Jubilation reigns over Egypt. Hosni Mubarak, the modern day Pharaoh resigns. Vice President Omar Sulaiman announced a peaceful transition of power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for the interim period. The military has remained non partisan throughout the turbulent 18 days of people’s protest. Who will lead the Supreme Council? Will it be Vice President Omar Sulaiman who was himself a former military General, or the incumbent Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi?
Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei is reported to have said that “What I have been proposing is a transitional period of one year. We will have a provisional constitution. We’ll have a transitional government, hopefully a presidential council including a person from the army and a couple of civilians”
US President Barack Obama upon Mubarak’s resignation said “The people of Egypt have spoken. Their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same. By stepping down, President Mubarak responded to the Egyptian people’s hunger for change”
Leaders across the Arab world have been watching closely the developments in Egypt since it began 18 days ago. Egypt, and like some other Arab nations are known to be repressive and its people mired in poverty. Custodial killings by their highly repressive police force and other state apparatus, are a well known fact. Corruption among those in power and the elite are blatant, while the people are left to share the crumbs.
The symptoms of the people’s disgust and eventual revolt is everywhere in the Arab world, and Malaysia is no exception. We must learn to recognize and acknowledge that the causes that had made the Tunisian and Egyptian people to reject their governments, is inherent within us.
Isn’t there corruption among our leaders, government officials and the elites? Isn’t there a custodial killing by our police force that continues unabated till this very day, and the victims’ families deprived of justice? Isn’t there poverty among our urban and village folks and the failed promises upon promises that poverty eradication will be given top priority; yet poverty persist till this very day? Do we not have repressive laws?
Someone has said that Tunisia and Egypt are not like Malaysians. We are not prone to violence and rebellion, but try and make the people hungry? The result will be that they will be angry and anger knows no limits.
I still believe that we should take lesson or two from the Tunisian and Egyptian people’s ‘revolution’ that had thrown out their repressive head of states. A people’s revolt or revolution may not happen in our generation and may be not in our children’s generation; but it may happen during our grandchildren’s generation.
Like it or not, it will eventually happen if the evils of corruption is not totally eradicated, economic hardship and poverty is rampant and promises hollow, rising costs unabated, repressive state apparatus and finally an authoritarian rule.
Let’s all pray and hope that we will not be infected by the experiences of Tunisia and Egypt.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION