The Significance of Bersih (poem)

by Allan CF Goh

Bersih is the people’s movement:
There is no subscribed membership,
Nor a registered society.
It is a spontaneous grouping
Of free, like-minded citizens,
Who believe in democracy,
Transparent and impeccable.
Bersih does not ask for the sky;
It only wants clean elections.

It is helmed by a committee
Of people with integrity,
Deeply concerned with the faulty,
Fraudulent electoral roll.
These brave civic individuals,
Voluntarily give their time,
Resource, effort and energy.
Bersih does not ask for the sun;
It only want fair elections.

Voting in a democracy
Is the most basic human right.
It is an open avenue
For the expression of free will,
For the choice of good governance.
This means the careful selection
Of moral principled people.
Bersih does not ask for the moon;
It wants only just elections.

Only a clean, fair election
Can ensure the installation
Of a responsible government,
Of, by and for all the people,
Based on the best human values,
For a true, progressive nation,
Steeped in democratic values.
Bersih does not ask for the earth;
It wants only free elections.

If Bersih deserves the label
Of anti- anything at all,
It is anti-lies and scandals,
Anti-vile manipulations,
Duplicities and corruptions,
And obstacles against justice.
Fair minded people will align
Themselves with justice and fairness.
Bersih does not ask for the world;
It wants only true elections.

Bersih does not coerce nor threaten.
Its principle is non-violence,
To convey its message to all.
When its clarion call to action
Of peaceful protest comes around,
Citizens response with true grit.
It finds a resonance with folks.
Bersih does not ask for the gold;
It wants only real elections.

The ray of hope for real freedom,
Lives on in people’s mind and soul,
That empowers them as Malaysians
To seek a better tomorrow.
The vast silent majority
Will not be silenced any more,
Making them scorn the gun barrels.
Bersih does not ask for fame;
It wants only right elections.

Solutions and resolutions
Are the aims of Bersih rally:
Not confrontations, not rabble
Rousing, not any form of violence.
Demonstrations are just folks’ tools
To focus on the glaring wrongs
(So blind to the authorities).
Bersih does not ask for blames;
It does not want vile elections.

Bersih is an idealism,
That draws the mass of citizens,
For the struggle of human rights,
Through a clean electoral college.
Bersih started as a groundswell,
That sweeps across the whole nation,
Building up into a tsunami.
Bersih does not ask for troubles;
It does not want dirty elections.

The Bersih tide will get bigger,
Suffused with real democracy.
It’s the life blood of true freedom.
Bersih embraces all races,
All religious groups, both genders,
All age groups, and all professions.
Righteousness is the common glue.
Bersih does not want any strife;
It wants a clean, fair election!

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 13 May 2012 - 12:12 pm

    Honestly I am actually so tired of the political spin of Bersih from both side of the political divide. Its clear what the issues are, no one is fooled by BN or even PR.

    Lets be honest, BN is NEVER going to clean-up the electoral roll before GE 13 and PR while it has continue to get milleage, is NOT going to put enough pressure on BN to do so harping on the issue before the next GE, particularly since mistakes was made during Bersih 3.0.

    If BN hold off on GE much later, perhaps a Bersih 4.0 will force BN but its not likely, Najib simply cannot afford it.

    So what then?

  2. #2 by monsterball on Sunday, 13 May 2012 - 12:39 pm

    We all know that…but Najib and his Govt. will always say the opposite.
    Najib knows to end all these is to hold the 13th GE as soon as possible.
    Why is he delaying it for more than 3 years?

  3. #3 by Albert Choong on Sunday, 13 May 2012 - 1:00 pm

    He has no people’s support and has no mandate as PM. He is just a substitute for Ahmad Badawi who was forced out by gutter and money politics!

    He is afraid of losing power for his Rose Mama and then himself! Then delay until March 2013 and the couple’s mantra is ” Make hay while the sun shines “

  4. #4 by vsp on Sunday, 13 May 2012 - 1:22 pm

    I am perplexed at the manner in which Tunku Aziz decides to exercise his dissent against his own party. It was a bombshell out of the blue. There was no indication before that he was dissatisfied or even him bringing up the matter before the party, which should have been the proper thing to do.

    Tunku Aziz has an illustrious career in the fight against corruption and opaqueness in government, and to go against the principles that he had dedicated a good portion of his career is astoundingly a turnaround. The Bersih 3.0 rally is a dissent of the people against bad laws of the BN. People who were once apolitical decide to dissent in a peaceful manner in large numbers. That Tunku Aziz is dissenting against his own principles and condemns the very people who believe in these principles is atrocious.

    The DAP is right in censuring him. Dissent is not as rosy as some mawkish people tend to think. One has to distinguish between good and bad dissent. Frivolous dissent can be used as a cover for one’s personal agenda as was disastrously demonstrated in the PKR. Dissent is like riding the tiger, and if misused, one can be mauled up badly.

    I don’t believe that Tunku Aziz could be so stupid as to wake up one day and find out that he was wrong in the principles that he had espoused for so long. Something must have push him into that direction. I believe that either he had been entrapped, induced or that he had fallen into some compromising situation known to the Special Branch. To preserve his reputation intact, he has to turn to frivolous dissent as his explanation to break away from his cherish dream for Malaysia to break out of the bounds of corruption and opaqueness.

