FMT LETTER: From Calvin Sankaran, via e-mail
In the fevered state of our country, no good can ever result from any attempt to set one of these fiery zealots to rights, either in fact or principle.
They are determined as to the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is not for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal.
Thus was the advice from one of the Founding Fathers and the 3rd President of the US, Thomas Jefferson.
It is indeed surprising that more than 200 years on, we still find such advice is to be incredibly germane especially so in view of the prevailing poisonous political zeitgeist in the country.
Whether it is the American Tea-Party politico-terrorists or our homegrown pseudo reformers of Bersih 2.0, the ability of unruly mobs of angry zealots to be weapons of political and economic mass destruction and holding a nation hostage remains undiminished.
Bersih, like so many other groups subscribing to political extremism, has a noble aim and helmed by charismatic, internationally respected figurehead in Ambiga Sreenevasan. Bersih’s manifest demand is the amendment of the electoral laws to provide a level playing field to all political parties thus advancing the process of democratisation in Malaysia.
But beyond this wafer thin veneer of credibility everything else about Bersih reeks of political gamesmanship. It is a bitter irony that a coalition which strives for clean politics employs chicanery, deceit, hate mongering propaganda, half truths and lies to mislead people and demonise their opponents.
However, to be fair it must be said that the charge that Pakatan Rakyat leaders had hijacked Bersih to further their political ambitions is wildly inaccurate and completely baseless. For there is hardly a need do so since Pakatan and Ambiga’s Bersih are joined at the hip in an unholy, incestuous relationship.
Surely the former Bar Council president isn’t that naïve to assume that the PR parties are sincerely committed to clean and transparent election process when they themselves don’t practice the said principles for their own party elections.
Unless Ambiga has been a part of NASA’s space mission to Mars over the last few years, she would surely have witnessed the shambolic, scandal-ridden, violence-marred joke that passed for PKR’s version of democratic election.
It is worth noting here that Ambiga had declared the street rally was off and Bersih will be accepting the government’s offer of stadium after her audience with the King. However, Bersih’s real aim was exposed when Ambiga later spurned the offer of Shah Alam Stadium for the rally and stubbornly insisted upon Merdeka Stadium, citing ease of access and convenience.
It wasn’t long, however, when her concerns were proved to be as bogus as Hannah Yeoh’s Anak Malaysia comedy skit. This Lady of Liberty put lives and limbs of supporters in grave danger by urging them to defy the law, the riot police, tear gas and water cannons to march illegally in downtown KL. As such Ambiga and Bersih organisers must be accountable and responsible for the death of one of the participants instead of trying to pin the blame on the police.
That the Emperor Bersih wore no clothes was obvious to everyone except the blinkered legion of PR supporters; the shouts of “Reformasi” and “Takbir” far outnumbering cries for reform during the rally made that abundantly clear.
Within hours of the rally Pakatan cyber army was busy working overtime at their fiction factories and churning out highly edited, emotion-laden (if not terribly clever) videos on YouTube.
Using video imageries from past protests and even including foreign footages, these crusaders of clean elections played dirty by trying to elevate the illegal demonstrators as heroes while depicting the police as brutal thugs.
Even when these videos were exposed as fakes, no Bersih leader came forward to accept the responsibility or apologise for their deceitful, deplorable actions.
One of the Bersih videos that stood out for all the wrong reasons was the over-long clip titled, rather melodramatically as “The Truth That Cannot Be Covered”. Obviously produced by your average DAP cyber troopers next door (the atrocious English subtitles alone a dead giveaway) it was widely circulated via the social network among the Pakatan Kool-Aid drinkers.
This clip was the gold standard in exemplifying and showcasing the PR spinmasters’ level of intelligence and depths of delusion.
Unintentionally funny and laden with more tear-jerking sentimentalism than a dozen Kollywood movies put together, it scored several own goals by exposing the Pakatan supporters’ violent, rowdy behavior during the “peaceful” rally.
The maturity of the Bersih / Pakatan crowd was again amply demonstrated during a debate organised by the Sinar Harian newspaper between Ambiga and a representative from the EC. The debate almost violent when the some of them, unable to accept criticism or satisfied by answers given, had to be physically restrained from assaulting the EC rep. Read more.