London chants to Our March for Democracy

May 30, 2012

London chants to Our March for Democracy

Freemalaysiatoday commentary(05-29-12)

A Prime Minister in Malaysia is a master in his home but when he goes abroad he has no home to protect him from the rough weather outside.

On his own shores he wields considerable power and can command the state to do his bidding whenever he wants to advance his political agenda and interest.

He can order the Police to beat up citizens to a pulp. He can direct the army to stop his opponents from gaining power. He can do a thousand and one foul things to stay in office against the wishes of the people. Nobody can touch a strand of his hair. He is the lord of all he surveys.

But when he flies to a faraway land, he loses his aura of invincibility. He is exposed to criticisms and can become a target of protests. And so it was with the Prime Minister of Malaysia when he stepped on British soil lately. At home he dealt harshly with a popular movement for reforms and used a newly enacted law to crack down on his political opponents. His government even sued the organisers of the April 28 rally for their troubles. He must have patted himself on the back for playing the role of a saviour.

Abroad, his heroic acts did not cut ice with Malaysians who know the crackdown on the protesters in Kuala Lumpur on April 28 was not the right thing to do. They heckled him, chanting a household mantra that he finally could not ignore. There was no one to shield him from this sudden gust of wind that blew through the hall. He heard at close quarters the cry that shook his country not too long ago. He could not close his ears or shut his eyes.

This is London where there are no walls to imprison the minds or dull the human spirit. This is not Kuala Lumpur where minds are shackled and bodies trampled upon. This is Britain where political power changes hand as often as the season when voters had had enough of the incumbents. This is not Malaysia where Prime Ministers and their cronies seem to own the country and will do everything in their power to cling to their wealth, perks and positions. The end justifies the means here.

The London protest signals an important change in the attitude of Malaysians abroad. They are willing to openly confront their Prime Minister to show their displeasure over unhealthy political developments back home. By that bold act, they have destroyed the myth that a Prime Minister is untouchable by virtue of his high station in life.

More importantly, the message conveyed is that there are Malaysians who are willing to carry the torch of dissent on the world stage and loudly proclaim their solidarity with their fellow citizens fighting for a clean cause on the domestic front. For sure, Malaysians who brave tear gas, water cannons, police beatings will not be alone in their campaign for a better Malaysia.

All over the world people are rising up against unjust governments after decades of repressive rule. Dissent is a universal thread that runs through all societies and has become a common culture. If Malaysians too are taking to the streets, it is simply because they are fed up with having to put up with all the shenanigans, nonsense and lies of the government all these years.

The Asian culture of showing respect and obedience for those in authority and not questioning them in public obviously did not work. Instead, it has worked to the distinct advantage of crooked politicians, who would rather have a pliant public blind to the misdeeds of the government than a vocal one keeping vigilant watch on the conduct of the government.

Malaysians abroad have taken up the call for reforms, which is a good sign that the flame of democracy will not be extinguished. The state may grind to dust the movement for change but it cannot crush the spirit that moves the people to defy injustice and seize the day for democracy.

The Prime Minister cannot expect to get civil treatment from angry citizens overseas or reverent silence from enraged citizens at home any more: the chant for clean governance will continue to fill the air and reverberate all around him at home and abroad.

15 thoughts on “London chants to Our March for Democracy

  1. Hanif’s alma mater has bestowed him with an honorary degree but no mention of VK Lingam who fixed judges for his country. This is most unfair.

    Lingam should perhaps move on to fix police chiefs..

  2. I don’t know whether it’s deliberate or not, but the pictures of Jibs smiling, sorta remind me of “risus sardonicus” or a malevolent grin characteristic of someone suffering from terminal muscle spasms in tetanus or other neurotoxins. Those chaps who heckled him in O2-London were bundled out post-haste, and even his “Talk with you’ll later” was insincere.

    A sardonic grin btw, is a prelude to ritual killing of the elderly in pre-Roman Sardinia. It is also the mark of The Joker in Batman comics.. My question is what the Parisian investigative judges will do now, smile or no smile?

    The window of opportunity for UMNO’s massive win in GE-13 is fast closing too and all that Senyum Penyamun ain’t gonna change the fact that: “Melayu takkan Lupa”.

