Bersih 2.0: Conflicting Analysis of Pro and Contra & I Beg to Differ

Posted on July 11, 2011

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Patriot Rally at Bukit Bintang moving towards Stadium Merdeka

Two prominent bloggers gave their versions of what took place in Kuala Lumpur on 9July 2011, each trying to outsmart the other. I feel that armchair analyst, M. Bakri Musa, residing thousands of miles awy from KL depended much of his sources from the various western reports like CNN, BBC, Aljazeera and the likes whose coverage represent their masters’ voices, or from the friendly not-so-pro government domestic media. While the other analyst, Jebat Must Die was on the ground witnessing the live event as closely as he or she could.

So that leaves to the imagination of the public which of these two versions really make sense. I for one, beg to differ and will therefore will reserve any judgement. Or shall I say your guess is good as mine when it comes to which of the two versions is not slanted. To be fair both bloggers have their own reasons to come out with their intelligent opinions. Let’s follow their argument:

 

Blogger Jebat Must Die says…

Top 10 Reasons Why The BERSIH Rally Failed

Posted on July 11, 2011 by jebatmustdie

Apocryphalist’s Analysis

1. No Brutality

Or absence thereof, of the Police one, that is. There were many from the street hooligans’ sides, though. Anyway, the image of a “vicious, brutal and inhumane Malaysian Police” that the PAS-DAP consortium tried to convey to the rest of the world out there got stunted by a totally different picture as shown here. Unless of course you call the few watersprays, the occasional crowd-dispensing smoke canisters, roadblocks and chasing the troublemakers around Petaling Street corner, brutality of the highest order. But no. The world out there was not presented with a picture of police clubbing people’s heads until they get bloodied, or shooting live bullets, or gory confrontations. Well they even tried to photoshop a foreign scene of a police manhandling the protesters and captioning it as yesterday’s happening, but the lies got seen transparently. Yes, with the Malaysian Police who smilingly provided standby medical treatment, buffet lunches in tents for the newly captives and makeshift prayer tents for those who got tired of shouting and would like to pray Zohor prayers instead, this has GOT to be the world’s most brutal police force. No wonder Chin Peng’s cohorts had a field day exterminating them in Balai Polis Pukit Kepong.

2. No Deaths

Well okay. There was one: a 70 year old husband of a PKR officer with no history of being profusely chased by the police chase, slipped and fell, and his heart failed him. They wanted to pin the death on Police Brutality but darn! This is the age of the internet and no sooner than you begin to type your twitter lies, the truth comes out. By the way, I think it’s better for people of the Kubur-Kata-Mari age to tend to gardening or flirting with lasses a quarter his age, instead of running around for a lost cause, don’t you? Anyway, deaths are necessary — to make others look up. To make martyrdom of. Is that why some people are like —- err, kene sekel sedikit tapi riuh satu kampung?

3. Anwar’s Injuries – Not!

This has GOT to be the most comical of all. We are made to believe that a hospital-bed-laden Anwar, with eyes drooping in agony, neck braced and Oxygen-tanked, is now about to be brow-mopped by the Lord. “Anwar punched by the Police” one DAP twitter tweeted. “Anwar brutally manhandled” said another. “Anwar clubbed severely and is now in ICU” they tried to spin. But alas! Lies do not auger well in the age of the internet. Xavier Jeyakumar (Anwar’s 2nd Lieutenant) was the first to tweet about what really happened to Anwar, and HE was there by his side. He slipped and fell, and someone stepped on him, Professor X said. Case closed. The droopy eyes, the neck brace (you have a bruised cheek and your knee hurts and you have to wear a NECK brace? You know, the neck brace of the they-tried-o-kill-me-with-Arsenic fame?) are nothing more but props in a very laughable melodrama.

But then you have to hand it over to Anwar for Melodramatics. The famous black-eye, he said, was due to the police making an attempt on his life. What really happened was that he was punched by the IGP for calling him a dog! Hey wouldn’t you? Call me a dog in front of my face and you may know how loving is my fist. Then the case of the fleeing to the Turkish embassy in Sodomy 2. In this case, he was the target of an assassination, said he. I wonder how those embassy officers would talk to him in any phone conversation nowadays. “Yeay Mr Anvar! Are they going to ASSassinate you or not? If so, when?”

