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Monday, November 26, 2007

HINDRAF & BERSIH rallies - Signs of Malaysians Unhappiness with the BN!

So, it has come to pass. Two great rallies of the average Malaysians who aren't happy with the state of affairs concerning the way the BN is running this country!

I have been reading up on all the reports that Malaysiakini has been reporting on today's historic event and other sources of alternative news from citizen journalists @ bloggers who attended the HINDRAF rally this morning!

As we were returning to KL from Kuantan this afternoon, we went through a police roadblock at Lanchang, on the LPT @ East Coast Highway and another at the Gombak Toll Plaza. The police were screening out Indian motorists and thoroughly checked their cars for any weapons, etc.

I saw a particular Indian chap being stopped and checked at both areas. His car boot had several tripod stands and the police were questioning him very earnestly. I figure him to be a cameraman or something , based upon such items. Pity that things have come to this.

Racial profiling in our beloved Malaysia. I thought such things only took place in other countries. I have been proven wrong. My nation is no different. The reality is that my nation has a lot of stooges performing a jolly good show in national politics. We are entertained by them every now and then on live national tv. Beats Lawaking everytime.

Getting to the subject.

BERSIH stands for the demanding of a fair and clean General Elections this time around and demanding the Barisan Nasional Coalition Government of Malaysia to provide equal grounds of reaching out to the voting public as allowed and laid out by law.

By that, I understand that the Elections Commission is expected to be fair to all political parties by allowing equal access to the broadcasting facilities, such as fair and equal air time on national radio and television broadcasts or that each contesting registered political party be given police permits to hold peaceful public rallies.

We all know that the last time such a fair election situation was seen in this nation was way back in the 2nd GE in the early 60's.

Since then, the Alliance Party which later morphed into the Barisan Nasional had held a tight grip on power here in this multi ethnic, multi faithed country and has ruled as it pleases with little regard to the rights and allocations provided for each and every citizen in the British designed and written Federal Constitution of Malaya and now called Malaysia since 1963.

Today, the nation witnessed another mass rally by another group of Malaysians demanding the right to march and handover a memorandum to the British Government to compensate each and every Malaysian of Indian ethnicity financial awards amounting to trillions of ringgits for the former Colonial Masters 'failure' to ensure that the rights and liberties of its Indian subjects which it brought over from the Continent of India and left here in Malaya now called Malaysia, be upheld and given equal rights to live as rightful citizens of this Malaysian nation.

I say that one has every right to wish for this and that but one must also realize that not everything that one wishes for will be realized in one's lifetime or be allowed to achieve and enjoy as one pleases.

There are certain unwritten boundaries present in each and every human civilization that one must come to terms with and for us Malaysians, we need to wake up to the fact that as long as the will to change the status quo present in this country is not taken up by the entire citizenry, then such a demand or dream as what the members and supporters of HINDRAF have coined up and written a memorandum asking the British to compensate them in such an unprecedented and foreseen manner will remain just an ardent wish that is more of a whim than a rational reality in this world!

Ours is an enviable nation. We have been born here and grown up amongst various races and faiths yet have managed to survive for this long without a major inter-ethnic civil war amongst us for all these years due to the fact that each and every Malaysian has some what developed an inborn willingness to give face and accommodate each other without jumping to conclusions and start attacking each other based on idle rumors or incitements from agent provocateurs from all parties.

Each of us have friends from all ethnicities and we treasure such friends as much as we love our own selfs and families.

Malays, Indians, Chinese, Sikhs, Natives, Kadazans, Ibans, Muruts, Eurasians, etc have all grown up in relative peace with one another and have developed strong bonds amongst us that at times like these are put to tests by such racial and religious based issues and matters.

Read here about a fellow Malaysian Indian whose father and sister attended the HINDRAF rally share his story of how Muslims helped his sister and dad when they were teargassed. The Danesh Project.

It is such stories that reminds me that that not all Indians are to be lumped together as those who love nothing but to run amok on our roads without provocations from those paid to do so. We are all Malaysians but with different wants and needs. At least, we have to come to terms with that reality.