  3. Overseas Malaysians are not subjected to brainwashing daily by mainstream media like TV3 and Utusan etc… so they are more open to alternative news esp via the cyber networks. And so, they should rightly stand up to the PM should they disagree afterall they are also further from the reaches of the long arms of PDRM and Special Branch…

  4. They have become so transparent in all that they do. We all know what is wrong but we have become powerless because we heed and are obedient. They just do not care what we have to say and do not want address the issues. They build hospitals at great cost and everyone involved profits from it except those who go there to seek medical treatment. The list just goes on. Those who heed are powerless and the powerful do not heed. And now to cover up all the issues they have brought up the the mother of all red herrings-non Malay who wants to be Prime Minister. If and when that person does take over he will be reduced to President Obama who took over from G W Bush.

  5. I am a conservative and therefore feel that whatever my political differences may be with the Prime Minister and his coalition, I will not embarrass or insult him when he is speaking abroad. If you don’t like his politics or his policies, you are at liberty to exercise your right to vote against UMNO-BN, but you should not show disrespect to the Prime Minister of our country. I stick to that rule which I set for myself. –Din Merican

  6. Bravo Dato Dino for the rule that you have set yourself,that respect I’ll give to you,but you must remember that not everyone is as fortunate as you,it is your blog that we are commenting upon,that’s right,but as far as I am concerned,A Penyamun no matter what he is or where he is,I just don’t give a damn,call me uncouth or whatever, in fact he deserves more heckling than what was given to him,he’s insulting my intelligence and knowing myself that I am not that smart.pisses me off.I can do 10 times better than what he does,it’s so easy,just chant this Mantra,” Lu tolong Wa, Wa tolong Lu “that’s his politics all along,even an idiot can do that.

    Sorry Dato,that’s the rule that I set myself,me, Malaysian,Malay n sometimes a good Muslim and ooh!!! A Non Rent Seeker.
    Choose the occasion to heckle him. Most of us on this blog are not rent seekers.–Din Merican

  7. Felt bad when the Prime Minister was humiliated by the heckler but also wondered what drove that guy to do it? Must have had something really shitty happened to him to make him do it or he is just a plain troublemaker seeking his 15mins. I will also stick to the rules of questioning both sides and trying to see things from both ends(I sound like a sausage) which I have set for myself.
    There is a time and place to debate, advocate and question. But do it respectfully, I would say. We must also learn to listen.–Din Merican

  8. I think everyone whose position is underwritten by the public, and especially one with the stature of Sardonicus, is fair game anywhere whether on cocooned home ground or elsewhere. Especially so when they step outside to attend to private business activities, like their children’s graduation or a shopping outing for the mama, thinly disguised as an official business trip.

  9. I basically feel that heckling the Sardonic Joker, would’ve been better served after his Insubstantial speech – when he had stepped down. Why? Decorum or respect to the Office of the PM, even though we find his humor terminally sickening and retch at his persona.

    It might be minutiae to most, but we must differentiate between the “Office” and the “Person”. There must be some a decency, chivalry and honor in the polity left – even when our ‘opposition’ doesn’t believe or practice in it.

  10. Heckling is free speech . To stop anybody from heckling is denying his constitutional right to free speech.

    Anybody who disagrees with above, go have your head checked with Mr Bean, our “free speech psychiatrist”.

  11. By the way, the constitutional right to heckling is not limited to sovereign boundaries. Heckling is a form of verbal feedback, and a mood gauge of how bad or good the speaker being heckled. Therefore heckling should be taken in good spirit by all speakers. No?

    The victim of heckling can seek redress in a civil court he/she feels he is being humiliated by hecklers.

    What the heck !!!! Najib’s goons have been violent hecklers without exceptions.

  12. What Najib should do is pay for a plane load of those UMNO goons to go overseas where Anwar is making speeches. If UMNO can spend millions of taxpayers money to bring UMNO supporters to Bukit Jalil Stadium, what is a plane load of UMNO hecklers to follow Anwar on overseas trip.

    If not BTN can organize courses on ” Effective Methods of Heckling” for members of UMNO Club in London, Washington etc. Sekinchan Ikan Bakar Restaurant chain can sponsor, after all, it’s owner,Jamal Md Yunos is offering his Lamboghini as a prize to start a pasar malam in front of Datuk Ambiga’s hours.

  13. No one will heckle a respectable Prime Minister. Wasn’t he the one who openly said the days when the govt knows best are forever gone? So, why wasn’t he listening. Why didn’t he allow 300,000 peace-loving Malaysians to peacefully sit down on a field in central Kuala Lumpur to voice their requests for a free and fair elections. Sure, we are to respect the Prime Minister the office, I do, but I don’t respect the Prime Minister the man!

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