“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Bersih’s goal has always been right. We Malaysians have always been missing the point. The point of parliamentary democracy is to allow a voice to dissent, providing an avenue for differing opinions to be voted on. Our Parliamentary system is broken in that there is no procedure to allow a vote of no-confidence on our Prime Minister. It is well established that there is sufficient reason for a vote on that.
Bersih, representing the people’s court, would be gathering the rakyat to do the voting on Bersih 4.0 in two days. Joining the rally, as claimed, would represent a vote of no-confidence on our Malaysian ‘princling’ turned corrupted Prime Minister, Najib Razak. Najib has sacked and removed all possible legitimate investigators, when being caught red-handed for inappropriately handling of 1MDB or UMNO fund,
The rally is more than a vote of no-confidence. Instead, it is a vote of confidence. It is a vote that Najib would do no evil as people gathered, and ready to be arrested or slaughtered by hooligans. The rally has been deemed illegal by the Police, despite the all procedural work has been done according to the ‘Peaceful Assembly Act of 2012’. It is a vote on a Najib who would not be manufacturing chaos or capitalizing on the chaos to perpetuate his rule via a subsequent self-coup. Hundred of thousands would be joining the rally, but some might not return. It is not worth it even when one would be lost for an unworthy rule. Given all that Najib has done after 1MDB, Mongolian incidents, there is no basis to trust Najib’s good conscience. In the past few Bersih rallies, Najib has always been conveniently absent. This time, he is not. Joining the rally has element of knowingly walking into a trap that would defeat the rally’s goal of creating a functioning ‘Parliamentary Democracy’.
Ibrahim Ali has suggested Perkasa would lend their vote of no-confidence. Tun Mahathir who officiated Perkasa has been the biggest critic of Najib. Tun Mahathir, then Datuk Seri, is the same person who executed Operasi Lalang, and the same person who wrote a letter to topple ‘Bapa Malaysia’ and modified the constitution for himself to rule the longest. Perkasa and Tun Mahathir, who has a ‘princling’ son, groomed to be a Prime Minister material, has a lot to gain from a chaos. A chaos and a subsequent military involvement would push back the building a functioning ‘Parliamentary Democracy’ for generations.
Military involvement is analogous to the use of a butcher axe, rather than a surgical tool, to prevent a gangrene from killing a patient. Even if one didn’t get killed when using a butcher axe, military involvement is addictive. Our neighbor Thailand illustrated how the cycle of military involvement simply would not go away. Rakyat benefits most when we kept our military to do only one job, i.e. defending against invasion.
Past Bersih has come and gone peacefully. Yet, this Bersih is different. In the past, the elite rulers have most to loose, as no one wants to rock the bottom line, i.e. personal wealth. The Ringgit and KLSE are in doldrums. In corporate finance, CEOs would capitalize and lump bad news together in a ‘blood bath’ quarterly earnings report. There is no reason our political princes would no do the same. Except, this one could be a literal ‘blood bath’.
All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. It takes a lot of good men to prevent a blood bath, as we count down to our Bersih 4.0. Yet, it takes only one or two to announce a change of direction on how Bersih 4.0 ought to proceed. A mass rally has always rely on numbers. The numbers would do better by being anonymous, and unidentifiable. A mass gathering could only as one gathering. Instead, there is more power in a scattered crowd of individuals merely wearing yellow to do their usual chores and leisure activities. Come September 1st, the time for work, do their mourning at home, and send their boss an email claiming that one needed time to think through and mourn for the nation. Economic loss of a productive day is not much more than the RM2.6 billion. RM 2.6billion is what our nepostistic Najib could beg from the one generous private donor. If he could not, he could decide if he could leave peacefully.
Gandhi organized a Salt march instead of a sit in. There is wisdom to that. Amritstar massacre has taken place. One could decide on one’s life to result a good change. A leader could not do so. A leader has no justification to call for others’ sacrifice when there is another way. Najib is on his way down. There is no other reason to bring others along with him. Corrupted officials is why Bersih exist. But, corrupted officials too are sons and daughters of Malaysia. Taukehs in Bersih have all paid some form of kopi money to be taukehs. The clean and the corrupt are all children of Malaysia. A functioning ‘Parliamentary Democracy’ involves room for dialogues. Bersih, without a rally, already has all the legitimacy to gather the key players in a room to publicly discuss the next step for how a ‘princling’ could step down peacefully, for his father’s nation. When that breaks, there is room for another day of resignation from work, room for various state government to seceed from PutraJaya. There is no reason to provide an unjust ruler to perpetuate his rule via a coup.