Saturday, November 10, 2007
Let's not kid ourselves, shall we? This afternoon's rally - peaceful or not, was not about a call for real democracy or handing over of a memorandum to the King. A rally could have been held in a stadium where like-minded people could go and stay out of everybody else's way. And if they really wanted to hand over a memorandum to the King, I am sure the Opposition leaders could have done it in person if they kept it behind closed doors and didn't hype up the event.
Quite simply, today's show was nothing more than a demonstration of power. They are telling the present government that they have the support of the people. They are telling the people that the present government is doing something really wrong and that they are our saviours. It may shock you, but I fully agree that things are messed up. But two wrongs never made anything right and today's rally was nothing more than a hypocritical farce.
The Opposition leaders needed to make it big and hype it up. But disrupting public peace is not the way to go about doing things. Thousands of people were affected by the rally - businesses were undoubtedly disrupted and tourists given a horrible impression of the country. Street demonstrations are bad for business - one could only venture a guess as to how many foreign investors were shoo-ed away by today's events.
Somebody said that this is the price to pay for freedom and rights. Yeah, so why is it that the Opposition parties are allowed to decide the price to pay on my behalf?
The Star says there were 5000 people at the gathering. Malaysiakini says there were 40 000 people. This is my case in point - different lie, same bullshit. This has always been the case. Reading too much of only one source clouds your judgment - so let's settle for an in-between figure of 20 000 people, alright?
There are 4 million people in the Klang Valley. Isn't it truly ironic that in a rally for democracy 0.5% of them get to tell us what is right and what is wrong? Please do away with the hypocrisy - this was nothing more than a political statement designed to tell the public that the general elections are coming and that you should vote them.
If you don't know where to cast your vote during the next election, events of today should further confuse you. I do not need to say anything further about the current administration. Everybody knows their faults and their screw-ups. You would truly be an ass if you are going to allow people who messed up so badly to continue screwing up.
Yet, the alternative is not an attractive enough proposition. We have a bunch of Opposition parties working on the principle that "your enemy is my enemy" even though their ideologies are as similar as chalk and cheese. The Opposition parties don't exist with the intention of winning the general elections. Their only objective is to disrupt as much as they can the operation of the incumbent government. They have no clear and fixed policies except to oppose whatever the government is doing - sometimes for no other reason other than thinking it is their job to oppose blindly.
When things are done wrongly or screwed up big time, that is where the Opposition parties can earn their votes. The chief justice case is a good example. Misappropriation of funds is another. But when they oppose necessary things like the removal of fuel subsidies, the smarter of us know that they are only doing it to fish for votes. They fought the price hikes because it was the popular decision among the majority of people at that time. I don't care who is in charge of this country - I'll be damned if the guy at the top makes decisions based on a popularity contest.
Let's look at Anwar Ibrahim. Here's a man who is championing the removal of the NEP or calling for it to be reviewed. That's all fine, except for the fact that this was a man who spent most of his political career seemingly being fine with the idea. Then he gets screwed over, and suddenly the NEP is a bad thing. Hypocritical, isn't it?
It has come to the point where people think it is acceptable to hold mass protests and disrupt public peace just to get their idea across. It is not. People think that the lesser of two evils is acceptable. It is not.
So what do I propose?
Frankly, I have no idea. Regular readers of this blog know that I seldom comment on a matter without proposing a solution. Unfortunately, I don't have the faintest idea what the solution is. This is why, today I really weep for my country.
During my university days, during our student council elections as well as elections of individual societies, besides the candidates running for the post, there was an option to vote RoN, short for Re-open Nomination. You could select that option if you weren't happy with any of the people running for the position. If RoN won, all candidates would be disqualified, and there would be a renomination new candidates to run for the position. In my 3 years in university, I have only seen it happen once - there was only one candidate running for President of the Malaysian Singaporean Society and he embarrassingly lost flat out to RoN.
How I wish things could be so easy.
Update: A response to most of the comments, here.
But look at it this way. Do you think having the freedom of movement and speech is one of man's most basic rights?
Would you like to be allowed to speak up without fear of retribution? That's what this blog is for right? You get to exercise your freedom of speech, and from your disclaimer, I can sense that you are someone who treasures your freedom of speech.
