Monday, March 10, 2008

Reflections on 12th General Election

I still couldn't sleep well last night. Not from worry, but more from euphoria and the feeling of pride for my fellow Malaysians. For the first time for so long I actually felt extremely proud to be Malaysian. Following from these feelings of pride, hope, and joy, a few things came to my mind.

The first was my daughter. She will be 2 this May and I felt this would be the best birthday present ever to her. I have played my part as much as I can within my constraints during this defining event of our country's history, and now I can see she will have a future as a fully empowered citizen of this nation, proud to be Malaysian.

Secondly, Adlan Benan Omar. I've never met this man, only read about him and his brilliance and dedication to the cause of a truly multi-racial and united Malaysia. Just reading about the accolades and respect heaped upon this exceptional young Malaysian made me feel hopeful of the youth of Malaysia being great leaders of tomorrow. He died on 22 January 2008 age 35, just missing the opportunity to see the fruit of his labour blossom on 8 Mar 2008. His comrades I am sure will dedicate this momentous event to him.

The third is my father. He is dead for 17 years now, and can't be considered a successful man career and material wise. But he left a very deep impression on me on the importance of right and wrong, on justice, as well as the plight of the poor. I still remember him ferrying me and my siblings into the estate labour quarters in the rubber estate where he worked, showing us their plight as well as their feelings of hopelessness. I still remember seeing him sneaking into a narrow alley next to a restaurant, slipping some money into an Indian man in rags, sleeping on the floor, oblivious to what is happening around him. It is this strong sense of right and wrong, and justice, which caused me to believe Malaysia should, could, and must have a better government that can look after each and every citizen according to their needs.

Fourth, whining Malaysians. I hope and wish that from now on, Malaysians will stop whining that they can't do anything about the sorry state of the nation caused by a rotten BN government, that they don't see any hope of change, that their votes don't count, and the only way out is to migrate to supposedly greener grass on the other side. Malaysians have shown, in an act of unity, on the 8th March 2008 that it is definitely possible for each and every one of us to effect change for the better in this beloved country of ours. Now is the time to work together and build a stronger, more united, and more prosperous and competitive Malaysia in which, in the words of Raja Nazrin, every Malaysian will believe he/she has an equal place under the Malaysian sun.

Finally, my wife. We had a few quarrels over my chosen involvement in politics. Which wife would want to risk his husband being sent to jail (of course, I'm just a small fry which the police couldn't be bothered with...hahaha!)? But I guess after this defining event, things will be slightly different ;-) since now she would be able to see that there is no futility in what I have chosen to do. Hopefully, she will become more supportive :p

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