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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bersih 4.0- A Peaceful Assembly to Express Human Rights

Undeniably, 29th -30th August are remarkable dates for the nation where Bersih 4.0 rallies were held in K.L., Kota Kinabalu and Kuching with the five demands including:

  • Free and Fair Elections (Bersihkan Pilihanraya)
  • A Transparent Government (Kerajaan Bersih)
  • The Right to Demonstrate (Hak Membantah)
  • Strengthening the Parliamentary Democracy System (Kukuhkan Demokrasi Parlimen)
  • Saving the national economy (Selamatkan Ekonomi Malaysia)

The news regarding power manipulation of the politicians with the rampant corruptions mentioned in Wall Street Journal, The Edge and other legitimate parties have raised the attention of the public, suffice to say that it made many people frustrated and angry. As President Obama said, “The arc of human progress has been shaped by individuals with the freedom to assemble and by organizations outside of government that insisted upon democratic change.” When street demonstrations are allowed in U.S, Bangkok , Hong Kong and European countries, I don't see the reason why street demonstrations is disallowed in a country which declares practicing democracy. The freedom of speech is a sacrosanct right which is an embodiment of a free and democratic society. After all, there is something that those people need to think about what had led to the Bersih 4.0. Some call Bersih 4.0 as rallies or streets demonstration, while I think there's more suitable words to name the event i.e. a peaceful assembly despite of the leaders' photo being stamped.

While some think that those who wave the national flag are patriots, I opine that those who really care about the countries' present and future are the real patriots. There's no perfect leaders in the world, it is inevitable for bad comments and criticism arising from the public towards the leaders' incompetence. The pretty harsh truth is you can't guarantee you have 100% true followers or 100% of residents who like and support you. A country cannot thrive if others' opinions are not appreciated. Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown, a reliable leader should be open-minded towards criticism, have responsibility to lead his/her followers well and to be a good example to them. In my opinion, a good leader should often evaluate his or her attitude, perform duties honestly and align action with the words spoken. Let's see what are the characteristics that should be possessed by a good servant leader stated by Skip Prichard:

  • Values diverse opinions -Unity in diversity! You have your own belief, but you have no rights to stop me having diverse opinion.
  • Cultivates a culture of trust - Yes, truthfully, a good leader has to gain the residents' trust.
  • Develops other leaders - He/ she should have the commitment for growth of others regardless religions, races /creed. 
  • Helps people with life issues (not just work issues)
  • Encourages
  • Sells instead of tells.
  • Thinks “you” not “me.”-Someone who is thinking only, “How does this benefit me?” is disqualified. After all, the servant leaders are being selected to serve the flocks, not themselves.
  • Thinks long-term- Think about the next generation, making choices to benefit the future.
  • Acts with humility.

Nevertheless, rallies might not be a good avenue for patriotism but it's obviously shown that the strong desires of the desperate Malaysians regardless religion and races wanting a change for an enhanced country! The Malaysians' desire is simple, requiring a country with strong culture of accountability and integrity instilled in civil service and government institutions' servants.



Would you want to do a headcount?
Credits: Malaysiakini.com

Credits: Malaysiakini.com

The supports from the oversea countries.

Credits: Malaysiakini.com
Credits: Malaysiakini.com

The "tsunami" of yellow balloons, people with yellow shirts, yellow umbrellas.
Credits: Astrowani

The rights to voice out the demands despite the multicultural and multiracial background of each other.

"Bersih"- The cleanliness of the streets are not ignored too.


It's bona fide to say that manpower should not belittled and I truly believe the progress of the country lies on the hands of residents as the sayings from Confucius "the water that bears the boat is the same that swallows it up" (水能载舟,亦能覆舟). Majority of the signboards, banners and hairbands have clearly stated the demands of the Bersih 4.0 supporters i.e. a fair election, a stable economy, good governance with fairness and justice, freedom of speech and non-censored news over the media savvy. Some Good Samaritans even offered free meals for the supporters who had stayed overnight, provided clean water for Muslims to perform their prayers and voluntarily clean the streets where rallies were held.  It's fortunate that Bersih 4.0 was concluded in a peaceful manner without water guns, tear-gas and violence. The people dispersed peacefully after singing the national song patriotically.

A quote to share:
"Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought." - Henri Bergson
The reputation of yours is affected by your own actions and attitudes.


* This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of the rest of Malaysians * 

Other blogs/articles regarding Bersih 4.0: