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Monday, December 10, 2007

Protesting for the right and wrong reasons in Malaysia.

Lately, it seems that our country is getting famous or infamous for the wrong reasons. Malaysians seem to suddenly have developed an irrepressible urge to just go and demonstrate on the streets of our nation and seem hellbent on going down the path to destruction without giving due thought as to whether what they are protesting for is right or wrong?

We all surely have many grouses that we would like to get off our chests and street protests is surely the most visible form of showing to the whole wide world that so and so is not happy with the powers that be!

Hell, even I am bloody pissed off at Abdullah Badawi and his team of rhetoric spewing, ass kissing , bullshit churning bunch of chaps who don't really deserve whatever honorifics of titles before their names!

There is however a difference in the manner in which I go about my causes and how some of our 'learned' folks today seem to be the lawbreakers of the day!

When the situation calls for it , I would have no qualms to be right there in any forum, debate or dialogue or even protest march or facing up to the authorities if I have to!

When Karpal Singh made his statement about having to cross his dead body if anyone dares to set up an Islamic State here in Malaysia, I didn't flinch from facing up to the most vocal and established senior Opposition lawyer in the country at the Forum Keadilan!

Who was I at the time when I faced the 'Lion of the Malaysian Courts'?

Just a very pissed off Muslim who didn't even have a blog or website at that time way back in 1999 or even knew much about the internet!

Yet, deep in my heart, I had a boiling rage at this fellow who had the balls to say what he had vehemently stated before a mass audience at the Batu Lanchang Wet Market during the election roadshows that the DAP had held back then!

So, when I attended the Forum Keadilan and saw the golden opportunity to question the man and take him to task about his clearly Islamophobic statement, I was right there in front of the microphone before the Master of Ceremony, Chow Kon Yeow (the present DAP MP for Tanjong) could even welcome the audience to ask their questions to members of the joint DAP/PKR panel.

The rest is history. I asked my question to Karpal and he apologized for his statement and said that the DAP weren't anti -Islam perse but just wanted to ensure that the rights of the Non Muslim Malaysians weren't trodden upon , bla bla bla. It's all history now.

When the Malaysian Bar Council held their 'Walk for Justice' protest march against judicial rot, I saw that their protest was right and I joined them together with my closest buddy and fellow blogger MENJ.

Protesting is part and parcel of human nature.

Those who don't are either angels or plain clueless about their state of affairs especially those who don't realize being taken for a ride by anyone else. Just my plain outlook on this.

This is a fact that each and everyone of us knows and at times we show our displeasure towards anyone whom we see not treating us properly and infringing upon our individual rights!

A child protests against its parents for some things that the child feels that he or she is being forced or subjected to in the individual homes and residences all over the human world.

A wife protests to her husband when he does not behave as he should or fails in his responsibility in their household.

A lover protests against his or her beau when the other does not do what they are supposed to do or go over the limits.

There are just so many things that each and everyone of us have protested about and will continue to do so when the circumstances and situations warrant it!

Coming to my main topic. Protesting for the right and wrong reasons.
When the British failed to take into consideration about the feelings of the Malays when they proposed and wanted to impose their 'Malayan Union' concept of a Malayan Malaya, the Malays naturally felt that their rights were being trodden upon and they protested passionately against the said plan which would have abolished the Malays rights over their homeland and given way to what the DAP is calling for today!

Malaysian Malaysia where every citizen of this country would have 'equal rights' and no more Bumiputera and Non Bumiputera differentiation.

Sounds very noble and surely the cherished dreams of every Non Malay in this country.

The reality that this land once was an infested jungle of tropical forests where the Aborigines @ Orang Asli used to and some still do live very frugally in huts and seeking a living through foraging and hunting for their daily meal using blowpipes and setting traps for small game seems to have been conveniently forgotten by the current day masses?

Pictures don't lie. If the Malays had not come and settled down here in the Malay Peninsular, this is exactly how life would be and at certain places today, still remains as it was back in the pre-Malay days of centuries past for some of the Orang Asli descendants who refuse to have anything to do with the rest of the country.

Be honest to ourselves and accept the fact that without the coming of Parameswara to the peninsular, things will have remained just as it was or occupied by some other people or country.

See present day Papua New Guinea. Not much has changed for the primitive folks there except for a few pockets of development courtesy of Indonesia and Australia who used to occupy certain parts of that territory.

To this day, there are still primitive people such as the ones depicted here roaming the land. Nature lovers and romantics would sure love to see such an interesting sight and snap up as many photographs of such natives but then again, is that what modern day critics and proponents of 'freedom' love to fight for?

Rights of the natives to exist in poverty and squalor just as it was centuries before?

Natural beauty and primitive way of life just as it was before the advent of civilization. Who gets to decide as to how a people must live and exist?

You, me, anybody?

Present day Orang Asli huts in the jungles of the Malaysian Peninsular.

They do not have that much of a desire to migrate to the new towns and cities to live for their choice is to be there in the jungle, keeping away from the outside world save for a number of them now, with the help and assistance of the Native People's Department @ Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli.

