Friday, November 25, 2011

Root Course of Public Disorder

Why would anyone waste efforts and time to criticize a government whether to the media or take his case to a physical audience such as street protests? Why would citizens travel across the nation to Occupy Wall Street in New York? Why would people risks limbs and lives to demonstrate in the capital squares of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria and as well as Kuala Lumpur? Are people easily instigated, even paid to throw stones at riot squads? Why are today's generation as well as some from mine feel agitated and troubled enough to take a hardened stand against a government which has failed in its mandate to provide for a safe and progressive nation? The answer is centred on the line that there is growing disillusionment as well as perception that we have gone down the wrong road in nation building. Instead of growing we are retarding, instead of forwarding we are backpedaling, and watching the backslide is no longer a luxury we can afford because time is very much against us. Which is why the world over, when people feel a sense of dispair and hopelessness, the only choice left is to gather courage to bring the government down either though the poll or by demonstrations.

It is a shame that we don't belong to the category of favored nations where their citizens endorsed what their governments do as correct and continue to let them rule peacefully. For awhile now we are seeing spottings of street protests here which if continue would indicate changes have not happened or protesters are becoming restless. I believe while Malaysians can be emotional and disruptive, by and large, they are patient, easy going and accommodating. But when they fail to see improvements no one can be blamed should they choose to take their concerns up a notch, to the public domain, both physically and in cyber space.

These symptoms must be aggressively addressed, and done holistically. Somehow I see the government as reactive and act not so much as to restore public confidence in them but to curry for popular acceptance. The current Peaceful Assembly Bill being tabled is a grave mistake in frustrating those with legitimate concerns by denying them public avenue to draw attention. The bill seems to regulate public gatherings in an orderly manner in the ways the government and police decide. In short the bill is telling us how to function. We are living in a free country and for 54 years conditioned to the freedom of movement and expressions as provided for by the Constitutions. Therefore stifling the growing anger by passing a restrictive law doesn't make the issue or the problem disappear magically. Instead it can create a larger rumbling that become unmanageable. The government is reminded once again to engage those whom they don't like and don't agree instead of containing or ignoring them. Both actions can explode or implode.

Governments that have lost the confidence of the electorates are reasons for public disorders. It is wise for such governments to introspect to save themselves or find themselves in political wilderness.

Here is an extract from THIS blog I read.

I have never envisaged that one day I would see a more progressive Myanmar than my own country.

While we are debating the new freedom of Assembly Bill (which are full of restrictions of freedom), Myanmar has passed a law which is more progressive than us. That is from a regime which is touted as one of the most repressive states in the world.

If they are now still repressive, what makes us?

To hold a protest, the Myanmar authority needs to be informed ONLY 5 days in advance (Malaysia new bill: 30days). While in Malaysia, protests are not allowed in so many places that I just cannot recall the whole list,  in Myanmar  only 4 locations are not allowed for protests:  government buildings, schools, hospitals and embassies. Notice that they did not ban street protests, as that is perhaps one place where you do not need to spend a hefty sum to stage your protest.  Just compare yourself and make your own inference.

As I read the above an image appear to me. Myanmar is moving out of a tunnel of darkness while my own country that aspire to be developed in 2020 is heading into this tunnel. What is the government thinking?

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