Bersih 4 supporters are responsible citizens

The government and organisers of Bersih 4 are at loggerheads. Both sides have expressed their opinions about supporters of the peaceful assemblies which will begin at 2pm on Saturday, August 29 in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

According to Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, supporters of Bersih 4 are irrational and don’t think about “the long term”.

According to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, supporters of Bersih 4 are self-interested lawbreakers who enjoy forcing businesses to close.

According to Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, supporters of Bersih 4 are citizens who’ve exhausted other means to show their lack of confidence in the prime minister.

Notice the differences in focus. Nur Jazlan and Khalid focused on the method. Maria focused on the meaning.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, when proposing the 11th Malaysia Plan in May, said we would stay the course laid out in Vision 2020.

In 1991, prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced Vision 2020 when he tabled the 6th Malaysia Plan.

Vision 2020 includes nine goals to be achieved by 2020. The third is pertinent: “A mature democratic society, practising… consensual, community-oriented… democracy.”

People like Nur Jazlan and Khalid think of democracy as an event which happens every five years or so: an election at which people vote and the winners can do as they please.

People like Nur Jazlan and Khalid imply that people think the only legitimate method available for them to provide feedback to the “winners” is quiet whispers.

People like Nur Jazlan and Khalid hide the fact that in a democracy, people have a duty to hold their leaders accountable for their conduct in office. When the leaders brush off the people’s voices, democratic duty compels the people to speak en masse.

In a democracy, the legitimacy of leaders is based on the consent of the governed.

In a democracy, the people are required to observe how their leaders conduct themselves in office, and are free to criticise them.

In a democracy, leaders must listen and respond to the people’s voices.

Ministers and public servants like Nur Jazlan and Khalid show they think of citizens as mosquitoes to be squashed.

They show they do not support the goal of Malaysia being a developed nation by 2020.

They show their contempt for democracy.

Bersih 4 is the people’s verdict on the mismanagement of publicly funded enterprises such as the Port Klang Free Trade Zone under Dr Mahathir and 1MDB under Najib.

Bersih 4 is the people’s verdict on the RM2.6 billion “donated” to Najib by foreigners to assure that his regime would win a majority in Parliament.

Bersih 4 will show elected and appointed officials what being a democracy means. The people will exercise their democratic rights responsibility. They will proclaim the prime minister has betrayed the trust of the nation. They will demand accountable leaders.

Bersih 4 supporters are responsible citizens. – August 20, 2015.

Bersih 4 supporters are responsible citizens
Rama Ramanathan
20 August 2015 – TMI


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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
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