Brader Anwar Bin Ibrahim, let me get this message across to you. In truth, no one is interested to kill you. You are a has-been. A persona-non-grata. A non-issue. An anomalous ansatz in the equation of Malaysian Politics. We will just let you rot away, is what it is. In fact, we wish for you to live longer. If not to give you more time to be able to repent, then to enable you to see with your own eyes the fruit of your failures.

4. No Slogans

Well actually, there was too much of it. First it’s “Reformasi!”. Then its “Ayuh jatuhkan BN”. Then it’s “La Ilaha Illallah”. And do I hear “Hidup Chin Peng” chorused somewhere in between? But yes, LOTS of slogans, all slogans EXCEPT “Free and Fair Elections” which was what the rally was all about, as Ambiga promised in the first place.

But a lack of cohesive catchword is the manifestation of the lack of a true purport, aim and objective. Except, perhaps, to be just purely hooliganistic and vicious. Anti-Establishment: THAT is the only thing they want to establish. Period. And therefore, the establishment sends the troops. Tit for Tat. So where is the wrong in that?

Yes. A true political rally is glued together by a cohesive ideology cemented by its corresponding slogan. Without one, Bersih is nothing more than a rebel without a CLAUSE. So just in case they need one, can I suggest a few? How about “WORKERS OF THE WORLD: UNITE!”. Or “Down with Heteros. We are happy AND Gay” wouldn’t be too bad, don’t you think? And here’s one for Mat Sabu: “I had fun. In Room 121”.

5. No Representations

Now how could they ever miss this one. Somebody mentioned 98% of the rally-goers were made-up of only a single ethnicity. Now how can THAT be representative of a multi-racial population, about half of it made up of non-malays? And the sms messages reported sent by DAP’s head honcho does not help either: in it he encouraged the Chinese to stand down during the rallies and “let the Malays fight among themselves”. Hehehehe. It’s Malaysian Malaysia in the making, folks.

Now the police were the ONLY force to confront the rabble rousers. If need be, there would be more. The red-shirted patriots, the ever-to- confront PERKASA, even Silat leader Omar Din promised 100,000 strong “warriors” to come down should the rallies turn ugly. How about PEKIDA? Now THESE guys make the Yakuza look like kindergarten tots. Of course, we are not even counting the army’s full capability to control situations. And did someone mention Chin Peng? Surely we don’t want to wake up the old Pak Mats in his bendang, the Rajoos of Siliau Estate, the Haji Samdols herding his cows and others whose youth and family suffered from the hands of the Tiga-Bintang insurgents, to come out of retirements unsheathing their parangs and teach some lessons to these communist sympathizers a thing or two about the meaning of life and peace?

6. No Numbers

Seriously, folks. No numbers. The armchair revolutionaire, sipping ice-blended Mocha from some Wi-Fi’ed Old Town KopiTiam in PJ deduced a certain quantity just by looking at a few hundred heads in some newly-uploaded MKini jpegs and extrapolating the numbers out to – oh, 50,000 wasn’t it?

The police counted 6,000. At most, 10,000 tops. And even I look at the papers this morning, the pictures there do NOT show 10,000. But OF COURSE the half-baked Malaysian Malaysia politicians should be believed more than those pesky police force, equipped with 5 helicopters scanning the entire area in bird’s eye views ever since the crowd began from zero, with long-range cameras mounted in KL’s highest spots and a network of police personnel keying in and connecting events via HF/VHF radios almost every minute onto a Central Command post in HQ.

But let us say, for the sake of making people happy, that 50,000 DID come. Now that’s less than 0.2% of our population, folks. Is that the voice of the majority? Hey come put Ziana Zain with Erra Fazira and throw in Raihan as the backing chorus for free and we guarantee more than 50,000 coming, and they even can get in to sing in as well.

