Loyal Followers

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ha ha of the week*

*before some Nazis decide to charge me for whatever offence, allow me to say that this post IS A JOKE and being a joke, IT IS NOT TRUE and is NEVER MEANT TO BE TRUE.

I received an e mail with the following joke today. I do not know who the original author is. I hope he or she doesn’t mind me sharing it here.

Top Ten Reasons Why Terrorists Will Never Succeed in Attacking Malaysia

#1. Terrorist decides to blow up KLCC. He drives to KLCC with the intention of planting the bomb there, gets stuck in a 2-hour jam, and blows himself up in frustration. PLAN FAIL.

#2. Terrorist decides to bomb Ipoh as a practice session before targeting KL. He drives for the first time on the highway to Ipoh trusting the signboards to get him there, and ends up in Lumut. Terrorist drowns himself in the sea in frustration. PLAN FAIL.

#3. Terrorist decides to blow up Puduraya. While walking to his destination, the bag in which he keeps his bombs gets snatched by snatch thieves on a motorcycle. He pulls on his bag's strap desperately and dies after being dragged 100m on the road. PLAN FAIL.

#4. Terrorist decides to blow up Port Klang. He succeeds!! But the next day The Star, NST, Berita Harian and Utusan publish an article on page 10 headlined "Boy playing with fireworks injured in minor explosion." PLAN FAIL.

#5. Terrorist decides to bomb Johor Bahru. He rents a house as headquarters and the night before the dastardly deed, three men with parangs break into his house, robs him and kills him. PLAN FAIL.

#6. Terrorist decides to bomb Kedah to paralyze the rice bowl of Malaysia. That night, while secretly setting up the bomb during a heavy thunderstorm (so that no one sees him), Timah Tasoh Dam hits danger level, authorities open the dam gates and he is swept away in the floods. PLAN FAIL.

#7. Terrorist decides to blow up Bukit Bintang. Upon arrival at destination, he is accosted by a pimp and spends the night in the arms of a beautiful woman. At dawn, authorities raid the place and arrest him. PLAN FAIL.

#8. Terrorist decides to blow up the MACC building as he is a strong advocate of corruption. He enters the building, but before he manages to plant his bomb, he is found dead after a fall from the 14th floor window. PLAN FAIL.

#9. Terrorist decides to blow up Serdang Hospital. He enters the hospital lobby, hears a loud crashing sound and looks up to see the ceiling collapsing on him. He dies. PLAN FAIL.

#10. Terrorist decides to blow up Genting Highlands. On the way up the mountain, a speeding bus driven by a 18-year-old boy without a driving licence crashes into his car and kills him instantly. PLAN FAIL.

MORAL OF THE STORY:
MALAYSIA IS INVINCIBLE TO TERRORIST ATTACKS!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gormless

UiTM has apparently invited nominations for the Ibrahim Ali Award. The award is reserved for those “students who have proven they have "clear and consistent" principles in upholding their race.”

UiTM Ibrahim Ali Award

(Source: IMPAK UiTM).

Great. Congratulations UiTM.

For this act, I am bestowing UiTM with the Manage-To-Entertain-Despite-Total-Lobotomy-Done-On-You Award.

This award entitles you to a free “noodle eatery hair and shirt guard”.

uselessinvent12

Damn, since UiTM’s initiative is so good, I am throwing in a 2nd prize, which is :-

20081211135604

Oh well, UiTM is so good, I would throw in a 3rd prize as well (I am feeling generous today) :-

stickbutterweird

Soon, Malaysia will have its inaugural entry into this website, I suppose.

Malaysia Boley!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bersih – my final thoughts

Wise men profits more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise.” – Cato the Elder (234 BC – 149 BC) from Plutarch, Lives.

In my opinion, the biggest mistake that the government had made in the Bersih issue was to isolate a large section of the society from itself, anger them and convert them into a Bersih sympathiser and/or supporter.

