November 20, 2016
Bersih, BERSIH, Bersih–A Great Success
by Dean Johns
BERSIH wants him to get lost
Here’s to success for BERSIH in its fifth public rally in support of its campaign for clean, free and fair elections in Malaysia.
Not that I, or I imagine anybody else, expects anything like success, at least in the short-term. But even false optimism beats succumbing to feelings of despair and defeat.
Though it must be terribly difficult not to concede defeat in the face of an electoral system so corrupt that it leaves Malaysians with no choice but to vote with their feet.
Bersih, BERSIH, Bersih
To either walk away from the criminal cesspit to which the UMNO-BN regime has systematically reduced the country, as millions of Malaysians including my wife and daughter have done, or to stay and walk the talk like the BERSIH marchers are doing on November 19.
Of course both sets of walkers are playing their parts in striving to perform the feat of forcing UMNO-BN to clean-up the disgusting mess it has made of the country in its greed for power and plunder, or to clear-out in favour of an honest, people-friendly government.
Countless Malaysian emigrants and expatriates around the world in Global BERSIH gather together to agitate, rally and march in support of their fellows back home.
Congrats to Maria Chin, Ambiga, and Your Colleagues
And many work hard individually for clean, free and fair elections and clean, free and fair government for Malaysia.
My wife, for example, who as a Malay-Chinese married to a mat salleh is a living exemplar of multi-ethnic accord, is close to completing a PhD at Sydney University on the possibility or otherwise of Malaysian’s achievement of a unifying national identity despite UMNO-BN’s determination to maintain its domination of the nation by preaching unity but actually promoting racial and religious division and discord.
A PhD that wouldn’t be totally impossible to pursue in any of Malaysia’s local or internationally-affiliated universities, given their all-too-obvious domination by regime-friendly management and academic appointees.
Meanwhile our daughter, as dearly as she loves going balik kampong to spend time with her maternal relatives, has been inspired by the fact that she feels physically and spiritually ‘grubby’ every time she visits UMNO-BN’s Malaysia, to aspire to an eventual career in human-rights law.
My own motivation for at least metaphorically walking in support of BERSIH and indeed all other Malaysian organisations and individuals working to clean-up the malodorous mess that UMNO-BN has made of Malaysia by writing this Malaysiakini column for the past decade or so is both personal and a matter of principle.
Driven to seek the light
As vividly aware as I am of the unceasing power-struggles within our human psyches between opposing forces for either good or evil like virtue and vice, greed and generosity, creation and destruction, co-operation and conflict, truth and falsehood and so on, I find myself driven to support and seek the light along with those of my fellows who similarly try and avoid the dark.
Dean Johns–Malaysia’s Mat Salleh Friend
And thus I’m delighted to declare my solidarity and write if not literally walk in step with BERSIH and its supporters, especially those with sufficient spine to stride out on the streets in demonstration of their disgust at government corruption and sundry other criminalities, rather than settling for complaining in secret.
All of which is a very long-winded way of saying that I wish all power to BERSIH in its latest street-march calling for Malaysians to be accorded their constitutional right to clean, free and fair elections, and by extension clean, free and fair government.
And conversely, all the bad luck in the world to every member, supporter and crony of the discredited UMNO-BN regime, from its alleged 1MDB-billionaire Crime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his cabinet, through its Judiciary, Police Force and fawning mainstream media, on down to its very dregs, those dedak-hungry so-called red-shirts, all united in their efforts to keep empowering and enriching themselves and in the process sending Malaysia and Malaysians on the road to ruin.