I personally thought the rally was overrated and had no purpose other than to bring together people who had no idea what they're doing, but that it's something that goes against the government and therefore worth their time. I find it highly frustrating whenever people bring up the topic of how bad the government is. Hey, I'm not pro-government or pro-BN in any way, but I just find it dumbfounding that people can go around saying 'the government is corrupt' or 'official documents gone missing... only in Malaysia'. FYI, it's not. It happens everywhere else.
I find many Malaysians like that- ashamed of their identity, always critical of the establishment and spewing out tales that they swear are facts when they haven't done any background research on. And yet, this rally became so popular- why? I think it was a smart move on the Opposition's side. Clearly, they need to play into all this resentment of the government and that's how you have a rally that serves no real purpose except for propaganda and campaigning (note: if it was the government doing such a thing, Malaysians would be talking instead about how the government is brainwashing citizens... interesting thought).
On the Government's side, I think it was great that they allowed this rally to happen without much violence. I think it was a very smart move- now they can talk about how they are open to new ideas and that they are willing to change too, and that with restrictions we can have discussions and come to agreements without having to resort to violence (I can never forget how my History teacher used to harp on proudly that we achieved independence without bloodshed). It's a great political manoeuvre. But perhaps it's too little, too late. I don't know.
And don't get me wrong, I'm all for political campaigning and fighting for democracy, freedom of speech and other causes that one believes in, and that if a government doesn't deliver, then citizens have the right to demand for more. But I just don't think that blindly participating in rallies is the answer. If the Opposition continues to conduct rallies like that, pretty soon they will lose participants and one day it won't get publicity. Look at Egypt. The protests became huge news because it appeared out of nowhere, and it's not normal. Look at Thailand- coups every other year, and so nobody cares anymore unless their travel plans are disrupted.
|Picture making the rounds in Facebook|
Maybe it's my fickle-mindedness or neutrality. I often see things from two perspectives. I see the government as a victim of politics that currently goes against it. I see the Opposition as people who are greedy but yet smart enough to piggyback on these negative sentiments. Basically, they're opportunistic. I just don't see them as glorified or idealised like how others make them out to be. Come on, they're not freedom fighters. Anwar himself admitted that this is his last chance at 'wresting control'. Pay attention to his words used- he's chasing the glory and power, too, just like everyone else.
Many Malaysians want a change of government. But I really do think that we're fooling ourselves. Fundamentally, we have too many things to overcome. A simple government change isn't going to make much of a difference. But I try to remain optimistic- and that's why I wrote this!