Sad and pathetic that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, should be struck by xanthophobia, the irrational fear of the colour yellow, second time in five years.
The first time was during Bersih 2 of 709 (July 9, 2011) and the second time the last-minute ban by the new Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, of the use of yellow with the words Bersih 4 in whatever form.
This does not reflect a self-confident people-oriented democratic government but a government in deep panic wobbling on the last legs of popularity, credibility and legitimacy.
No wonder the nation’s history of almost six decades has never seen a government more fractured, an UMNO more fractured and a country more divided!
Najib should be mindful of the saying that “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” as he does not seem to have learnt anything from Bersih 2,how ordinary Malaysians acted in an extraordinary manner on 709 in 2011, how they overcame their uncertainty, helplessness and fear in the face of threats of violence, riots and even another May 13, mass arrests, indiscriminate police firing of teargas and water cannons, to discover a common bond as Malaysians transcending race, religion, region, age or gender united in loyalty and patriotism to the King and country to save the country from rot and corruption for the people and future generations.
It is time for Malaysia to become a normal democratic country, where the people have the right and freedom to peacefully assemble in the tens or hundreds of thousands for freedom, justice and unity, and not have to worry about smelling salts and other paraphernalia to fob off possible tear gas and other repressive police actions.
Najib and his Cabinet have chosen to be on the wrong side of history, refusing to embrace the extraordinary stories of ordinary Malaysians on Bersih 2 and Bersih 3, and in the process abandoning Najib’s 1Malaysia signature policy initiative, leading to the punishment of the 13th General Election results where Najib became the first minority Prime Minister winning only 47% of the popular vote.
Is the history of Bersih 2 and 3 as well as the 13th General Election to repeat themselves?
These are the final hours for Najib to decide whether he is warring against his own people, when Malaysians come in peace to the Federal capital, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu to reaffirm the Malaysian dream of freedom, justice, solidarity and national unity in Merdeka Proclamation 1957 and Malaysia Proclamation 1963.
The people of Malaysia, regardless of race, religion, age, gender or even political party, streaming and converging into Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu are not warring against Najib and his Cabinet.
They come in peace to reclaim the Malaysian Dream of freedom, justice, solidarity and national unity promised to the people in the 1957 Merdeka Proclamation of Independence and the 1963 Malaysia Proclamation.
I call on Najb, Zahid and the Inspector-General of Police not to war against the people of Malaysia, because the Malaysian people are not at war with them but only want to peacefully, democratically and constitutionally reclaim their national heritage of freedom, justice, solidarity and national unity.
Najib, Zahid and the IGP should in fact protect and cherish the safety and security of the people of Malaysia, particularly in the 34 hours of the Berish 4 overnight rally.
In this connection, the police must be reminded that they should not be the pawns of the ruling coalition to help keep the present regime in power but instead, should be completely non-partisan and be mindful that their topmost priority must be the three core functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption in the police force and uphold human rights (as recommended by the Dzaiddin Royal Commission of Inquiry 2005).
The world is now watching Malaysia.
Let the 34-hour overnight rally of Bersih 4 go down in history as the classic moment when the country came of age as a democracy and passed the global test of human rights, democracy and good governance as well as a turning point to rally Malaysians in a united mission to Save Malaysia from the directions and policies to a rogue and failed state.
Najib and the Cabinet must ensure that Malaysia will not be condemned as an instant rogue and failed state if agent provocateurs and anti-national elements are allowed to sabotage the peaceful holding of Bersih 4 rally by creating chaos and mayhem.
Let them ensure the peace and safety of the tens and hundreds of thousands of Malaysians in support of Bersih 4.
History is on the make today and tomorrow – ordinary Malaysians walking in peace with history as well as Najib, the Cabinet and the police!
(Pre-Bersih 4 Media Statement in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, August 29, 2015)