I refer to the Malaysiakini report, LIVE reports: The Bersih rally . Any way you look at it, the rally by Bersih to send a memorandum to the King for a free and fair elections was a stunning success.
Although the local press has down played the significance of the demonstrations, the sea of yellow among the brave protestors drenched in rain facing the police force, is the beginning of the common people's awakening, partaking their democratic rights in wanting a better deal from the present regime.
Although the police force and the prime minister had warned the public not to participate in the so-called 'illegal' rally, it has fallen on deaf ears for those who are fed up with government's excesses and abuses of power. To think that nearly 40,000 people took part in the demonstrations speaks volumes about the ordinary people's brave attempt to make their voices heard about the ills of the present regime to our constitution monarch.
While the police force had used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowds and even though scores of people were arrested, no loss of lives were reported, thank God for that. I suppose in the globalised world that we live in, autocrats leaders dare not excessively beat up those who oppose them as it will be highlighted in the foreign media. While the local demonstrations is mild compared to Pakistan and Burma, still one wonders why the police had to use force to disperse the crowd.
As usual, we can expect the leaders in this country to denounce the demonstrations and call these brave souls "traitors" to the nation for taking their grievances to the streets. But if all avenues for a proper dialogue between civil groups and the government are closed and the government is arrogant and does not want to listen to the people's voice of despair, expect more streets demonstration. People are fed up with the inept leadership which causes goods and services to escalate and endemic corruption to be the norm.
Let us hope that the King can reform the election rules in this country which favour the ruling parties. May our next general elections be untainted by money politics, phantom voters, one-sided media and government machineries working in favour of the incumbent. Watchdogs from other nations should be invited to observe the next general elections to ensure that the present regime cannot steal the elections as in 2004 where a lot of opposition leaders lost their seats due to phantom voters.
After all, Umno just had their last assembly where the delegates are confident that the voters will support them in the next polls. Fight like a man. Do not hide behind the government's skirt where all the dirty tricks are used to deny the opposition opportunities to win seats.
The present regime is in denial about all the ills that affect this nation. They, especially the dinosaur politicians who have been in power for more than two decades, still think that our people are uneducated and can be hoodwinked in any general elections. Well, let them dream! May the Bersih rally mark an important milestone for the people's desires to have a better Malaysia for our children and grandchildren to inherit.
God bless you all for your bravery in facing the police force's awesome power to intimidate people from exercising their political rights.