A seemingly harmless rally, organised by an NGO and not affiliated to any political party is causing UMNO to flip over in a seizure.
The first Bersih rally was organised in 2007, and 50,000 people took to the streets in a march of solidarity to demand free and fair elections.
It came months before the 12th General Election that saw the opposition achieve great gains, winning over 5 states and denying the BN the key two-thirds majority in parliament.
It was a rude awakening for UMNO and BN.
It’s 2 years on and a new souped-up Bersih 2.0 is now fast approaching. This time, UMNO has thrown a fit of even bigger proportions and the Bersih rally is being used as a convenient scapegoat for anything that has gone wrong in Malaysia.
Those who prostitute their words
The recent Internet attacks by hacker group Anonymous was even linked, many say shamelessly, to the rally by none other than the Information, Communication and Culture minister, Rais Yatim.
It was Rais Yatim who a few days before, challenged the group head-on, seemingly confident of his ministry's ability to fend off any attacks to government websites. The attacks came but the best Rais could do was to turn off government servers at the hardware level.
Group Anonymous did not have to do much, the deed was done when the administrators of the sites opted to turn off their servers - that was the best the Malaysian minister could do.
Perkasa and UMNO Youth are now organizing their own rallies on the same day as Bersih 2.0. Perkasa's main agenda is to go head to head to impede the Bersih rally. UMNO Youth’s rally is to march to maintain the current way of conducting elections.
Bersih wants fair and free elections. If UMNO Youth doesn't agree, then by extension, it must want unfair and non-free elections. Whereas, PERKASA is as usual just being a trouble-maker wanting some airtime.
And not to mention the Deputy Prime Minister’s statement that the Bersih rally is meant to topple the government.
Bersih unifies more than any slogan Najib can dream up
While UMNO propogates “Malay First, Others Second” , the Bersih rally is closer to the ideal of a united Malaysia than any slogan Prime Minister Najib Razak can dream up.
Nothing scares UMNO more than to know that the citizens of Malaysia have the will to determine for themselves a future that does not include UMNO in the picture.
UMNO fears Bersih because it knows, the rally will signal the demise of the BN. UMNO is afraid of a united Malaysia capable of thinking for itself.
UMNO knows, it can no longer curtail the will of the people any more. So UMNO has reduced itself to the politics of fear, threats and provocations.
In desperation, it is not far-fetched that UMNO may turn on its own people just to show its strength. This will be its greatest undoing. It was clear during the previous Bersih rally when water cannons and riot police stepped in to disperse the participants.
Citizens hold the cards, not UMNO-Perkasa
A rally like Bersih, when it can draw in the numbers, sends a message to all Malaysians that authority lies in the hands of the citizens and not in any political party. It is a show of solidarity that cuts across racial and religious and political lines.
This is why UMNO fears it so much. For decades, it has depended on racism and religious bigotry to set the races apart. Finally, when there is a force that gathers the people together again, it has no solutions. It is time the ruling elite in UMNO accept their fate, a fate that has long been coming and well deserved.
A rally like Bersih sets a precedence for all Malaysians to follow - that power and authority rests in the hands of the people.
The writing is on the wall and it reads,”People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
Tiada ugutan setakat ini, kata Mat Sabu