At some point of time before the Bersih rally – in my opinion it was about the time Pak Samad Said was hauled to the police station – the Bersih movement had transcended its electoral reform objective into a full scale platform for the people to vent their frustrations, disappointments, angst and anger to the government.

To put it crassly, from that point of time, Bersih became a platform for many people to show their middle finger to the government, for whatever personal reason(s) they may have.

All the government had to do in the early days of Bersih 2.0 was to deal with Bersih and its demands. The demands were not about the escalating inflation and price of household items; not about Teoh Beng Hock or Sarbaini; not about corruption; not about electricity rate hike; not about Astro price hike; not about the police, MACC or whichever agency.

The demands were just about a fair and just election or what was perceived by Bersih as such. That was it. It was politically related but not politically motivated. (For the uninitiated, there is a difference between the two). The fact that some opposition political parties were in solidarity with Bersih did not demote Bersih into a political party with the inevitable and attendant political baggage. 

The premise of Bersih was an idea, a thought. The idea was our election process is not fair. The resulting conclusion from that idea was that our electoral process needs reform or at least a change. That was all.

Being an idea, or a thought, Bersih operates and infects the masses insidiously. It is in their head that the idea is planted. It is not in their behaviour. A Bersih sympathiser or supporter, with the said planted idea, would not act in a way an Al-Qaeda member would. He or she was not going to strap C4 around his or her body, go to the mall on a Sunday, and buy the proverbial ticket to heaven by blowing himself or herself up.

Planted with that idea, a Bersih sympathiser or supporter would try to convince others that that idea was correct. That idea will infest and continue to infest.

The wearing of yellow t-shirts with the word Bersih was just a way or means employed by carrier of such idea to make known that he or she subscribed to that idea to the open world.

The yellow t-shirts were not even a manifestation of the idea which he or she carried.  With or without the yellow t-shirts, the idea still infests their mind. Similarly, the colour of the t-shirts, did not matter. It could have been pink for all they cared but the idea stayed the same. 

The idea, as I said earlier, was that the election process is not fair and it needs reform.

And so, this was what, allegorically, the government was facing about a month before the rally. There were some yellow mosquitoes flying around in some wet markets; shopping malls; seminar rooms and on the streets. That was it. Nothing more.

It was like the proverbial bloody fly in the car cockpit. Irritating, yes. Annoying, yes. Threatening, absolutely not.

And how exactly did the government react to these handful yellow mosquitoes? Well, it took out some really large and heavy cannons and shot the mosquitoes!

The government firstly denied that our election process was not fair. That was okay. Because by doing that, the government was actually trying to supplant an opposing idea. But what it did later was beyond rationale. Any strategist, political or otherwise, worth his or her salt,  would cringe in disbelief.

It went out seizing the yellow t-shirts. People who wore the offending attire were arrested. How did arresting people wearing yellow and seizing the yellow item assist in erasing the idea which Bersih had planted? The idea was in the head. That idea did not reside in the yellow t-shirts.  That was  the government reacting according to the proverbial “marahkan nyamuk kelambu dibakar” (loosely translated, angry with the mosquitoes, burn the mosquito net) way.

First, the public reaction was one of disbelief. Soon it became a joke. The government, the police, the Home Minister and all else who were perceived to be the instigators of the act of banning the colour yellow became a big joke.

The joke then became even a bigger joke. That was when the government and its machinery, direct and indirect, embarked into phase two of their “war propaganda”.

I have stated in The Doctor is Not In that an oppressor would cling to every “fact”, even manufactured ones, to justify its oppression. I quoted Umberto Eco, in "Turning Back The Clock" who said:

"In general, in order to maintain popular support for their decisions, dictatorships point the finger at a country, group, race, or secret society that is plotting against the people under the dictator. All forms of populism, even contemporary ones, try to obtain consensus by talking of a threat from abroad, or from internal groups." (emphasis is mine).

