YOURSAY ‘These are ordinary people like us and they often show courage when triggered into action.'
Bersih's 'Mr Straw Hat' says he's no hero
Ferdtan: There are many ordinary people doing extraordinary feats, like Toh Chin Hong aka Mr Straw Hat.
They are different from the kind of leaders who were appointed or chosen. In a group of people, a crowd for example, there will be invariably a leader coming out to lead. This happens often at times of emergency, like a plane crash or a group of people taken hostage.
In the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre, United Airlines Flight 93's 182 passengers were led by a few of such informal leaders to regain control of the plane. All were killed, including the four hijackers.
These informal leaders are ordinary people like us and they often show tremendous courage when triggered into action. When all is over, they would go back to their daily job and not even bragging about it.
Tholu: (Straw) hats off to you, Mr Toh Chin Hong. You are truly a man of principle. You are a man who genuinely cares for the nation instead of just yourself. I wish you good luck in your future undertakings and may God bless you.
Yahya: I would be proud to have Mr Straw Hat as a teacher for my children!
20121221Disaster: From this story, we can distinguish Umno supporters from anti-Umno supporters as Umno supporters are always shortsightedly considering only their present short-term personal interest.
Whereas the anti-Umno supporters only focus on the future of the nation and ignoring their present personal interest.
This is because anti-Umno supporters know very well that the future of the nation will affect their life, their offsprings and the future generation.
Don't Play-Play: Toh Chin Ong, that is a very stupid move. In Malaysia, your action will get you nowhere, but your leaders will prosper if ever the effort of their stupid supporters like you bring in the results for them.
They will be donning Versace and the likes, while you will be stuck with your straw hat forever.
Superwoman6: Versace only cost thousands but there are bird-brained people who collect crumbs and vomit slander on this site, failing to see the billions of ringgit robbed by their leaders.
Rakyat Malaysia: Nobody can stop the march towards freedom from BN-Umno's oppression. It can only grow stronger.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going - one country by the people of Malaysia for the people of Malaysia (not for the BN-Umno gang).
ABBN: Malaysia truly needs more patriotic sons like Toh to come forward to save this devastated homeland.
No doubt, we had hundreds thousands unsung heroes like him who stood up bravely on that day, but we need more.
Remember, evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
Tony Soprano: Toh Chin Hong, I have been admiring your photo all this time and was wondering who the guy is? Finally, I salute you, Sir.
Holden: Toh, Malaysia needs teachers and educationists like you - people with sound opinions and principles - to take the lead.
Your courage is an inspiration to all and must be passed on to the next generation. Please do not give up on your teaching profession.
Fairplayer: I'm proud of you, young man! May you set the pace and momentum for a truly Bersih new generation - a fearless, principled and strong-willed for what is right and fair for all. God bless you.
Ong Guan Sin: Salute, salute, salute! On that day, you have transcended your physical self and embodied the very essence of Duduk Bantah.
You are an example of the opposite to ‘Polis Raja Di-Malaysia', which by now represents cowardice, violence and brutality. All the best in your future endeavours.
Anonymous #06500451: Mr Toh, I admire your courage.
I was also there at Bersih 3.0, I can tell that the police were so afraid to see so many Malaysians unite together that they can only bully us with tear gas, water cannons and batons. It's time we take back the power and authority from those who abuse it!
I also admire your courage in resigning and setting a good example to the younger generation to fight for justice and what is right.
Lover Boy: The school headmaster is a wimp, and you expect the young minds that you breed in your cradle to become future leaders? Toh, you might as well leave that school.
To his students, please always remember this teacher. He does not shirk from his conscience, he stands by what he believes in - the right to clean and fair elections.
Anonymous #36621091: Great interview! I take my hat off to both of you - the writer and Mr Straw Hat.
The story behind the pictures and video fits the spirit of Bersih, written by a journalist who was roughed up while doing his job on that same fateful day.
Standing up or in this case sitting down, for the cause of clean, free and fair elections represents all those who went that day in solidarity of this cause but were unable to sit in peace in our own Freedom Square.
It is heartbreaking that the reason we were out on the streets on that blazingly hot Saturday is obscured and ignored in the post-Bersih rhetoric by the authorities and by the anti-Bersih detractors.
Like schoolteacher Toh, we will look for options and will prevail.
The spirit of Bersih will not fade and will spread slowly but surely among Malaysians everywhere as more and more ask the simple question of 'why should any government be afraid of clean, free and fair elections?'
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