This letter appeared in Malaysiakini today. I thought I would publish it because what was said in the letter reflects the sentiments of most Malaysians. It in fact dovetails with what I have been saying all along. We are not anti-politicians as much as we are pro-rakyat. This, the politicians have to understand. And BERSIH should not be turned into a political party but must remain a people's movement.
Nirmala Naidu, Malaysiakini
Dear Chandra Muzaffar,
I refer to your letter in Star, July 13. I am just an ordinary citizen of Malaysia who is very passionate about her people and environment. As a responsible citizen, I pay all my bills on time, adhere to every rule and regulation and obey the law. I must say I am very disappointed with the current government. I am not a member of any political party but I am a supporter of what is right. There are too many wrongs going on in our country. That is why I support Bersih.
For you to say that the main agenda of the rally was to carry Pakatan to Putrajaya is totally flawed. I speak on behalf of the millions of Malaysian who are not a member of any political party. We do not give a damn for Pakatan Rakyat but we do give a damn for Bersih.
Obviously the initial turnout of 300,000 was not realised because the citizens of this country were terrorised just for wearing yellow, weeks before the rally! Then the whole of KL was locked down by the police.
It does not take a genius to figure out why the numbers were not there. With all the threats by the government and police, I would say at least 50 -100 thousand people were there (judging from the photos). This you cannot deny, Chandra.
In 2007, Bersih had its first rally for free and fair elections. Five years later, they had another rally for the same agenda, free and fair elections. What does that tell you, Dr? Yes, nothing was done about the issues.
We saw countless by elections which had been inundated with numerous complaints which all fell onto deaf ears. No action was ever taken. All was conveniently swept under the carpet.
Bersih is actually a very patient organisation. To say that they did not exhaust all avenues is pure rubbish. The reason why Bersih went into the streets is because they see no other avenue. Despite being promised a stadium - which was initially the PM's idea, and requested by the King, and Bersih agreed to hold the rally in a stadium - they were still denied a permit.
They compromised. But the PM reneged on his offer by ordering the police not to issue a permit. What crap! Even if 10 stadiums offered their permits to have the rally, Bersih still had to go to the streets because the police will not issue a permit.
Together with education comes realisation and enlightenment. When a nation is progressing, you cannot expect your citizens to be stupid. Street demonstrations is a first world culture. If our leaders do not allow the freedom of speech, then let's remain a third world country, and lets remain stupid. Then there will be no problems. We won't know what is going on.
The rising price of essential goods concerns me. Who is responsible for Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbaini's death concerns me. Why can't we arrest the problems of burning fires in Sumatra until today amazes me.
The deflating ringgit concerns me. The exorbitant electricity bills concerns me. And if the government of the day can rule without fear or favour then I will back that government be it BN or Pakatan Rakyat.
Just imagine, if KL was not locked down on July 9, I am sure millions would have come out and that is something the ruling government just did not want to see.