How true is that? Umberto Eco could have been talking about Malaysia actually. Did he have a digital crystal ball or what?

Barely recovering from shaking our collective head over the arrest of people wearing yellow, the government went into ape mode. Bersih was infiltrated by communists. It was also funded by Christian groups. Some Ministers and the police then said there were evidence that Bersih had certain “foreign elements” bent on creating havoc and overthrowing the government.

All classic wartime propaganda. But really, who was at war? Nobody except for the government.

Sticking with the “war” theme, the government’s well known, but the most laughable and idiotic shit stirrer, Perkasa and its leader, Ibrahim Ali, launched a counter movement and called themselves Gerak Aman (Peace Movement, in English), with Ibrahim Ali as its “war general.”

So, we had a peace movement with a war general. And a war general without any war to go to. He then promptly issued a really peaceful statement, ie, the Chinese had better stocked up food and not come out to the street on July 9th.

This was followed by some silat organisations declaring that it will “wage war” against Bersih participants. The next day this organisation appointed itself as the “3rd line of defence” of Malaysia, an appointment which was duly accorded official approval by none other than the Prime  Minister himself later.

At this point in time, the government’s handling of the Bersih issue had moved from disbelief-dom, to jokes-ville and now to a surreal and burlesque town. The government had then managed to anger the Bersih sympathisers and supporters; isolated the Christians and Chinese; and turned itself into some kind of a mixture of Robin Williams and Russell Brand (no insult meant to Katy Perry, of course).

Ambiga, the  Chairperson of Bersih was instantaneously declared as an enemy of Islam. Quite how Bersih’s electoral reform agenda became intertwined with race and faith is quite beyond many to conjure. But enemy of Islam she was. That managed to isolate the non-Muslims and even the  thinking Muslims from the government’s stance.

So, after that, the pesky yellow mosquitoes problem had turned into a full scale stampede of biblical proportion, joined in by the elephants, lions, tigers, snakes and what have you. Congratulations.

The climax of all of these – the mother of all fcuk ups – to me, was the mounting of roadblocks during the morning peak hours from Wednesday the 6th of July onwards. The object of this “war counter propaganda” tactic was obviously to make the people believe that they had to go through difficulties – ie the traffic jam – because of Bersih. Shallow does not even begin to describe this action.

By this time, even the normal apathetic middle-class Malaysians who could not even be bothered to register themselves as voters became agitated and upset.

This apathetic middle-class are a very comfortable lot. They will not move their ass to do anything if that would mean bringing themselves out of their comfort zone. Finding the TV remote control is bringing themselves out of  their comfort zone, to these people. They will not be arsed to do anything until and unless they become uncomfortable.

And of course, being stuck in a traffic jam in their second-hand BMWs, Benz, Alphard  and whatever was uncomfortable to them. And they told themselves, enough with this crap. I am going to show my middle finger to the police!

By this time, almost the whole section of the urban society was isolated by the government. Even the civil servants who were late for work were thinking of joining the rally.

Speaking of the police, apart from being busy carrying guns and waving the traffic to pass by, they managed to find parangs and molotov cocktails at Sogo. There you  have it. Bersih was bent on creating havoc.

Why parangs? Why not guns and bombs? And to think about it, the molotov cocktails were made in plastic bottles. Who in their right mind would make molotov in plastic bottles, hullo? From which university did the guy graduate? Off campus? Online course?

Disbelief. Joke. Burlesque. Ridicule. Anger.

What a transformation.

The easiest thing to do was to fight the idea that our election process needs reform. That was all that was needed. An idea is fought by firstly, showing that that idea is not quite correct. Or that it was not credible. Then neutralise that idea with a better and more acceptable idea.

An idea is not fought by arresting the people having that idea. Or by banning a colour depicting subscription to  that idea. Or by declaring the person heading the movement perpetuating that idea as anti-Islam. Or that it was Christian idea. Oh my God. Fail!