7. Murder on the Orient Express Effect.

What do you think of a rally led by individuals who have either closet skeletons, or purely just popular themselves? Anwar Ibrahim is presently facing a second sodomy charge and things are not looking too good. He reported to the police about people faking his persona in a sex video when, upon analysis by foreign professionals, it turns out that the video is true. THAT itself is chargeable under making false police reports. And if these two are not enough, there is a list on tow: the Norlailas, the Miors, the Rahimis all ready to present THEIR cases now against Anwar Ibrahim. Let us not forget gouging out what Datuk Nallakurapan knows in their 20 or so odd years of acquaintance. Or Ezam Mohd Nor’s “Super Big Secret” that he would reveal only if he were to be brought to court. Oh, we are not even counting yet Datuk T’s rest-of-the-story sex package escapades in Thailand that he fronted for Anwar. In short, PKR folks: it’s better to abandon this ship now than later. 40 or so top-notch VIP co-founders of PKR already left him after knowing the man full well. When will you?

Letting Ambiga lead the rally was an exercise in error. I heard the numbers of people wanting to join in would be much more initially when, upon hearing Ambiga’s stand on the Murtad issue, a sizeable chunk fluttered away. In the malay-muslim psyche, you can be bad, you can be anti-government. Heck you can even be anti-Sultan. But two issues are non-compromisable to them: Murtad and Homosexuality. And portraying Ambiga as one SuuKyi-like “oppressed” lady being courted by Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama does not impress the malay society at all: Ambiga is as much a hero to Malaysians as it is ok to win recognitions by selling your soul to the devil. After all, how do you think Hamid Karzai and that Iraq president fare to the Afghanis and Iraqis whence, upon being a made a stooge of the western powers, they end up selling their own country?

Mat Sabu! Ah what can one say about this bubbly chap, whose only talent is to concoct up new jokes and catchphrases to supplement his otherwise pointless and empty speeches? But hey, this approach is appealing to the simple kampong folks, you know.

But do not under-rate this sluggish, slothish, over-exposed baby-faced slob. Do not ever suggest he is not as handsome as David Beckham is faithful to Victoria. He has a juicy scandal of his own! Norma, Room 121 are catchphrases which are anathema to him. Fortunately, all is well that ends well for both Mr and MRS Mat Sabu now, wink wink wink.
So there we have it, the main players of Bersih. It reminisces of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express where – (warning! Spoiler ahead!)— detective Poirot finds out that the murder was done by people who had motive –and that means everybody on the train!

8. No Reason

Let’s see. The rallies are for what now—Free and fair elections? You mean the elections were so rigged that it resulted in 5 formerly BN states to fall into opposition hands? That sound like unfair elections to you? What else could we think about … hmmm…

Tahrir Square! Yes that’s it. If they could do it in Tahrir square why not here? But this is also a false premise. A sizeable chunk of Egypt’s population are jobless, the ones with the highest education there, the university professors, are paid like half of what a kerani here gets, they don’t have money to buy food, and the dictatorship there forces people to be taxed more but paid less. The opposite is true here. Malaysia is almost a tax heaven, salaries high compared to Egypt (much, much higher), food is aplenty and as Singaporeans who cross over the straits can attest to you, the delicious food have laughable pricings in the Johorean food stalls or elsewhere. Billionaires abound, more than 90% of them non Malays, and we don’t have major grudges against the government, except that methinks the new Negaraku tempo is too fast-paced. So why should the people wanna go revolt? Unlike Indonesia, we let the chinese keep their own names (after which they hurriedly change them to Elizabeths or Johnsons) or let them teach their kids in their own language (even though against the constitution). Perhaps we are like Johnathan Swifts’ Gulliver, who concluded that the Lilliputians and the Brobdingnags fought one another because the former break their hard boiled eggs on the narrow end while the latter break theirs on the wider end!

9. No Way!

The roads leading to the city were blocked, taxi services were minimal, the LRT didn’t stop at 8 strategic places and over all, on Saturday there was no one entering the city, or even interested to do so. So they there really was no way. It’s like a grand kind sort of potong-steam kind of thing laa…

10. No Shoes, No shirts, No problem, No hal.

Personally, I am bemused with the way Najib handles the whole affair. The Bersih rabble rousers should be treated as it should be: with deference! I mean, it’s a totally non-issue. The ever-lying MalaysiaKini and other syiok-sendiri opposition blogs were already giving cute “assessments” on the entire government machinery regarding the situations. “Najib peeing in his pants” they say. “BN cabinet ministers already shaking in their boots”, they say. One even twitted the dissolution of the parliament (and then quickly disowned the action soon afterwards). But the truth is, from the statements the ministers gave out, it was as though the July 9th event was a non-event at all. Except for an occasional praise or two on the silent majority, Najib was more concerned about Koperasi Initatives in Felda, as was shown in his speeches. And they are all doing what again—peeing in their pants? Fat chance. The only ones peeing in their pants are those poor sods being chased by the FRU along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, or one yellow-shirted sodomizer suspect extra-ordinaire, neck brace and all.

