Stand and Speak Up for Malaysia


January 3, 2017

Stand and Speak Up for Malaysia

by Mariam Mokhtar@www.malaysiakini.com

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For some of you (in fact most of us, Mariam), 2016 was a horrible year. I agree.

In the space of one year, four of the publications I used to write for stopped publishing. The media is slowly being strangled by an overly sensitive government, and worse still, it knows how to apply the screws. To stop you from hearing the truth. To silence you. To make you behave. To make you conform to its vision of the ideal citizen.

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Reject Extremism

Police reports, followed by complaints to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), attacks by UMNO Baru thugs, are de rigueur. Guerrilla tactics like splashing red paint on office walls, or leaving dead chicken outside an office entrance, are warnings for a successful publication to back-off, or face more threats.

Editors and owners of the publications are arrested and grilled. Some are taken to court. Readers are at risk of having their Facebook posts scrutinised, and face possible arrest. But you know what?

There is great hope for all Malaysians. A decade ago, only a handful of Malaysians would dare complain. Over the years, the numbers of Malaysians who are brave enough to speak out have grown from a trickle to a raging torrent. We are emboldened. We feel empowered.

Image result for Stand and Speak Up for MalaysiaTo KSN Ali Hamsa and all Civil Servants of Malaysia–A Reminder from Tun Abdul Razak (1967)

The government may try to close down all the alternative papers, but their foolhardiness has only fueled our resolve.

Social media, at least in Malaysia, is the new alternative media. It is free and immediate. It has spread like wildfire. Naturally, there are disadvantages and the lack of verification of facts and the occasional grammatical errors  and sloppy language are outweighed by the speed of transmission.

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Reject them–Najib, Mahathir and Mullah Harussani

Today, as we start 2017, more Malaysians than ever are exercising their vocal chords. It is heartening to know that the once great silencer of dissent, former PM Mahathir Mohamad, has joined the long queue which wants its voice to be heard. Bittersweet irony!

There is much scope for optimism in Malaysia, but you must be truthful to yourself. It is time we stopped whining about Malaysia going down the slippery slope, and blaming UMNO Baru for the state of Malaysia today; time we stopped criticising the opposition for being hopeless, and time we stopped thinking that Malaysia will never recover.

When you look into the mirror, are you man enough to realise that you are part of the problem that has brought Malaysia to its present state?

You may realise that removing Najib Abdul Razak will not solve Malaysia’s problems, because UMNO Baru is also part of the problem; but do you understand that changing the party which heads the government is not sufficient? Before we can change others, we need first, to change ourselves

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Sorry, Mariam, I disagree. Removing Najib Razak is the essential first step to solving our problems. I believe that UMNO can reform itself with a change of leadership. It has little choice; if it wants to remain in power, UMNO must stop playing the race and religion card and serve all Malaysians. 

UMNO Baru is the creation of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. We forget that he destroyed our institutions of governance. It is ironic that most Malaysians now think that the former Premier is our champion for change. That is pathetic. –Din Merican

How many of you think as a Malaysian? Many of you are so ensconced in your community, your beliefs, your prejudices and your way of life, that you do not believe that any of Malaysia’s ills have anything to do with you.

Blaming the nameless ‘others’

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Stand Up for Malaysia–National Unity

You blame the nameless ‘others’ for Malaysia’s fall from grace.The Malays for their apathy and bigotry. The Chinese for forging ahead and for being kiasu. The Indians who demand equal rights, by ironically demanding that their rights be upheld before all others.The East Malaysians who blame their plight on ‘orang semenanjung’.

We hunger for land and the riches that come from the jungle, and from clearing the jungles to make plantations, and we think nothing of trampling over the rights of the Orang Asli.

The Muslims demand that everyone else is judged by their standards, and the non-Muslims shy away from getting involved in what they perceive as Muslim matters. Many non-Muslim mothers are denied justice if their spouse becomes a Muslim.

We are deaf and blind to the suffering of the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We consider ourselves the educated townies, and look down our noses at the rural folk.We are too absorbed in our affairs because we do not think of ourselves as Malaysian, and it is this flaw which the politicians take advantage of to further their interests.