Now, let’s not talk about what happened during the rally. Suffice if I say that the people joining the rally were not the hooligans they were made out to be. We all could watch all the YouTube videos and decide for ourselves as to who the real hooligans were.

The thing which I want to comment about is this.

If the government’s handling of Bersih before the rally was beyond belief in its irrationality and unreasonableness, its handling AFTER the rally is not any better, if not far worse.

The IGP became a laughing stock when he quickly announced that only 6000 people attended the rally. Then the Home Minister chipped in to say the police was fair and in fact very restrain in their approach on the 9th of July. The Prime Minister said the police were a picture of tranquillity and displayed a monk-like attitude towards the rally goers.

Ha ha and bloody ha.

Then came the I-could-do-better-than-you rhetoric. This is the preferred 8 year old strategy. My father has bigger kahoona than your father, you know? I could bring out 3 million people if I want to, sais the Honourable Prime Minister. This was recently followed up by Chua Soi Lek who said he could bring 50000 Chinese to the street. MIC however had remained mum. That’s either because it is a clever party or because it doesn’t know how many member it could bring to the street.

The Minister Liow denied teargas was fired into the compound of Tung Shin hospital. Chua Soi Lek, not be left out, chipped in to say the police had to teargas the hospital in order to protect the patients. And today, 11 doctors from that hospitals states their willingness to affirm affidavits under oath that the police did in fact shoot water and teargas into the compound of the hospital on July 9th. They said the police even entered into the buildings to search for rally goers. (the full report is here).

In relation to the incident at Tung Shin, faced with irrefutable audio-visual as well as oral evidence, the least the government could do is to admit that it happened. Then it should apologise. Even YB Khairy Jamaluddin this morning had the clarity of mind to say that on twitter.

image

The Prime Minister had left for the UK. The mainstream media went ape-like in blaming Anwar and mocking his injury. This obsession with Anwar Ibrahim is actually quite irritating. let me tell you all something. Most rally goers did not give a hoot about Anwar that day. That day was not about Anwar. It was about their middle finger which they had wanted to point to some others.

The international press – which of course, in the government’s book, are always bias and out to pursue their secret agenda against our country – have not been kind to the government. Even the Jakarta Post editorial (Malaysia is rich but not free) was not flattering. Yesterday, Bloomberg’s William Pesek was scathing in his opinion. Pesek is an influential writer and Bloomberg is a reference  point for many foreign investors. (his article is here). The UN thinks the government had gone way over the top. The US is concerned.

So, what’s the plan here? What is the plan to bring back credibility to our reform plan? Where is the plan to persuade the foreign fund managers and investors that Malaysia is indeed a moderate multi-cultural society with immaculate tolerance for dissent?

Someone died during the rally. Have we heard a word of sympathy or condolence from the government’s side? I have not. All we had was the usual defensive “don’t blame me” statements.

Are we human? Or have we stopped being human?

Since when?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Goodbye Ungku…a giant among men

raja-aziz-addruse

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

-- W H Auden

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Best of Bersih

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:

110709_anne_2

110709_aunty-anne

The other one is this:

AIMG-20110709-00142

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.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Bersih and the Fall of Reason

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.” : Thomas Paine

The events unfolding before our eyes in the past few weeks say a lot about us as a collection of individuals; as a society and as a people. What is clear  however is the sad fact that when we are faced with adversity, we tend to lose our head and retreat into the same old dark and cold cave of emotions, of irrationality and of convenient rhetoric.

Above all, we abandon the very faculty which differentiates us from all other primates, namely, our ability to reason. That is the saddest reflection of us, as a nation.

With all due respect, the government could have handled the Bersih’s requests and demands in better ways than imaginable. As a people living in 2011, we expect better. We expect the government to respond and not react. And react rashly and even stupidly at that.

