It’s not about Anwar or Ambiga

— Gomen Man
The Malaysian Insider
May 21, 2012

MAY 21 — Let me put an end to the fastest-growing cottage industry in Malaysia: attacking and demonising the likes of Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng, Ambiga Sreenevasan.

Millions of ringgit are being earned by bloggers, phantom writers, politicians, operatives, PR agencies and anyone with a plan or video or story to “damage” Pakatan Rakyat or Bersih leaders. The thinking from Putrajaya is that if these leaders are “killed off” then the momentum behind the opposition and those behind the call for electoral reform will be ended.

That is why the mainstream media has sunk to the lowest of low with lies and that is why the likes of Hasan Ali and Tunku Aziz Tunku Ibrahim are being given unparalleled coverage by the Media Prima media group to hammer their former political colleagues.

But let me tell the patrons of videos, bum exercises, threats, etc the reality: the awakening of Malaysia’s middle class and urban population does not depend on whether Anwar is around or whether Ambiga is leading Bersih.

No doubt both of them and other leaders played roles in bringing attention to the populace the myriad of issues facing the country but the thousands of people who turned out for Bersih 3.0 did so because they don’t want to turn their face away from electoral fraud, corruption, abuse of power, overt racism, arrogance of Umno and other issues.

If the government spent some real effort dealing with these issues instead of sweeping everything under the carpet or performing window dressing, they would not have to spend millions on a campaign to demonise Anwar, etc.

We can live without Anwar, Ambiga and other individuals. We have moved beyond icons.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 1:27 am

    D grand plot unfolds – PKR’s AI n AA will b charged under d Peaceful @ssembly Act
    Soon, 1 by 1, as many PR’s politicians as possible, will also b charged
    Then GE13 will b held n it will b a WALK OVER 4 UmnoB/BN, big victory

  2. #2 by monsterball on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 2:51 am

    Put an end to all issues?…never.
    Without all these idiotic issues…what other ways can UMNO b do or talk about to win votes?
    With these issues…it’s like quarreling….tit for tat…and the looser will be PR to fall into their traps.
    Without these issues…Najib is a dead duck.

  3. #3 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 3:27 am

    Now some anti-BERSIH traders want 2 hv BERSIH 4.0 in front of Ambiga’s house, LOL

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 6:01 am

    The writer gomen man is undoubtedly impressed with Bersih 3.0 huge turn out and the active social media/blogging scene that takes on the ruling coalition’s shenanigans. He says it’s the awakening of Malaysia’s middle class and urban population and does not depend on “whether Anwar is around or whether Ambiga is leading Bersih” – that Bersih itself is a fast rising movement bigger than any one of its participants or even organizers, a fast developing civil resistance mobilization movement, as precursor to Malaysian democratic Spring! This “Spring” does not need a specific leader (Anwar or Ambiga) Never mind if for any reason one of them or one of PR leaders has to leave because somehow someone will rise up from this ground movement, step up and continue with the struggle until similarly substituted! At least this the way I read what the writer implies in what he says.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 6:03 am

    This idea of a ‘from ground up Malaysian movement’ comprising disparate groups with agendas ranging from ending racial discrimination to asserting a theocracy with a common cause of fighting corruption can proceed – without a fixed clear chain of command (but a fluid inter change of temporary leaders) – to dislodge a party in power of over 60 years, with tentacles in every part of the bureaucracy, state resources, media and coercive apparatus – with a group of elites, both political and business, with a selfish genetic imperative to self perpetuate and propagate regardless of the host organism’s long-term welfare – is at best, an untested hypothesis and at worse a romantic dream.

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 6:04 am

    Whilst we ought not to be dismissive/fatalistic at one end and overly optimistic at the other, we should be somewhere between ie realistic – are conditions here similar to Libya or Egypt or Syria or other places where Arab Spring is supposed to dawn without the condition precedent of a great leader arising earlier and first to lead ? We are a society polarized by race/religion. An awakened middle class has to weigh their urban votes against a not so awakened rural class given disproportionate weightage in terms of votes; a electoral process that Bersih has pointed out many irregularities weighed in favour of ruling coalition. The outcome of the coming polls will be more likely determined by which competing coalition will by polls day flounder more under the weight of its own internal contradictions or leaders’ glaring mistakes than a clear positive over the negative, in short, – a choice between which a more unpleasant alternative than which an ideal one!

  7. #7 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - 8:25 am

    UMNO-Perkasa-BN talk so much because they don’t know how to do what they are suppose to do. Talkers never doer.

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