NEWS

Many wary, upset over red shirt rally

Susan Loone

Published
Modified 15 Sep 2015, 4:12 am

Many Malaysians are suspicious and upset about the Sept 16 red shirt rally by pro-Umno groups but are merely voicing out their dissatisfaction on the social media.

Founder of Concerned Cybercitizens Worldwide Malaysia, Adrian Lim Chee En, feels these people should do more to promote racial integration and diversity than just being cyber-warriors, criticising and condemning others.

Lim on his part is determined to move on this, despite being detained by police on Aug 13, together with another Bersih 2.0 volunteer Mohd Faddhli Abdul Jaid, for hoisting the Bersih 4 rally launch banner at a roundabout near the Petaling Jaya Civic Hall.

Lim ( photo ) has found a way to counter the racially-slanted red shirt rally themed ‘Perhimpunan Rakyat Bersatu”, which has just been declared legal by the police as the group has agreed to hold the event in Padang Merbok.

Since yesterday, he has been using several Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to flood the social media with photographs that speak of Malaysia's peace and harmony among the different races.

He is urging the social media community to participate in this effort by sending him pictures that best describe racial harmony with the caption #WeAreMalaysian, which he will upload on a dedicated Facebook page.

“Send me photos as simple as nasi lemak, roti canai and nasi ayam. Be creative!” the former law intern with Lawyers for Liberty told Malaysiakini .

Asked why he feels the need to counter the Sept 16 rally, Lim said the pro-Malay rights protesters have a right to express themselves as long as they are peaceful, just like the mammoth 34-hour Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 29-30.

'Reclaim our Malaysian narrative'

However, he urged his fellow countrymen and women to “reclaim our Malaysian narrative”.

“Malaysians who cherish racial harmony should come forward and speak up, instead of allowing Malaysia Day this year to be a ‘black mark in history’, said Lim, who hails from Sabah.

Malaysians, he said, have been living in boxes for far too long.

“The demarcations among us range from racial barriers to cultural values and even political divides. It is time to be united in at least one thing this Malaysia Day.”

Lim hopes to see the social media flooded with messages of racial integration as this is a form of non-violent direct activism every single Malaysian can take part in.

“Imagine opening Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Sept 16 to find thousands of other Malaysians are doing the same, sharing their experiences of racial unity and messages about Malaysia's diversity,” he said.

He is confident that this little effort of his will be effective.

There is already too much hatred and anger these days, be it against an issue, against the government or against others and many take these frustrations to the social media.

“So, why not take these frustrations and turn them into positive energy.

“If we can read news, post pictures or our statuses on the social media, it should not be too hard to use the very same platform to send out strong goodwill messages this Malaysia Day.

“Never underestimate the power of social media,” Lim added.