Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lukey Wanna Be Bersih Too

I've been reading a lot of Bersih stories for the past few days. Not the "official" ones from the government about how little people turned up, how effective the police or how UMNO can gather millions of its members in one day, but rather the stories from normal, average Malaysians who turned up for the rally in hopes of a better Malaysia and I must say, those stories inspired me. Perhaps ignited a fire in my heart fight for a better Malaysia.

You see, if you happen to be an average middle class non-Bumiputera (or basically a non-Malay) growing up in Malaysia, to have a fair shot in life, you have only two choices amidst all the inequalities surrounding you in the country. You can either choose to emigrate to another country for a better future, or you can stay and fight for that fair shot in life, which basically means supporting an opposition party and going against the government.

I used to want to stay and fight. But looking at how stubborn the mentality of some people is, how the ruling party refuse to change, how ignorant some Malaysians are and how the government refuses to use logic and be rational for the sake of the country, I thought there were no use to fight anyway. It's just a waste of energy and time. Might as well you leave the country and start anew somewhere else. I took the easy way out.

When Bersih 2.0 was announced, I thought the same thing. There is no use fighting anyway. Everyone will just get arrested and their voices will be drowned out eventually. By the end of the day, the government will win again. I was skeptical.

But thanks to Facebook and thanks to the internet, I started to read more about the experiences of the people that went down to the rally that day. Normal Malaysians who actually cared about the country, people who did not take the easy way out and people who braved the rain, tear gases and self-doubt to fight for their beloved country.

Reading their stories made me realized that we Malaysians are different from the government. While to government likes to play the racist card, trumping about Malay supremacy and how Islam's rights is threatened, we Malaysians are actually quite a united bunch despite our differences as seen from the protesters that went down that day.

I read about how people helped each other when they're being chased by the police, how drinks and food were offered, how everyone felt as if they are one and a host of other stories depicting the unity and compassion among the protesters. Those stories are what I call the true spirit of Malaysia. When people ask me about Malaysian next time, instead of Najib's 1Malaysia, I am gonna to tell them about 9th of July, 2011.

The 7th July stories warmed my heart. It made me think that perhaps there is hope for Malaysia after all should we choose to fight and continue to stay united. What was portrayed on that day, it was truly awesome. Rather than going down as Malays, Chinese or Indians, the protesters went as Malaysians united in the same cause. It made me proud to be a Malaysian again.

And in fact, if there's a Bersih 3.0 in the future, I will go down myself. That's my promise. Enough of talk and complaints about wanting a better Malaysia without any action. As Michael Jackson once said, I need to start with the man in the mirror. No more of being afraid of being arrested or anything. If we want a better future, we should fight for it. And besides, even if I get arrested, I can have free curry rice for my meals.
 

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