Why July 9 must go on

by June Rubis
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 30, 2011

JUNE 30 — I’ve noticed something interesting of late.

A few middle-class intellectuals back-pedalling on their initial support for Bersih 2.0. They say, yes I support this (in theory) but do we really need to march now? Haven’t we done enough to highlight the issues? Haven’t we won the PR (public relations, not Pakatan Rakyat) war?

I’m sorry, but I’m a bit confused.

The point of Bersih 2.0 isn’t about who gets best publicity, but rather for electoral reform.

These same intellectuals will admit, like you and me, that the current electoral process is unfair and biased. They are just feeling really uneasy about July 9. They want to know, isn’t there a better way to do this?

But yet, they cannot provide any credible solutions that could work.

How many more dialogues can civil society have with the Election Commission? Do we think that another dialogue out-of-the-blue just before July 9 would magically solve our valid concerns of the current electoral process? Are we that naive?

Fair enough, the pressure is on but I believe the person who feels it most is Ambiga Sreenevasan herself. The fact that she has been holding on so strong gives all of us the continued strength to carry on.

Along with the waffling from some moderates comes the more intense criticism of Bersih 2.0. Critics say that if the electoral process is unfair, how did Pakatan Rakyat win five states?

Indeed despite a grossly unfair electoral process, Pakatan Rakyat managed to win five states. And now maybe, just maybe, they could take over Putrajaya come the next general election.

Bear with me for a minute.

Imagine this.

Say, they did. They win the next general election.

Some of us are ecstatic; some of us are very upset. All in all, we have just received a new government. A change for the better, something different from Barisan Nasional, we will say.

Yet how do we know that after taking Putrajaya, they would be able to reform the electoral process? Perhaps some of Pakatan Rakyat leaders would have very good intentions to do so, perhaps some wouldn’t.

And we would be back where we are today.

This time, with Umno on the civil society front, urging for electoral reform.

We will then wonder why did we let this important opportunity slip away on July 9, 2011?

Regardless of which political parties are supporting Bersih 2.0, its aim is purer and clearer than any political party of the day.

To not support Bersih 2.0 because it currently receives massive Pakatan Rakyat support, in my humble opinion, is short sighted and very childish.

In 2007, we did not really have a problem with Pakatan Rakyat being involved in the Bersih march. In fact, we were more than happy that the PAS Amal Unit was there to keep us safe (I know I was).

Suddenly, in 2011, we are morally outraged that Pakatan Rakyat has yet again completely embraced Bersih 2.0.

Let’s not be hypocrites.

No matter how we feel about Pakatan Rakyat, we have to admit that they are playing the role that they need to play. And it would be no different if the roles were reversed.

Let’s imagine an alternate universe.

A corrupt Pakatan Rakyat government is terrorising our citizens. They say it is for our own good, to keep the peace. We all know that the only way they can keep in power is to manipulate the electoral process. We are outraged.

Despite our fears, our concerns, the countless dialogues we have had with the Election Commission appealing for good sense, we have not made any headway in bettering the electoral process.

And so, we take our concerns to the streets, for only two hours, and with hope that the police would not side with Pakatan Rakyat just once, and instead, do their job with fairness and decency.

The maligned Barisan Nasional, which has been struggling to fight against all odds to gain political representation, has embraced the civil society’s call to change the electoral process. They say we will support you and protect you against the Pakatan Rakyat-led police, with our Umno Youth unit.

So you see, no matter how we flip it, no matter how we intellectually dissect it to pieces, in the end it does not matter which political parties of the day support us.

And I have so much faith in our average good Malaysian that come July 9 there will be no riots similar to those in the Middle-East, as some of us fear. We proved that in 1998 when our deputy prime minister was arrested and beaten in jail, and while there was intense public outrage, more so than today, we did not burn cars or smash store windows.

Instead we took our outrage, as much as we can, through our votes, despite the grossly unfair electoral process. But now we realise, it is time to revamp the electoral system for five more years for a fairer political representation.

The Bersih 2.0 march will bring about change, whatever that brings, but we cannot fear that. The alternative is to stay unhappy, complaining, morally outraged but not doing anything significant about it until the next generation has enough of our staid complacency.

We need courage, and we need faith. We need you — the average good Malaysian — in large numbers to come down on July 9 to stand together, and say, we need a better electoral process for our country. We need a better democracy that works.

This is why we need to march.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 7:31 pm

    Learn fr history! Many despos hung on 2 power by creating chaos n violence
    NR declared dat street demonstrations were not d Malaysian way 2 problem solving
    Tell dat 2 his UmnoB members

    He does not understand d difference between a peaceful rally n a violent demonstration
    Dat’s Y he threatened 2 instruct his 3 million UmnoB members 2 demonstrate on 9.7.11
    Y not command them 2 join d peaceful rally with Bersih 2.0 2 improve d electoral process

  2. #2 by bruno on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 8:10 pm

    The show must only go on if the people have the “NUMBERS”.Do not make these cowardly animals happy on rally day.Make these cowardly animals a no show.They will be a no show if they know that the crowd overwhelmed them.Cowardly animals surely don’t like the odds against them.

