It’s about Malaysia, not Ambiga | Selangor Times
Issue 118


It’s about Malaysia, not Ambiga
Writer: Wong Chin Huat
Published: Fri, 11 May 2012

Those who set up the anonymous website got it all wrong. Technically speaking, it’s a very simple but very smart project.

Simple message: “Time to stop Pakatan Rakyat hijacking our movement”. (interestingly, the word “Pakatan Rakyat” became “Parti Keadilan Rakyat” in its Chinese title).

Simple method: A template letter – which you can modify the wording – has been created for you. All you need to do is key in your name and your email (no verification tool of course), and an email will be sent to Datuk S Ambiga’s inbox.

Only one thing the anonymous webmasters – who have ignored Ambiga’s call to meet them – got it wrong: the target.

For this project to succeed, they must aim for two goals: not just spamming Ambiga’s inbox, but getting the Bersih 3.0 participants to do it.

It’s meaningless for 10 cybertroopers to religiously sit before their laptops and press the send button 100,000 times with cheeky smiles on their face.

With some simple steps from Ambiga, your 1,000,000 spam mails would just end up in the spam folder or get deleted straight away.’s real success would be to get the real participants of Bersih 3.0 to press the “Send” button on its page. The higher the number, the greater the success, of course.

So, how does this simple and straightforward website fail?

Philosophically speaking, the webmasters still live in 1998. They still live in the Reformasi years. Much like our retired top cops who still live in the Cold War years. In a way, they are like walking museum exhibits.

Notwithstanding the name and the underlying tremendous socio-political change, Reformasi was still a movement defined by one man, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar was the personal embodiment of what has gone wrong in the system.

He was the country’s No. 2 man before he was turned into public enemy No 1 overnight with the mainstream media who used to sing praises of him suddenly exposing all his wrongdoings.

And the No 1 in the Government then repeatedly accused Anwar of being too power crazy – indirectly not denying that Anwar would have been spared all the suffering and humiliation had he agreed to quit.

He was still the second man in the country until he ended up with a black eye while in jail.

Now if the No 2 and his family can fall prey to such a authoritarian system, what about ordinary Malaysians?

Those who accuse Anwar and PKR of hijacking the Bersih 3.0 rally are caught in a time (1998-1999) when tens of thousands of ordinary Malaysians went to the streets because of Anwar.

Most of them were ethnic Malays, not so much because Anwar was their co-ethnic, but rather because the state institutions have been largely Malay-dominant and they felt betrayed by the system.

The state propaganda then accused Anwar of manipulating them. They didn’t call it “hijacking” because those were Anwar’s supporters, sympathisers and well-wishers.

Back to 2012. Who were the 250,000 who went to the streets of Kuala Lumpur and turned Jalan Tun Perak into the New Dataran Merdeka on April 28? Did they go because of one person?

No, the ones who suffered injustice were ordinary Malaysians. Ordinary Malaysians demand a clean-up of the electoral rolls because they are denied their choice of government. And without such control, they cannot ensure a better future and their family.

That’s why you saw for the first time in history, non-partisan mothers form a group to endorse a political cause like electoral reforms and call themselves Mamas@Bersih 3.0.

That’s why the folks from Kuantan and elsewhere thronged the town in green because they don’t want to live in the shadow of leukaemia and birth defects.

The suffering ordinary Malaysians endure because of dirty elections is less intense compared to the ordeal Anwar’s family went through. But the suffering is much more widespread.

Instead of one man and one family who suffered individually, you now have millions who suffer collectively and constantly.

Just as Anwar did not need to hijack the crowd in 1998, he cannot hijack the crowd in 2012. No one can hijack the crowd in 2012. Not Ambiga, Pak Samad or any member of the Bersih 2.0 steering committee.

Bersih 3.0 was not about them. It’s about Malaysia.

The crowd on April 28 comprised of 250,000 politically awakened Malaysians. While some were partisans, others were non-partisans.

Don’t look into the mirror and imagine the non-partisan protesters are sheep who await their shepherd’s command.

It’s exactly because we refuse to be a nation of lemmings that we went to the streets.

This is 2012. The only hijacking on, before and after April 28 is the hijacking of democracy by some politicians, bureaucrats and uniformed men.


 Selangor Times



Also by Wong Chin Huat:

Running, standing and growing in democracy

THE coming elections are indeed heavily dominated by personalities. 


From security crisis to constitutional crisis?

FRIEND who goes frequently to Sabah’s east coast for diving, told me that the Sulu intrusion was unlikely to be limited to Lahad Datu and Semporna. 

Voting right by residency?

AS published in the gazette on Jan 14, 2013, the Election Commission (EC) has changed the postal voting bylaw to extend postal voting rights to more – but not all – overseas Malaysians.

Changing colour of minority politics

IYOU follow Malaysians’ obsession for numbers, you would say that 1125 must have a certain embedded meaning about minority politics.

Can early polls stabilise the country?

The Economist (“No Time Like Tomorrow, Oct 6, ) is right in a way to compare Datuk Seri Najib Razak to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who lost the election he called too late. 

Be a good journalist or don’t be one at all

It was my last lecture as a journalism lecturer. After five and half years, two lines in the song “Butterfly Kisses”, “oh, with all that I have done wrong, I must have done something right” came to my mind. 

Yes to Stadium Merdeka, no to Mega Tower

On Monday, the 1st anniversary of the Bersih 2.0 rally, about 300 of us braved the rain and walked from Dataran Merdeka to Stadium Merdeka.

How to punish a recalcitrant state?

I can understand why Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin wanted to freeze loans for students of Universiti Selangor (Unisel) and why Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin could not wait to back this decision.

A city without history

I love Berlin for her history. You don’t have to go to the Brandenburg Gate, Berliner Dom or Charlie Checkpoint to feel it. It’s everywhere in the city.

Which is worse, disobeying or obeying bad laws?

Since Nov 26,  people have been gathering in yellow at some parts of KLCC at 2pm on Saturdays. They stage a series of “Malaysians can …. at KLCC without police permit” protests. You can fill in the blank while walking in KLCC park, reciting poems, posing with Christmas trees, picnicking, and celebrating birthdays.

Merdeka: A crime of thought and feeling

First, it was Prof Abdul Aziz Bari of International Islamic University Malaysia. He was suspended and even prevented from entering the campus by his university simply because he commented unfavourably on a certain practice of a constitutional monarch. His suspension was lifted only after students protested against it. He is still under investigation for sedition.

Biometric verification and online banking

THE hottest technology in town is perhaps biometric verification. Not only it is used in registering foreign workers, the government wants it to be applied to Malaysian voters, too.

Real issues behind ethnic representation

After the Sarawak state elections, Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians of all sizes and shapes talked about ethnic representation. The message targeting ethnic minority is simple: if you abandon us before everyone else, you will be abandoned.

A biblical perfect storm?

History is often written unconsciously. When the Tunisian police confiscated Mohamed Bouazizi’s vegetable cart, then President Ben Ali would never have thought that the innocuous incident would eventually bring him, Housni Mubarak and perhaps a few more Arab leaders down.











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