These last few days I have seen many images of young Malays gathered in large numbers intimidating, harassing and terrorising other Malaysians. An army of Red Shirts, let loose upon an unsuspecting population, hell bent on imposing their physical presence upon those who seek to oust their political masters from office.
This is nothing new. Both sides of the political divide have no hesitation in "using" the masses to fight their fight.
Be it Reformasi, Bersih or the Red Shirts the right and wrong of what they do will depend from what perspective you view the "cause" that they are fighting for, but invariably, these are the "frontline" that will decide the success or failure of what their political masters wants to do. And thereby hangs a tale.
Refomasi and Bersih had their own army of Malaysians who "volunteered" life and limb for causes that they think are far far better than their own. They fought running battles with law enforcement authorities and were subject to whatever force and trauma PDRM deemed fit to unleashed upon them.
There is no doubt that what has prevented our nation from descending totally into chaos and anarchy is the presence of the law enforcement authorities who were tasked with managing the Reformasi and Bersih activists in a manner that would not threaten the "national security" of our nation.....as dictated by their political masters. The right and wrong of what PDRM does is, again, dependent on which side of the political divide you chose to be.
So what of the Red Shirts?
Like those activists in Reformasi and Bersih, these Red Shirts are also doing the bidding of their political masters, and their political masters is Umno. What then, we must ask, is the agenda of Umno in putting the Red Shirts on the frontline of their fight with the opposition?
How will the Red Shirts be used by Umno?
The Red Shirts will do what activists in Reformasi and Bersih do. Advance the political agenda of their political masters. Let us not quibble over the right and wrong of what they do nor do I want to question the manner by which intend to do so....all this will be dictated by their political masters.
What concerns me is simply this : The Reformasi and the Bersih activists were well and truly managed and contained by PDRM and any undue "exuberance" from the activists were met full on by the overwhelming might of PDRM.
Now who will contain and managed the Red Shirts should their "exuberance" in carrying out the wishes of Umno gets physical....gets very physical. Will PDRM do to the Red Shirts what they have done to the Refomasi and Bersih crowd or will PDRM be complicit with The Red Shirts in carrying out the political will of Umno?
This is my hope : Reformasi, Bersih or the Red Shirts - whatever their differences...go fight your battle between yourself and leave safe our cities, our people and all the values we all hold dear. .....or better still....let their political masters fight their own battles among themselves and leave our people be.