Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Seeing Najib doing a walk-about and 'apologizing' to the business community of Kuala Lumpur was the right thing to do, for it was his actions and decisions that caused all these problems. All blame lies on Najib - for it was his 'over-reaction' to a proposed peaceful assembly that is to be blame.
People blame Najib, BN and the police for what they did on 9/7/2011 and the days preceding. In 1998 and during other people actions, in fact business went on as usual until the police reacted. In fact for the people, when 100,000 or more come to KL, it is better business for taxis, buses, toll operators, premises selling food/drinks, supermarkets, hotels and boarding houses, ... but by reason of Najib's police actions, this opportunity was lost more so when some premises were asked to shut down. KL can handle the numbers - as it has on pre-festive and school holidays - and 9/7/2011 would have been another occasion for bustling business and profits - but Najib and his police affected this. If only, live uncensored comments could have been heard over our radio and TV, we would have gotten this sentiment from most of the people interviewed.
Shutting down main bus-stations, closing roads & shops, stopping LRT from stopping at regular stations, firing tear gas and water cannons, etc - were all 'over-reactions' by a desperate Prime Minister (and UMNO/BN leader), and against what? - A movement for free and fair elections...
If I were hem, I would have got the their plans (place of assembly, proposed route of peaceful procession to the Istana, times, etc ) and would have got the police to just be around to ensure that all went on peacefully. Police could have helped ensure that when the procession moved, part of the road was still opened - or that traffic was diverted, stopped as and when the procession passed by on their way. Remember, BERSIH wanted their programme to start at 2.00pm and end about 4.00pm - hence any disruption to traffic flow would have been just for 2-3 hours, if he had reacted correctly.
Najib again failed, when he had the opportunity when BERSIH, heeding the words of the Yang Di Pertuan Agung, conceded to gathering at a stadium - the MERDEKA stadium (whereby let's not forget that this was what Najib had proposed first) - and then Najib failed by not allowing the use of the MERDEKA Stadium (and later even any Stadium in KL). If he had allowed this, all would have gone well.... This 'not giving of permission' on the part of Najib and the BN government was again perceived by many as yet another 'play out', 'betrayal' of a man and a government that could not be trusted.
In fact, many Malaysians were even more angry with this 'play out' by Najib about the stadium venue. It reminded Malaysians again the fact that Najib and his BN government really cannot be trusted... The most recent 'play out' by this BN government, being that whole issue of a minimum wage - which again Najib's government dd not even set - but hurriedly passed a law that would create again a "Wage Consultative Council" who would not set minimum wages but merely forward recommendations to the Minister. Tabled on 21/6/2011, allowed debate for about 4 hours and hurriedly passed in less than 10 days - no time even for public debate, consultations, for MPs to get feedback from their constituents, etc...
Najib's government have some 'good slogans' but what they do really contradicts what they say they will do. There is a slogan that says that the 'people are a priority' (rakyat diutamakan) - but then, this BN government, who already knows that more than 30% of workers earn less that poverty wages - have continued to raise the cost of living - removing subsidies and raising the cost of basic items like fuel, food prices, toll,...now maybe even electricity, ASTRO,... remember with the introduction of GST, prices already went up...
People's sudden increased concern for free and fair elections, and the determination of tens of thousands of Malaysians to face personal risks of arrest, tear gasses, water cannons is indicative of a people that just wants a change in the government... they have totally given up hope that the BN can address the real demands and needs of the people. The demand for a minimum wage was probably just the last straw - and the Malaysian government's procrastination and subsequent speedy pushing for a 'consultative body' instead of setting a minimum wage was maybe the last proof needed for the desperate majority of Malaysians to say enough is enough - it is time to give others a chance to govern Malaysia - not the BN.
The focus on the issue of 'free and fair elections' comes forth also with the realization that the current system is constructed in such a manner that gives the BN the unfair advantage sufficient for it to still retain power and control even if it loses the support of the people. Take KL for instance, where all save 1 (or was it 2) are MPs from the Opposition - but KL is still 'ruled and governed' by the BN, and the democratically elected reps of the people have almost no say in how KL is governed, or developed.
The primary concern of people now is to get rid of Najib and the BN government - and they will vote for this. Doubts that no one but the BN can rule is already been extinguished when the Opposition has effectively managed to rule 4 (earlier 5) States. PAS already had a proven record of being able to rule, but 2008 showed that DAP and also PKR have capacity to rule, and rule the West Coast's most prominent states of Penang and Selangor. It is still an anti-Najib anti-BN sentiment, rather than a pro-Opposition sentiment that dominates the hearts and minds of Malaysians - and voting come PRU13 would most likely still be governed by such sentiments.