So when the police and government threatens my freedom of speech, and also my freedom of movement, my freedom to gather, I chose to ignore them and went ahead and march. I will not sit down quietly and see my rights trampled on.
Same thing with your blog. What if one day, the government for some stupid reason decides to shut down your blog, come to your house, confiscate your PC, harass your parents? Will you let your rights be trampled on?
Take a look at an alternative situation. This rally was planned months before. The permit was applied for very early on. If the permit was approved, then perhaps the police and organizers can plan out a marching route, divert traffic, and minimize the traffic problems that you experienced today.
But the government and police would rather crack down harshly on this, and inconvenience everyone, thereby causing traffic chaos throughout the Klang Valley. So for the traffic jam today, I sincerely apologize to you as one of the participants of the rally. But like I said, think of the alternative where the permit would be given.
So I end with this, read the memorandum. If you want, criticize the message, not the messenger (in your own words in the disclaimer).
I hope your concerns are way way way beyond the cause of the traffic jams, because the government propaganda machine wants you to hate the messengers. Read tomorrow's papers and see how the traffic situation is reported. Get the public to hate the rally for inconveniencing them would be the theme. I'm sure you'll be smart enough not to be fooled.
So STFU noob.
No matter how smart you claim you are, please go to the nearest community library to look up the meaning of "CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT" and the "FEDERAL CONSTITUTION".
The cops have no business stopping traffic into the city centre.
In some ways I agree with you (see my blog), but your rants are one of a know-it-all.
you are absolutely fine. it is hard to find a solution for this case. well, this is politics. many americans oppose the idea of attacking iraqi but US government still do it. how do it work? no idea. politicians decide. our voices will be respected but not taken. yup, we all would like to have a peaceful approach. yet, POWER.. politicians have more power than us lol
that's good that you have calmed down as well. however, that's shocking to learn this happened in kl. sad..
While Anwar did is indeed hypocritical, what if he is, indeed, "saw the light " ? That the answer is subjective.
I support the peace march, and I respect vincent's view. He proposed that idea his way as he believe in, what more can you say ?
yungjie: It seems that getting fucked in the ass (figuratively speaking, of course) can make someone 'see the light'.
guabeysong: Yes, I am a know-it-all.
Dear Idiots who have never been here before,
I have NEVER, EVER claimed to have supported 'free speech' and similar bullshit. I am one for autocracy. Think of this blog as a dictatorship.
You are allowed to disagree, but if I think your arguments are dumb, or you are dumb, then I shall delete mercilessly. Don't bitch after that.
hypocrite or not... it is a case of the lesser of 2 evil.
as much as you hate people marching on the streets (I hate it myself), they are people that hate it when somebody ping twice, thrice, or even more to pps.
some concept, only one in the virtual world, the other in real world.
don't call other hypocrites when you are guilty of the same thing.
The first ping on this matter was on Saturday for this:
And i reckon hypocrite is just it. Maybe i should fuck my tax law exam over tomorrow and do constitutional law instead
The last thing the economy needs is something like this.
You re right that the rally is A DEMONSTRATION OF PEOPLE POWER. Whether it's opposition parties or BERSIH coalition, it is a demonstration that PEOPLE CARES and WE DARE TO OPPOSE - especially when nearly everything about justice and fairness in this country is "buggered".
Let's analyse the so-called negativities of this rally (with my reply in bold):
1) But disrupting public peace The application for a rally was submitted, plan was taken to ensure public order and there are even volunteers to ensure peace. On top of this, it was supposedly the duty of the police to PROTECT THE PROTESTERS, rather than firing chemicals at them
2) businesses were undoubtedly disrupted One day of business interruption losses can be easily overweighted by the daily corruption in Selangor District Offices alone.
3) tourists given a horrible impression of the country. And yet, foreigners took much interest in calling for permission for the rally. I am not going to live with a corrupted state, simply because i want to impress the ang-mohs
4) Street demonstrations are bad for business - foreign investors were shoo-ed away You should know that foreign investors prefer a country that democracy, transparency, justice, fair election, low corruption, free market are the calls of the day. At it is, Malaysia's only strength is our trained human capital, which seems to be slowly eroded by this administration
...to be continued...
i do agree with you and i share your sentiment. we all aware of the apparent hypocrisy that the opposition tend to display, and with the negative connotation that we as a society seem to put on anything that is politics, it just doesn't help. For most of the time, we couldn't see how the opposition would be better than the present government. but it seems like while the government under abdullah badawi is brushing everything aside from the justice, accountability and trying to cover up every incidents lately than living up to his promises back then, the opposition is the only choice to make. at least they are listening to the public grouses.
