By The Malaysian Dream
The following article was written by YB William Leong, PKR’s Treasurer General and MP for Selayang, for the 52nd Merdeka Day. It was posted on his blog on 29th August 2009. We wish to share with you his aspirations for the nation.
On this August 31st, we shall celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the British leaving our country. I did not say we are celebrating the 52nd anniversary of our independence. This is because our people have not enjoyed real liberty, democracy or justice. Without liberty, democracy or justice there is no independence.
In these 52 years the oppressive rule of a foreign colonial master has been replaced by the oppressive rule of a local master. They rule with an iron fist. They use the same instruments of oppression as the British did. They use the ISA, the Sedition Act, the Printing Press & Publications Act and detention without trial. The freedom of assembly, the freedom of expression and the freedom to live a life of dignity free from fear and oppression are illusions.
In these 52 years the yoke of a foreign colonial master has been replaced by the yoke of a local master. They use the same policy of “divide and rule”. They survive by feeding off racialism. They survive by fostering divisiveness. They survive by preaching religious intolerance.
What Teoh Beng Hock died for?
Malaysians will not know real independence, will not be free and will not enjoy democracy unless this oppressive regime is thrown out. They must be thrown out just like Teoh Beng Hock was thrown out from the 14th floor of the MACC office. We must not forget Teoh Beng Hock. We must not forget what he stood for. More importantly, we must not forget what he died for. He lived to help Malaysians in the struggle against corruption and oppression. He died so that our struggle can live. He died fighting for justice.
Without justice we cannot say we have liberty or democracy or equal rights. We cannot say we have liberty or freedom when Tamil schools have no tables and chairs. When in Sabah and Sarawak, schools have no electricity. A child that is illiterate is not free. We cannot say we have democracy or equal rights for women, when a Chinese girl with 9A1s cannot enter a university. A girl without a job has no rights. We cannot say we have freedom of choice when a man cannot feed his family. A starving man has no choice.
Liberty, democracy and freedom are meaningless words when there is no justice. Justice is political liberty. Justice is economic independence. Justice is equality. There is no political liberty when you vote out of fear. There is no economic independence when you give your support out of fear your son’s scholarship will be withdrawn or your license will be withdrawn. There is no freedom of choice when you elect a party out of fear for your contract or your business. This is what has been happening in these 52 years and this will continue if we do not act. There will be many more Teoh Beng Hocks and many more Port Klang Free Zones if we do not stop them.
What One Malaysia?
Najib says he wants One Malaysia. Teoh Beng Hock’s death has shocked us back to reality. We cannot just listen to rhetoric. We must look at the deeds. When we look, we see what has been done, is a far cry from what has been said. The Perak government has been stolen from its people. Najib has now declared his intention to grab the Selangor government.
The MACC is a tool. It is used to de-stabilize the Pakatan Rakyat government. Teoh Beng Hock was interrogated throughout the night. He was grilled for buying RM2,400 worth of Malaysian flags. No one has been grilled when PKFZ loss RM12.6 billion. The MACC officers are raiding the Pakatan Exco members’ office so often they are becoming fixtures. Cars and cows and Malaysian flags have become a fixation of the MACC. MACC has not shown the same enthusiasm when it comes to BN assemblymen who used up their annual allocation of RM500,000 in 2 months before the general elections. The MACC has also not shown any interest in the trips by the former chief minister and his family to study the river system in Disney Land. There is no investigation into how the former chief minister can afford to purchase a multi-million ringgit mansion that is beyond the means of a chief minister’s salary.
Barisan Nasional machinery is now on the move. Books attacking Anwar Ibrahim and Khalid Ibrahim are being distributed. The authors of these books are sowing the seeds of hatred and contempt. They desecrate the Hindu’s sacred cow in a protest filled with bigotry. They protest against a Hindu temple built 150 years ago when the area was a plantation that today, just like its devotees, the estate workers, had been left behind by development. They have forgotten Muslims were invited to practice their religion amongst the people of Yathrib. They are beating the drums of race and religion and the tone is becoming harsher with each beat.
The people must now decide. There cannot be any fence sitters. There is no middle ground.
When Teoh Beng Hock was thrown out, the people of Malaysia was thrown together with him into the sea of political troubles. Whether Malaysia will sink or swim is now up to the people. The people must decide once and for all what is right and what is wrong. There cannot be a neutral ground.
“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis.”
Today in Malaysia there is no place for neutrality. Malaysians must make their choice now.
If we want to know what is evil and what is right, we must use our moral compass. It is only when we know the direction where justice lies can we know where we must stand. Do we want to choose liberty and justice which are always right or do we want to choose corruption, hatred, arrogance and oppression which are always wrong? The choice is clear. Every Malaysian must make his stand.
When you stand for liberty we stand with you
I want to tell you that when you stand for liberty, we will stand with you. When you defend democracy, we will be your shield. When you fight for justice, we will be your sword. We will always be with you.
They assaulted Anwar Ibrahim. They threw him in jail for 6 long years. They call him a traitor and worse. But Anwar will always be here to fight for you.
They hounded and harassed Lim Kit Siang. They detained him in Kamunting. But Lim Kit Siang will always be here to stand by you.
They attacked Tok Guru Nik Aziz and try to humiliate him. But Tok Guru Nik Aziz will always be here to protect you.
We have been tested. They have thrown everything they have at us but we are still standing and we are still here.
We were here in November 2007 when a sea of yellow marched for a free and fair election. This was BERSIH. We were here in December when thousands in orange marched for equality. This was Makal Sakthi. This was the ripple that started the tsunami. Barisan Nasional was swept out of 5 states. Since then Barisan Nasional has become more extreme in their policies. They have become more brutal with the people.
When we hope
So on 1st August, the lovers of justice and liberty marched again. Again Barisan Nasional responded with violence and brutality. 638 people including women and children were arrested. Despite the police shutting down the city, despite the many road blocks and barricades, despite the arrest of those wearing black, the number who succeeded in gathering far exceeded my expectations. But the size of the gathering cannot be bigger than my hope for Malaysia. My hope is for every one that braved the tear gas and water cannons there will be many thousands more. We want hundreds of thousands to march with us. We will march from under the shadow of fear into the light of justice. My hope is that the flame burning in each who gathered that day will kindle the hearts and minds of many thousands more. Malaysians will find the courage to stand up for principles and convictions. We must stand up for what is right.
This is my hope and this is the hope of all Malaysians. Truth, love and justice will prevail over the forces of hate and oppression. This will only happen when the silent majority refuses to remain silent anymore. This will only happen when the voice of the majority is finally heard. We must be confident that oppression and corruption cannot endure. We must take comfort that truth and justice will always prevail. But this can only be achieved if we fight for it. We must fight today for a better tomorrow.
Looking back in the future
Do not let our children look back and say that these are dark days. Let them say that these are great days. These are the most glorious days that our country ever had. These days will be remembered as the days when we were called, we answered. We stood up. We stood together shoulder to shoulder irrespective of race or religion. We fought and we prevailed. Each of us played our part according to our strengths. Our children and their children will look back on these days and celebrate it as the days we became ONE NATION. These days will be etched in our Nation’s history as the days we won over injustice and oppression. These will be the days we celebrate THE TRUE MERDEKA.
Thank you, terima kasih, xie xie, vanakam.
William Leong Jee Keen
29th August 2009