Monday, 9 November 2015

Authorities Underestimate Protests. It Happens Everywhere.

I meant to blog about the BERSIH 4 protest. But I am not in KL at the moment, and I don't have any news on the ground.

My life has taken lots of unexpected turns though I constantly learn more about myself and my fellow Malaysians from observing non-Malaysians. It's strange.

For instance, I always thought that underestimating the numbers in a protest/demonstration was a Malaysian/BN government thing.

Evidently not. Some of you Malaysians (yes, I have discovered that many of you are politically savvy and know what goes on around the world) may know of the student protests in London because the Tory government, in its austerity drive has actually decided to slash student grants.

Those of you who had to pay off your PTPTN loans will find it hard to sympathise, because you had to fork out a monthly sum or risk that massive administrative fee. Others may have finally given it the boot.

You see, the thing is, equal opportunities for students of all social classes to get a tertiary education based on merit, was what made Britain great once upon a time.

At the height of their prosperity, they even invited foreign students, gave them scholarships, grants and opportunities to live and work in the UK. That was what made Britain and Malaysia different.

But those days are over.

The Conservative government ruling Britain today (known as the Tories) have decided to generously endow their cronies and by extension themselves, by pardoning the bankers while at the same time slashing benefits for those deserving of it.

I concede that there are some benefit claimants in the UK that would be better off just getting off their lazy arses and working for a living. But they're not the ones I am talking about.

In this case, the students are protesting the withdrawal of grants because what will happen now is that only the wealthy people will have access to a university degree.

The rich will get richer, and the poor poorer.

It's the same thing that Najib is doing, except Najib doesn't seem to feel the need to do it under wraps. He just blatantly exposes himself like a mentally-ill flasher.

Interestingly, Malaysia is in a good place. Tun Mahathir, who makes a habit of criticising those he appoints "to the throne" has been throwing brickbats at Najib. And Bank Negara has frozen Najib's accounts.

The next few months would be interesting to watch. Mahathir is now being investigated by the police for defamation. Is Malaysia a police state that blindly does the bidding of the top power?

Or at some point, will the nation realise that we don't have to be a tin-pot dictatorship?

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