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Thursday, June 30, 2011

A government must either lead, follow or get out of the way

A government must either lead, follow or get out of the way

UMNO-BN had every opportunity to lead the citizens but it did not. They have equal opportunity to follow the citizens but they refuse to. What will soon be left with UMNO-BN is that they will have to get out of the way going by the developments (or deterioration) to-date.

It is very clear that the men and women walking within the corridors of power under the UMNO-BN banner are not truthful to their bosses. They are not telling the captians what they share privately with their families and friends about the UMNO-BN bungles.

It is also very clear that the main stream media is equally aware that their papers and radio and televison media are fast becoming the laughing stock in the public domain as they have resigned in will to merely follow the 'perintah' or order of the government.

The Bersih 2.0 rally is indeed unearthing more truths with each passing day what was previously deemed as mere perceived misconceptions or opposition ploys.

Religious heads speak up for peaceful assembly

Who has not spoken in defense and support of the Bersih rally for 9 July? Almost every sane person has despite the government's lambasting.

The heads of religion from the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism who traditionally stay away from any controversy, have issued their statement in support of Bersih 2.0. They all uphold the Constitutional Rights to peaceful assembly. Surely these Heads of religion would have arrived at this conclusion that Bersih must not be curtailed only after much prayer, wisdom and without ulterior motives or vested interests. Least of all surely they do not harbor any ambition to take over PutraJaya.

The nation’s Human Rights Commission, SUHAKAM has also maintained that the government must allow the Bersih rally to proceed and see to the citizens’ safety and security. SUHAKAM by the way is well respected in the region and many of our neighboring representatives of human rights visit SUHAKAM to learn from them. Surely the captain of SUHAKAM should be commended for his impartial wisdom, knowledge and courage.

The courageous and learned law professor Aziz from the International Islamic University has also pointed out that there are no provisions whatsoever to ban the rally as the Bersih 2.0 march is not illegal. What is illegal is to deny and deprive the citizens their Constitutional Rights.

The learned, well respected Mufti the honorable Asri has also upheld that the Bersih 2.0 rally is consistent with the teachings of Islam. To deny the citizens to stand up for clean and fair elections is un-Islamic and against the very teachings as contained the Holy Quran.

Various learned and well respected individuals from civil society have also expressed their concerns against the government’s hard-line stand and rightfully point out without fear or favor that such vilifications against humanity’s call for societal rights and values in governance will jeopardize the entire nation.

Fighting its own citizens

Yet the government insists in barging a battering ram against the citizens. What started out as an allegation that the opposition political divide is going to conquer PutraJaya, was spun into a communist threat and insult to the Agung.

Later, it was made out to be a national security threat. And with that the raids, confiscations, arrests and detentions have ensued. Not yet done with their surreptitious assault on basic and fundamental human rights to peaceful assembly, intimidation and threats have been sprayed on a daily ration through the main stream media.

Along with that, not undone with the psy-war, media heads have been summoned and told not to whisper anything that harps ‘July 9’, ‘Bersih’ or even ‘yellow’.

The Home Minister’s blanket ban on yellow is making heads turn in disbelief. Within the banking halls the joke is, is management going to immediately give us a change in uniform as we now don yellow head scarves, yellow ties and black blazers with yellow trimmings?

Teasing war

Already the teasing war has begun with opposition law makers and MPs wearing yellow at their official sittings.

Another minister tried not to be undone and so attempted to teach the citizens the meaning of freedom and again the rakyat are shaking their heads in disbelief. Is this what it takes to be a law minister they enquire in the market place.

Hot on the heels the Prime Minister has threatened that the government can marshal three million to the streets. And everyone is laughing. The public are saying ‘yes he is right; with four million government servants all it takes is a memo from each minister to his or her respective ministry and you will have lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers and other government servants being bused with free umbrellas, nasi bungkus and sijil patriot plus some hardship allowance, all marching.’

In summary, the reality is UMNO/BN must understand that it has little choice given all the wrong mistakes this far. It either, leads, follows or simply gets out of the way.

And now that Datuk Ambiga has kept the last entry doorway still open, the PDRM should not bungle and force the ruling party through the exit door.

- J. D. Lovrenciear is a reader and contributor to Malaysia Chronicle

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