Saturday, 19 September 2009

One People, One Nation...One Soul?

Two years ago, on 25th August 2007 I attended a gathering at what was then called Blog House. This was 7 months before the tsunami of GE12 and a month and a half after Jeannie passed away. The country under the Snooze Ball had started its backslide and personally I was still in my own turmoil after having just lost my Jeannie. In fact, I was in limbo and wondered what in hell I was doing there (the gathering). It wasn't a good time for me.

It was not a good time for Malaysia too and the future was covered by a pall of haplessness and helplessness that seemed impossible to shake off then. But
the times, they were a changing and the groundswell of public dissatisfaction with the government had begun to show. The rumblings were loudest in cyberspace and amongst the muted masses.

That 2007 gathering was essentially an attempt to create a physical presence of the virtual wave that was forming in cyberspace. The stakeholders were a mixed bag of Malaysians that included bloggers, NGOs, politicians, activists, and members of the public.

On that August evening, the National Bloggers Alliance (All-Blogs) and its associated Blog House were officially launched. The prime-mover, blogger Ahiruddin "Rocky's Bru" Atan, was at the time being sued (together with blogger Jeff Ooi) by his ex-employer NST and he was trying to harness Malaysian blogger power. However, the theme that day was "Bangsa Malaysia; The Way Forward" and it was and still is the initiative of civil rights lawyer, Haris Ibrahim. The workshop session was to brainstorm on the concept of Bangsa Malaysia.

The politicians from both sides of the divide who showed up shared a common disdain for Snooze Ball and they were mainly Anwaristas or Mahathirists who had their own blogger supporters in tow.

The legal profession was represented in numbers which included mainly civil rights advocates, and I suppose other activists and members of the concerned public (including yours truly) showed up more out of curiosity.

There are not many views that are clearer than hindsight and looking back at the people gathered there, I now realize each had their own agenda and intentions that were not totally congruent. The only common factor was a desire for CHANGE...but "change to what" was most important yet it was the very thing that divided.

In the last two years, CHANGE had indeed come. The ripples had become a wave which had grown into the tsunami that washed away Snooze Ball. It also brought in Pakatan Rakyat in pertinent numbers but also Najib.

Three days ago, for the launch of the "Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia" movement two years after conception, I was once again at 66, Lorong Setiabistari 1, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur but this time it is no longer Blog House. It is now Rumah Anak Bangsa Malaysia. I told Haris it was "apt" but he said it was "poetic justice"; I tend to agree.

The concept of National Alliance of Bloggers appears to be stillborn and Blog House has gone with it. Rocky was not there and so was Jeff Ooi who is now MP of Jelutong. Rocky has gotten his CHANGE too and is back to mainstream media where many thinks he belongs.

However, the most glaring absence was that of the politicians. Perhaps they too are satisfied with the CHANGE that the tide brought in. After all, BN still holds the government and PR has a few states and none of their comrades are under detention. PR has also conveniently abandoned the People's Declaration that they officially endorsed just prior to GE12, and which became virtually the PKR, DAP and PAS joint manifesto to help rally their numbers.

So who was at Rumah Anak Bangsa Malaysia on that rainy evening of 16th September which is also called Malaysia Day? Well, we the rakyat were there and by and large, we SAW the CHANGE of the last two years. So why are we having to rally again? It is because WE did not get the CHANGE we want! Stupid!

And Anak Bangsa Malaysia needs a SOUL without which there is no meaning to life!

Coincidentally, Mary Allin Travers of Peter, Paul & Mary fame passed away on that same day. It adds so much more meaning (for us Anak Bangsa Malaysia) to another Bob Dylan song they made famous, "Blowing In The Wind"!

Blowin' In The Wind

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.


Unknown said...

Thanks a million KS for the objective yet passionate post.

Looking forward to your continued support.

Anonymous said...

An insightfull post. Will definitely help.

Karim - Positive thinking