COMMENT | Before 9 May, it felt like even 100 years of effort would not be able to repair the profound damage that Umno had kept inflicting on Malaysia for 60 years and counting.
But as we approach the first 100 days of the Pakatan Harapan government miracle, we may rest assured we have turned a sharp corner as a society, and there is no turning back the clock; and we are on the road to an entirely different place.
There were three crucial milestones on the path we inexorably chose. We witnessed the first on 19 November 2016, when former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad looked into the crystal ball and saw no choice but to join Maria Chin Abdullah on the Bersih 5 stage at Dataran Merdeka, before tens of thousands of Malaysians crying out for change, before hundreds of smartphones that recorded the moment in history and beamed it to the rest of the country.
This was soon followed by the meeting of former arch enemies, as master and protégé, on February 10, 2017, when Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim shook hands at Malaysia’s High Court, to discuss an opposition coalition.
Everything culminated late into the night of GE14, when Mahathir declared at a press conference Pakatan Harapan had beaten down Umno’s BN coalition, he was the prime minister in waiting and all that remained was for the Election Commission to simply declare the results.
Every time I look back to marvel at how far we’ve come, how long it’s taken and how much further we have to go, I am reminded of the ‘Clock of the Long Now’.
The Long Now posits humankind has begun to live from day to day, moment to moment, that all we can remember is yesterday, and all we plan for is tomorrow. In so doing, we forget to take stock of achievements that may have taken decades, as well as pitfalls that may affect us profoundly in, say, the next 20 years.
Hence, the Long Now clock (one of many social programmes and projects begun by the Long Now Foundation) will ring every 10 years, and every century, instead of marking our minutes and hours.
In Malaysia’s context, the Long Now tells me we all need to register in our minds that the outcome of GE14 on May 9, 2018 did not come by us overnight, so to speak, nor was it gifted to us by any individual, group of people or party....