Malaysia suffers because we perceive everyone else is a convenient scapegoat, when actually we are at fault.The politicians love the sound of their own speeches, and they have learned the art of filtering out our voices. So, if you want real change, learn to manage your politician, and not the other way round.

You must treat him or her as you would a lazy servant. You pay the politicians’ wages, so you have the right to demand performance. Politicians are out of touch with the rakyat and most important, they are not mind readers. You have a voice, learn how to use it in 2017.

NB: Happy New Year.

 

Imagine a world without activists


December 28, 2016

Imagine a world without activists

by Stephen Ng@www.malaysiakini.com

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Free Riders Everywhere You Look

In the story, ‘Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, And Nobody’, the activists would not sit down believing that when “there was an important job to be done, Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.”

Since the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers apparently care little to look into a certain problem, despite being vested with the power to do so, the activists would not accept the fate that at the end of it all where Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

This is why the activists have to cause a stirring in a situation. Yes, although their frequent campaigns may make the people in the corridors of power feel uncomfortable, the activists play a very important role in parliamentary democracy.

When the activists are barking, the powerful individuals and the kleptocrats no longer enjoy the ‘peace and tranquility’ to rape the rich resources belonging to the Malaysian people. Suddenly, the people become aware of what is happening to the natural resources God has endowed on this country.

Testimony of a failed system

The system, along with the people in the corridors of power, be it the executive branch of the government or those who are tasked with a job to protect the welfare of the people and the nation, has somehow failed to deliver what it is designed to do.

The Malay proverbial saying, “Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi” (it is disappointing when the fence is supposed to protect the padi, it ends up destroying the crop) is an apt description of our politicians today, especially on issues that do not attract votes.

This is why activists like Shariffa Sabrina, Henry Goh (Malaysia Nature Society president) and others like Clare Rewcastle-Brown (Sarawak Report) have come to the forefront to highlight issues relating to the shrinking tropical rainforests.

We have always believed that our democratic system is upheld by the executive branch of the government, the Judiciary and the Parliament; however, activists like the media are also a pillar that upholds and protects the democratic rights of the people.

Shariffa Sabrina, for example, entered into the limelight when she was arbitrarily arrested for allegedly highlighting some tropical rain forest clearing which caused degradation to the environment; her efforts have helped us become more concerned about the way our government has been managing natural resources.

In short, the activists are the checks-and-balances within the democratic system. They will not hesitate to criticise or expose a lie, if they can.

In her capacity as Peka president, Shariffa Sabrina does her work as a volunteer. Like most other activists, she has great passion for her work. It is unlikely that she would give up the cause. Despite the arrest, Shariffa Sabrina and Norhayati are adamant to continue with their campaign to stop the indiscriminate clearing of tropical rainforests.

They would not put down their spade, but continue digging and exposing the people responsible for the deforestation until a few feathers are ruffled, and good sense finally prevails.


STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008.

Singapore: Multiculturalism and Race Relations


December 4, 2016

Singapore: Multiculturalism and Race Relations

More than 95% of the approximately 2,000 Singaporean residents surveyed agreed that diversity is valuable, and that all races should be treated equally and with respect. They also reported that they lived peacefully with those of other races, standing up for them and accepting them. While it is not possible to ascertain the depths of interactions, many respondents said they had friends of other races and attended their cultural celebrations.

By Mathew Mathews

The just-released Channel NewsAsia-Institute of Policy Studies survey on race relations captures the reality of multicultural living in Singapore.

Broadly put, it sheds light on how Singaporeans have — or believe they have — interpreted and exemplified our shared ethos of multiculturalism. More than 95% of the approximately 2,000 Singaporean residents surveyed agreed that diversity is valuable, and that all races should be treated equally and with respect. They also reported that they lived peacefully with those of other races, standing up for them and accepting them. While it is not possible to ascertain the depths of interactions, many respondents said they had friends of other races and attended their cultural celebrations.

Perhaps the Singaporean Chinese, who constitute three quarters of our citizen population, should get some credit for positive race relations in Singapore.  Despite being an overwhelming majority, only a third of those surveyed supported the statement that “It is only natural that the needs of the majority race should be looked after first before the needs of the minority races”.

