The day Malaysians spoke out loud

— Harris Nasril
The Malaysian Insider
May 11, 2013

MAY 11 — The rally on May 8 was amazing. I left the office in Cheras around 6.30pm. It took me almost two hours before I reached the LDP toll plaza at Sunway around 8.30pm. Traffic was crawling on the LDP highway. I reached the Sungai Way industrial zone at 9.15pm. People were parking their cars on the highway here as traffic had come to a standstill. I parked my car near the Western Digital factory. A simple check on Google map showed that I had to walk 3.8km to the Kelana Jaya stadium. Oh my! That is the longest walk since my school days! People were already walking from here in their thousands, almost 90 per cent dressed in black. Few of them were chanting “Ubah”, “Reformasi”. The four-lane LDP had turned into a single-lane road. Cars were double-parked by the roadside.

Despite the police warning that it was an illegal rally, I did not see even a single policeman when I reached the stadium around 9.45pm. It was packed like sardines in a can! The entrance was totally blocked. I saw a few people climbing the fence to get inside. Without wasting time, I too climbed the fence to get in. People from inside the stadium helped me up. I also saw a young Chinese girl climb up too and helped by a Malay guy.

The view from inside the stadium was incredible! It was a sea of people in black. It was an amazing sight to see that such a crowd could be mobilised in just two days and despite the police warning to arrest anyone going to the stadium. Journalists estimated the crowd at 120,000, making it one of the biggest rallies in recent times. Those who could not get in the stadium also numbered in the thousands. More people were pouring in around 10pm.

The spirit of the people was extraordinary. Most of them were upset with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for playing with racial sentiments to divert attention from the poor Umno performance in the general election. The Utusan Malaysia headline the previous day also contributed to this anger. I was very surprised with the many youngsters, and they were multiracial as well, joining this rally. Another sign that this election belonged to the younger generation.

The rally ended about 11.30pm with the singing of the national anthem “Negaraku”. It really touched my heart to hear 120,000 Malaysians singing the song together, with one common mission.

I reached home at almost 2am because of the heavy traffic. I was totally exhausted but it was worth it! The people have spoken. They reject racist politics that is been played by Umno and Utusan. We are Malaysians. Once we see ourselves as a Malaysian, we can see the end of Umno-BN race-based politics.

The people spoke quietly on May 5 by voting and they didn’t get what they wanted.

On May 8 the people spoke loud! Louder than ever to claim back what is rightfully theirs. Those youngsters who joined the rally will determine the next general election. When Najib will listen to them, only time will tell.

  1. #1 by Jeffrey on Monday, 13 May 2013 - 9:17 am

    Yes Malaysians (esp the younger set) have spoken out loud (“Ubah”) in GE 13 and ensuing rallies. The good part is that it shows more Malaysians are politically awakened for good governance and inclusive politics; the bad part is that it also awakens and brings out of the woodwork those who believe the present ethnocentric race based political order best serves their self and vested interests to come out to make their extremist demands. And the voices of extremism are always louder than quieter ones of reason and moderation. The next 5 years (for next GE) will provide those who put self interest first over nation’s to get their act in order and consolidate their political position – electoral boundaries in states where incumbent have 2/3 majority can be further drawn, ways and means be found to “turn” or destroy key opposition stalwarts- so that the close shave of 505 will never be again countenanced. At the end of the day nothing can save the downslide unless there’s dynamic transformative leadership, a leader who not only listens to but guides his people along the correct path to national reconciliation and integration with personal strength of character and moral standing with no personal skeletons in cupboard to impose his will to do right for all peoples and country. As far as I can see there is none on both sides of the political divide as at this time. Maybe he or she is yet to be born.

  2. #2 by Loh on Monday, 13 May 2013 - 11:51 am

    The election results show that voters of the winner simply knew where to vote and win. The Election Commission has played around with the location where voters cast their votes. A family of three persons having the same address in their ICs and in the EC database were sent to three different voting stations across parliamentary constituencies. EC might have tried to help before voting process began. The help might have been more beneficial in the way it handled absentee and postal votes. Someone asked whether the actual ballot papers submitted by overseas voters were the same piece of paper included in counting the final results. Or did they tell the EC how many have voted to be reproduced just like newspaper does not have to be air flown.

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