If there was one silver lining on the dark cloud that hung over us this weekend, it was the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia roundtable discussion with our prospective smart partners from civil society that took place on Saturday at the Rumah.
The objective of this exercise was, firstly, to identify and get to the meeting table like-minded NGOs and NGIs who share the ‘One People, One Nation’ aspiration and are willing to talk less and walk more to try and realise this dream.
We had representatives from a Muslim scholars group, independent art and music folk, religious groups, youth groups and social activist groups on hand, young and old, on hand to hear what we had to say.
We kicked off sharp at 2.30pm with Jaya
sharing a little bit of background on how SABM got off the ground in 2007, how we had reached where we are now and then taking the participants through our defining document : the SABM Charter.
Jaya then passed the baton to me.
I quickly took the participants through certain key issues and the position of SABM on the same.
Robert Foo was next to take the mike and share with the participants our ‘Say No To ISA’ initiative that we will be pushing as part of our people empowerment efforts.
Finally, Danny appraised the participants of the all-important Voter education and registration drive that SABM has undertaken.
The time for discussion originally allocated was an hour and a half. It finally took some three hours.
It was lively, fully participated, critical yet constructive. We in the SABM core-group are immensely grateful for the thoughtful contributions of ideas from all.
We received commitments from most, if not all, present, to help us take the message of ‘One People, One Nation’ to the rakyat.
We will kick off our nationwide roadshow next month. First port of call will be Penang. Look out for announcements here and at the SABM Website.
Before that, though, we will be reaching out to the political parties on both sides of the divide through a dialogue scheduled for the 31st of October. Invitations for this historical session where the rakyat take the lead in telling the politicians the direction we want to see this nation take have already gone out. It remains to be seen how many of the parties will attend.
Will keep you informed on this later.
Also, from 15th October on, the Rumah will have a full-time person on hand to help us co-ordinate our activities. That means if you’d like to pick up our SABM T-shirts and buttons you can do so by dropping by at the Rumah between 12pm – 7pm from Wednesday to Sunday. To be sure someone will be on hand, call us at 03-20950435 before dropping by.