I was at the first Bersih march in 2007, and I was at the lawyer’s march before it and Hindraf after, where I was shot at with tear gas and hosed down together with a great mass of 60-year-old “threats to national security” who were simply fed up with they way they had been treated.
Hindraf was an odd thing. The protestors were by and large Indian, dark-skinned, polytheists (that is, Hindu for ye who have not a clue what I am talking about), and certainly not middle class. Did anyone give a crap about them? Well, not really, but that needn’t detain us now I suppose. It certainly didn’t detain us then.
I appreciate the demands of Bersih 2.0. They are my demands. Most of them. I think indelible ink to be silly if the process itself can be guaranteed to be fair. I also think that “Stop Corruption” and “End Dirty Politics” (items 7 and 8 respectively) are journeys, possibly painful journeys, that we must undertake. The whole bloody thing will cost us dearly and we must be prepared to pay the price.
I am. I’m sure you are too.
But it doesn’t consist in merely handing over a memo and claiming moral victory, or going to gaol and claiming martyrdom. Handing a memorandum to the Palace alone achieves nothing other than the satisfaction of having shown your strength. This is the same satisfaction UMNO and Perkasa seek. Claiming that if you are not with Bersih, then you are against free and fair elections is the same as saying if you don’t subscribe to Ketuanan Melayu, you can fuck off. Saying “March in July or emigrate” is the same as saying “Juden heraus!”
Not everyone thinks the way you do, and that, unfortunately, is a fundamental principle of democratic engagement.
What exactly does Bersih stand for? Its original eight demands? Or the demands of the Pakatan Rakyat? Is it a political protest led by Anwar Ibrahim, who possesses the power to call off the march if that pink-lipped idiot in Putrajaya accedes to Bersih’s demands? What the hell kind of “engagement” is that? Or is it a protest to which Sdr Lim Kit Siang can invite all to join? Whose protest is it? I thought it was the peoples’. Not the politicians’.
And as for that ridiculous arse-wipe Khary Jamaluddin [no last name], for God’s sake have the courage to be in the country when the shit hits the fan.