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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