― Dan Lee
Malay Mail Online
September 1, 2015
SEPTEMBER 1 ― We have just had our biggest street party to usher in Merdeka Day and a 34-hours-long carnival to celebrate democracy in Malaysia. The excitement of those who pulled on their yellow t-shirts and accessories is still visible as many have written to talk about the whole adventure they had and the sense of unity they experienced with the crowd. My question is ― What’s next?
Bersih 4 was meant to unite Malaysians who are like-minded and passionate to ensure our beloved nation is free from corruption and injustice, as well as to demand for a clean government who will put the interest of the Rakyat first. Let us build on this unity of love and passion for this nation and her people, and not divide the nation by skin colour or political affiliation, or worse still, by t-shirt colours. We, who have been to Bersih 4 should never think of ourselves more highly or more patriotic than those who didn’t, for we do not know their reasons. Let us not divide our nation between us and them, who have been to Bersih 4 and not, who wore yellow or not, or who supports Bersih 4 or not.
There are many out there who didn’t join Bersih 4 and that doesn’t mean that they support corruption and injustice or are loyal to a certain party. Maybe they are just not aware of the issues, or they are too busy fighting to put food on the table for their families, or they are not convinced with street demonstration, and these people need to hear our stories and we hear theirs in order for us to understand each other and build this nation together.
After this, let us not just share stories among our groups of Bersih 4 alumni but get out there to start a conversation with those who didn’t join Bersih 4, to better understand their reasons and their beliefs, and hopefully, win them over, and be united to join the cause to build a better nation. Therefore, start this conversation with people outside our circle, get to know their culture, priorities, struggles and aspirations, and hopefully through the exchange of stories, we may inspire or awaken them to see nation building the way we do.
Remember, there are many other Malaysians who are also yearning for a better nation but were unable to go for Bersih 4 as they may be:
― working in the factory producing the alarm clock that woke us up
― cooking and selling the nasi lemak, roti canai or char kuey teow for our breakfast
― working as pump attendants at the petrol station where you pumped fuel
― manning the toll booth that you passed by on the way to the city
― driving the taxi that took you to the LRT station
― working to ensure the LRT or Komuter function properly throughout the two days
― teachers and parents where their students or children are involved in the Merdeka Parade in every state
― those who have made plans to get married that weekend as it is a long weekend
― those who planned their holidays a year in advance knowing it is a long holiday weekend
― policemen on duty those two days to keep the security and peace during the rally,
And many more groups of people.
So, let us share our stories with each other, and build a better nation together.