Apocryphalist

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M. Bakri Musa on 11 julai 2011 bakrimusa@juno.com says…

[Due to last Saturday’s Bersih 2.0 event, for this week only, the serialization of my book, Malaysia in the Era of Globalization, is switched to Wednesday, and my weekly essay to today (Sunday). My usual pattern will resume next week.]

A remarkable thing happened this past weekend. To many, the event on Saturday was nothing more than a massive public demonstration that capped a long brewing confrontation between those advocating “fair and free elections” and those who deemed that our elections are already so.

As with any fight, the drama was played out long before the event, and by the time the actual battle took place, the participants had long forgotten the original issue. Instead, now the preoccupation is who blinked first, who outsmarted whom, and most of all, who lost and who won. These then become the new overriding divisive issues, eclipsing the original one.

The losers would return to their corner with their new resolve: “Next time!” And the battle continues; they never learn! There were plenty of losers this weekend but few winners. The winners may be few but their achievements scaled new heights.

To me, this weekend was one of those moments (much too frequent, I hasten to add!) that test our nation. This time however, Malaysians acquitted themselves well. The same cannot be said of the Najib administration.

If this was an academic exercise, I would grade the performance of Malaysians as represented in Bersih an “A,” while the Najib Administration flunked badly. So dismal was its performance that the Najib administration should have no recourse to a remedial course or supplemental test; expulsion is the only option.

Terrible Trajectory

I would have thought that after the debacle of 1997 with the grossly inept handling of the reformasi demonstrations, and again a decade later with HINDRAF, the UMNO government would have learned a thing or two on how to deal intelligently with dissent and public demonstrations, two inherent features of a democracy. My expectation is not unreasonable, if not heightened, considering that we are today dealing with essentially the same characters in the administration. Most of the ministers who were in power during the reformasi and HINDRAF (now dubbed Bersih 1) are still there in Najib’s cabinet.

Obviously they, individually and collectively, have a flat learning curve. They are incapable of learning. There is a clinical term for that, but since this is a lay article I will resort to street lingo: idiots.

Their flat learning curve is even more incomprehensible considering that the consequences to them were so severe. The 1997 reformasi mess resulted in Barisan being thrashed in the 1999 elections, with Najib nearly being kicked out of his safe seat in Pekan that his father had held for many years.

The price escalated with Bersih 1.0. The general elections of 2008 saw Barisan being humiliated with an unprecedented loss of its two-thirds parliamentary majority, along with five states, including two of the most developed: Penang and Selangor.

I will let readers plot the trajectory as to the consequences of this weekend’s mess should the next general elections be held soon, as is widely predicted.

The iconic image of the reformasi debacle was of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar’s battered face; that of Bersih1.0 was of Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin frothing at the mouth, babbling incoherently in front of the international news media trying to justify his government’s brutal suppression of its people. It was a classic demonstration of that uniquely Malay mental malady, latah (verbal diarrhea). It was also a display of amok, another peculiarly Malay affliction, albeit in this case only of the oral variety.

The iconic image of Bersih 2.0 was refreshing; that of its leader Ambiga Sreenivasan, former Bar Council President, serenely leaving the Istana after an audience with the King. The symbolism could not be overstated, for the Najib Administration had earlier declared her organization illegal! Only those retarded would miss the message, and they are precisely the types we are dealing with here.

Winners and Losers

My award for courage and excellence in Berseh 2.0 goes to those brave Malay masses who defied their government, their imams, and the party that had long proclaimed and presumed to speak on their behalf. In taking a very active part in a movement led predominantly by non-Malays, those Malays showed that they are no longer trapped by tribalism; they had escaped the clutches of chauvinism. There is now no going back.

