Bersih 4 is about saving our country from the rot

In this letter, our reader CR Lee traces his journey to Bersih 4.

ELECTION FRAUD EVERYWHERE: It is hard to believe it has been four years since 9 July 2011. It was the day that forever changed how I look at Malaysia and my place in it. You see, prior to that, the only thing that interest me was to find a country to migrate to.

I even had a 10-year plan to migrate to North America. Even though I did keep track of what had been going on in the country, I really didn’t care much about it.

Nevertheless, something in me went off on 8 July 2011. Perhaps it was Ibrahim Ali who asked Chinese to “stay home and keep plenty of rice”, perhaps it was all the authoritarian tactics that tried to scare everyone off. I had somehow decided to wake up early that day and made my way to the front door of Tung Shin Hospital. What I experienced that day changed me, I started asking myself what can I do for my country. Some say it was the side effect of tear gas, but we would never know.

Since that day, I have decided to stand up and make a difference. About a week after Bersih 2, I decided to get involved in analyzing the electoral roll. I started to volunteer and associate myself with activists and people who were looking into the problems with the Malaysian electoral roll. What I found out shocked me even more.

Not only was our electoral roll full of problems, fraud was literally taking place on a regular basis. Problems ranging from names of Sabah’s Project IC recipients being on the electoral roll to people who had been living overseas being registered as voters without their knowledge were discovered in the small subset of samples I was analyzing.

Since then, I have decided to get involved a little more; I participated in GE13 as part of a team of PACABA. I even attempted to analyze the data in the aftermath of the GE13.

I came to the conclusion that the rot in our system is so profound that opposition had no possibility of winning in any election at the federal level any time soon. This is because the unfair delineation of boundary will also play to the advantage of anyone in power.

The rot in our institution also causes a myriad of economic and social problems that can never be fixed unless we have a government that is accountable for its actions. I have also come to the conclusion that our Parliament is nothing more than a rubber stamp. Important issues can never be discussed in a civilized manner or being discussed at all. Laws are being passed without any real or meaningful debate.

So, all these beg the questions, what can we do? Well, I intend to go to Bersih 4. Not because I am a rally junky but because I believe in what Bersih has highlighted – without real institutional reform, it really doesn’t matter who is in power. For all we know, we will be replacing one PM with another only to give us the same problem.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The system of government in our country concentrates too much power in the hands of the executive branch. To fix this is not about who wins the next general election but it is about to have a government that will have to be accountable to the people.

by CR Lee
Bersih 4 is about saving our country from the rot
7 Aug 2015 – theantdaily.com


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