Stop the rhetoric, Bersih ― Hafidz Baharom

AUGUST 21 ― As the former chairman of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih), Ambiga Sreenevasan should not be delving into issuing statements based on pure rhetoric similar to the prime minister.

In her latest statement to the press, she says that Bersih will continue its move to protest to “save the next generation”. She also says that the opposition to the rally are the same old issues brought up before.

Some have said I am being unfair, even that what I’m demanding to know is unheard of being demanded from any NGO.

I apologise, but this so-called NGO called Bersih started in 2006. It is almost a decade old.

It should have it’s act together by now in a proper organisation instead of the vague and simplistic demands without any explanation being offered and harped about everywhere.

But the truth is, I am opposing this rally based on what I see now. Bersih is a 9 year old coalition that lacks any form of depth or organisation.

Did it achieve and lead to milestones in the past? Yes, it did. There is no denying it. But there is so much more it has yet to achieve or is supposed to achieve when it talks about free and fair elections.

This was, of course, before it joined the bandwagon for fighting for the economy too.

Similarly, of course there will be the same stupid group led by the same stupid people that protested right outside Ambiga’s house years ago, led the ruckus at the #Nothing2Hide rally, and are being investigated for the Low Yat mob that hurt people.

I am not with them. What I am asking is instead based on the vagueness of Bersih, being almost a decade old, yet still acting like a premature organisation.

Bersih wants a clean government. Who doesn’t?

Bersih wants free and fair elections? Everyone does.

Bersih wants to save the economy?

How? By having a t-shirt sale and sending that Superman on tour?

Go ahead with your rally to prove your “no confidence motion of the people”, by all means. I’m sure you can somehow garner more than 30 million Malaysians to be convinced by a rally in three separate locations.

The time for symbolic action is over.

Malaysians want something more concrete than just marching on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, facing down barricades and tear gas just for the purpose of having a story or two to tell or write.

What we all need is concrete action and plans. If Bersih insists on saying this rally will save the next generation, care to explain how?

How will this rally which will see tens of thousands of Malaysians camped out for two days during the weekend lead to free and fair elections, stop gerrymandering or even “save the economy”?

Of course, they do deserve hearty congratulations for being able to raise RM1.2 million in donations from everyday Malaysians for their cause, even with the organisation asking for merely RM200,000 for this upcoming rally as announced on their official Facebook page.

But at the same time, is it not plausible now to mention what else you plan to do with the RM1 million and more which you are still collecting over your threshold?

As much as I hold our prime minister in contempt for not explaining where the so-called RM2.6 billion donation went from his own account, I would ask the same of you.

From my side, I have said it already. Bersih should have a seat at the campaign finance consultative council the Prime Minister wants to set up. But what about yourselves?

With the Sarawak state election taking place next year and the redelineation by the Electoral Commission being challenged in court, has this been abandoned for this rally?

What are your plans leading up to the general election in 2018?

In fact, what have you done just this year to talk about something other than this upcoming rally?

If you insist on being fair, Bersih, then you should be able to face the same amount of scrutiny as the person you have no confidence in.

And if Malaysians fail to deal with that scrutiny being brought forward, then I’m sorry to say that they are no better than Orwellian sheep.

So for those attending, enjoy your 2-day yellow shirted festival which will give you memories lasting years which will probably be spent under the same regime, or a new one which will also do the same because nobody thought up what was really needed to be reformed.

But hey, at least you’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.

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