When the momentum of Bersih’s call for a rally gain traction and weight, the usual suspects jumped into action. Apparently, Dato’ Ambiga, the Bersih chairman, was an enemy of Islam. The obligatory demonstration (which was granted a police permit in two days after an application was made for one) coupled with the inevitable ultra-nationalistic speeches climaxing into the predictable burning of Ambiga’s pictures took place.

It is ironic that Ibrahim Ali named his movement “Gerak Aman” (“Peace Movement”, in English) while at the same time making a not-so-veiled, but vile, threat that the “Chinese should really stock up food in their house”. He then appointed himself the “war general”. And so, a Peace Movement had a war general. Certainly a first for Malaysia.

The police force was not to be left behind. Its intelligent unit jumped into action and within minutes it found evidence that the Communist had infiltrated Bersih and was planning to overthrow the government through Bersih. A number of people from Parti Sosialis Malaysia were promptly arrested and red t-shirts were seized.

Not enough with that, it was also found out that Bersih was being funded by some Christian groups. That seemed to gel with the earlier assertion that Ambiga was anti-Islam.

And so Bersih has managed to achieve what no other organisation in the whole world had managed to even dream, ie, the unison of Christianity with Communism in post World War time. How’s that for international notoriety?

If we had thought that Malaysia and her authorities have gone ape, we were in for a big surprise in later days.

The members of some silat organisations that announced that they would “wage war” against Bersih. 50000 of its members were ready to kill off any challenge by Bersih or by the rally participants. As  to what the challenge was, nobody gave any clue. Later the silat organisation seemed to grow in numbers and this time it declared it was ready to “defend the country from Bersih’s action”.

Then the usual intellectual and some persatuan peniaga runcit whatever joined in the fray. The planned rally would create traffic congestion and would cause traders to lose a lot of money. Why don’t they do it in Putrajaya? Pity the taxi drivers.

Of course it was lost too them that the bounden duty of the police is to ensure safety and order during the exercise by the people of their Constitutional right. Why don’t the police meet up with Bersih and hatch out a security plan rather than act to prevent the people from doing so?

There was, and still is, a complete lack of understanding as to the rights of the people and the function of the State when such rights are about to be exercised. Thinking that it is the year 2011 and that Malaysia has gained independence for about 54 years, it is distressful to note such completely belligerent attitude against the people by the government.

Worse was to come, however.

Ambiga and the Bersih committee were hauled to the police station. The fact that these people voluntarily went to the police station speaks volume of their non-confrontational approach towards the whole thing. They had not committed any crime. Nor were they planning any crime. But went to the police station they did.

The thing which struck me as the most uncouth move of all was the dragging of Pak Samad Said, our national laureate, to the police station for a 90 minute “interview” over a poem which he allegedly read at a Bersih launch.

From then on, Bersih, to me, had travelled into a different dimension. It was not about electoral reform anymore. It had become a movement about the people moving against some sort of tyranny.

Soon followed the outlawing of yellow t-shirts depicting the Bersih word. The IGP joined in to say that even shoes, umbrellas and buses depicting the word Bersih are seditious and will be seized. The Home Minister capped the whole insanity with the declaration that Bersih is illegal.

Arrest and more arrests took place. Malaysia was surely descending into the pits of absolutism.

The Home Minister never failed to baffle many. That trend continued when he said that books on communism and communist leaders may be given the green light for sale or publication on the condition that they do not promote Bersih. And so Bersih has now become Malaysia’s post-emergency (oh, sorry, what post-emergency, we are still under states of emergency!), post-war-confrontation-13th May biggest bogey man. And to think that Bersih is headed by a recipient of the United State’s women courage award!

The most baffling statements in all these Bersih related rhetoric came from none other than the Honourable Prime Minister.

While addressing a crowd of about 20000 people in Kelantan, the Prime Minister declared Ambiga as an enemy of Islam. The basis for that declaration was that Ambiga had acted in the Lina Joy’s case, a case involving a Muslim woman who had converted to Christianity and was fighting to get her religion changed on her identity card by the national registration department.

