They smiled at each other. They helped each other. They were civil even towards the police and FRUs who admittedly were just doing their job (but with considerable enthusiasm lah).
Speaking of being civil, whoever said that there would be a riot and destruction of property was proven, yet again, wrong. Not a single glass window broke. No car was smashed. No tong sampah was even overturned.
The one who were acting like hooligans were those people who were supposed to protect the civilians. Ambiga and gang were in the Brickfield underpass when they were stopped by a bunch of FRUs. Tian Chua went to them to negotiate. They responded by beating their shields. Tear gas were shot towards them. They retreated. Another bunch of FRUs came from behind and fired tear gas. They were trapped. Anwar and his bodyguard were injured (the bodyguard, badly). Khalid Samad was hit with a canister requiring 6 stitches.
What do you call that? No warning to disperse. No provocation by the group. And yet they were trapped between two groups of FRUs and fired with tear gas in an underpass. What do you call that? Sorry, in my book, that is criminal assault and battery. That is an attempt to injure. That is a crime.
Lastly, but surely not the least, the We-Have-Erection-Once-Every-5-Year award goes to…jeng jeng jeng…the IGP for saying that only 6000 people joined the rally.
I suggest the IGP changes his glasses and call a new tender for calculators soon.