By not clamouring for majority rights, the Chinese have allowed the principles of meritocracy to gain substantial ground in Singapore. This is evident from the 89% of respondents across races in the survey who agreed with the statement that “Everyone who works hard, no matter what race they are, has an equal chance to become rich.”

But the strong endorsement of multicultural principles and relationships does not mean that our society is free from racism. About a quarter of respondents perceived themselves to be at least mildly racist while 38% of all respondents rated their close friends similarly.

Asked how racist most Singaporean Chinese, Malays and Indians were, nearly half of respondents classified each of these generalised groups as at least mildly racist. Respondents were even more likely to use the racist label when asked to rate new migrants from China, India and the Philippines. This finding can be explained by social psychological research, which has shown that people often view themselves more favourably. We judge others based on their actions but justify our own behaviour by pointing to our good intentions.

Nevertheless the survey showed that a significant number of people had seen racism on display by others, which reminds us that it still wields its head in our society. These racist behaviours are likely to be of a mild variety, for few of our respondents, including minorities, in the last two years, had experienced instances of insults, name calling, threats or harassment, which is the standard fare of racism in many societies.

In Singapore, perceptions of racism tend to be based on interpersonal actions which may subtly convey that one group is inferior. In this regard, more minorities compared to majority members agreed that they had experienced incidents where “People have acted as if they think you are not smart” or “People have acted as if they’re better than you are”. While two thirds of minorities who experienced such incidents attributed these differential experiences to race, quite a number at the same time also linked this to their educational or income level. This implies that sometimes it is difficult to tease out the exact source of bias.

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Another manifestation of the mild form of racism that respondents cited has to do with the presence of racial stereotypes.  Nearly half of respondents believed that people of some races are more disposed to having the negative traits such as violence, getting into trouble and being unfriendly. While stereotypes can be leveled at all groups, the effects of the stereotypes are different. Being labelled “enterprising”, “afraid to lose” and “money-minded”  may be regarded as necessary traits for success in competitive market environments. But to be viewed as “overly religious”, “boisterous”, “lazy” or “smelly” may have rather dire consequence in how one is treated and might inhibit entry and progress in a profession. It can sometimes also convey that one’s racial and cultural background is essentially second class and subject to derision.

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Some have contended that racism can also be seen when people prefer a member of their race to fulfill certain roles. The survey results confirmed that most people are more comfortable with someone who is racially similar when it comes to marrying into the family, sharing personal problems, managing one’s own business, and the appointment of the Prime Minister and President. Such preferences seem to be etched deep into our being with some recent research claiming that even babies demonstrate such in-group bias in choosing which other baby in their playgroup they will help.

However in-group bias is not always adaptive. Thus, many more minorities compared to majority respondents reported their acceptance for the majority race to fulfill many roles — only 38% of Chinese respondents would be accepting of a Singaporean Malay helping to manage their business while practically all Chinese respondents would accept a fellow Chinese in that role. However, 82% of Malay respondents said they would accept a Singapore Chinese in that role. This is because minorities who live in a space with many more majority members are aware that it is simply not tenable to expect only members of their race to fulfill important roles and relationships. But in our increasingly cosmopolitan city, majority members also should realise that it may no longer be useful even for them to accept only those who are racially similar to themselves in many relationships.

The character of racism that exists in Singapore was not shaped by acrimonious histories that have plagued a number of societies, where specific groups have been actively subjugated, sometimes through slavery and worse still genocide. Rather, the vestiges of racism here stem from our innate in-group preferences which have sometimes left us lacking in sensitivity and self-awareness when we interact with those who are ethnically different. If we are to overcome this we need to talk about our differences, as much as we talk about our commonalities. It is through this process of frank discussion and an openness to understand others that we can eliminate unfair stereotypes and biases. With that, we can go beyond simply agreeing with our multicultural ideals to actually realising them in practice.

 

Dr Mathew Mathews is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, National University of Singapore. He was the lead researcher in the CNA-IPS Survey on Race Relations.

This piece first appeared in TODAY on 19 August 2016.

Top photo from IStock.