We are all the Children of Adam and deserve to be treated as such but in this land where we are ruled according to the color of our skin and the faith that we profess, naturally those who feel left out have seen such resentments in their hearts and minds take root many years ago and today, express themselves vocally, emotionally and passionately demanding that those who brought their forefathers here from India in the first place, attend to their cries for help and come to their cause of seeking financial help and support which they say the current regime of BN have failed to share with them.

One might be tempted to laugh and dismiss them off as idle daydreamers but today, blood has been spilled on our streets as a result of these 'daydreamers' willing to make their stand despite the grave mortal danger each and everyone of them face in standing up to the FRU and other security agencies of the ruling BN government.







Why is this taking place?

One needs to take a look at the root cause of their demands and source of unhappiness.

HINDRAF claims that they are not happy with the recent spate of demolitions of their temples by the local authorities of state governments such as the Shah Alam City Councils and those of the State of Selangor.

We need to look into the facts of such cases. Would the local authorities go and demolish legally registered places of worship as they please or is it due to the illegal establishments of temples and other houses of worships such as surau's, churches and other buildings that were raised on government owned lands or those belonging to private individuals yet failed to take into account of the prevailing rules and guidelines of such local authorities and religious departments or other agencies of the government in the first place?

If such establishments do not have the legal approvals of such authorities in the first place, how then are the temples or suraus, churches, etc to expect to be left alone and operate as they please without giving a hoot to the rule of law?

This is what every concerned Malaysian needs to look at!

Legal ownership. If the authorities came and demolished a house of prayer that had all the necessary permits and licenses in the first place, I am sure that not an agency or department can touch them.

Instead of being emotional, we need to be rational when handling a matter as sensitive and touchy as places of worship. People wouldn't be that bothered if it is a cinema or a restaurant.

We are talking about religious institutions. A mosque, surau, church or temple is very important to its frequenters.

Faith is the root of each individual's bastion of emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing save for those who aren't believers in anything.

I hold responsible the ones who willfully went and built whatever illegal religious building in the first place without considering the fatal consequences of their irresponsible actions yesterday for the trouble we have brewing before us today!

These are the culprits who need to be brought forth and judged for their crimes against the citizens of this country.

I somewhat do not think that whatever it is we aren't happy about with the current BN government can be solved today by shouting slogans on the street or engaging with the riot squads of the government.

The General Elections is just around the corner. Unless the protest organizers have it in them to do a popular uprising such as what we saw take place in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, they should know better than to stoke the underlying raging fires of dissatisfaction by calling people to the streets and engage in such a volatile situation.

Is it fair to place the lives and safety of their fellow citizens and ethnicities at peril and face the FRU and other armed forces of the current regime by goading them to gather on the streets and roads of the capital and other major townships?

Until and unless , you can really change the situation overnight by such rallies, is it worth the sufferings and pain caused by the teargassing and acid water cannon blasts of the FRU upon unarmed Malaysian citizens?

Heads and skulls have been cracked bloody today. Legs and arms broken. Eyes and bodies inflicted with painful assaults by chemicals and baton beatings!

Has anything changed?

It hasn't, has there?

I understand the emotional despair of a people who have been marginalized. I have seen the wrongs perpetrated upon my fellow citizens due to different skin colors and ethnic origins.

I am sure that each and every true blue Malaysian knows this unfairness deep down in our hearts but until and unless each unhappy, dissatisfied citizen takes up the courage and makes the choice to vote for change in the legitimate General Elections, the current situation will remain just the same.

The GE. That is where you have the key to change your fate and that of your future and the way forward for this country.

You hold the key to your future and the kind of life you want.

Choose the wrong leader ; face the consequences. Malaysians have yet to wake up to their roles in determining who they want to see run the government here.

For a few measly ringgits, many have proven that they are willing to prostitute their future and that of their fellow Malaysians and returned the same old chaps into power , every GE since day one that this nation has come into being.

Whose fault is that?

Think.