  3. #3 by Joshua on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 8:38 pm

    This rally can only be defer provided the Agung declare a Royal Commission of Inquiry on Election Commission immediately.

    Then set up an Interim Good Governance Government with an Interim PM because the illegal PM would interfere with this RCI.

    Then there is hope for the nation.


  4. #4 by Anti Rasuah on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 9:09 pm

    Yes, it is about publicity. If not, for what purpose to have rally? Does a rally could change laws and change those people at Election Commission and at Barisan Nasional?

    The public or Malaysians have seen clearly the double or triple standards of Election Commission (controlled by UMNO), police and Anti Corruption Agency. It is already good enough.

    No, rally could not change the law. Only general election could change a federal government.

    However, we use general election like the ones in Australia, US, UK, etc. We are not going to follow the unrest in Arab world.

  5. #5 by voice2009 on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 9:26 pm

    Don’t listen any promise from them, they trying their best stop it by threat, lie promises

    They are no shame to tell you lie, when you accepted their lie they think you are a stupid fool they feel no shame trick you with their lie

    Only the AGONG can help your appeal


  6. #6 by tak tahan on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 10:07 pm

    Lets make Bersih take its stand on july 9 and show it’s true colour,YEllOW, which is for free and fair election.


  7. #7 by habis on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 10:09 pm

    By right the Election Commission should be an independent body answerable only to the King and not to the Executive to avoid any undue inteference and all the members of EC cannot be stripped of their tenure unless upon expiry of their term of service.In that way it will be truly impartial and the fear of the Executive power will be eliminated completely.Today what we see is the exact opposite of one where every rakyat would wish for but
    sad to say the election system in our country is exploited to the extreme to benefit the ruling party.with their immense abuse of executive power.Gerrymandering and manupulating the electoral roll by manupulating the racial numerical constituencies to ensure wins in certain seats are the norm.What we want to see is a Govt elected through a fair system without any foul means or money politics.

  8. #8 by negarawan on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 10:15 pm

    I will be wearing a yellow shirt on July 9th! Come what may! I’ll sue them if the blady PDRM touch me!

  9. #9 by Thor on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 10:34 pm

    Why July 9 must go on???
    1) To proof to that “pink lipped” that he’s fond of talking kok!
    2) To shut that big fat ugly “pig faced” mouth.
    3) To kick those EC’s “sss” for abetting polling fraud.
    4) To call on the world to piss on those mamak and Javanese “Umno buggers” who masked themselves as malays.

  10. #10 by voice2009 on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 11:08 pm

    July 9 maybe a day you can proudly tell your children or grand children

    ‘Your grand in that day stand up for better for you grandson’

    ‘that day arrested for a good cause for our land Malaysia uphold Malaysian citizen rights’

    ‘that day I fight for you my grandchildren your better brighter future Malaysia to live’

    ‘that day we stand up to injustice and corruption’

    ‘that day arrested for a good caused to free Malaysians from corruption politicians’

    ‘That day is 9 July 2011, my grandson’

  11. #11 by voice2009 on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 11:11 pm

    ‘that day arrested for a good cause to free Malaysians from corruption politicians’

    ‘that day is between bravely and cowardly’

    ‘that day is Malaysia history day’

    ‘That day is 9 July 2011, my grandson’

  12. #12 by Thor on Friday, 1 July 2011 - 12:16 am

    And to our (deleted) PM!
    You can’t stop us from rallying, for the more you try to do it, the more we’re gonna participate.
    The more you try to scare us, the more braver we’re gonna be!
    Even our brothers and sisters who’re in many countries are organising such rallies in support as well so are you gonna stop them?
    Go and mobilise your imaginary 3 millions Umno members and see how you fare.
    Bersih 2.0 rally wants a free and fair election but you Umno and gang wants a dirty and a fraudalent one.
    The whole world is laughing now!

  13. #13 by gofortruth on Friday, 1 July 2011 - 12:27 am

    “Bersih” is not for the any opposition and for that matter for any political party. It is for clean & fair election. Period!
    Is it that difficult for our home minister & his police to understand? Our home minister’s childish reaction seems to admit that the ruling BN government has indeed been “dirty” in manipulating the supposedly independent election commission.

  14. #14 by boh-liao on Friday, 1 July 2011 - 1:09 am

    阿都甘尼 is promoting violence but yet untouchable

  15. #15 by drngsc on Friday, 1 July 2011 - 8:05 am

    BERSIH 2.0 must go on. Lets march for a change to clean, free and fair elections. NO, let us not march for PR / PKR / PAS / UMNO / MCA / MIC / PERKASA. Lets us march for a new, better Malaysia, beginning with electoral reforms.

    We must change the tenant at Putrajaya

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