Change must come but not with violence | Selangor Times
Issue 118


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Change must come but not with violence
Writer: Fahmi Fadzil
Published: Fri, 06 Jul 2012

A few days ago, I read an article by Liew Chin Tong, the MP for Bukit Bendera, entitled “The Last Mile” (The Rocket, July 2, 2012).

In that article, Chin Tong recalls how on July 2, 1997, the foundations for the beginning of the end of Malaysia’s ancient régime was unconsciously laid – the destabilisation of regional currencies and subsequently economies – as well as the national political maelstrom that followed soon after – marked a tectonic shift in the progression of our national narrative.

Today, after a long and arduous journey of 15 years where Malaysians had to endure everything from sodomy charges to submarine scandals, change has irrefutably and more importantly irreversibly arrived at the doorsteps of Putrajaya.

And the ancien régime is afraid. Very afraid.

Numerous analysts and writers have presented their prognoses of GE13: 1) outright victory for Barisan Nasional; 2) slim victory for Barisan Nasional; 3) hung parliament; 4) slim victory for Pakatan Rakyat; 5) outright victory for Pakatan Rakyat.

Some postulate that BN will be the victors of the upcoming general election, but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak may not survive the internal tribulations of Umno if the result is not far better than former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s 2008 showing.

Some suggest that the internal machinations of Umno may see Najib’s attempts being sabotaged.

Indeed, when we look at how the police unleashed their unholy fury on the journalists and attendees of Bersih 3.0, and when we see BN Backbenchers like Datuk Mohd Aziz (MP for Sri Gading) asking if Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan should be hanged, and when we see even the deputy prime minister saying that he is a “Malay first, and a Malaysian second” which some have read as a challenge to Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, such a proposal is not hard to imagine.

But I think we are not spending enough effort and time to collectively imagine what the days following GE13 will be like.

If power changes hands at the federal level, what immediate steps should the rakyat take to ensure peace and calm? Or if power does not change hands, for whatever reason(s), what is the rakyat’s course of action?

Or, if status quo is maintained... what then?

To me, whatever the outcome, as Malaysians, we must maintain civility and uphold the principles of non-violent efforts for change. This is paramount.

For while we seek change, and change must come, violence is never the answer.

Beyond the first few days, and should change take place, I believe we must lay bare the realities of governing a post-BN federal government.

The question of priorities of our goals and aims - the “low-hanging fruits” as has been discussed in some circles - must be presented and discussed: Should we aim to balance the budget quickly? Should we immediately repeal the PPPA, SOSMA, 114A?

What about the composition of Dewan Negara? How should we go about retraining and re-deploying police personnel to more effectively combat crime?

Is decentralisation of federal power immediately a realisable goal?

Equally important is the question of “amnesty” and the “sins of the past”.

What methods and means should we employ to ascertain the level of culpability? How will we practicably recover national assets?

At what point must we stop, forgive, and let go?

Now, more than ever, Malaysia needs to dream again. But it is not a somnambulant dream we need, where we dream and walk with eyes closed, unaware.

Instead, now, more than ever, we need to dream with open eyes.

And to see that a better Malaysia is finally come.



 Selangor Times



Also by Fahmi Fadzil:

Awaiting local, federal elections

THE Malaysian political scene feels like it fits right in with the work of absurdist playwright Beckett’s play entitled ‘Waiting for Godot’, where two characters – Vladimir and Estragon – wait patiently for the arrival of Godot, who never arrives.

New beginnings

Farewell 2012, Hello 13GE

WHAT a year it has been! Who would’ve thought that much of these past 11 months would have sped by with such ferocity?

Reconsidering elected representatives

What is the role of a member of Parliament? A state assemblyperson (ADUN)? A local councillor? 

The day after...

In my last article, I wrote about the need to imagine the hours, days, weeks, and months following the 13th General Election (a most enigmatic event, whose precise date is and will forever be a mystery... until it is called!). 

Let’s keep thuggery out

I have been working for Nurul Izzah and Parti Keadilan Rakyat since October 2010.

Cleaner, freer, fairer, better

It’s been a good nine months since the epic Bersih 2.0 rally of July 2011. I still remember the days that came before that mammoth gathering - the tension, the stress, the uncertainties, and most of all: the unyielding desire of the rakyat for free and fair elections - and realize that, given the special circumstance that we are in today what with polls being weeks or months away, those thunderous days may not be repeated verbatim.

Tale of two gatherings

This past week saw several different yet, from my point of view, important gatherings of people standing up for what they believe in. I want to write a little bit about two gatherings in particular, and highlight what we may (hopefully) learn from each.

Of sacred cows and secret condos

It’s been a while since my last article appeared in Selangor Times - things have been moving a tad bit faster than usual; even now I’m writing in between completing other tasks, but no matter.

What a year!

“Buka tutup buka tutup mata, dah habis satu tahun.”

TTDI residents ready for futsal 'match'

A few Fridays ago, I received an email from my neighbourhood security-watch committee about a new project that had suddenly mushroomed in our little corner of Taman Tun Dr Ismail: a futsal court.

Neighbourhoods under siege

OF late I’ve been thinking a lot about neighbourhoods – all these places where we grew up, started our own families, and basically watched the nation go by.

Cleaner, fairer, better?

PRACTICALLY everyone who is reading this already knows about the July 9 rally organised by the Bersih 2.0 coalition. I believe that many of us were there on the streets on that historic day.

Maafkan kami

I’m not sure if you’ve been following the news, but earlier in June I was kind of in the news as I had to apologise for some things that I had tweeted in January.

Times of change

Of late, we’ve been inundated with talk about withdrawal of subsidies and subsequently the change in the price of sugar, RON95, gas, electricity, etc – some of which has happened, and some of which (for whatever economic or political reason) has not.

Sarawak, show us the way

The recent Sarawak state elections were such a learning experience for many Malaysians. Irrespective of whether we were active participants in the political battles on the ground, or just curious observers reading the news on Twitter, it is clear that Sarawak – and the rest of the country – can never be the same again.

The Malaysian resistance

These are “artistic impressions” of thoughts circumambulating the increasingly controversial Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
project. I chose to say “increasingly controversial” because we all know we need this infrastructure and thus any opposition to it appears to reject a very public need.











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