Welcome to 1Malaysia. In just one single sentence Mr Prime Minister, I am afraid to say, that the concept of 1Malaysia, which is  so enthusiastically promoted by your administration, will remain a concept for quite a while.

In the first place, Ambiga wasn’t even in the Lina Joy’s case! Even if she was, that declaration is a display of a complete misunderstanding or non-understanding of the role and functions of lawyers who appear for their clients in the Courts.

Using the Prime Minister’s arguments, would we call all the Syariah lawyers who defend people who are accused for khalwat or not fasting in the Syariah Courts anti-Islam or even the enemies of Islam?

What do we call lawyers who defend people who are accused of rape in our Courts? Pro-rape? Lawyers who defend people accused of murder are anti-life? How about the Attorney General who appear in Court to argue that certain people should be detained without trial? Do we call him anti-liberty?

The Honourable Prime  Minister gave a speech on moderation in Oxford University on 17th May 2011. Among others, this was what he said:

“Our choice is clear. Come together in action for a future of justice, freedom, hope, compassion and goodwill for our children or it will be replaced by a future of injustice, tyranny, hopelessness, cruelty and hate.

We must address the underlying causes of global violence. Merely going after specific individuals, dismantling their organisations, disrupting their finances and discrediting their ideologies is far from enough. We must be able to differentiate between the symptoms and the root causes. Only then, can we achieve a lasting solution.”

Why didn’t the government look at the root cause of the grievances in Bersih’s case? Why must the Prime Minister merely choose to go against his very own words by “going after specific individuals, dismantling their organisations and discrediting their ideologies”?

Why has there been no attempt at all to differentiate between the symptoms and the root causes?

And where is the “action for a future of justice, freedom, hope, compassion and goodwill for our children or it will be replaced by a future of injustice, tyranny, hopelessness, cruelty and hate?”

His Royal Highness the King had granted an audience to Ambiga and His Majesty had asked that Bersih do meet with the government to work out a compromise as of yesterday. That put paid to all the vile accusations and declaration of illegality by the government against Bersih.

The question is why haven’t the government paid some respect to the King’s exhortation? Why hasn’t the Bersih activist been released, some even from detention without trial under the Emergency laws? Why are people wearing the Bersih yellow t-shirts still being arrested (today alone, there are several arrests).

Why did the police surround a talk organised by the lawyers last night in Kota Damansara just to educate the public on their rights upon arrests?

Why did the police mount countless roadblocks today which caused traffic congestions resulting in much difficulties to the public? The police and government kept on saying that street rallies cause traffic congestion and untold misery. What about the roadblocks?

The answer given is that the road blocks were aimed to prevent unwanted elements in the capital city.

I just have one tiny question. If Bersih’s aim is to overthrow the government, then they must be quite sophisticated. After all they are aided by Christians who are working hand in hand with the communist.

Now, how does several policemen carrying guns, standing on the road, manning roadblocks and waving the traffic to move along help to trace all these sophisticated elements?

Frankly I think the police would do much and way better if all those policemen were asked to capture the acid splasher who is still on the loose till this very moment. Or why don’t they go and investigate some sex videos?

The truth is the government has surely lost the proverbial plot over the Bersih issue. This is, I am afraid to say - and I am saying this with the greatest of respect -  a government which surely is not at ease even with itself, let alone the people it thinks it is governing!

The Prime Minister, in his aforesaid Oxford speech quoted Nelson Mandela, who said:

“Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves.”

Yes. The mind and the soul. The government may seize all yellow t-shirts, outlaw Bersih, arrest the body of its supporters, but their mind and soul remain free. The mind cannot be arrested.

To cap it up, the Prime Minister said:

“But while one man standing in the road is a nuisance, a mere distraction, 10 men standing together are far harder to ignore. And if those 10 become 100, a thousand, a million, a billion even, they become a force so big, so strong and so united in their common cause that those who espouse hatred will face a very simple choice.”

I rest my case.