Bersih 4.0 entered its second day today. I walked yesterday among the crowd, hot and tired, but the hope of a better governance has kept me going. ( refer to my post yesterday).
The turnout on the first day was nothing but mammoth. It was bigger than Bersih 3 which I have witnessed first hand too.
This time, I was happy and yet disappointed at the same time.
Happy to see so many youngsters, some of them so pretty and handsome and so well groomed that they would probably rather sit in an Aircond room than standing under the hot sun. Yet there are so many of them, braving the hot humid weather and the scorching sun to march for better governance. This youth would be the backbone of the nation soon, and it is good to see the political awakening in so many of them.
Disappointed that this was mainly an one ethnic show. While Bersih 1 and 2 have predominantly Malay participants, this one is mainly urban Chinese Malaysians, maybe as high as 85%.
What inference can we draw from this?
- The discontent and the perceived farce surrounding the billion ringgit ‘donation’ issue and the rapid depreciation of our money are mainly felt by the urban people. Most Malays are not as much concerned about this as the Chinese Malaysians
- the Anwar factor is rapidly losing its relevance. Without PAS in PR, Malay support for PR is only marginal… GHB is too new and untested to draw Malay support for the opposition pact.
- without massive turnout of the Malays in this Bersih, those who hope to use a vote of no confidence to unseat the present PM can forget about it. MPs in BN will not be pressured into joining the opposition camp to vote against PM, since they would not feel pressurized by the lack of Malay presence in this gathering.
- The component parties like MCA and Gerakan can forget about a come back in the next election. Unless the big brother is magnanimous enough to give them some rural seats ( an impossible tasks knowing how Warlords in Big Brother operate), they can forget about doing better in the next election. If anything, urban people are more against these now. These parties’ relative silence on the donation issue shows their impotence in national politics. Their role is mainly fire fighting, but with urban populace better educated and informed now, even this fire fighting role would not get them much headway.
- Unless and until the opposition can galvanize more rural support, the next GE will see Big a Brother win again.
After 2008, I thought I saw a dim light at the end of the tunnel. Now I realize that the end of the tunnel was still very far away; the dim light was just an illusion, no thanks to the breakup of the opposition pact.
Time and again I have mentioned in my blog about the Taiping Rebellion of China during the Qing Dynasty. The rebel movement conquered many provinces initially and would have probably overthrown the Manchus long before Sun Yat Sun did, had it not degenerated into vicious infighting and power struggle among the top few leaders. The spoilts of war derived from the initial victories was too much for the bunch of rebel leaders, and the intoxication of power from the few provinces they conquered was too much for these leaders to handle. The Qing emperor, though inert and corrupted, was able to crush them and quell the rebellion.
History is a mirror. Those who fail to learn from history will meet the same fate as those before them.
One good thing about history. It too teaches us that a corrupt regime will not last forever. It is just a matter of time that change will come. Who would imagine Suharto and Gaddaffi fall from office? Yet, they did.
This article is also available in Malaymailonline.