Anyone that has actually taken the trouble of visiting this blog or for that matter know me personally will know that I don’t fancy aligning myself to any political faction, be it the government or the opposition… at least not publicly.
But this whole conundrum on Bersih 2.0 or “Perhimpunan Haram” as the mainstream media puts it at its very last stretch have seem to turn into a circus. Honestly there are clowns and jokers citing jokes everyday, some funny, others scary and at any other time, both! These finally prompted me to write this entry.
I would try to remain objective and neutral in writing this and hopefully I would be able to maintain this creed right to the very end of this entry.
THE DEMANDS AND THE ASSEMBLY:
Bersih has underlined the 8 demands which it feels could bring forth cleaner, fairer and more transparent elections. I am not going to elaborate the demands here, should you need to peruse them; well, they are practically all over the inter-web, just google. In a nutshell, it revolves around achieving a cleaner, fairer and more transparent election.
For those who have read the demands, you would easily agree with me that the demands are sound to say the least if not wonderful. But if you don’t share my sentiment here than I would respectfully submit that your sense of right and wrong is quite simply distorted. Hey, is not that I reject dissenting views, (that would after all be very “undemocratic” of me) but since when in men’s natural history seeking cleaner, fairer and more transparent of anything a bad thing? Transparency is about honesty and honesty is always a good thing although the repercussions may some times be far from pleasing. So, how in god’s world can anyone not agree with the demands of Bersih? Especially when it is in the general interest of Malaysia’s populace. A cleaner, fairer and more transparent election process, what is there not to like?
Now that I’ve cleared that out of the way, let’s move on to the peaceful assembly or walk to Istana Negara initially intended by Bersih.
I personally feel that no matter how well the intention may be, an assembly on the streets should not be an immediate or first solution. Reason being is no matter how peacefully a street assembly will be held it will in one way or another distort the general populace’s livelihood and its daily routine. It’s quite simple actually, the moment you add a new factor in an ordinary equation the results would be different. If the equation for everyday life is 1+2=3, than having a street assembly is like adding “4” into the equation. It changes the equation and inevitably it's result.
I would think that this equation is just as applicable to Bersih’s earlier proposed “Walk of Justice” as it would to the closure of Jalan Raja for Najib’s “1 Malaysia” programs, “1 youth” in the streets of Putrajaya, national celebrations and what not. Whether or not such distortion to the populaces’ daily equation is negated by the well intentions of the organizers is subjective. It would depend on how far the individual populace share (or for that matter digress) the well intention of the organizers.
So when Mr. Najib first came out with the counter proposal to allow Bersih to have their program in a stadium from morning till night, I thought that it was not a bad idea. It may be borderline ludicrous (imagine chanting demands of reform to elections in a stadium), but at least it would be safer for the participants with no worry of oncoming traffic and all and more importantly it would keep the organizers in the good book of the general populace.
WATCH OUT FOR Part 2: The Banning!