 

Malaysia: From a thriving democracy to a degenerate nation under Najib Razak in 7 Years


November 26, 2016

Malaysia: From a thriving democracy to a degenerate nation under Najib Razak in 7 Years

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21710820-opposition-has-do-more-win-over-rural-malays-malaysians-underestimate-damage

by The Economist

FORTY thousand people wearing yellow shirts gathered in Malaysia’s capital on November 19th, to protest against corruption and impunity in government. The rally was orderly and restrained; the response of the authorities was not. On the eve of the protest, police arrested Maria Chin Abdullah, leader of a coalition of human-rights groups that organised the event. She was placed in solitary confinement, and can be held there for 28 days. Even by Malaysia’s dismal recent standards this marked a fresh low. Ordinary Malaysians should not stand by while their leaders undermine the rule of law so casually.

Ms Chin Abdullah’s detention was justified by an anti-terrorism law which the government had promised would never be used against political opponents. The true motivation was to stifle outrage over 1MDB, a state-owned investment firm from which billions have gone missing. In July American government investigators said they thought that $3.5bn had been taken from the firm and that hundreds of millions of dollars went to the prime minister, Najib Razak (who says he has never taken public funds for personal gain). The investigators’ findings corroborated exposés written by local and foreign journalists, who have been unravelling the saga for several years.

Elsewhere the scandal would have sparked a swift change in government. But the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has held power for six decades and enjoys broad support from Malaysia’s ethnic-Malay majority, some of whom resent their ethnic-Chinese and Indian compatriots. The party has devised many ways to protect its leaders from internal revolts, so Mr Najib found it easy to purge critics, delay a parliamentary investigation and replace an attorney-general said to have been preparing charges against him.

No one in Malaysia has been charged over 1MDB’s missing money. But a court has handed a prison sentence to an opposition politician who frustrated efforts to hush up the affair. The editor and publisher of one of Malaysia’s last independent news organisations face jail under a rule which forbids certain content published with “intent to annoy”. A competitor closed in March after authorities ordered its website blocked.

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Mr Najib’s party is carelessly widening Malaysia’s ethnic and religious splits. Seeking to bolster support among conservative Malay Muslims, it is toying with a proposal to intensify the whippings which may be meted out by sharia courts. It has failed properly to condemn pro-government gangs that last year menacingly gathered in a Chinese part of the capital. Their leaders paint ethnic Malays as victims of sinister conspiracies—dangerous rumour-mongering in a country where politics is still defined by the racial violence of the 1960s.

Easily broken, hard to fix

Until now foreign investors have been fairly sanguine about the economy. But they are growing rattled. The ringgit has depreciated faster than other emerging-market currencies (see article). Last week the authorities asked foreign banks to stop some ringgit trading abroad, raising fears of harsher controls.

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Rural ethnic Malays, a crucial constituency, feel that the scandal is a remote affair. Even some educated urbanites still favour Mr Najib’s government over the opposition, underestimating the damage being done by the scandal. If change is to come, the disparate opposition needs to do a better job of winning such people over; its fractious parties must overcome their divisions and present a plausible candidate to replace Mr Najib in a general election that could be held as soon as next year. Malaysia has always been an imperfect democracy, but the rot eating at its institutions is harming its international standing and its economic prospects alike.

BERSIH brought out the best in Malaysians


November 24, 2016

BERSIH brought out the best in Malaysians

by Ambassador Dennis Ignatius

http://www.dennisignatius.com

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BERSIH brought out the best in us; it renewed our hope to believe that change is possible.

Now that BERSIH 5.0 is over, the campaign to define it has begun. BN parties, worried about the BERSIH effect, have embarked upon a Goebbels-like effort to rewrite the history of those few hours when yellow became the colour of our nation.

All sorts of falsehoods, misinformation and disinformation are being put out about what BERSIH stands for, who and how many attended, why they attended, what transpired that day and what was achieved. In the process, they are demonizing, discrediting and delegitimizing the people who participated.

We are being told, for example, that Saturday’s rally was a riot, that BERSIH supporters were confused or clueless as to why they were demonstrating, that they felt exploited by opposition politicians, that it was largely a gathering of DAP [read Chinese] supporters, that participation was mostly confined to so-called urban elites, that no more than 15,000 attended, that it was an attempt to overthrow the government.

