The whole world is watching Malaysia on August 29 and 30.
Malaysia must not fail the global best of human rights, democracy and good governance so as not to head towards a rogue and failed state.
Malaysians should have had enough of bad news in the past weeks and months, with the Malaysian ringgit becoming “shringgit”, sinking to a 17-year-low to 4.2680 to a US dollar at 10.17 am today, and taken off notice boards of money-changers overseas with the notation “P.O.A.” or “price on application” because of its extreme volatility.
Malaysia’s foreign exchange reserves fell 19% since the start of the year, dipping below the US$100 billion for the first time last month since 2010, falling to US$94.5 billion on August 14 from US$96.7 billion on July 31.
The Kuala Lumpur stock market has also crashed.
Capital outflows from the country are accelerating, to three times the size of capital investments in the country in Q1.
These are not the only woes Malaysia is facing, as there is a multiple crisis of confidence affecting not just the economy, but also about good governance and democracy in Malaysia.
The Police should end all the semantics about the legality or otherwise of Bersih 4 overnight rally on August 29/30, and be guided by Suhakam which had stressed that the police have no power to ban any peaceful gathering and must instead protect the participants.
There are no doubt irresponsible elements out to create trouble and mischief at the Bersih 4 overnight rally, which is expected to draw bigger crowds than Bersih 1, 2 and 3.
Kuala Lumpur should be turned into an ocean of yellow on August 29 and 30, not by Malaysians who want to disrupt peace, create chaos and provoke violence, but because they want peacefully democratically and constitutionally express their concerns about the state of the economy, democracy and good governance in Malaysia.
All supporters of Bersih will be disciplined to keep the peace at the Bersih 4 overnight rally, but there would be trouble-makers who would be assigned to breach the peace and even provoke violence.
What the Police should now focus on is to co-operate with Bersih 4 organisers and security personnel to ensure that these agent-provocateurs are not allowed to disrupt the peaceful, democratic and constitutional expression of Bersih 4 to save the country from being a rogue and failed state.
The police and Bersih participants must be on the lookout for these agent-provocateurs and take all necessary action to prevent them from disrupting Bersih 4.
In fact, if there are Bersih 4 participants who act disorderly which disrupt the peaceful nature of Bersih 4, all other Bersih 4 participants should exercise their citizenship duties to stop these irresponsible elements from further mischief.
Let the successful holding of Bersih 4 overnight rally be the beginning of a national healing process for the nation to recover from the multitude of political, economic, good governance and nation-building crisis confronting Malaysia.
Let Malaysians prove Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan wrong that Bersih 4 rally will have an adverse impact on the economy in an already challenging economic environment.
In a series of tweets, Abdul Rahman said ultimately, ordinary Malaysians will become the victims if the economy is affected.
“The Bersih 4 timing is bad. Malaysians are losing billions and jobs. Don’t stoke the economic fire even more. Be responsible. Postpone it.
“Bersih 4 should be wise. This is the time for calm and composure in light of the global economic meltdown. Even just for a few weeks.”
On the contrary, if Malaysians, involving the government and citizenry, can successfully hold the biggest rally in the nation’s history to demonstrate the unity, resolve and commitment of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, age, gender or politics to want to end the nation-building, political, economic and good governance crisis, it can be beginning of a virtuous circle to save Malaysia from sliding down the slippery slope towards a rogue and failed state.
(Media Conference Statement at DAP Hqrs in KL on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 12.30 pm)