    If I have to choose between dissent by the people against an evil regime or dissent by a schmaltzy turncoat who hankers for the status quo, then people power is my only choice.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Sunday, 13 May 2012 - 3:41 pm

    AhCHEATkor 2 his stumpy loctor char bor: Ai yah, 2day MAY 13 n I specially got UmnoB 2 gather in stadium 2 show POWER, rakyat now NO SCARE, lagi CELEBRATE May 13!

    Char bor 2 AhCHEATkor: U useless, no celebrate May 13 with ur mum keh?
    Whacks him with her Hermes Birkin handbags

    Who’s afraid of May 13!? Happy Mother’s Day!

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 13 May 2012 - 4:47 pm

    Did Tunku Aziz say he was against Bersih 3.0 people’s movement? He broke ranks with the party leadership over its solidarity with PR partners to support Bersih marching with show of force in numbers right to the place (Dataran Merdeka) prohibited by the court order obtained by the police. Tunku Aziz said he was against encouraging Malaysians to “break the law”-never mind law is just or unjust- and predicted that it would end up in “violence and chaos”. He didn’t even say violence and chaos” would be caused by Bersih’s supporters. It could be by any agent provocateur for which opposition would be blamed for it. Subsequent events as now unfolding show he may be right. He is however ostracized and ‘punished’ for speaking his mind, something considered earlier on an asset now turning to a liability.

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 13 May 2012 - 4:49 pm

    The fallout against PR (and leverage that BN could use against PR) when Tunku Aziz spoke his mind is very far less than rebuking & muzzling him by withdrawing his senatorship for not toeing party line which BN is leveraging to the hilt now (see NST). No party like DAP that claims strength in principles should be afraid of its people speaking his mind. Why not also punish Karpal Singh for publicly breaking opposition solidarity by taking on PAS Ulama Harun Taib/ Hadi for saying PAS would implement hudud if they are the biggest partner if Pakatan comes into power? If not Karpal, why not take action against Harun Taib/ Hadi for talking about Hudud contrary to and ot covered by PR’s Buku Jingga principles? Why pick on Tunku Aziz who upholds the higest in AP’s principles o speaking based on conscience and not political expedience/toeing party line just like UMNO/BN???

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 13 May 2012 - 4:57 pm

    To repost comment under moderation:Tunku Aziz never opposed Bersih 3.0 people’s movement per se. He merely broke ranks with the party leadership over its solidarity with PR partners to support Bersih marching with show of force in numbers right to the place (Dataran Merdeka) prohibited by the court order obtained by the police. Tunku Aziz said he was against encouraging Malaysians to “break the law”-never mind whether law is just or unjust- and predicted that it would end up in “violence and chaos”. He didn’t even say violence and chaos” would be caused by Bersih’s supporters. It could be by any agent provocateur for which opposition would be blamed for it. Subsequent events as now unfolding show he may be right and ostracized and ‘punished’ for being right.

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 13 May 2012 - 5:10 pm

    Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) could be interpreted to muzzle/clamp down peaceful protest such as Bersih. It does not do what it purports to do ie allow expression of constitutional right to assemble. This is obvious as it (i) allows police to place restrictions on venue and (ii) owner of place of assembly (like DBKL) to have right to say no to the place being used. So they say this law is an ass, and opposition/civil society have criticised it. It helps those in power. And is that surprising : why else do they promulgate and enact it – to help Opposition to win? Get real. This being the case what’s the next course? Break all the laws because they are oppressive? To openly do so is give the excuse to those in power to crack one’s head for exercising freedom to assembly and yet provide it the make hypocritical moral claim to doing what’s necessary to uphold law and order. Tunku Aziz must have felt why people were so naïve to fall for this – into the other side’s grand plan. No one is even pre-empting issues such as whether the PAA law including or even possibly irregularity of the court order obtained by the police is good or bad law. That’s an entirely separate issue. The issue is whether it is wise to defy law when the other side has the power, the guns and ammunition to enforce it as law and interpret to their ends.

  10. #10 by vsp on Monday, 14 May 2012 - 6:43 am

    Now I know why Tunku Aziz lashed out at Bersih 3.0 rally. It was a personal grudge between him and Mohammad Sabu. Mohammad Sabu had said some nasty things about the police, and Tunku Aziz who hailed from a police family was livid. He should have settled the matter with Sabu’s party but instead he couches his personal affront as a disguise to dissent against the rally. If he had confronted or challenged Sabu, I would whole-heartedly support his stand 100%. Sabu is an uncouth politician. In other words, Tunku Aziz is not honest.

    That why I said dissent can be misused or misguided. This is the main weakness of the Pakatan. They adopt dissent as the cure-all for political purposes, never understanding that it would come back to bite them. Dissent is a powerful tool if it is used in the right manner, but if misused it can bring unintended consequences. Improper dissent can distract or sap the attention or energy of the Pakatan. Pakatan can never take over Putrajaya. They are not focussed and united. In Barisan National, even though there are many ambitious personalities there, they never let the main chance slipped by.

    Another example where dissent can be ugly. It can affect whole societies. Look at the Western countries, where dissent is applied willy-nilly. Politicians there are afraid to antagonize the electorate where they agreed to make policy changes that worked only short-term but neglect the long-term consequences. Unscrupulous politicians will seek loopholes where they can exploit. In the long-run where frivolous dissent run riot, everyone lose except the politicians, lobbyists and lawyers. Politicians are beholden to lobbyists. The Western democracies is a sick joke. Democracy and transparency are touted to be good for the general population but see what happens. We saw the opposite effect. The economic crisis that affects the world is the creation of the developed world.

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