Who would expect the daughter of a former Malaysian Prime Minister (PM) to come forward to voice her sentiment and position with regards to the Bersih rally? That daughter is none other than Marina Mahathir, the daughter of the longest serving PM of Malaysia who has time and again shown Malaysians that being the daughter of a former PM does not silence her from saying and doing something that may appear to be at divergence with the government that her father once led. Her presence at the Bersih rally with her children makes her a unique person that dared the odds of being ridiculed and be seen as an outcast by the ruling elite, and also probably from some close associate of her father. I salute her for being different and her resolve at wanting to be together with the people to witness for herself the genuine surge in ‘people’s power’ demanding only what is rightfully theirs. Had Marina been at the forefront of Bersih from the very outset, I believe she would have drawn more protestors and be named the ‘crown jewel’ of the Bersih movement. I think she must have inherited some of her father’s traits i.e. resoluteness and stubbornness.
Being a participant at the rally, Marina obviously had a firsthand insight into all that occurred during the rally. She must have savoured the tear gas and the chemical laced water that rained over the participants. I believe too that Marina had a conscience and a strong belief in the cause of Bersih; otherwise it would be rather foolish of her to be in the crowd. This is certainly unlike the coward Ibrahim Ali or the DPM Muhyiddin himself who must have observed the rally via remote control, and they are the ones now making statements that they have little knowledge about. Surprisingly, MIC leaders have taken a step back and avoided making any statement about Bersih. This can give rise to speculation that MIC may have an opposing view concerning the rally that may not be in consonant with its partners in BN.
Marina’s remark on the government’s handling of the Bersih rally is telling. She forthrightly accused the government of being scared stiff of Bersih and the thousands that rallied only to be tear gassed, sprayed with water cannons and some being beaten up, reflects how desperate and fearful the government was of Bersih. Marina’s remarks about the way the authorities had treated the protestors and how she viewed the future of the UMNO/BN government can be worrisome for Najib. Surely, her remarks should served as a wake-up call for Najib’s administration, that unless something serious is done to placate Bersih and all its participants, Najib can expect a much larger Tsunami to hit the shores of UMNO/BN in the next GE. And judging from the actions of the government towards Bersih in the aftermath of the Bersih rally, the hardened stand of the government is not going to be softened. Rather the statement by DPM Muhyiddin to tell their side of the story is sure to raise the ire of Bersih and its supporters that could further dampened any reconciliation between Bersih and the government.
It is obvious to me that the powers that be have little inkling as to how the Bersih issue ought to be handled. They have failed to understand and to believe that the Bersih rally is not about politics and stubbornly held that the opposition leaders had a hand in Bersih, with the grandiose view of toppling the government. The presence of some notable opposition leaders in the rally is to me coincidental, because besides them being politicians, they are also part of the ordinary people demanding their constitutional rights. They therefore have the same rights as any other ordinary citizen believing and supporting the cause of Bersih. This is whole the crux of the issue surrounding Bersih that was willfully misunderstood by the Naijb government.
And finally, if only the government had heeded the advice of His Majesty the King and to take a less antagonistic stand against Bersih, the rally could have been avoided and a sure boost for the Najib government.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION