The Rakyat Remembers

10 days after the historical day of May 9 and Malaysians are slowly easing back to their daily routines. Not too sure about others but there seem to be spring in my steps now. The atmosphere seemed to have changed. I see less angry people on the roads on my daily commute to work. Strangers seem to smile more freely at me and pleasantries exchanged in the elevator to work, etc. People seem to be more patient while lining up at the popular chicken rice shop, and people actually clean up after themselves when they finished their food, placing trays after eating and clearing the table for other to use. Simply wow. Hopefully, this feeling of togetherness would continue to prosper and do not let anything divide us any longer.

In the midst of such euphoria, we must never forget the ordinary citizens who have done extraordinary things to place our dignity back in the eyes of the world. People like Mr Lim Kit Siang, the late Mr Karpal Singh, En Adam Adli, En Hishamuddin Rais, En Fahmi Reza, En Zunar the Cartoonist, Mdm Ambiga, Mdm Maria Chin, Datuk Munirah from Pertiwi Soup Kitchen, the Bersih supporters, etc. Malaysians do have good people who fight for justice and freedom of the nation!

I am pretty sure Mr Lim Kit Siang wouldn’t have thought he would live to see this day! I believe this is probably one of his many dreams of Malaysia coming true! Unfortunately his comrade, the late Mr Karpal Singh did not live to see this.

For Malaysian like Adam Adli, Hishamuddin Rais, Zunar, Fahmi Reza, Ambiga, Maria Chin, Bersih… they were subject to police harassment, abuse of laws, etc just to silence their dissent. Going in and out of the prison, court, banned from traveling overseas, etc. I could only imagine the mental anguish and torture they have been through just because they believe in justice and accountability of the government of the day for the rakyat.

Thanks to Datuk Munirah from Pertiwi Kitchen for fighting the plight of the homeless people in Malaysia and the right for basic needs of fellow human beings, that is not to starve. The previous government was so heartless that they simply say the homeless are eye sore for the tourists and blamed the soup kitchen for encouraging them to remain homeless. Only after uproar of the public only, the government began to changed its tune and eventually, as usual, everything just died down without any further solutions to assist the homeless.

Thank you and utmost gratitude to these individuals who forgo their own comfort and livelihood to fight for the rakyat, without expecting anything in return.

And of course, Mr Anwar Ibrahim who was jailed for made up charges, for no apparent reason, spent many years behind the bars and having his family lived without a father figure for two decades. I still remember the day of reformasi in the year 1998. I believe I was commuting home from working part time at a market research firm or from my part time studies college, when I saw a huge group of people heading towards Masjid Jamek. During that time, mobile phones were still at its stage of infancy, so I was in the dark of what was happening till the news in papers were out in the next morning.

It surely takes an extraordinary benevolence of a man to forgive his first jailor and worked hand in hand to bring down the obscenely corrupted government who jailed him the second time. The formula, despite not palatable at first – I must admit I was furious! But slowly, as the election day inches closer, I thought, we might perhaps really win this time. And we all did! Thanks to all Malaysians who voted and of course, the entire group of volunteers, PACAs, the people who flew from all over the world just to deliver ballots (miracles!) and the villagers who guarded the votes like they are their lives to prevent phantom ballots, etc.

Now we have a new government. We must not rest in our laurels in giving our full support to the new government to implementing reforms of the institution which promote corruption free, unity and check and balance. And if they do things wrongly, we must voice out. I am glad this time round, we no longer have to go to jail for having our own voice.

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Surreal

The past three days after the Malaysian 14th General Election was rather surreal. I guess everybody is glued to the tv/internet for news, which unfortunately sporadic and delayed. I guess the media itself is in shock for such a shocking and gargantuan news that it couldn’t cope! Simply not enough time to digest! The newly minted PM proved to be no nonsense (eventhough he’s still very jovial and always answering questions with his wit and humour), he went straight to work, do the necessary press conferences – with the people showing concern if he has enough rest! There are so many comments/posts on FB telling him to take things slow and take care of his health. Haha. I guess we just underestimate this experienced statesman. He is actually much faster and all of us have to keep up with his pace!

Of coz, there are also some news trying to damper the euphoric feeling of this change of government. I sincerely hope these people who are skeptical, they have all the right to be skeptical of coz, to at least give the new coalition a chance to prove themselves to be an effective government. There are proof that they have the capability of running a government – just take a look at Penang and Selangor. Of coz there are areas of improvement, as we know, Rome is not built in one day. At least we know for now – the person who blatantly flaunted the law would be brought to justice and face the consequences.

With all the dramas unfolding, I hope Pakatan Harapan will be able to be steadfast in its stand for corruption-free, efficiency, accountability and integrity and always remember that, it’s us, the rakyat who put them where they are now and the rakyat is the master and not the other way round.

Setting a world benchmark in reclaiming democracy

Probably the best written commentary of the recent PRU14.

Setting a world benchmark in reclaiming democracy
William de Cruz
10 May 2018, 4:20 pm (Updated 10 May 2018, 4:52 pm)

COMMENT | Malaysians set a world benchmark, a gold standard in how to reclaim democracy against all odds yesterday.

The government coalition that had lorded over a country with various alliances for 61 years threw everything against its citizens for the 14th general election – the judiciary, the police, the universities system, the election commission, its very parliament, race and religion.

Gerrymandering and malapportionment saw some federal constituencies with as little as a few thousand voters sit side-by-side with seats that housed more than 150,000 registered voters.

The ‘apa lagi Cina mahu’ politics of endless division

This was a voting population that saw its very government as adversary.

Yet, like no other country in modern history, millions turned up yesterday and overthrew a murderous, corrupt regime without shedding one drop of blood.

There were no riots, no looting, burning of cars, homes or shops, ugly manifestations of religious or racial bigotry, ignorance or intolerance.

Instead, the people of a multi-racial country that is home to the world’s fastest-growing religion, Islam, as well as the two biggest races on the planet, Chinese and Indians, embraced one another to rise above despots, division, discrimination and the albatross of the voting system itself, to unseat a prime minister and coalition that would have sold Malaysian down the drain in return for self-preservation, enrichment and aggrandisement.

The plot twists and ironies that led Malaysia to this historic day could not have been better scripted by the best of Hollywood.

Two men, powerfully galvanising individuals who were each nemesis to the other for nearly two decades – Anwar Ibrahim and Dr Mahathir Mohamad – forged the most unlikely of political alliances.

One remains a prisoner, the other put him there in shameful circumstances that were played out under the glare of world media spotlights.

The prisoner has shown how the sheer power of forgiveness can transcend the most painful of pasts. The image of Anwar and Mahathir shaking hands as allies, at one of Anwar’s more recent court appearances, is now regarded by many as the turning point for the alliance that is now government-in-waiting.

The jailor and nation-builder declares he has now to free Anwar.

The most honourable Lim Kit Siang, Malaysia’s longest-standing patriot, a walking symbol of long-standing and unrelenting parliamentary opposition, and the epitome of statesmanship, has carried magnanimity and self-sacrifice to another plane entirely.

Lim has embraced Mahathir, who had also thrown him into jail, and placed his aspirations for Malaysia centre stage for the sake of a pact the likes of which no other country has seen.

And yesterday, out of racism, corruption and bigotry emerged unity, determination and a sense of purpose – to forge a new future, a new hope, a new country for ourselves and our children.

Malaysians have shown a uniqueness that is as palpable as it is inspiring, and we must give ourselves the time and space to be very, very proud of what we have achieved today.

We have snatched back democracy from the jaws of destruction, so Malaysia may be rebuilt all over, with the multi-racial, democratic and egalitarian ideals of its founding fathers and earliest patriots.

We have come from the race riots of May 13, 1969, to the multi-racial juggernaut of May 9, 2018. We fought back without bloodshed or violence.

We have returned “Merdeka” – freedom, independence – to our shores. The future is now full of promise, and it’s a promise we made to ourselves.

The singular event of May 9 will powerfully resonate forever in our history as a glorious chapter in a people’s tenacity.

Yesterday, Malaysians became a beacon to the rest of the world, and delivered a new lesson in non-violent opposition.

The world has not seen such a reversal of fortune as Malaysia’s. We are a walking, living legacy.

This is Malaysia, like no other country in the world.

WILLIAM DE CRUZ is former Global Bersih president

Link here.

It’s a Miracle!

As we are aware by now, Pakatan Harapan “seems” to have won the election. But as of 12.55 am, the SPR is still stalling to announce the news. I think late news is definitely good news this time!

I was highly doubtful PH would win. I thought perhaps, will win more seats this time round. But definitely not forming a government. I was thinking it took US 200 years to have her first black president, perhaps it would take Malaysia another 20 years to have a different government. Oh Boy! I was mighty glad that I was SO WRONG! Never underestimate the power of the people!

As I went to vote in the morning, I saw so many old and sick people in wheelchairs and they went on anyway to cast their votes. The SPR officers/volunteers were really nice and well mannered. They even have wheel chair service in my voting area. My dad had a mild stroke last week and he needs a wheel chair as he couldn’t walk too far.

It’s also good to see the camaraderie among the voters. Some were disgruntled that they lined up at the wrong Saluran but a voter gave them his spot to vote, in front of him. An old uncle, who just had a heart surgery not too long ago was offered a seat by my mom, at Saluran 1. Many old pakciks and makciks were given priority to cast votes ahead of other elderly folks who are able to wait longer.

It’s good to see so  many familiar faces too. Meet up with some old friends from Selayang school, my dentist, my sister’s friends, my beautician. LOL!

OMG! I can’t believe the euphoria I am feeling right now. It seems unreal! I think I have slapped myself a few times as I follow the news live on Malaysia Kini as well as Facebook, etc. Nobody bothers to see news from the Star or NST. They are all bullshit. Now, even as we are watching the LIVE TELECAST of results – NOTHING saying about PH has won the election!!

Everybody, please remain calm. We will see a new government in a few hours! Sleep well fellow Malaysians! You have done well! I am glad those who return to vote by forking so much money, even denied flights/cancelled flights, you guys managed to make it back and voice your rights! See! Your vote counts! Even if it’s only ONE vote!

Hidup Rakyat!!

 

Hope?

Election this time does not stir any emotions in me. Unlike the two elections ago when I was still in my 30s and somehow felt overwhelmingly optimistic only to have my hopes dashed. Both times.

But I didn’t see it as a glass half full. I kept seeing it as glass half empty. I didn’t realise it takes a mammoth task to unseat the ruling coalition from being the majority. The opposition managed to grab more seats which is not possible in the past elections post May 13.

I guess I am just too fed up with the infighting among the members of the opposition parties. How to even run a country if you can’t even unite?? Nobody can put away their differences and ideologies to work on a common agenda. They are full of ego and only want to achieve what their parties wanted. It’s sad isn’t it? Given mandate by the people only to squander it away like it meant nothing. Jumping ships… Too many frogs and fucked up greedy people. Depressing.

Of coz, I don’t think there’s a perfect party. All I think I could do is to give my vote to the lesser corrupt party. How sure are you, they are less corrupted? Nobody could guess. I guess we are all still waiting for a miracle sent by God. If you believe in one, that is.

The opposition now has the old politician who is responsible for putting us in our current predicament. He better fix it. God speed.

Vote wisely people. Stay safe.