If the Malays had not emigrated from Sumatera, settled down in what came to be known as Melaka, developed the port there and eventually turned it into the thriving, rich, wealthy place it came to be and established the Sultanate of Melaka, turning it into the bastion of Malay Empire that drew traders and seafaring business folks like Marco Polo and other historical figures of the past, does anyone even dare to think that our forefathers would have bothered to come here and settle down amongst the Malays?

Malacca's fame and tales of it's riches reached the West and the King of Portugal sent his emissary Admiral Lopes de Sequiera to establish contacts with the Sultanate of Melaka in 1509.

Had Melaka not been established by Parameswara, would the Sultanate of Melaka come to have existed? Would this peninsular come to be known for its riches had the Orang Asli's still be the only ones inhabiting this peninsular?

Would Vasco Da Gama and Alfonso De Albuquerque have sailed all the way from Portugal and conquered Melaka?

Would the Dutch and later the British and after them the Japanese and again the British have bothered to have come and occupied and later robbed the people of this peninsular had Melaka not come to have been established by Parameswara and built to be what it was and his descendants @ the Malays continue to be here if this peninsular was still as it was before all that?

Go back in time and read what the Malay Peninsular was before the coming of Parameswara, the Srivijaya Hindu Prince who escaped from Palembang, Sumatera in 1402 and sailed across the Straits that is now known as the Straits of Malacca, then surely one would not deny the current day Malays claim that they are the ones who came to inhabit this peninsular and slowly built up the place starting from Melaka and gradually turning it into a world famous port and trading centre that eventually drew the foreign powers to come invade it and set up shop here and squirreled away the bountiful riches from this land that came to be known as the 'Golden Chersonese'.

This peninsular before the setting up of Melaka by Parameswara was nothing but a jungle infested land that used to be the haunts of pirates and natives who did not develop the land to be what it came to be by the coming of the prince from Palembang, Sumatera in what is now known as the Republic of Indonesia.

I am sure that most of you have learned your History lessons well enough that you don't need me to tell you about the various kingdoms of Majapahit, Pasai, etc.?

Those who cry foul today and accuse the Malays of robbing the Orang Asli's of their lands need to be honest and see the realities before them!

Have you any idea of what the world would be today if not for the progress and development of any one land mass by any tribe or people?

Arabia used to be a forsaken desert that many ancient civilizations bypassed thinking that there's nothing to be gained by going to invade and occupy those burning sands in those times!

The Roman Empire, the Persian Empire and many other great nations of those times pooh poohed against any notion or ideas from their army generals to go invade such desert lands because at that time, no one knew about the precious oil deposits that to this day continues to be the source of the Middle East's wealth and fountains of riches, transforming the desert nations to be amongst the most thriving countries of today's world!

America used to be the land of the American Indians who lived in tepees and waged wars against the various native tribes such as the Apaches, Comanches, Sioux, and many other people who now live decimated and robbed of their rights to own the largest and now, most powerful nation on Earth!

The coming of the 'Pilgrims' escaping the English Kingdom transformed the once undeveloped country of the American Indians to be what it is today, home to some of the most wealthiest people on Earth and whose economy still remains as a measure of success and progress in the material world.

Before we even start to home in on the Malays and question their 'Ketuanan Melayu' rights, we need to first be honest to ourselves and see the realities before us and glance back into the past to be fair and come to accept that things here in Malaysia aren't going to change overnight by us going out onto the streets and brandish a bloody banner or poster decrying the injustice prevalent before us?

Sure, we must protest and we have to protest but we also need to know as to which cause and in what manner that we need to go about achieving that?

The current spate of protests that we have seen take place last month has surely rocked our nation to it's foundation.

Everyone's aware of what the protest organizer's message was?

In my opinion, BERSIH's call for a fair and clean election come this next GE was not wrong but they did break the law by marching without clearance from the Malaysian Police, the Keepers of the nation's Law and Order.

Getting the permit must surely have been a real hassle as we all know that the BN Government would surely not allow the PDRM to simply issue such a permit which would enable the Opposition to gain a footing and challenge them in winning over the people's hearts and minds in the process.

After 50 years of Independence from all the previous occupation of this peninsular, only now have Malaysians come to a stage where they have no more qualms about facing the security forces of this current regime which has been calling the shots since 1957.

Whom are we to blame for the BN's arrogance and dictatorship? No one else but the Malaysian voters.

When you elect and continue to elect a particular political party or coalition over the years without giving any chance to the Opposition to show what they can do, you fortify the belief in the prevalent coalition that they are irreplaceable!

You can't blame the BN for what they have done and continue to do when you keep returning them to power day in, day out!

'Power corrupts!' is a well known saying.

History has proven to us that this is no mere saying. Mankind has seen many such proofs of the rich and powerful get sidetracked from their former principles of fighting for justice and rights of the average citizen.

You see this happening to practically each and every individual whose fortunes change overnight either by their own hard enterprise or by a fluke of chance.

Even in a spoof such as P.Ramlee's fictional movie of 'Ali Baba Bujang Lapok, you see the character of Ali Baba played by Aziz Sattar change his way of walking and style after coming into riches which he stole from the the gang of thieves.

Reality is that many politicians today are clear living proof of this saying that power corrupts.

