The below speech by Prof. Azly Rahman, a truly enlightened Anak Bangsa Malaysia, is virtually a victory speech written, probably in anticipation of a mammoth victory for Anwar in Permatang Pauh next week.
Victory speech for all
by Azly Rahman
At the great gathering of thousands, the new PM-in-Waiting emerging from the by-election of Permatang Pauh speaks.
Praise be to God, Lord of the Universe, Just God of Humanity, Universal God of Humankind that knows even what is whispered in our hearts. Praise be to Lord of the Day of Judgment; one that made possible the change and transformation we are seeing now and we will continue to see in future.
Allow me to talk about our victory, our vision of a “Constitutional State” and our vehicle of social, cultural, and economic progress beyond the NEP: of a new economic agenda.
I stand here by His Grace, with humility, thanking you Malaysians who have come to celebrate and to give us the strength, the resolve, and the will to continue to march towards victory.
This victory is already ours. We cannot underestimate our struggle – the struggle of Malaysians of regardless of race, class, gender, creed, religious background, and national origin. This victory will be a gift for our children. This will be the best gift we can leave the next generation with in a country in which “justice” is put in its proper place. This is the concept of Adil and is what we base out struggle on. This is the concept of bersih, cekap, amanah in the truest sense of the word. We are winning.
We live in an imperfect world. We live in maya, in the shadow of Plato’s cave. We constantly need to make changes to our institutions, so that democracy will have its breathing space, will evolve, and will flourish in accordance to the laws of Nature. As the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau once said “Everything in good in the hands of the Author of things, everything degenerates in the Hands of Man…”
We have allowed totalitarianism, corruption, repression, and hedonism to take root in our democratic institutions.
In an imperfect world such as Malaysia, in which imperfection has gotten worse and making us slaves to the policies created out of our prejudices and arrogance, out of our greed and lust for power, and out of our ill-conceived idea of human liberation and economic development – this imperfect world needed more than just incremental changes and compromise.
It needed radical changes and no-compromises. We have shown that we through Fate conspiring, through the Will of God, we made that change, sudden yet peaceful and civil, on March 8 2008. It is our Velvet revolution, inspired by our own sense of non-violence, aided by technologies of cybernetics.
The “revolution” – our own Malaysian styled-revolution – that ought to now be studied alongside the nature and structure of revolutions worldwide is not without its causes.
Voices of change
Those hard long years of battling injustices, the sacrifices of those imprisoned without trial, of those humiliated beyond recognition stripped off their dignity, those brutally beaten beyond mercy, those hunted down on the streets of our major cities, those silenced and stupefied in our universities, those sprayed with chemicals, and the voice of the little girl – a child of the Hindraf revolution who brought roses to ask for pity for his father’s release – all these violent images of oppression we do not deserve have taught us to be stronger.
We shall overcome
We shall overcome.
We shall overcome the tyranny of an arrogant, ineffective, incompetent, corrupt and lazy government that
does not have any more respect for the rule of law
does not have any shame in showing its greed and lust
does not have any mercy in using brutal force to silent the voices of change
does not have much respect for the principles of human rights
does not have much intelligence when it comes to parliamentary debates
does not have a clue of what good governance means
does not have any regard for the plight of the poor and their livelihood
does not have any respect for the intelligence of the faculty and students in our universities
does not have any shame in overstaying their welcome
does not have any interest in controlling crime
does not have any will to fight corruption
and does not have leaders that are wide awake,
and does not have any idea that spoiled brats and greedy ones are running the country and finally destroying not only the party but also the nation.
That’s the price of arrogance. That’s the price of corruption. That’ s the price of losing touch with reality and a government losing its mind as well. That is what it is paying for – big time!
It has been our remarkable years of living dangerously, swept by the tsunami of a yellow wave, under the moonlight of a blood red sky. It has been remarkable for us and the world to witness battles being fought by the rakyat against the machinery of oppression— a corrupted machine run by corrupted minds of lesser morals.
By God’s grace we shall win this war against the unjust. We shall win, by the will of the people.
We shall put justice in its proper place.
