|Sim Kwang Yang | Mar 7, 09 12:56pm|
I realised with a start that it has been a short year since that March 8 political tsunami that changed the political landscape in Malaysia. This momentous anniversary compels one to reflect deeply upon the tumultuous turn of events in the last 365 days and nights.
The Ship of State sailed into choppy uncharted waters this day last year. On the political battle field, two giant elephants continue to pit their heads for supremacy, leaving the bodies of many mouse-deer on the wayside. As Isaac Newton would say, for every action taken, there is an opposite and equal reaction.
We get this uneasy feeling that we are bearing testimony to history being made, but are we that sure about what kind of history is being made?
Every offensive thrust is a strategy, a political ploy, a means to an end ad infinitum. A year after that general election that saw the near collapse of the BN old order, a new order is yet to emerge. In this transition period, helpless Malaysians have to endure the pain of a global economic downturn amidst political confusion.
In this titanic tug-of-war between the BN and the Pakatan Rakyat coalitions, all the major institutions of state have been stretched to the limit of their moral legitimacy. The court, the legislature, the police, the royal palace, the anti-corruption agency by any name, and the state administration in Perak are all cracking at the edges.
Too much vested interest
The war cry of the French Revolution in 1789 was "Liberty, equality and fraternity!". Its philosophical root resides in the religious Reformation Movement, in the European Enlightenment, and its modern offshoot has been the various anti-colonial independence movements in Third World countries after WWII in the last century.
They stifle human rights
This is the logic and the phenomenology of political power. Castro is one, and Mao is another fine example. Of course, Robert Mugabe is the epitome of such a hero-turned-dictator. To this distinguished company, we must now add Umno and their BN minions.
They will degrade freedom by equating it with licence. They redefine freedom as doing whatever you want to do. In the name of preserving public order, they restrict freedom in the public and private domains of their citizens. They stifle human rights.
There could be a declaration of emergency in Perak, and a nationwide ISA crack down on dissent, including the shutting down of the Malaysiakini office outright. RPK must pack his bag ready for his continued sojourn behind bars.
They are ruled by fear and crave security. They should be reminded by what JJ Rousseau - that theoretical architect of the French Revolution - said about security; the greatest security is to be found exactly behind bars.
Aspire for freedoms
They want the freedom to a level playing field in the schools and the universities, in business and at the work place. They aspire to the freedom to think for themselves, from the stupefying numbing narrative that emits from the mouths of old tired political leaders. In Kugan's case, his family just want the freedom to seek justice, to vindicate the poor young man's civil liberty while under police detention and his right to life!
A new scenario requires a new discourse. Sometimes, old ideas make for the best new discourse. The virtues of love, hope and freedom of the human spirit can best be used to interpret the current upheaval.
They are most unlikely to be inflamed into racial riots on the street, despite what agent provocateur may say. Hope seems to burn eternal in their breasts.
SIM KWANG YANG was opposition MP in Bandar Kuching in Sarawak