This significant milestone is not acknowledged, much less appreciated. However, leaders who ignore this do so at their peril. For aspiring Malay leaders, it is now no longer enough for you to display your nationalistic zeal or ethnic instincts. You have to articulate the issues that matter most to the Malay masses: fairness, honesty, and justice, in elections and on other issues. I would also add competence. Those incidentally are also the concerns of all Malaysians.

Yes, there was a time when you could garner Malay support by justifying that the victims of your corruption, injustices and unfairness were non-Malays. Those days are now long gone; get used to it! Malays now realize that while in the past those victims may be mostly non-Malays, today they are increasingly Malays too.

The comforting corollary to my observation is that those capable non-Malay leaders would be assured of Malay support, if they were to address the central issues facing the masses.

Yes, Bersih 2.0 had strong non-Malay support especially abroad. Unanswered is whether a similar movement with equally noble objectives but with predominantly Malay leadership would garner the same enthusiastic support from non-Malays. If reformasi was any indication, the answer would be a reassuring yes.

I am especially heartened by the responses of Malay NGO leaders like Marina Mahathir. When Najib, and others who took their cue from him, began demonizing Ambiga by maliciously injecting ugly racial and religious accusations, Marina unambiguously and passionately defended Ambiga. Marina was of course all smiles and gentleness, as is the traditional halus (fine) Malay way, but there was no disguising her contempt for such odious tactics and their purveyors.

The biggest loser was of course the Najib Administration, specifically Najib and his fellow UMNO ministers. Their inanity was typified by Home Minister Hishammuddin complimenting the police for keeping the peace and stability. Yes, with the streets blockaded, stores closed, and citizens bludgeoned – the ‘peace’ and ‘stability’ of a prison “lockdown.” That was KL all week leading to last Saturday.

The conspicuous silence of other Barisan leaders was noted; that reflected solidarity not out of courage but cowardice. In contrast, even UMNO Youth defied Najib in declaring that it too would stage a counter demonstration.

Despite its defiance, UMNO Youth was also the loser, together with that ultra-Malay organization led by has-been politicians and past-their-peak professors, Perkasa. Good thing that the government had banned their leaders from KL; at least they had a ready excuse for their dismal performance.

The list of losers is long; there is little merit in mentioning more except for just this one, and I do so with profound sadness. A few weeks before the event, all the mosques in Kuala Lumpur, including the National Mosque, were warning their Friday prayer congregants of the evilness of those who led Bersih 2.0 and the sin that would befall those who would participate in it.

At a time when our community is divided, as with this central issue of fair and free elections, I would expect our ulamas and religious leaders to be our healers, to bring us together, to be the balm to our collective wounds. Instead they became only too willing instruments of the state with their canned state-issued sermons demonizing those who saw merit in the objectives of Bersih 2.0.

Obviously to the thousands of Malays who took part in Bersih 2.0, including one particular old man in his jubbah who had to be helped to walk, those characters cloaked in their flowing robes standing at their mimbar every Friday noon are less pious ulamas to be revered but more propagandists for the state to be defied. They may be Imams, but to the thousands who took part in Berseh 2.0 last Saturday, they are carma imams, to borrow National Laureate Samad Said’s term. Carma is the Malay contraction of cari makan, seeking a living. Idiomatically it refers to those who prostituted their honored craft or profession.

Those GI Imams (Government-issued) have flunked their test; there is no remedial course for them either. That is one of the great casualties of last Saturday’s event. For those carma imams, there is no corner they can return to or hide in.

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 10th, 2011 at 2:30 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

 

 

  1. Bene Esse says:

July 11, 2011 at 12:46 am

This blog is retarded.

If your claim to fame is that you oppose a group of people who’s only mandate is free and fair elections, you’re kind of a dickhead.

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Reply

    • jebatmustdie says:

July 11, 2011 at 12:58 am

For someone who is not even in Malaysia, you may be forgiven for not knowing the whole issue. The Free and Fair election that Bersih is asking consist of 8 demands (which you may not know). Demands which do not warrant any demonstrations since the majority of them are invalid and irrelevant. My previous articles touched on that. Have a good day mate!

p.s. by the way, please control your language. There may be children reading this blog. Thank you.

And you my dear readers! What say you?

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