By Charles Santiago, DAP MP for Klang
What an irony! Fifty eight years ago Malaysians fought against British colonialism, a system that extracted natural resources and created a political economy that promoted the British elite’s interest.
Fast forward to today and Malaysians are still being exploited bya ruling elite that hogs resources, plunders the nation’s wealth and enriches itself and its cronies through rampant corruption and political connections.
The sad thing is that this time around, the elite are our own people.
In order to keep propagating its fear tactics and strategies as means to hold on to power, the ruling elite has kept state mechanisms and government institutions under its thumb.
It’s therefore no wonder that this Merdeka Day is by far the most subdued, with Malaysians not even flying the country’s flag as a way of basking in the spirit of Merdeka.
The usual cheer in the air is also sorely missing, despite a glitzy parade that is being planned at Dataran Merdeka, the same place that has been labeled off limits to the rakyat who want to exercise their legitimate right to dissent this weekend.
As we look back, we cannot say we have progressed as a nation. There is no separation of powers and the invisible hands of the executive has left marks on the country’s judiciary and legislature.
Instead of ensuring Prime Minister Najib Razak and ruling politicians are kept strictly to the straight and narrow, enforcement agencies play a crucial role in keeping them off the hook.
The play of religion on politics is shamelessly used by ruling UMNO and bigwigs to create fear and panic among the people.
A classic example is a recent statement by the embattled premier, who said Malays will be bastardized if UMNO loses power.
Mismanagement of the economy, allegations of financial scandal against Najib, plunging reserves, weakening ringgit, rising crime rate, abuse of power by the elite, increasing household debts and poverty, stagnant wages and the siphoning of the country’s wealth are the issues we are grappling with as Merdeka Day approaches.
Dissent is a show of patriotism to the country. It’s when we rise up to say enough is enough.
It’s when the people come together to demand an end to corrupt governance.
It’s when the rakyat join hands as one force to demand a clean government that respects and adheres by the Federal Constitution and principles of democracy.
Fifty eight years ago the demand was for independence from the British.
Today, the cry is for independence from UMNO/ BN.
And, just as our forefathers rallied for British administrators to leave the country, today we march to Dataran Merdeka to demand Najib Razak to step down as the Prime Minister of the country.
And so let’s march at the Bersih weekend rally as a show of the Merdeka spirit and to reclaim our inherent rights that has been robbed off us by the ruling elite.
And in doing so, let’s hope we sew the seeds that promote the interest and aspirations of the Malaysian people.
– The Rocket
having observed 5hours and 4sessions of Penang DUN during nov2014 & recently during march, I have the following observation-
Land reclamation s the most popular and also the most sensitive issue,past land swaps for new development had already taken its toil to present unsustainable traffic jams and to continue at such fervent pace can only aggravate that unsustainable situation- do reflect and reconfigurate that better model though the new issues would also appear but at least there would be one where massive mobilisation could be more acceptable rather than neck breaking pace like major chinese cities!!!