This is an open letter to all like-minded Malaysians from a fellow blogger, Masterwordsmith-Unplugged which I quite agree. She has provoked all of us to seriously think as to whether the candlelight vigils are truly achieving the things we want or should we go beyond that.
I refer to the Malaysiakini report Police disperse crowd, 24 arrested.
The recent course of events have certainly been most dampening, especially for those of us who have been actively, be it directly or indirectly, campaigning for the repeal of the draconian ISA law in our country.
For some of us, we may be telling ourselves that we may not ever dare to venture to a candlelight vigil. Some may opine that the more they suppress us, the louder will be our voices resounding through whatever space that we can use.
For what it was worth, the recent arrests have left the IT-savvy English-speaking segment and some of the Bersih crowd and their networks seething with rage. I was very angry too but is anger alone enough? You see, that is the very reaction that our enemies want to create in the hearts and minds of the citizens. Do we then succumb to their conniving plot?
Personally, many more need to rise above the induced fear and anger. The mass consciousness in Malaysia is constantly being manipulated by those in power to believe that we have no other choice than what is being thrust on us now.
It takes a lot to undo the choices, threats, fears that have been subtly communicated to us directly and indirectly. Ultimately, I believe that we have to examine ourselves and ensure our selfless intentions for the greater good of the nation are measures of greater love and loyalty.
Do we then give up our struggle? Do we then become compliant and bow to those evil masters who try to lord over us as they flex their laws and threaten us with direct and indirect means?
The time has come for Malaysians to develop a true patriotic spirit devoid differences of class, race, creed. The time has come to ask ourselves responsibly, what do we want for our country and how can we achieve our goals?
Our MPs and state assembly representatives are at a greater advantage than the ordinary lay person like us. What then can we do?
We cannot merely hide behind a blog or portal and voice our concerns. Maximum participation, open forums, letters to the editors and as many other legally acceptable avenues of expression must be fully utilised to lobby for change.
And what change? Examples would include:
– Judicial reform
– Anti-corruption laws
– Helping marginalised communities
– Changing development strategies that have ridiculously huge social costs for society to bear
– The correct focus to rehabilitate our economy
– A total revamp of the education system
– A move away from political groups that are pluralistic in nature
– Repeal of the ISA and all other laws that provide the government opportunities to rob us of our freedom of speech and freedom of the press
Personally, I am deeply saddened by all that has happened. I have cried and asked God, why? Why did all this happen? Why is it that people have no conscience, morals, values and no eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to feel and to discern what is right and what is wrong? What sort of country and society will my children have in the future?
There are many more questions which have certainly made me heavy laden with burdens, concerns and despair. But am I going to dwell on the challenges that we are facing?
Is there any hope at all then for Malaysia? Is there hope when the evil seem to get stronger and more powerful and more decadent and wicked by the day?
In a democratic system, power rests in the hands of the people. We can choose to remain apathetic, indifferent, blase or we can choose to mobilise ourselves and get together, brainstorm, lobby and moot for change.
If we succumb to the cloud of depression and despair hovering over this nation, if we choose to believe in the worst, surely the self-fulfilling prophecy would ensure that our deepest fears will become reality.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, does it? The choice is ours. Yours and mine. So dear Malaysian, what will you do for Malaysia?
I do not mean to step on any one’s toes with this letter but it comes from a sincere heart and written in one take (meaning no plan, no editing). I honestly hope that we will all explore ways of lobbying for change – ways that go beyond candlelight vigils.