The country has done well in the past 58 years of independence. And yes, it has its share of black days too. Who wouldn’t forget the cursed incident that happened on one fateful Friday the 13th, 1969 notoriously dubbed as ‘May 13’ incident. Strange that it may seem, numerological addition of 1969 would have the number 7 and again, addition of 13 (day) + 05 (month) and 1969 (year) would also provide you 34, which bring you back to the same number 7. Sorry, I think my random thoughts just got diverted a bit.

This post is written as a run up to the September 16 Red Shirt Rally by the pro-government supporters tomorrow. The rally organizers decided to do this rally on Malaysia day. Although generally it appears that the people behind this rally are made up of NGO’s but in truth, it is an open secret that most of them are made up of UMNO members, which forms part of the Barisan Nasional (BN) party from the present ruling coalition. In another words, the other side of the mask behind Red Shirts are none other than UMNO. The Leader of the Red Shirt pack is none other than Sungai Besar UMNO division chief Datuk Jamal Md Yunos.

Image above: The leader of the Red shirt racist group, Datuk Jamal Md Yunos
How it all started
BERSIH (meaning CLEAN) is a coalition for Clean and Fair Elections. They did a 34 hours rally from 29th – 30th August, 2015. Since this is the fourth time they are having a rally, it was known as BERSIH 4.0. Besides wearing Yellow T-shirt that reads BERSIH, Their primary goals for having the rally for the fourth time is to call for:
  • Free and Fair Elections
  • A Transparent Government
  • The Right to Demonstrate
  • Saving the Economy of Malaysia
 But prior to the rally, they were met with a lot of hurdles and objections preventing for the planned rally to take place. The Police did not approve the rally and there were condemnations from the NGO’s who were pro-govt. This was when the Red Shirts first made their comical debut appearance

Image above: Red Shirts show off their martial arts skills to discourage public from supporting Bersih 4. They wanted to have a rally on the same day with Bersih 4 but was rejected by authorities for fear of untoward incidents.

Video: Prelude to BERSIH 4.0. Intimidation strategy that didn't work out for the Red Shirts prior to the Bersih rally. The video did not succeed to instill fear among the public against attending the Bersih rally. You can see them Red Shirts live in action in the video above. They were beaten by stick and suddenly they start making inhumane noises and did some pretty odd things...

The outcome of the rally:

 Image above: Crowd marching during Bersih 4

Image above: Aerial view of the 'Yellow' Bersih supporters

Image above: A Bersih supporter with a placard with a message to the Prime Minister
Image above: Participants of 34 hours Bersih rally sleeping on the road during the night

Image above: Bersih protestors mocking the Prime Minister Najib on the alleged USD700 million (MYR 2.6 billion) in his personal bank account. The Prime Minister has said that the amount was donated to him from middle-east.

The BERSIH 4 officials claimed that the rally was a success with a turnout of 500 000 peaceful rally goers. But the pro-government begged to differ saying that actual turnout was only 20 000 people.  In fact, the current Prime Minister, Najib Razak himself alluded that the figure was too small a number that even the Felda settlers from the rural district can easily outnumber this figure in following. There was a number game downplayed by the ruling government in the major newspapers and the media owned by them. Speaking of Felda, there is a planned assembly currently in question. It is allegedly claimed that the Felda director-general was issued a letter to question the legitimacy of a planned assembly of 20 000 people tomorrow.

But seriously, what did BERSIH achieve from the goals outlined? If you see the previous goals, there are some similarities in the goals outlined especially in regards to transparency of government or the clean-up of the electoral commission. What really changed? Nay, not much has changed ever since.  So what about BERSIH 4 then? Result: Status Quo.

'People Power' need to wait until the next General Election
Since then, the Prime Minister has spoken!! He said that People Power must have to wait until the next general elections in 2018. What about the charges on gerrymandering? If there’s any truth, then the winning odds will be in favour of the present ruling coalition, wouldn’t it? After all, isn’t the same ruling coalition had been in power for the last 58 years? Furthermore, another 15 additional State seats had recently been allocated with the approval of the Election Commission in rural Sarawak where chance favours BN again. Isn’t this another pure co-incidence?

