It has been a tiring, often frightening, couple of months for many of us who are concerned about the future of this country and, indeed, the world.
The US presidential elections came and went. We saw one of the most personal, vicious campaigns ever fought. When it came to election day, many thought it really was not one for Donald Trump to win, but for Hillary Clinton to lose.
And lose she did.
They surely must have been two very unpopular candidates because more than 40 percent of eligible American voters did not cast their votes. This was in stark contrast to the previous two Barack Obama campaigns that saw him go down in history not only as America’s first black president, but also one of its most popular.
There is now much uncertainty as to the future of American policy, especially its foreign policy. And it certainly isn’t reassuring to know that the president-elect is a racist, misogynist, bigot, openly endorsed by that white-supremacist American outfit, the Ku Klux Klan.
Over here on our shores, leading up to the Bersih 5 rally on Saturday, Nov 19, we saw Umno Baru’s thug brigade, the red-shirts, harassing, intimidating, threatening and even attacking the numerous peaceful Bersih convoys traversing the country to get Malaysians to support the 19/11 rally.
Scenes of the buffoon Jamal Md Yunos and his hooligans trying to scare off Bersih volunteers quite simply angered many who resolved to be out on the streets of KL on 19/11, ready to face these bullies and cowards if need be.
Indeed, the red-shirts were - are - clearly cowards because they have been running around in packs, easily outnumbering their victims, attacking them in groups and evidently not daring to face them one-on-one.
Their march to the Malaysiakini building was unprecedented. That they, through Jamal, were allowed by the police to utter open threats to Malaysiakini, speaks volumes about the state of law and (dis)order in this country.
As for Bersih 5, what these thugs couldn’t achieve, the Malaysian constabulary foolishly thought they could.
Despite complying with the requirements of the Peaceful Assembly Act, despite the highest law of the land, the Federal Constitution, allowing for peaceful rallies, despite the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) declaring that Bersih 5 was legal, the inspector-general of police (IGP), Malaysia’s top policeman, thought otherwise.
And, in a move that was as much predictable as it was senseless, the Bersih office was raided and the Bersih head, Maria Chin Abdullah, was arrested just a day before the rally.
Perhaps the authorities thought - as they did before - that detaining the ‘ringleader’ would deter the followers from carrying out the rally. It is as though they had been watching too many old Hollywood Wild Wild West movies.
You know, the ones where the US Cavalry tries to capture or kill the ‘Red Indian’ chief, leaving the tribe in disarray, not knowing what to do but to lay down their bows and arrows and surrender.
What these ‘authority figures’ fail to understand is that Bersih, unlike the moronic red-shirts, is NOT a barbaric mob, simply out to pick a fight.