Well, it looks like Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin will have to eat his own words. He will have to believe what he sees. His eyes are not playing tricks. It is indeed true that concerned Malaysians did turn up in their thousands to demand for clean and fair elections.
They were not intimidated by the heavy presence of the police and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU). They were not discouraged by the water cannons or the riot police with their shields and batons. These are brave Malaysians who have had enough of the arrogance of the powers-that-be. They are here to demonstrate to the democratic world that there are Malaysians who are
prepared to stand up and march for justice.
In his arrogance, the information minister sneered , "Do you believe thousands of people will be coming for the rally? Don't be so silly as to be taken in by them," he said, adding that even the Umno annual meeting could not gather such a number of people.
Well Zam, what have you to say now? These are ordinary people who do not need to be enticed by pocket money, transport and nasi bungkus (rice boxes). When you genuinely walk for justice, you are driven by noble ideals and propelled by sincerity. It is this commitment to the values that we hold dearly that has brought out people in solidarity to raise an issue and to state a point.
What has de facto law minister Nazri Aziz to say about this mammoth crowd who braved the rain and faced the risks involved, displaying an indomitable spirit to seek justice and right the wrong? He had haughtily dismissed the crowd of 2,000-odd lawyers who also had marched in an attempt to stop the rot in the judiciary. Well, Nazri if you had dared to persuade the police to allow the proposed march to proceed unhindered, then you would have witnessed a crowd that would have been bigger than the Kesas Highway gathering .
It is because the Barisan Nasional government does not want the people of Malaysia to witness how upset and how unhappy many Malaysians are. That is the sole reason they had brought in the mighty strength of the police and the FRU with the sole purpose of disrupting the gathering. In this way, they had hoped that Malaysians will not get to witness the truth that exposes their lies and distortions.
What took place on Saturday was a peaceful, democratic and legitimate exercise undertaken by concerned Malaysians to seek a remedy for our tainted, lopsided elections.
Whatever may be said in defence of the Election Commission or the manner in which elections take place in our country, the truth is that there has never been opportunity to fight clean and fair in the general elections. It has been always tilted in favour of the BN who abuses the state facilities and state coffers to entice the electorate. Any impartial observer can see this as constituting corruption.
The writer is Aliran president.