Friday, February 03, 2012

Of enclosed "Bersih"...

Once upon a time in ... KLCC

It started with late thanksgiving present and lunch.

During the usual course of information exchange, my ex-boss mentioned about his dinner the night before with a lawyer friend, Obviously the dinner ended with the lawyer praising his female colleague. I know where my ex-boss is leading to and goaded him on his view.

This ex-boss, a Chinaman and frequent flyer as well as Macau's "permanent resident" insist that the street demonstrations are unnecessary - a waste of time and effort. Worse, he claimed that it will breed contempt within Malaysia's multi-racial society.
Further, he sees that the government (read : EC) has been pro-active in improving the system.

Excuuuuse me! He maybe my ex-boss but in this issue he needs some re-educating! Yes, no doubt that the government (read : EC) has taken steps to improve the electoral system BUT this only happens after Bersih 2.0. Recapping to the ex-boss, Bersih 2.0 demands are :-
  1. Clean the electoral roll
  2. Reform postal voting
  3. Use of indelible ink
  4. A minimum campaign period of 21 days
  5. Free and fair access to mainstream media
  6. Strengthen public institutions
  7. Stop corruption
  8. Stop dirty politics
Now, what UMNO and BN should have done was to join hands with Bersih 2.0 in demanding EC to implement the 8 demands. If that happenned, it would have been a non-issue! The violence can be avoided if 1MPM6 Najib follow the then YDP Agung's advise to allow Bersih 2.0 rally to proceed.

Of the violence, it could be well avoided as Bersih 2.0 organisers has its own safety personnel looking for provocateurs and hand them over to the police. This is self-regulatory, something that UMNO cum BN do not have! Since the ex-boss is also Cambodia's Naga regular patron, it is pointed out that Cambodia, with all its weaknesses, allows for its citizens to voice out protest. A case in point is the recent march by Borei Keila residents to the parliament. The script was there and saw how the police provide traffic control for the 50 or so protestors passing in front of Cambodiana hotel!

The ex-boss agreed but countered that maybe PDRM's personnel is educationally unprepared to handle crowd control. His case in point is how US police force minimum requirement is college graduate as compared to PDRM's entry level! That's why, he reasoned, unneccesary violence maybe enforced during Bersih 2.0 rally!

Will the government (read: EC) makes sweeping reforms if UMNO cum BN still holds more than 2/3 majority? The ex-boss stuttered and it is pointed out that nothing will ever change if UMNO cum BN still maintain the mandate pre-GE 12.

What about the views of taxi drivers? Just the other day, when returning from Sri Hartamas, the taxi driver recalled the morning when KL is basically starving for taxis and available taxis raking in good money. Reason? Many taxi drivers were rooting for Anwar Ibrahim and sacrifice 9th January 2012 morning to hear Sodomy II verdict!

The particular taxi driver offered his candid view. UMNO cum BN should stop reminding the rakyats on how the party serviced the people. Instead, he claimed that, UMNO cum BN should be thankful to the rakyat for allowing their leaders to plunder the country's wealth for the past 50 + years! Now, he said, it is time for the rakyat to withdraw their support towards UMNO cum BN and allow PR to prove their worth.

The taxi driver maybe right but the ex-boss pointed out an interesting point. In Singapore, a taxi driver and for that matter the passenger are not allowed to discuss politics along the journey. The taxi driver can be hauled up and taken action if he is reported to the police and vice versa the passenger can also be hauled up if reported by the taxi driver. Why? Taxi drivers are front liners and amongst the first to make contacts with tourists. They can influence the tourist first impression of Malaysia!

The ex-boss shifted to NEP and how non-Bumis worked around the system. Unfortunately he too get another re-educating here. Yes, NEP is undoubtedly meant to improve the Bumi standings but it should also be noted that more and more Bumis are getting restless with how UMNOputras gobbling the Bumi piece of cake from the NEP chunk. The latest is the NFC issue, taken stock, lot and barrel by the Shoorizat family! The point is simple, UMNO's NEP is not benefitting the Bumis but UMNO cronies and families...

More are said during lunch. In the end, my ex-boss came as a traditionalist BN supporter, voter and financier. He left convinced that Malaysia needs change and a new ABU (Anything but UMNO convert).

Me? Well... I left with a new China-made Versace umbrella in my hand. My ex-boss last words? It can only be use 10 times, after that...poofff, kaput. Similarly for UMNO cum BN, after 12 times Malaysians have elected them to steer the country, UMNO cum BN is kaput. It is time to replace UMNO cum BN with PR. Hopefully, PR can last longer than UMNO cum BN, God willing...

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...

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