Politic is, at times, the art of the impossible. It is impossible to see how Najib could have gone walk about in Jln Masjid India and Jln Tuanku Abdul Rahman just the day after the Bersih 2.0 Rally which was described by UMNO political bureau as:
"By most accounts, the Bersih 2.0 protest on July 9 could turn out to be massive and will certainly go beyond issues of fair and free elections. With over 100 political, NGO and right groups could be joining the “March for Democracy”, we expect them to champion a slew of issues ranging from inflation to Teoh Beng Hock and Lynas. The protest, if not countered, could undermine the government, the economy and national security".
It was impossible to understand how despite a massive PDRM operations before and during the rally, Bersih still somehow manage to have its way and hold it.
We were told that the rally would start racial riots. There would be attempts by the communist to take advantage of the situation to create disturbances.This was an opposition backed rally to show the BN government that Pakatan Rakyat has the people support. The 9th of July promised to be a day of of either infamy or the triumph of law and order over anarchy. A day where the people made their voice heard over the attempts by the BN government to stifle them. A day when the opposition would demonstrate to the BN government that the Rally would start the avalanche that would oust the BN government at the next general election.
So what really happened?
As I see it it had a bit of everything. Even sadly a death. The BN government could not stopped the Rally from happening. Bersih did not have the much touted overwhelming numbers of participants we all expected it to have. At the end of the day, when all was said and done - the people in KL were inconvenienced. As they say, when elephants fight, the grass suffers.
What was obvious is this: The BN government, Bersih and the Opposition did things their way without much thought for what it would do to Kuala Lumpur and the people that lives in it. Each will have their argument for doing so and each will be able to justify their actions - but is this the direction we want Malaysia to head to? Confrontation rather then discourse? Riot and mayhem rather then civil interaction? Surely there must be a better way to live our lives in the coming days as we head towards the 13th general election and beyond?
But I think with the political leaders that we have now on both sides of the divide this would be tantamount to asking for the impossible. But then Politics is the art of the impossible is it not? Why can't these Politicians fight their battle in Parliament? For these same politicians to do their work diligently in the states they controlled. To deliver to the people what has been promised in the last general election and subsequently in the dialogues these politicians had with their electorate. Why can't these politicians lead by example?
Do they not realize that everything they do, everything they say, everything promised and not done, everything promised and done the people now have the means and will take the trouble to find out for ourselves? Once elected as our representatives their lives is an open book to us. To expect otherwise would be mean that these politicians would be heading for a fall.
We live in a world of wanting NOW to be the by word for everything that matters to us. NOW is also how information on all things are put out to the public domain. And yet these politicians do not get it! They do not understand that they live their lives in the constant glare of the public. And no politicians is immune to the good and the bad such scrutiny will bring to them. Any deceptions or attempts at deception, will, in the fullness of time, if not immediately, bring about punishment to the perpetrator of that deed.
This Bersih 2.0 rally is a case in point. The vast majority of Malaysian do not want a massive rally to take place in the middle of Kuala Lumpur for the simple reason that it will disrupt their daily activities. By the same token the vast majority of Malaysian do not want their government to stifle their right to voice their personal opinion of matters they care passionately about - like their desire to have free and fair elections. That our political leaders are unable to figure this out by themselves is very worrying.
And so now what? To expect our political leaders to understand our wish for them to act in a mature and responsible manner is maybe asking a bit too much. Politicians are a very selfish lot. Very self centered and in Malaysia, it would seems that might is right! Winning in elections is everything. The winner takes it all. The loser takes a fall. This does not happen in Australia or in most Western countries. There is a role for the opposition in government. If the government does not meet with the people aspirations, they will be voted out at the next general election. The government and the opposition are responsible and accountable for their actions -and they both answer to the most powerful of decision makers - Public Opinion.And public opinion balances and limits the power and doings of all politicians in Australia. The same should be the case in Malaysia.
We cannot have politicians that consider themselves as having a divine right to govern Malaysia. Whether it is Najib or AnwarBersih Rally. Each will certainly have their claims to these plus and minuses but the public will have the last say. But you and I know that it is the people that losses every time we are have to endure the posturing of these spoilt and often domineering political primadonas!
For now politicians on both sides of the divide are blinkered by the coming 13 general election and their political survival. I just hope that Najib and Anwar will find a middle road to conduct themselves in a manner that will not unwittingly cause us, the public, to be adversely affected by their posturing when they make their case to the public for what ever it is that they are campaigning about in the lead up to the 13th general elections.