To resist is to win

By Thomas Fann, Chairman of ENGAGE

20120502_police_violence_at_bersih_3Today is the 3rd of anniversary of Bersih 3.0 and the the Election Commission is still as dirty as ever. They still went ahead and conducted one of the most dirty General Election ever in 2013 but don’t take my word for it. The Election Integrity Project in a a global survey rated Malaysia near the bottom, 66th out of 73 elections surveyed between July 2012 and December 2013.

On 28th April 2012, over 250,000 people came out for the Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur and tens of thousand more in other Malaysian cities and all over the world were in unison calling for a free and fair election.

Is that too much to ask? Is that such a threatening message to the authorities that they have to use or rather abuse their powers to obstruct, threaten us and finally use violence on unarmed citizens in the Kuala Lumpur rally? It’s not like we are asking for Rosmah and Najib’s bank statement!

They tear gassed us, water cannoned us, chased down and beat up protesters and even media personnel. They lied to the Malaysian public about what happened through their neutered mainstream media. They barricaded a patch of grass called Dataran Merdeka with barbed wires and barriers and claimed that the protesters “breached” the barrier and therefore justified in being punished with violence.

Three years on, we ask ourselves, what have we who protested achieved? Has the Election Commission given in to our demands or has the Police regretted their actions and apologised to the citizens? The answer is of course a big fat NO.

So why bother? Why inconvenient ourselves, spending money to travel to protests, to put ourselves at risk of being arrested, beaten up or even killed by these police who are at the beck and call of their political masters? Why can’t we just stay home and find other means to get what we want?

We still bother because if we don’t, they win. That is what they want to achieve with their threats and crackdowns. They want to silence us, take away our rights and put fears into our hearts. They do this because their political master tells them to do it. They are told, these are traitors, these are criminals and they have to be severely dealt with.

But are we traitors and criminals? Are we people with nothing better to do in life than to inconvenient the traders and traffic when we hold our protests? Are we not citizens who loves our country with a passion, enough to put ourselves at all kinds of risk and to be despised by some of our fellow citizens?

We do it for our future, the future that all our children will inherit. Some of us who can speak, speak up, Some of us who can draw cartoons, draw cartoons to express our concerns. Some who has the gift to compose and sing songs, write poems, do so. Some who can lead and has a heart to serve others, joined politics and civil societies. But all of us can walk and we will continue to walk in protests because it is the least we can do to say we are not happy with what is happening.

So, yes, we achieve nothing in the short term with our protests. Yes, we inconvenience some traders, shoppers and traffic. But excuse me, we are doing this for all our children’s future. We refuse to let this regime continue to deny us our rights, to abuse their powers, to pervert the integrity of our public institutions, all this so that they can remain in power to plunder our nation’s wealth.

We will resist even if we are despised by the very people we are fighting for.We will resist even if we are falsely labeled traitors and anarchists. We will resist even if they take away our personal freedom, our voice and even our life.

For, to resist is to win.

One day we will win if we do not give up. One day our children and their children will live as human beings – full of dignity, full of mutual respect, in peace and harmony and full of hope. Resist!

*The opinions in this article is that of the author and not necessarily the views of The Rocket

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