Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bersih 2.0

Reflecting on the recent worldwide coverage (NYTimes, Al-Jazeera, ABCnews, CNN) on the Bersih rally, I must say I had and still do, to some extent, mixed feelings.

About the rally, about government, about the country itself.

At first I had doubts about the motive of Bersih - I had the impression that it was essentially a rally organised by the Opposition coalition. But as the page De-mystifying Bersih notes, invitation was extended to all political parties, including the ruling party, however was declined.

Should the Opposition coalition ever win the Malaysian elections, would it bite us back in the butt? I don't suppose I know enough of each political party's policies and ethos to understand how PAS, DAP and PKR can work together to run a country - it's easy to work together when there's a common enemy, but what happens when the enemy has been defeated? African nations have suffered decades of horrific civil wars after the 'foreigners' were defeated.

Could we imagine a Malaysia that is actually harmonious with a focus on equality regardless of race or religion? A Malaysia that is bersih?

With all that is happening, a part of me feels incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to live in Australia, where the police are present to ensure safety and protection of the masses. But a part of me feels that I'm missing out on being a small part that could change history of the country I would always call my own.

Sometimes I feel what we can do isn't good enough - changing your facebook profile pic to include the Bersih badge, putting up a few #bersih tweets, forwarding some emails - but sometimes something is better than nothing.

I am only one;
but I AM one,
I cannot do everything,
but I CAN do something,
And that I can do, I ought to do,
And what I ought to do,
by the grace of God,
I shall do
- Edward Everett Hale

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