Bersih is not about rhetoric
Bong Chan Siong Aug 22nd, 2015 10:00 am Aug 22nd, 2015 10:10 am 3
Bong Chan Siong
What does Bersih want? You know. I know. A lot of people know. So it is very clear what Bersih wants.
Yes, Bersih wants a clean government. Bersih wants clean and fair elections. Now, Bersih also wants to ‘save the economy’.
Why does Bersih want these? For the lack of vocabulary, #BetterNation heh.
And how to achieve all these? The specifics of it? May I direct you to some of the recommendations made by Bersih.
Bersih’s 10 institutional reforms:
1. Electoral reform;
2. Making the Election Commission a constitutional party answerable to Parliament;
3. Barring the prime minister from simultaneously holding the office of finance minister;
4. Parliamentary reform;
5. Making the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) answerable to Parliament;
6. Separating the attorney-general from the role of public prosecutor;
7. Freedom of information laws at federal and state levels;
8. Public declaration of ministers’ and senior government servants’ assets;
9. Repeal of/Amendments to draconian laws; and
10. Establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
If all these recommendations by Bersih are accepted and carried out, we should be able to achieve the two main ‘wants’ mentioned earlier. The third ‘want’ is just the afterthought of the other two.
But, really, how to get all these recommendations done? Through a rally? Heck, a rally is just a process. A referendum of collective voices and opinions. To unite and organise people with shared objectives. Really, a rally is one of the simplest mean for common folks to voice out when every other avenue is either being closed down or being bullied into submission. I don’t think people are so naive to think just through rallies we would able to achieve all we want.
The ‘hows’ to achieve all above although is clear and appears to be easy as spelt out in the recommendations, yet it is not quite clear (confusing, but yeah) because the lack of any result to show. The journey is still a long and windy one, even for an optimist. Especially when this is going to be the 4th edition of Bersih since its first rally on Nov 10, 2007.
What has Bersih really achieved since then? Indelible ink? More awareness? More noise? Really, to be honest, not much in measurable results when you compare with the recommendations mentioned earlier.
But that is because we have a very stubborn and irresponsible government in place. Many promises were made, not many were met. All the structural changes recommended to achieve the main objective of Bersih - clean and fair elections are yet to be made. The Election Commission is still not reporting to the Parliament. Political funding has yet to be regulated. Delineation, very minimal to none have been carried out.
So we are stuck with the same old play. Yes it is silly to keep doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. But what choice do we have for now? Do you have better and workable ideas? By all means, do it. Just don’t ridicule the persistence of Bersih supporters.
Because at this stage we are still only concerned about ‘what’. And ‘why’.
Why do we want clean and fair elections? So we hopefully will get a clean government in the process when we have clean and fair elections.
When we have a clean government, hopefully we will have a government that actually cares about the economy, that will listen to the voice of the people who put them in office and will implement measures and policies to the benefit of better economy and all.
Consistent and big enough voice?
How does Bersih want to achieve all this? Well before that, does Bersih have a consistent and big enough voice to get things done as what they want? As what you and I want if we all support its objectives and fights. Because if we don’t have a consistent and big enough support to pressure the powers-that-be to carry out the recommendations for all the things we want and why, no point we go talking about how now.
We must remember that Bersih is nothing but a pressure group with its main objective is for electoral reforms. Bersih is not the policy-maker. To burden Bersih with all the how to get this and that done, shouldn’t these questions be asked to those who actually can make it happen?
Ask the bloody government. Ask the bloody Election Commission. Ask the bloody prime minister who is having a chokehold over the whole cabinet and everything that moves (maybe some already dead, unfortunately) in this land.
There are so many things to do, a lot of it have to be in place before what we want can happen. Do we expect to have all the answers before we want to be a part of anything? You already knew the what and why. You want to know the how as well? Bloody hell, go play your game with your cheat codes and walk-through guide, don’t you?
We want to save the economy, save the nation and s**t, but before all that can happen, we need to restore the confidence and strengthen the institutions we entrust to safeguard our interests, foremost. And I have lost confidence in all the major institutions we entrusted to safeguard our interests, to do its sacred jobs because all are falling apart due to political interference.
Look at how much power the prime minister and its office wield over the Attorney-General’s Chamber, Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Judiciary, the submissive cabinet and by extension the Parliament by holding some b***s just enough to make it a lame duck parliament eg. b***s of the speaker of the House of Representatives?
What else can common folk like me do other than voting come every rigged election and making noise on the social media that are soon-to-be-regulated-and-clamped-down? This government is making a mockery of its mandate day in and day out. Hell no, I have not and will never give my vote to anyone to abuse the governance system, public institutions and ruin the nation like what is happening now.
So, you’ll be damned if people want to walk the streets with the like-minded to show their displeasure with the government and the system. The most important of all, to throw their support for Bersih in its fight for electoral reforms.
For clean and fair elections.
For clean government.
For me, I just need these two reasons. How many do you need?