Thursday, June 30, 2011

The 'Bersih' furore

I am apathetic to all things political.

My dad may be somewhat of an opposition activist, as some would call him. But I see him as something different.

He has worked, all throughout his life to help people in need. I have seen him help people all across religion, race and without due care or regard to their political inclinations. He is a devout muslim and so, I believe deep down, he feels like he must align himself to a political party which he can identify himself with. I believe that he truly believes the cause for which he contributes every ounce of his energy to. And for that I respect him as I cannot imagine myself doing or believing in anything remotely close to what he has accomplished.

But the reality is this. The people in his own party do not appreciate him. His values and work (for which he asks for absolutely nothing in return) are shunned by people who has agendas and political motivations and inclinations of their own. These people do not care about anything else but how they can reach the top and they do that by hiding behind their kupiah's and tudung's and by reciting the holy words of Quran but that which does not ring true in their hearts. Do they care about making things better? They DON'T. Do they care about you and me or other issues plaguing this society and country. They DON'T. And another reality is this, it is these kind of people, who always win and get the upper hand. And for that I respect my father even more, as it bothers him not one bit, and he continues carrying on his work and mission to help others.

From him and what he has gone through, I learned that power, money and fame runs in the veins of every political party, ruling or opposition aside.

So do I agree with Bersih or  care about the rumours of its cause being politically tainted? I am apathetic to their cause. This means it makes absolutely NO difference to me. The difference I see and feel is the kilos of rice, oil and eggs handed out to every single mother in Puchong and other areas by my father every week, every problematic teenager counseled by my father who has turned a new leaf and every student who was given financial help by my father who has now made something of themselves. That is what matters to me. Their tears and gratitude. They make the difference. Not any political party, not any over-idolised individual with their own agendas.

Do I agree with the Bar Council and its support for it? I believe that the Bar Council should remain over and above all political inclinations and instead look after the interests of its members.

But what is happening in this country is disturbing me right now. I am a citizen of this country, I should have the right to assemble in a group, walk peacefully and show my disagreement towards something. That is my inherent RIGHT. Whether I exercise that right or not, is completely up to me. But should I exercise that RIGHT, no act of violence should be imposed on me.

It is not the idea of clamping down on 'Bersih' which is upsetting me. It is the idea of taking away a RIGHT which was given to me by my forefathers who marched and walked and obtained independence for this country from colonial rule. It is the idea of telling/instructing me the way I should think, they way I should act, the way I should dress. This is NOT the democracy which our forefathers fought for with their tears, sweat and blood. They would shiver in their graves seeing at how this country has been torn apart.

The action by the current administration in respect of the Bersih issue is merely a symptom of a more disturbing desease. And what disturbs me more is that I do not knowwhat that desease is.

At the back of my mind, I have that nagging feeling that something has been taken away from me. Something which I know is mine. That RIGHT.

I shudder to think what right will be forfeited next. We will all see...yes we shall.

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