Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bersih: Spreading the message of love

***************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ****************** Reflection ****************** The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. **************************** ATTENTING rallies such as the just concluded Bersih 3.0 in Kuala Lumpur recently, did not give participants any material gains. In fact one would have to fork out extra money to pay for transportation, food and drinks (28th April was really a hot day) and sacrifice one's precious time especially to those who were self employed; they would not be having income on that particular day. ******************** Participants from far away places such as Kedah, Kelantan and perhaps Sabah and Sarawak had to be away from work at least two or three days; they had sacrificed their family, work and other commitments. ***************** But what made people from all walks of life ready to scarify their time, energy, money and ‘body’ (remember some were beaten badly on that fateful day and not to talk about the thousands who had to gasp for air and had irritation eyes and skin after the police showered them with water laced with chemicals and tear gas) just to be present at the gathering? ******************** There must be reason and purpose for it, the people could not be simply be there just to create havoc as claimed by certain quarters especially top guns of the ruling party. In Islam, every action is considered a good deed and would be rewarded handsomely by Allah SWT the Almighty. If the ‘niat’ (intention) is line with what He told us to do and what we should abstain from then there will be rewards. If the intention to attend the rally was to please and fulfil what God told us to do, then it would bring us benefit in the world and in the Hereafter. ************************ During the ‘big day’, I arrived early (about 8.00am) and have ‘a seat’ (remember the theme of the gathering was ‘Duduk & Bantah’ – Sit and Protest) on the road (the entrance of Jalan Raja) leading to Dataran Merdeka. Of course I could not just sit in one spot for hours but roamed around freely and one time, I took the oppourtunity to speak to a Chinese middle aged man who was seating next to me. ************************* Vincent said he was there because of his love to the country. He wanted to see the country administrated and in the safe hands of leaders upon whom the ‘rakyat’ could trust. “You see, it is the right of the ‘rakyat’ to gather and speak out their minds to those in power. But why must we being denied of this right? If this ‘small issue’ could not be fulfilled, then what’s the point talking about bigger things?” ******************************** He then pointed about the demands of the group called ‘Bersih’ (a Malay acronym for ‘Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bebas dan Adil’ - Coalition for Free and Fair Elections) which the government (specifically SPR), were reluctant to comply with. ************************** Vincent did not talk about the demands but in front of us, many participants were wearing yellow ‘Bersih’ T-shirts with eight demands of the group printed clearly on them – a thorough review of the electoral roll; reforms to the postal balloting process, marking voters who have cast their ballots with indelible ink; a minimum 21 days campaign period; equitable access to media by participating parties; strengthen institutions which enforces election laws; eradicating electoral bribery; and putting a stop to dirty politics. *************************** “I don’t understand why they are against all these good things (Bersih’s demands)? It is good for the future of the country and the young generation. Could you tell me if any of the demands are against or contradict in the process of nation building? Why they are afraid of these demands if they are trustworthy and clean?” ******************* Vincent talked about the love for the country. Then during the gathering especially after the police fired tear gas on the public beginning at about 3.00 pm, I witness ‘the message of love’ here and there. ***************************** Malays, Chinese, Indians and even the indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak were seen helping each other. A Chinese youth offered some salt to a Malay man; a group comprising Malays, Indians and Chinese were seen coaxing and restraining a Malay woman from running amok (she was cursing on top of her voice) to attack a policeman after the latter fired tear gas near Masjid India compound. ************************* Yes, the people had love for each other; forgetting the differences in the form of races, language, religion and so on. Perhaps they had one thing common in their minds – fighting against the brutality of ‘this regime’. *************************** Mind you, some people from the crowd especially the youth only put in some form of 'resistance’ after the police had showered them with tear gas and chemical-laced water. At about 6.30 pm from the platform of the Masjid Jamek LRT station, I could see clearly ‘the war’ between a group of about 500 Bersih youth and about 50 policemen below the station. ********************** At one time, some policemen were chasing the youths but the next moment after gaining momentum, the youths were running after the men in uniform. That scenario kept on repeating a few times; why must there be ‘war’ between the youths and policemen? ********************* The men in blue (or black?) were there to maintained order but sad to say they were involved in an ‘undeclared war’ with the Bersih youth. From far I noticed the policemen were without pistols and guns, if not I was afraid the situation might be out of control because when ‘young people take laws into their own hands’, the consequences would be fatal for the country. ******************** In my opinion, the country’s future would be in jeopardy if the two sides (protestors and the men in uniform) lose their ‘love’ for each other. The protestors should have respected the policemen and the men in blue should have mercy on the protesters. ****************** Both sides should know their limitations; the men in blue were only carrying out orders from their top bosses who wanted to be in power ‘dulu, kini dan selamanya’ (before, now and forever). Remember we are fighting against the regime and not the men in blue! ******************** Perhaps some insights into events in other countries such as Indonesia (during the fall of Suharto) and USSR (the fall of Kremlin) where the men in uniform suddenly turned sides in a 180 degree turn to be with the people could give inspiration to our ‘rakyat’ – the men in blue included! ******************* Only the ‘message of love’ could topple the regime, a fierce resistance may only be met by a much fiercer one; a general or a prime minister does not fall in wars but becomes tame in the soft hands of a lady! ******************** To cut a diamond you need to use water. Hard and precious rocks too are cut by using water to turn them into usable item such as tiles! ********************** Remember love melts people, not war. So send the message of love throughout the country if we wanted to end the rule of this regime!

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