For all these reasons, they would have us believe that BERSIH was a failure, a non-event, an insignificant gathering of rabble-rousers and troublemakers. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Defying intimidation

Image result for BERSIH 5.0 brought out the best in Malaysians

 

Defying threats and intimidation, harassment and disruption, and the very real possibility of violent attack, tens of thousands of ordinary citizens flooded the streets of Kuala Lumpur and other cities in support of BERSIH.

They came with an unambiguous message to a government that has long since broken faith with its people – they want a government that upholds our constitution, that is committed to democracy, good governance and transparency, that respects the voice of the people, that puts their interests ahead of the cronies and fat cats. 

Malaysia in all its hues and colours 

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And what an eclectic mix they were: Malays, Chinese, Indians and Orang Asli; Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians; professionals, traders, hawkers, students, farmers, retirees. They came from every state, their respective state flags, and of course, the Jalur Gemilang fluttering in the wind.

Some are insisting that it was largely a Chinese affair but that is a lie that disenfranchises the thousands of Malays who were present and who came in defiance of both UMNO and PAS as well as the religious establishment.

To see Malaysians marching together as one was truly inspiring. We have our differences, of course, but there was a unity of purpose, a sense of brotherhood, a shared pain over the sad plight of our nation.

It was Malaysia in all its hues and colours, strong, proud and free. It showed us what could be, what we ought to be. Only those whose power rests on dividing the nation, of playing off brother against brother, would find nothing to rejoice about such a gathering.

A mockery of truth 

The atmosphere too was remarkable. People chanted and sang and laughed together. With the support of the police (who did an outstanding job keeping us safe), the rally was peaceful, respectful and orderly. And there was courtesy, kindness, respect, civility – something that those in power have largely forgotten.

To call it a riot, an attempt to undermine parliamentary democracy or accuse its leaders of plotting to illegally topple the government is to make a mockery of truth, to call good evil and evil good.

Of course, we were there to press for change; citizens in a democracy have the right to peacefully vent their frustrations over the abuse of power, misgovernance and corruption, to tell the Prime Minster that they have lost confidence in his leadership.

Only in authoritarian regimes is that considered subversive or unlawful. In any case, both the courts and the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) have consistently upheld this fundamental right to protest. SUHAKAM, in fact, emphasized that Saturday’s gathering was by no means illegal and that “participants conducted themselves in an acceptable way, not threatening public order and the security of the country.”

Tip of the iceberg of discontent

Much is also being made about the numbers – that there were less this time around compared to previous BERSIH rallies – but BN shouldn’t be too quick to gloat. BERSIH is more than a numbers game. Those who turned up were but the tip of the iceberg of discontentment and anger. For every single person who marched on Saturday, a hundred more were at home cheering them on, marching with them in spirit, sharing their frustration, believing in their dream for a better nation.

We’ll yet hear from them come election day.

Clueless or clued-in?

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Tajuddin Abdul Rahman is what UMNO has to offer to Malaysia

BN leaders also give the citizens of our country far too little credit, esteem and respect when they assert that most rally-goers were clueless about BERSIH’s goals.

Ordinary citizens may not be as sophisticated as some of these BN elites but they understand enough to know that the country is in a mess, that unbridled corruption is destroying us, that all the race-baiting and religious extremism is pushing the nation towards the brink, that the abuse of power is turning our country into an ugly dictatorship.

After all, unlike so many politicians and their cronies, it is the people who are the first to feel the effects of corruption, failed policies and mismanagement. They are the ones who have to carry the burden of GST and pay more and more for basic necessities. They are the ones who have to struggle with substandard education, low wages and unemployment. They are the ones who have to live further and further out and pay more and more to get to work.

They are hard pressed, and they were there Saturday to tell the government of their pain.

Justice or vengeance? 

Whatever it is, the harsh reaction of the government, was totally unwarranted. As SUKAHAM itself noted, there was simply no justification for the arrest of BERSIH leaders. It was an abuse of power, plain and simple.

Image result for Suhakam Chairman Razali zzzzzzzismai.

Seldom has the state expended so much of its resources or brought so much of its power to bear to deter a peaceful gathering of citizens seeking to exercise their democratic rights.

Even that was apparently not enough for some politicians. The leader of a once-progressive political party accused BERSIH of being “out of control” and urged the government to bring back the Internal Security Act to deal with BERSIH supporters.