But can we dismiss the fact that BERSIH 4 had no impact at all? No. The voice of the majority was demonstrated through the masses who participated in the rally. Of course 80% were made up of Chinese and the rest were Indians, Malays and others. That does not prove that only the Chinese are supportive of the Bersih coalition. The rally was conducted in KL city and major roads leading to starting point were blocked by the Police. On top of that, civil servants did not want to take the chance in the rally for fear of detrimental repercussions to their job status. As for the students of Public Universities, they were also warned not to participate. So, with all the ‘wet blanket’ thrown about, there was minimal participation of the Malays in the rally. Another factor was the absence of PAS movement members due to the break-up from the opposition coalition.

You shown us your might, now its our turn
So, now that the Bersih 4.0 is over, the Reds feel that it is their turn for the show of strength. The way they have been carrying themselves about the coming rally was so disturbing and alarming that many have begun to resent and oppose their views and actions including ex-Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohammad who defended Bersih 4 and scorn against the Red Shirt. Meanwhile, other ex-ministers during his era such as Zam Maidin and ex-Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz had also chipped in to criticize the present status. Even the recent ousted Deputy Prime Minister who was replaced when he questioned the PM Najib about the origin of the USD700 million into Najib’s personal bank account says that holding the rally is not the best way to defend the Malays. He was a man who once said, I am a Malay first and a Malaysian second.

Loss of business
Petaling Street, a popular shopping and tourist destination will be closed on September 16 due to safety concerns. Approximately 500 shops and 773 small traders lost a day's business because of the proposed rally.

Despite all the provocation actions and talk by the Reds, now they are saying that 20 000 ex-army personnel will be deployed at various undisclosed locations to protect the Malays from the ‘imaginary phantoms’. The moment the Chinese or the opposition party DAP Chinese start to attack, these ex-army men will then spring into action.  Just before this, they were burning the effigy of the Penang State Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who is also the Penang State Chief Minister. In response, the CM chided, you can burn my photo but don’t burn the country. PM Najib’s former political secretary, Datuk Mohd Fatmi from Kota Baru division made a fiery speech in which he is recorded to say,” The people of Kota Baru must fight, fight for our religion, race and country.”

Back-up for the Chinese
Meanwhile, in another interesting twist to the rally, another Malay NGO, who call themselves the 'Otai Reformis 98' have come forward with a message to the supporters of the Red Shirt Rally. The spokespersons for Otai, Abdul Razak along with 18 other Malay NGO's besides sending a memorandum to the King about their concerns on the rally, have also sent out a message to the Red Shirts that they will mobilize their people at the Chinese populated Petaling Street business area and will protect the Chinese from morning until midnight. If the Red Shirts still insist in coming, they will have to face us there.

The role of the Police Force
When Bersih proposed to do the rally, it was met with objection from the Police calling it uncivilized and racist but it was a different story for Red Shirt. When the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) granted permission to allow the Red Shirts organizers to have the rally at Padang Merbok, it was then declared as legal by the Police who clarified that it meets with the Peaceful Assembly Act. Yes, the Federal government controlled body does have its own favorites and can be biased with regards to decision.

Well, in less than 24 hours, we will know the outcome of the rally which is scheduled to take place from 12pm – 6pm tomorrow. A recent poll conducted among Malay voters points out that 53% do not support the Reds while 24% showed support. Sometimes small fire if not curbed early can spread into wildfires. Who has not forgotten the Low Yat incident that almost turned into a racial riot barely two months back? A phone thief twisted the story that a Chinese trader cheated him and within hours few hundred Malays flocked in and attacked the Chinese with casualties. Luckily, one of the Chinese reporters was saved by a Malay man. It is this type of Malays who are not easily bought in by the slander, who represent the 53% who do not support the Red movement. This is where it is hoped that the Police Force will be there tomorrow to prevent any untoward incidents and take appropriate right before things get out of hand. I hope commonsense will prevail against emotions tomorrow.

FreeMalaysiaToday: Low Yat Incident
Jeelife: May 13

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