A miss opportunity!

As someone who has been a CC member of a political party ( supposedly the highest decision making body but in reality not necessary so), and someone who has always spoken his mind over many issues and policies (often against party stand too), i can understand how Tunku Abdul Aziz feels when he was rebuked for speaking his mind against the sit in of Bersih 3.0, even though he supports the aims and objectives of Bersih.

While I do not necessarily agree with him over his statement ( I  was at Bersih 3.0 to show my support), I thought that he should be allowed to speak his mind especially when in his initial statement he did emphasize  that was his personl opinion.

I thought the subsequent pressure on him not to seek another term of his senatorship was a wee bit too harsh, and that this act would backfire on the Rocket since it would be seen as an vindictive act.

I have always spoken against being too partisan, as i believe a political party is just a vehicle for achieving certain ideology and aims.

In the States, republican presidents have invited and appointed democratic party members into their cabinets and senior positions in government and vice versa.  So a party’s ;eadership should be big enough to tolerate certain dissenting views in a democratic setting.

Malaysians have become so partisan that not only the line is so clearly drawn, but any person speaking publicly against party stand , even when this view is uttered in a personal capacity, is considered a ‘traitor’.

If you are in the ruling party, you cannot even say another thing good about the opposition , and vice versa, even if there are occasions that the opposing side did do something good.

It would have done Rocket a lot of good ( it would have showcased them as a truely democratic party, not only in name) if they have tolerated the dissenting views of the Tunku, and that would portray the party as a matured, tolerance(which i find is laking in almost all parties ) and magnanimous organisation that is really practicing true democracy. It would have attracted lots of likeminded malay intellectuals and fence sitters.

What a miss chance!

( I also doubt that Tunku Abdul Aziz wuld reconsider despite the plea from DAP leaders now that he has crossed the Rubicon. I myself didnot reconsider my quit decision despite pleas from the president of my former pary. The plea, as I see it, is an attempt to damage control its public image, and the leaders know that the quit decision is final)

Yearning for change

The Old Horse has urged the people to vote for a strong BN government so that after the elction, ISA can be brought back.

This is more the reason why we should vote for a  2 party system rather than give BN (or rather UMNO ) a strong mandate. It would only undo all efforts that the civil society has done  so far. whatever reform would come to naught.

As I see it, even though BN has the edge in the coming election, it can only win a simple majority and no more the 2/3 it craves for. OF course the simple majority would be because of Gerrymandering, something our Old Horse said is good– because it is good to keep the old system( and Old Horse’s old interest ) in place.

Bersih 3 may not have as big an impact as Bersih 2, according to a foreign news magazine( the economist by the way), but the sheer number of turnout makes it something that cannot be brushed off easily.

Most roads to Dataran Merdeka was so packed with people that day that even moving a short distance was a big effort, since there was literally little moving space. Even though the government estimated the crowd to be around20,000, i think more than 10 times the number attended the rally.

By its sheer number, its influence cannot be written off. If one participant can tell his story to 10 who did not attend, and influence these 10 people, it would already be more than 2 millions voters. What about those who stayed home, since Malaysians are generally a passive lot.  For one that attended Bersih, be assured that there are many who did not attend but share the same feeling– that there must be a fair and clean election.

I spotted among the crowd some members of component parties of BN. These minority aside, most who attended Bersih 3.0 would be those who wanted a better governance, starting with a clean and fair election. Bersih , to many in that crowd, means a clean government too, so it would not be wrong that most of these who came out of their comfort zones to show people’s power would not hesitate to vote for the opposition.

I would therefore be worried by the sheer number  if I am the PM. By words of mouth alone, these group would be a big influence on how people will vote. ANd a further worry is that among this group, there are simply too many youths of all ethnic groups.

2.3million youngsters are going to vote for the first time. Then there are many hundred of thousands who would be voting for their second time; their first time voting probably contributed to the tsunami of 2008.

It would not be wrong to say that most youngsters are anti establishment. Even though there may be some who would vote for the incumbents for whatever reason, majority of the youth wold probably be voting for the opposition.

Bersih 3.0 and the crackdown on participants also served to prove one point– that  there can be any number of reforms bills rushed through Parliamnet, if this is not practiced on the ground, whatever reform promises would just be too empty to be accepted by the middle ground. Thus the crackdown would have kept  the middle ground votes away from BN, even though the reformist posturing of PM is to try to win back the votes of some of these people. It is not wrong to say that the crackdown actually undid a lot of PM efforts in wooing the middle ground. 

All in, Bersih 3.0 serves notice that Malaysians are really yearning for change, and that this yearning is so great that it has overcome fear, something  which has driven many to vote for the incumbents again and again in the past.