Yes, the Kesas Highway event was very successful. It was as successful as yesterday’s event. We were so damn sure that the success of the Kesas Highway demonstration meant that Barisan Nasional is finished. Even Dr Mahathir thought that Barisan Nasional was finished. That was why he resigned in 2002 and handed the government to his successor. But we were all proven wrong, Dr Mahathir included. Kesas Highway was a roaring success, no doubt about that. But 2004 was a dismal failure.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
It seem that RPK is not making any comment about Bersih 3. Most probably he does not like what is happening. The massive turnout that may not favour Barang Naik, Ammo and Nacheat and finally it will be BeEnd for BN. Sometime I wonder what he is or which side he is on ???. It’s very hard to gauge. Could change colour anytime -- Steven Yang.
That was the comment by a chap who calls himself Steven Yang and posted inMalaysia Today.
Today, yesterday, and in fact over the last many days, the stories in Malaysia Today were of nothing but Bersih 3.0. I suppose what Steven wants is for me to also jump onto the bandwagon and scream just like how many others are also screaming. Steven expects me to have a herd mentality. Since everyone is screaming, then Raja Petra Kamarudin should also be screaming.
Actually, I was on the road the last two days and just came home yesterday evening. I thought that today I will write something about Bersih 3.0 but because Steven has whacked me for not writing, and in the same breath made an allegation against me, then I am not going to write after all. Why should I give Steven the satisfaction of claiming that he successfully pressured me into writing?
Anyway, I do not do something because someone forces me to do it. In fact, I will do the opposite. If you try to force me to do something, I will intentionally not do it even though I had actually intended to do it in the first place. That is my stubborn streak, which has been with me since I was a teenager.
When we were forced to keep short hair, I kept long hair, right down to my shoulders. My ex-VI comrades from the 1960s can probably remember my frequent visits to Murugesu to receive ‘six of the best’. Then, when long hair became the fad, I shaved my head, like now. I know many call me ‘botak head’. So now I may keep my hair long again and tie it into a ‘ponytail’ since everyone now seems to have a shaved head.
Yeap, that’s me. I enjoy swimming against the tide. I love paddling upstream. I delight in fighting the current. And because of that I demonstrated in front of the Pudu Jail back in 1968 and had my first experience with tear gas when many of you were still in diapers or were not born yet.
When the huge crowd comes out for the Bersih 2.0 or Bersih 3.0 demonstrations, you also come out and demand that I write about the matter. You feel secure and comfortable in the knowledge that the crowd is huge and that means there is safety in numbers.
But I came out for the protests when the crowd was only 50. I protested the arrest of PKR’s Youth Leader, Ezam Mohd Nor, on Hari Raya Haji of 2001. Yes, less than 50 of us came out that day. And we protested in front of the police station where Ezam was being held. And we were arrested as well. And my wife and I spent a night in the police lockup. And the next day the police raided my house and confiscated my computer and many documents, which they used to detain me without trial a few weeks later.
An estimated 50,000 to 100,000 took to the streets yesterday. I suppose, from the way he is talking, Steven Yang was one of them. It is nice to take to the streets when you can hide within a crowd of 50,000 to 100,000. The problem would be when we need to protest in front of a police station in a small group of less than 50 and with 200 police with guns and truncheons facing us. When it is four-to-one in favour of the police, there is very little protection.
Anyway, while all the other demonstrators got beaten up by the lower-ranking police officers, I had the honour of personally getting beaten up by the CID Chief who was then the OCPD of Dang Wangi. I suppose I should regard that as VIP treatment. After all, my uncle was the Agong at that time so the highest-ranking police officer should be the one beating me up, not someone from the lower ranks.
Steven Yang probably feels that my silence is deafening. Maybe my lack of words has been interpreted as a show of support for Barisan Nasional and Umno. To prove my loyalty to the opposition, to demonstrate my support for Bersih, to show that I too want Anwar Ibrahim to become the next Prime Minister, I should ape what everyone else is doing and whack Barisan Nasional, Umno, the Prime Minister, the Ministers, the IGP, the police force, and whatnot. Only then can I prove my loyalty to the opposition, demonstrate my support for Bersih, and show that I too want Anwar Ibrahim to become the next Prime Minister.
Then what should I do next, Steven Yang? To prove that I am a good Muslim must I also whack the Christians who have been secretly converting Muslims to Christianity? To prove that I believe in God must I also whack lesbians and gays and urge that they be put to death just like how God had destroyed them, according to the Bible? To prove that I am a loyal Malay must I also whack the Chinese who are trying to grab power with a view to remove Article 153 from the Constitution and hence remove the special position of the Malays and the Malay Rulers or Raja-Raja Melayu?
What else should I scream about to prove I am loyal to Islam and to my race? What else should I scream about to prove I am loyal to Pakatan Rakyat and Anwar Ibrahim?
Hmm…maybe Steven Yang should condemn those Chinese who are demanding mother-tongue education instead of supporting Malaysia’s National Language, Bahasa Malaysia. If he keeps quiet it may be interpreted as that he is not a loyal Malaysian and should be sent back to China where he is free to go to a Chinese school.
As I said, if this is the attitude of Pakatan Rakyat supporters, then Barisan Nasional needs not work too hard to hold on to power. The attitude of the opposition supporters is enough to turn people against Pakatan Rakyat. And I do not blame Tunku Abdul Aziz if he decides to leave DAP. After what many of you have said about him, I really do not see any reason for him to stay in DAP. Maybe other Malays too would reconsider their decision of joining DAP. And it is not Umno that is the reason but because of the mentality of the opposition supporters.
Your mouth is your own worst enemy. All I need to do is to keep quiet. Your mouths can destroy your own cause. So why do I need to say anything? I just let you do all the talking and watch you shoot yourselves in your own feet. And I must admit that you are getting very good at it.
You probably do not remember the Kesas Highway demonstration almost 12 years ago. That too was a huge demonstration and the crowd was not that far from yesterday’s crowd. However, come 2004, Barisan Nasional swept 91% of the seats in Parliament. It also kicked the opposition out of Terengganu and reduced PAS in Kelantan down to a one-seat majority.
Yes, the Kesas Highway event was very successful. It was as successful as yesterday’s event. We were so damn sure that the success of the Kesas Highway demonstration meant that Barisan Nasional is finished. Even Dr Mahathir thought that Barisan Nasional was finished. That was why he resigned in 2002 and handed the government to his successor.
But we were all proven wrong, Dr Mahathir included. Kesas Highway was a roaring success, no doubt about that. But 2004 was a dismal failure. The success of Kesas Highway could not be translated into success in the 2004 general election. In fact, the reverse happened. Surprisingly, 2004 was the worst performance for the opposition.
So what is the issue here: to see success on the streets or to see success at the ballot box? One does not mean also the other. So don’t get too cocky. We are still very far from the finish line. We may be leading for 40 kilometres of the Marathon. But it is the final two kilometres that determine the winner.
Sure, let’s celebrate all the battles that we win. Just make sure that we are also able to celebrate the winning of the war as well. Reserve some cockiness for the day you march into Putrajaya. And some of you need to do some ‘touch wood’, if you know what I mean.