As for Anwar Ibrahim, for now maybe he is our hope and for everything that he claims and promises, it does not matter so much whether he's actually sincere or not, for we shall be the judges by then. What matters now, is for us to press for electoral reform, or shall this fail, let us vote for change. (taken from http://dan-yel.blogspot.com/2007/11/anwar-ibrahim-opposition.html interesting post, especially after what you mentioned in your post. have a read and look at the issues, not at the messenger. i may not be his biggest fan, but i do agree with the issues he tries to tackle. i hope he's sincere in his claims and promises. look at the bright side heh?)
and i couldn't help but to notice that you criticized, you whacked the government, you whacked the oppositions, and you whack the rally participants, and you have no idea to propose. RON? Then what? RON again? you say it all lah...what left for us to say? :)
You are entitled to your opinion. But starting of from your childish ramblings, I would think your opinion suck. Reason is because you ramble, sulk and criticize all...for the sake of......critizing and nothing more.
What would you think would make the world a better place? You say so much but yet present nothing at all. I'm no clairvoyant but my guess is, you’re the type of person who just likes to sit in one corner and sulk at everything you see. I mean, if you were to criticize then constructively criticize. Give some positive opinions. But noo...all you do is ramble how bad this is...how bad that is. Now you're being hypocritical aint it? You know, I was never into politics but at the current state our country is in now, I think it would be rather ignorant and stupid to ignore. Ignorance isn’t bliss. Never was. Ok. Maybe you think it is. Thank God there are many who do not think like you at all. Otherwise, people like you would just sit back and grumble, grumble, grumble and yet choose to say….”Arr Lepak lar…lets see what happens” WOW….That’s mighty hypocritical. Are you like that? Or are you not? Sorry….its just my opinion, since you are entitled to yours.
So you think that the lawyers who walked the Walk of Justice hypocritical? You think that this country does not need reforms? Do you even know about the 1988 Tun Salleh Abbas Judicial Crisis? So you think that these people protest because they want to buat wayang? Do you think what you read in the papers is absolute truth? The Star, NST? I’m just so sick about people like you who, like those in the coffeeshop discuss about things, complaining criticizing but yet, choose to take the easier route. Nothing. On Nov 10th, the only thing you could care about is your shopping disruption?! You see ar, my humble opinion is this, the people on Nov 10th did what they had to do, wayang or not, to get a message across, THAT WE ARE NOT TO BE BULLIED BY THE PEOPLE UP THERE WHO GIVES US BULLSH*T DAY AFTER DAY ANYMORE! TIME TO MAKE A STAND. Afterall, the country’s growth first starts with the basic elements. The people living in it. Well, if you are ever free, please pick up a book on Jurisprudence and you can start reading from the views of one of the famous jurisprudence minds, John Austin. Aww heck, just pick up any jurisprudence book and have a go at it. Plenty in MPH.
"A rally could have been held in a stadium where like-minded people could go and stay out of everybody else's way. And if they really wanted to hand over a memorandum to the King, I am sure the Opposition leaders could have done it in person if they kept it behind closed doors and didn't hype up the event." – Come on lar, honestly you think this will ever happen? That the authorities will lease the stadium for a rally? Boy, aren’t you just plain ignorant. If this could happen, you think the protest will take place? Well, I leave that answer to you.
Anyway, just to let you know something lar, please do research, get your facts right before you criticize on something. Makes you look better and more presentable. Seriously. I used to be like you. I seen the light. I hope you do too..but then again…sigh……
Well..I hope you're a big enough person to let my opinions stand and not delete this. Like I said you are entitled to your opinions and I am to mine. Sadly I strongly disagree with your childish comments...hey..you started it first :)
As much as I am a supporter of the rally and am very,very concerned about the political situation at home, you gotta give it to this guy : he sums up the feeling of A LOT of people back home.
