9 July: Every Day In Malaysia

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Prime Minister Najib Razak, Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, IGP Ismail Omar, Deputy IGP Khalid Bakar and KL Police Deputy Chief, Amar Singh for making 9th July happen.

Without the insane crackdown on Bersih supporters with Yellow coloured t-shirts, unreasonable detention, the flip-flop invitation of using the Stadium by the Prime Minister, the massive road blocks and KL lock down days before the rally, 9 July may not have been what it was that historic Saturday.

We saw the birth of a new generation of Malaysians who are no longer apathetic, but dare to stand up for their rights, rising above intimidation.

When I arrived at Puduraya from Dayabumi through Petaling Street, I saw a sea of people. It felt as if we had re-taken KL from the FRU. KL belongs to us, and Malaysia belongs to the people — the Rakyat. Throughout the whole rally, it was almost like we were at war; a war between the Police and the people.

People stood united as one, from different backgrounds, different ethnicities, from all walks of life, holding on steadfastly to what we believe is rightfully ours: a free and fair election at the very least, the right to assemble peacefully for one common cause, and most important of all, the realisation that we, the Rakyat, can no longer keep silent and we must overcome the fear and oppression of unfair authority.

I followed the heartwarming #bersihstories with many joys and tears. Many experienced the camaraderie of Malaysians, a true 1Malaysia in the sense where everyone was helping each other regardless of colour, class and age; sharing salt, sharing water, calming each other down while walking away from the tear gas and water cannons. People started to believe again, that Malaysians are actually good people. Many wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world.

Meanwhile, many also expressed regret for not being there on the 9th of July. For not being able to be part of this historic moment which saw Malaysians rising above all fears, determined to have our voices heard, and points taken by the authority who seem to be living in a different reality.

But do you know that 9 July actually happens everyday in Malaysia, in its own small way? It doesn’t happen just on that one Saturday afternoon. It has been happening, had happened in a grand style on 9 July 2011, and will continue happening in the days to come.

9 July is about the Rakyat being empowered to stand up for what’s right, united as fellow Malaysians.

If you attend the nightly candlelight vigils at Bukit Aman to call for the immediate and unconditional release of the PSM6 who were detained without proper evidence under the Emergency Ordinance ever since the start of the Bersih crackdown two weeks ago, you will remember 9 July. Shouts of —

“Bebaskan Chon Kai!”
“Bebaskan Dr Kumar!”
“Bebaskan Sara!”
“Bebaskan Letchu!”
“Bebaskan Babu!”
“Bebaskan Sukumaran!”

will remind you of our shouts of “Hidup Bersih!” and “Hidup Rakyat!” on that 9 July.

You will also see people from all walks of life come together for this one cause. Quite similar to 9 July, the only difference is that, instead of 50,000, you only have 100 brave souls.

If you join

you will see and feel 9 July almost everyday.

It may be in smaller groups, but the same spirit nonetheless is there — to see a better Malaysia.

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Ee Chia hopes that racial polarisation will cease to exist in Malaysia, that Malaysians will embrace their diversity and celebrate similarity, in their unique colours of cultures, food and languages. Hence her involvement with Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia, a People's Movement which hopes to promote that spirit and also to stand against inequality and to see true democracy take root in Malaysia through the participation of all citizens

Posted on 19 July 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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