There’s simply no telling how low such morally-bankrupt politicians will go.

maria-bersihWorst of all, however, was the arrest of the heroic and courageous BERSIH leader, Maria Chin Abdullah, under SOSMA, the draconian anti-terrorist act, a new political low even by BN standards.

And now Maria is being made out to be some sort of sinister super villain heading a foreign-funded, CIA sponsored, ISIS-infiltrated network working in tandem with an assortment of apparently dangerous civil society groups like election monitors, Sisters in Islam and feminist NGOs to terrorize the nation.

It’s laughable really if not for the fact that a grave injustice is being committed against a true patriot and a great Malaysian.

The harsh treatment of Maria smacks of vengeance more than anything else. Malaysians will not soon forget so great an injustice.

As well, it makes the struggle for democracy and accountable government all the more urgent and justified.

BERSIH brought out the best in us

tengku

Whatever may be said about BERSIH, one thing is clear: it brought out the best in us. It inspired a great many Malaysians to reach beyond the narrow and petty divisions that have divided us. It taught us that the dream of our founding father, Tengku Abdul Rahman, of a progressive constitutional democracy, united in diversity, is not as forlorn as they would have us believe.

The road ahead may be long and arduous but BERSIH gave us hope to believe that change is possible and it inspired us to press on.

For now, at least, that is enough. And they can’t take that from us.

 

BERSIH is losing its shine


November 22, 2016

BERSIH is losing its shine

by Scott Ng

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

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BERSIH November 2007

BERSIH demonstrators no longer get a lot to show for their patriotism. An album of Facebook photos and a sunburn make for the only souvenirs one can take from the protest. This is a far cry from the first BERSIH demonstrations (2007), when FRU trucks sprayed jets of water and tear gas grenades were chucked into the milling crowd.

Robbed of resistance, the protest merely lingers on the streets, with thousands doing the best they can to listen to barely audible speeches and thousands more just sitting and waiting.

In such a stalemate between the authorities and the protesting elements of society, there is no catalyst to elevate the cause into a reason for a large enough section of society to come out in protest.

One of the interesting stories to come out of BERSIH 5 says that while the majority of Malaysians are in favour of BERSIH and its goals, many are electing to stay home. Another story concerns a former protestor railing against the seeming futility of sitting on hot gravel as politicians puff up their feathers before an audience.

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BERSIH 5.o hijacked by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Opposition Politicians and checked by the Red Shirits

This comes back to the accusation that BERSIH is far too cozy with the opposition, and it’s not a totally unfair judgement. Political parties have been co-opting protest movements since time immemorial and this practice has continued despite increasing distrust of politicians in the Information Age. There is a chicken and egg argument here. Who feeds the rally its core demographic if not those with similar or aligning interests? There is, after all, no point throwing a party if no one attends or knows about it.

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It should be noted that despite the clashes with the Red Shirts, the BERSIH 5 convoy was very important in getting the message out. This is an example of BERSIH’s actual potential. The clashes with the Red Shirts were also essential in creating public sympathy for BERSIH given the unruly behaviour shown on the countless viral social media videos detailing the exploits of Jamal Yunos and his merry men.

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BERSIH 5 can still be considered a success. It is no small achievement to be able to drag tens of thousands into the streets, and with an increased Malay participation this time round, the organisers can say that the protest cannot be convincingly labelled “Chinese”.

But after five iterations and two elections, patience is wearing thin as there seems to be little to no change. Furthermore, in between these five protests, the opposition has been exposed just as flawed as the rest of us.

BERSIH as a movement must now ask itself: What next? Do we march every year till BERSIH 10? It’s not all that far off. It’s just another Najib term away and the voices questioning BERSIH from within its own ranks will only grow in that time if nothing changes. Certainly, Tourism Minister Nazri Aziz’s suggestion that BERSIH enter the political arena may be feasible, but support for the movement will take a blow among those simply sick of politics, and there will be those who will say an entry into politics is merely a mad dash for power.

As great a tool as a protest is, it is clear the BERSIH banner is starting to fray a little at the edges. The movement needs to change in some essential ways. A street protest is only one tool in the playbook of community organising, and the BERSIH movement can perhaps do far more good in varying the ways of spreading its message rather than just baking under the sun as politicians drone on.