Beyond bare minimum — From a Reformasi Mum to her Boy Named Justice

The Malaysian Insider
Apr 21, 2012

APRIL 17—My dearest son:

We all know that when taking care of a healthy child, the bare minimum required is proper food and shelter. And of course, where possible, lots of love and care.

When the child is sick, the bar of bare minimum is raised to include proper medication and tender care. In most cases, it is the usual Panadol, anti-histamine and cough syrup.

But if the child’s sickness is prolonged, the bar is raised again to include a doctor’s attention.

Any thing further than this and the child will need to be taken for diagnostic tests and observation which may even include hospitalisation and other extensive/aggressive medical attention.

Anything less and the child may run the risk of lifelong impaired health, or even death.

In every step of the way, the attending adult caregivers are duty- bound to properly raise the bar of proper and adequate response; failing which he/she is in danger of dereliction of duty as a responsible caregiver. Such an offence is grievous to natural justice.

Similarly, as responsible citizens of this country, to register ourselves to become voters and then to do the necessary in order to cast our votes on polling day is the bare minimum anyone of us can do.

In order to cast our votes wisely, we raise the bar by informing ourselves through the media (be it mainstream or alternative), attending ceramahs, getting to know the candidates, familiarising ourselves with the respective party or coalition’s manifestos, etc.

But when we know that the electoral process of which we are a part is rigged with untold corruption and massive fraud, to fulfil just the bare minimum as mentioned above is no longer adequate or enough.

For anyone of sound mind to continue thinking that the bare minimum alone is still enough at this point is faulty thinking. Because the chronic illness in the fraudulent system cannot be dealt with just the bare minimum. Lack of political will combined with wilful stranglehold on power can and must be dealt with using “unconventional” methods. Not unlawful, just unconventional, at least in our local context.

A fraudulent electoral process is unjust and immoral because it undermines the very basic tenets of democracy. It is a show of contempt towards the people’s ability to make sound and wise choices for themselves.

In a case of clear electoral crisis such as ours, for us to not raise the bar from bare minimum responsibility is to be fatalistic about the power that is in our hands. It is akin to fighting cancer with medicine meant for flu, which obviously is not going to work. An unusual illness requires unusual intervention and treatment.

In the electoral disease we are faced with, BERSIH is one such intervention. However, the success of such an intervention is dependent upon the cooperation of its stakeholders. In this case, the stakeholders are all the citizens who have a right and the right to decide a government of their own choosing. If we have been keeping to only the bare minimum thus far and are still not seeing the reforms that ought to have taken place all these while, then it is time we raise the bar and step beyond. There can be no other way but to fight the systemic cancer the way it must be done. Any less and it is a grave disservice to ourselves, our children and our country.

On 28 April 2012, 2pm, Dataran Merdeka, YOU AND I, my dearest son, will STEP BEYOND THE BARE MINIMUM!


  1. #1 by monsterball on Saturday, 21 April 2012 - 9:23 pm

    A child from day one up to 30 years have been brainwashed by Mahathir and his UMNO b puppets to do what UMNO b wants.
    Fortunately….vast majority young Malaysians are smarter than before….and especially after the 12th GE…Malaysians are more serious …thinking about the country and people.
    When this happen….to divide and rule…the race and religion dirty politics….all do not work as effective as before.
    Malaysians want CHANGE and that is what worries the corrupted Govt.

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 21 April 2012 - 11:04 pm

    My dear 55 year old child.

    Yes, it is time for you to fly out of the coop and be your own man, an independent man, all ready to face life’s challenges on your own.

    For 55 years we have given you all kinds of medicines that have merely put you in a stupor. You have grown up to be addicted, dependent on freebies and on others to take care of you.

    Enough is enough, my 55 year old baby. Get out there and make a life for yourself. Show us you can do it as we believe you can. You just need a kick or two on your butts. It is painful but life is like that. Stop being a cry baby. You are a grown-up now.

    So get cracking at dawn on the 28th. I want to see you out there marching, sorry, sitting in solidarity with all the other former babies and baboos.

    Make your statements and visions heard and count like an intelligent and responsible man will.

    Shake off all the cobwebs off the old machinery. Let us build a new engine that will take us to greater heights.

    Let us call this new, vibrant, powerful machine Bersih 3.0 !!

    Let us go beyond our limits unrestrained but committed, and make this family, our family, a united, progressive and vibrant one. Let us venture bravely and sail into the new Blue Ocean.

    Make it happen, my sons and daughters. Discard your shackles and constraints, and medicines. The world is waiting for you. You can do it !!

    Fly. Fly. Fly. Up to the sky and beyond the horizon.

    [p/s. Your parents want to enjoy their retirement years.]

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