A classic example is Datuk Zakaria's 'Istana' in Pandamaran Klang which is still standing undisturbed by the BN's State Government under Chief Minister Khir Toyo who clearly practices double standards when it comes to demolishing squatter homes and illegal religious establishments but doesn't even come close to the palace of the corrupt politician amidst kampong houses?

So, whom do we blame for all this? Who else but the Malaysian voters who continue to return the BN into power without fail, in each and every bloody GE since Independence?

The Barisan Nasional have grown rich, fat, arrogant and powerful because of them.

Absolute power has even seen them forget the very principles of acknowledging the grouses of the millions of the cuckolded Malaysian citizenry practically over the last 5 decades!

Does anyone amongst the protesting Bar Council members, NGO's and other organizations think that this situation is going to change overnight by holding street protests and skirmishes with the FRU?

Think again.

The only way to see any change in the people's political awareness and realizing their rights and privileges of citizenship here in Malaysia is through education.

Educate the Malaysians about their rights and introduce such forums and hold it for free to the general Malaysian public.

Proper and correct political awareness of the average Malaysian public is not achieved by way of engaging in coffeeshop debates but through a proper concerted effort of continuous education and stages of delivering the right info and dissemination of knowledge about political facts and fiction to the masses.

Rome was not built in a day and so is the human mindset. Realization about this and that takes place only gradually in time and over the years.

Evolution of any one person's awareness of any one thing takes place only through the passage of time and not as in an instant as what the organizers of the recent street protests seem to have expected?

As lawyers and educated individuals, members of the Malaysian Bar Council surely ought to have known better than to expect the current political status quo in Malaysia to change overnight as if rubbing an 'Aladdin's Lamp' of 'holding street protests, rallies and marches and expecting the normally complacent general Malaysian populace to be with them, battling against the BN incumbents?

I am sorry to say that I don't see this happening, not now or even in the next GE or after this.

Let's be realistic and consider for a moment. How many percent of the Malaysian populace are made up of those who oppose the BN as strongly as the ones who participated in the BERSIH rally or even the latest HINDRAF thingy?

Compare that with the number of Malaysians in the country? 26 million over Malaysians compared with an average of a 100,000 over unhappy Malaysians.

Where is the winning factor? Not a bloody chance to change anything, overnight is there?

So, to me as a Malaysian citizen and registered voter plus being a Malaysian blogger, I choose to see things in the bigger perspective and state right here that if the fighters for this rights and that rights consisting of the members of the Malaysian Bar Council, Opposition parties, NGO's, etc. hope to see change take place here in our country, then by all means they need to start getting to terms with what's the real deal here right now!

All these people need to stir awake from whatever political utopia they have clouding their judgments at the moment and go about achieving such change by preparing to educate the public through a masterplan of Malaysian political renaissance about the consequences of the people returning into power, a regime such as the incumbents again and again in each GE that has taken place in this nation.

Now, the next most annoying question is whether the opposition have it in them to offer us a better alternative government?

I have yet to identify any one individual in any opposition party to whom I can gladly throw in my support and rally for the fella to lead this nation!

I am not saying that I won't support the Opposition but sorry to say that until and unless I see a true blue proponent of all that we are looking for in a political leader who has what it takes to lead us out of the Malaysian political doldrums, I would have no options but to just vote for whichever candidate who stands for election at my constituency where I naturally won't cross the ballot paper for anyone who is against Islam! Straight to the point.

Regarding the different measures being taken by the BN against members of the Opposition and handling their beloved Deputy UMNO Youth Chief with kid gloves who protested just in more about the same vitriolic manner against Condoleeza's visit, doesn't that speak volumes about the integrity or lack of it in the present Malaysian Prime Minister who clearly has proven that to him double standards is just part and parcel of his modus operandi?

Do as I say and not do as I do, eh?

I hope that what I shared above is understood for what I meant exactly and not misconstrued as being my endorsement of the present regime.

Give us a better lineup of capable Malaysian political leaders and not just another bunch of rhetoric spewers under a different label and we will consider supporting them failing which, history will just keep on repeating itself as it has always done here in Malaysia.

Right now, the BN's awesome government machinery has started to be put into action and they are gunning for all those who dared oppose them!

RTM has lodged a police report against Malaysiakini for publishing reports about the Indian radio deejays who got the sack or suspended for taking part in the Hindraf illegal rally on November the 25th.

Yesterday's illegal march by lawyers has seen many of them arrested and charged for assembling without a permit!

Don't these lawyers know better than to mess with the Be End?

As it is, the Be End will end all protests and marches against them by unleashing their mighty arsenal of 'Yes Tuan! Baik Tuan! Menurut Perintah Tuan! ' kaki's.

Be prepared to see some members of the Malaysian Bar behind bars. The real thing, I'm afraid.

That goes part and parcel with the 'fight for freedom'. Right now, we are seeing a 'Festival of Human Rights' in practice on our nation's streets. Sadly, the only admission seems to be into jail.

What a way to go,eh?

Did I hear, 'Malaysia Boleh'?

Must be. There are just millions of Abdullah Badawi fans on the loose! Hehehehehehe....