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Thursday, 23 June 2011

"What Happens If...?"

A reader left a comment:

Honestly, "Peace Loving Malaysians Of Tidak Apa Mentality" will not show up at this event furthermore knowing that their personal security would be a question mark.

Yes, PAS can hand in free lawyers to defend us but what happens if we end up in several pieces? or get gas at our face?

Actually, I think it is a perfectly legitimate question. At the end of the day, it is about personal interests - why would anyone want to endanger themselves for no rhyme or reason?

Trust me, if you've been to any of these demonstrations, you will almost certainly get tear-gassed and sprayed with chemical-laced water. I know, because I've had quite a bit of government abuse myself.

Tear-gassing and water-cannons? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt!

But the question is - why do I and some thousands of other Malaysians brave the abuse and stand up to the authorities?

Some of you may have heard of a German pastor called Martin Niemöller. Initially, he was a supporter of Hitler (because Hitler did bring plenty of development and progress to Germany) but grew wary when things didn't look right.

He wrote one of the most haunting poems I have ever read.

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.



Perhaps, that is the gist of why I will be walking on the 9th of July 2011. For too long have the people of Malaysia stood aside and said, "So what? It doesn't affect me."

So the abuse went on. Human rights were violated. Minorities were threatened. And yet, no one spoke out. No one dared stand up and say, "ENOUGH!!"

This sorry condition has steadily deteriorated. All because no one spoke out against it. No one spoke out because they had plenty to lose - the economy was good, there were plenty of jobs and foreign investment, life was comfortable - and no one wanted to rock the boat.

Forget about the pro-bono lawyers being able to defend those of us who get arrested. Forget about being brutalised by the authorities. We now have nothing to lose, and the pain of being in jail or beaten up by the cops will be nothing compared to the pain we will live with if we don't speak out NOW.

So today, when someone asks me why I dare to brave a fascist regime like BN and get tear-gassed and sprayed with chemical-laced water, the reason is simple: I dare not NOT speak out.

RELATED: Supporting Bersih 2.0: It’s personal

8 comments:

Think & Create said...

This is one of your best posts Cranky. You really do make a good point on the rest of us.

Crankster said...

Thanks, K.

Antares said...

So proud of you, Cranky... what a woman (spoken with my lip extensions on)!

Joshua Lopez said...

Cili-Padi punya betina, jangan main-main wo!

Anonymous said...

I attended the first bersih,saw tian chua shouting at the fru in fluent malay after the tear gas .yep,interesting times.but i will not join this bersih.i refuse to be a part of the hypocrisy.And no,i am not afraid of baton or tear gas or a fight(always love a good fight).

Anonymous said...

GO, tell it on the mountains, over the hills and everywhere;
GO, tell it on the mountains :
BERSIH is on the 'July-the-9th' !!

Crankster said...

Anon @ 24 June 2011 22:37 - what hypocrisy are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

crankster (23:28) , JOM !