Hold on fast to your dreams
A few days before the Malaysian tsunami that swept away the powerful machinery of the ruling regime, sweeping it to the backyard of our national history, we were battling with this feeling that the regime would still be holding power and will continue to use it to oppress, intimidate, and to rob the rakyat – for another fifty years.
The African-American poet of hope, Langston Hughes once said:
“Hold on fast to your dreams. For when dreams die, life is but a broken-wing”
W.S. Rendra the great poet of the Nusantara once said the “world within.. the world outside must unite” in order for meaningful change to happen; in order for leaders to be true to his or her conscience and to answer to God.
We are at an exciting historical juncture. No longer are we being objects of history, but we have become makers of history. Time awaits no man or woman. History marches on; history crafted by those oppressed by their own people intoxicated with power.
No colours or barriers
Who would believe that we could have achieve such victory in a time when skepticism still reigns. Who would believe that we would, in our rage against the machine, overturned it and send those who owned it scrambling in all directions bruised and still unwilling to accept the defeat orchestrated by the rakyat. Yes, the power of the rakyat, or suara keramat rakyat, the sacred voice of the people, that made victory possible. From the silent and scared voices of the rakyat we now have a sacred voice that has spoken loud and clear and will continue to speak louder.
Onwards to the march of the power of the people that have begun to know no colors and barriers of religion, class, creed, and national origin. You are the reason why I am still standing here and not looking outward from some prison cell in Perak or Selangor – two states tsunamied by the yellow wave.
What next after the revolution? The celebrations are over. We need a GPS – a geo-positioning system – to help us create a better society.
We are all economic beings who need to see a better plan that will promise us a better life after what we have accomplished in this General Election. We do not have faith anymore in the New Economic Policy that has reared its ugly head in its 50 years of implementation.
We cannot have faith in the NEP that is creating robber barons out of the hard work of the poor. We can no longer be fooled by the argument that the NEP protects the rights of the Bumiputeras when only a few “sons and daughters of the soil” are plundering the wealth of this land and gradually but surely selling off our country to other robber barons from outside of this country. Is this the kind of Bumiputera hiding behind the mask of the NEP we want to have running this country?
These are the Bumiputeras who make different races mistrust each other, masking the real issue of oppression and distributive injustices that know no race, ethnicity, color, creed. These are the culprits that were created out of our own lack of understanding of what a “good society” is and what “radical multiculturalism” means and how these can offer us a sound philosophy of human development that prioritizes needs versus wants, virtue over greed, and peaceful solution versus structural violence. It is a matter of time we depose these “traitors” who call themselves defenders of this or that race, hiding behind the crumbling walls of the NEP.
Who is still speaking for the New Economic Policy – one that is used for fifty years first as a programme to help the poor but no has matured as a tool of the powerful to plunder the nation and to rape the environment?. Who would have thought that the NEP once designed as a strategy to alleviate poverty and restructure society has now become an instrument to make the poor poorer and the rich filthier.
A new dawn
You have entrusted us to fight for a better future. You have given us the trust to chart a new Malaysia. We owe you a dawn of a new Malaysia.
Our central economic principle is that “the right opportunities must be made available to every single Malaysian—opportunities to learn, opportunities to make an honest living, and opportunities to achieve our dreams”. We will defend the rights of all Malaysians as guaranteed under our constitution.
Let us go forth in the direction of change, with our brand new economic agenda. Let us leave the abused and outdated New Economic Policy behind. How do we do this? You and I must take charge.
Courageous Malaysian who have known truth and justice, to fight for these, and to see how these are becoming a reality,
You continue to be the reason why this revolution is happening. I stand before you, with humility asking you to continue to support our struggles to be free;
You have answered the call to freedom.
You have risked your lives on the streets in order to demand for freedom.
You have not given up.
You will be free from the shackles of domination
Free from being harassed by the government the moment you want to speak up
Free from having to bear the burden of this regime’s incompetence and corrupt practices,
Free from the being treated like second and third class citizens even though grandfather and great grandfather arrived here earlier that the fathers and mother of many of the Cabinet Ministers
Free at last we shall be
Free at last by God’s Grace
Thank you. Thank you.
We shall work together to make our society better.
Thank God Almighty. We shall march on. We shall be free!