Try it out, go outside your circle of friends, ask them if they read about 10-eleven. Chances are they'd say yes, it was an ILLEGAL rally, organised by the OPPOSITION and caused MASSIVE traffic CONGESTION. Important points in caps.
Not many would tell you it was for electoral reform, to submit a memorandum to His Majesty or it was a coalition of many NGOs and political parties.
And that's the fact of the matter.
We should not get too carried away and lambast Vincent like that. I think people who blog are a little too caught up in their own circle of influence; to the extent that they lose touch with the feelings of a lot of the rakyat.
I know I want to feel excited about the rally. I know I want to feel that this will lead on to bigger things.
But I am forced to realise that, unfortunately, the majority still sees the whole event as an ILLEGAL rally organised by the OPPOSITION which caused MASSIVE CONGESTION.
The onus is on 'us' - the people who claim to be passionate about the state of the nation - to spread this awareness to people like Vincent. Not alienate them, or ask them to STFU or dismiss them as childish.
Because at the end of the day, it is people like Vincent that we want supporting our cause, because I personally think he represents the silent majority.
I see prominent names in this comment section, coming out to vilify Vincent. Do change your approach, engage him. Promote your values. Not chase away your customers.
And to all others who are all too ready to spit venom, think just for one second.
And Vincent, besides just weeping for the country, wipe off those tears and speak to the very same people who poured scorn upon you. My hopes are both sides will find a middle ground. And then this will really be an achivement, a small one. But a very significant one.
everyone cheers for the opposition and this rally will suddenly give more power to the people? and how sure are you the gov's not gonna fuck us over and over and over? oh, and i think really.. a lotta ppl need to read up some economics. i suggest you grab hold of introductory to macroeconomics by ben bernanke :)
come on people...
Yes, they'll disrupt traffic, ruin business, give ang moh tourists something to write home about, and inform foreign investors of a potentially flawed electoral system.
But think of what protests can do for you. A good protest can greatly shift the balance of power, leading to reforms that my not otherwise have been considered. It is by itself a form of democracy by giving power to the masses or even a minority (the Million Man March in US and A, 1995) as opposed to a few who are in power.
A society that is actively aware and well educated of the situation within their government and is willing to act on any injustices is a society that a government fears. That is the way it should be - a truly democratic nation is one in which a government is controlled by its people, no matter how poor, uneducated, black, yellow, blue, or female they are.
On the flipside, a government that instills fear into its people is one that can get away with practically anything without any backlash. Until of course, a V character steps up and blows up the parliament house. The Bush Administration is an example of this - they lock their people into a constant state of fear and uncertainty about terrorists, oil prices and what have you not. Citing more local examples you have politicians warning us of a monster called 'globalisasi', 'penjajah asing' who want to take over our country, failing which we can always worry about own very own non-Bumi races being the conquerors. Fear is a universal and powerful political tool.
Sure, they were just asking for cleaner elections (and perhaps it was merely a huge billboard advertisment for the opposition) - but I see this as a first, big step for a Malaysian administration that is truly for the people and not the serve the greed of a few in power.
So what's the solution?
Power to the people. I don't particularly support the oppostion since it's likely they'll become a bunch of corrupt monkeys like the adminstration they replace. However, if they get into power by creating a culture where people can voice out their opinions without any repercussions then it's unlikely they can get away with any stunts.
Yeah I support a dialectic Hagelian style of governance, so sue me.
more people using the transport system etcetc.
i lived in london. we had about 10 football clubs in around london?
every weekend. thousands of people gather at certain points in the city. closing down the surrounding streets. not to mention every other week there's a protest in the streets about something or another. the united kingdom doesn't seem to be in a recession now does it?
everyone here who doesn't agree with vincent has to understand. he's an engineer. asking him to read stuff on constitutional law, democracy etcetc is a waste of time. yes vincent can count. but he learnt nothing about the real world and it's functionings. what a real democracy means. how free speech and protests are the foundations of a democratic society.
our friend here lives in a comfort zone and therefore is willing to put up with autocracy. just like the singaporeans.
but lets not forget. vincent can say whatever he wants and choose to live how he wants. it's HIS right. just don't interfere with ours.=)