Open letter to the politicians who have pledged to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat

Posted on October 2, 2008


By Farida Jivamalar Ibrahim


Dear Yang Berkhidmats,

I have absolutely no idea who you are but you are there, your names etched in Anwar Ibrahim’s memory, and because he has given you his word, there they will remain until you throw aside fear and step out of the shadows into the sunlight of service above self.

As I write this, it is almost noon on the first day of the festivities, 1st October 2008. I can only imagine all of you mingling with the dignitaries and VIPs at PWTC, among them ambassadors and high commissioners of other countries.

I can be sure the rendang tasted good, the kuih-muih were mouth-watering and the air bandung was rich. I wonder whether you spared a thought for the 64 detainees languishing in Kamunting, served food that caused RPK to vomit and also gave him diarrhoea.

I wonder too, even as you greeted the PM and other politicians, whether you felt a twinge of guilt because you intended but have changed your mind / still intend to cross over, and so you feel dishonest wishing them well and enjoying the camaraderie.

Perhaps those of you still intent on leaving BN felt nervous because these others will condemn you as traitors and hypocrites for behaving so well at Raya but all the time knowing you are leaving.

Most of all, I wonder whether my Anak Bangsa Malaysia brothers and sisters who are there on my behalf and that of countless others are okay.

They have turned up because they are committed to dismantling the ISA, made treacherous by BN. They have turned up at the PWTC because every appeal we have made to the PM and your other comrades has fallen on deaf ears and hardened hearts. The more the cries for justice, the more people fighting for truth and justice are harrassed, warned and arrested!

I wonder if the presence of my brothers and sisters in black, red, orange, etc. with significant words emblazoned on their T-shirts caused pride and admiration to swell up in your hearts because they are so very brave.

Or were you embarrassed because the foreign dignitaries were around? Or were you ashamed because you have the power but failed to do something, choosing instead to watch the iron hand of your masters crash down on ordinary people?

Do you have a friend, a relative who went through incarceration? Are you aware what it is like not only for them but also their families and other loved ones?

There is the waiting and waiting to see once again a much-loved face.

There is the long-drawn silence and the utter, utter loneliness of a never-ending night.

There is that bewildering, loveless state that comes from deprivation of touch, warmth and human embrace.

There are the struggling attempts to stave off the cruel methodology practised by authorities to break the human spirit.

There is the wasting away of the body.

But worst of all, worst of all is that terrible dying of the self, that inner turmoil of a suffering soul when visits of loved ones are deliberately curtailed, when the lies relentlessly fed by authorities are slowly accepted and internalized, when hope gives way to disillusionment, despair and the belief that tomorrow has absolutely nothing to offer and so it is better to just lie down and die.

Raja Petra Kamarudin knows this so well.

He had experienced before what the human spirit can and cannot endure. And that is why he said in all seriousness, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

YBs, his message is not just for MT readers like me. It is not just for Anak Bangsa Malaysia and our society at large. It is for you, too.

Please take that message seriously.

I know you have your own reasons for holding back but I ask you to search your hearts and your conscience.

Ask yourselves whether there is justice in this land.

Ask yourselves whether BN is a people’s government or a government that oppresses its own people.

Ask yourselves where BN will take this country to in the next one year, the next six months.

The way it is going – allowing the Ahmad Ismails, the Molotov-cocktail culprit and other law-breaking individuals to go free but incarcerating RPK, Hindraf and others who speak up for a better Malaysia – it is clear we have little hope for better change.

Ask yourselves how you can get this regime to repent and make good and go beyond paying lip-service to the tenet of ‘Maaf Zahir dan Batin’.

Ask yourselves, if it was your father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, offspring, relative or friend, would you not be outraged that the fairness of a trial is denied them?

If you are honest with yourselves, you would have to say without a shadow of a doubt that BN has already brought Malaysia to the edge of a precipice and it will take very, very little to push this country over and into the abyss of final destruction below.

YBs, never again may we have the chance to escape the dictatorship of the unjust.

Never again may we be able to wrest this country away from the stranglehold of the corrupt, the bigoted, the self-serving, the wicked and the ones whose hearts have turned to stone.

Never again may we be able to protect ourselves from those who seek revenge but not righteousness, who take so much for themselves but serve little.

None of us has any right to let this situation continue. We have a responsibility to our children and children’s children to hand over to them a nation whose government will not divide and rule, will not pollute minds and destroy identities, and will not reduce people to helpless individuals who think they can do nothing without government help.

It is an insult to Anak Bangsa Malaysia of Malay origin to say they are never able to catch up with the others. They can. It is an insult to Malays to tell them they need crutches perpetually. They don’t.

UMNO has not given them that chance to prove themselves and never will because staying in power means having to deceive the Malays into thinking they need UMNO forever to survive.

Buying into BN propaganda and believing the MSM lies have been detrimental. What Malays and all others need is an untainted education that teaches values, that teaches an abiding respect and acceptance of one another in a land that has so much to offer but whose future is being hijacked.

Truly, YBs, the ball is in your court.

None of us can get you to come out of the shadows. Not Anwar. Not Pakatan Rakyat. Not RPK. Not Marina. Not Hindraf . Not any of the bloggers. And not civil society. No, not even God for God doesn’t use force but gives all men free will.

It is not betrayal to cross over for your very own party has betrayed the cause for which you entered politics.

Your party has betrayed the trust and goodwill of the people of Malaysia. Billions that belong to the rakyat have gone astray. The rights of indigenous people have been whittled away. Corporations have siphoned off the land of the poor.

How did it come about that so much of Malaysia belongs to so few?

It has taken me a long while to come to this position of accepting crossovers because all along I have decried such moves as acts of convenience without consultation and the consent of constituents.

But I realise now that if the motive is right and noble, not for self but for society, a responsible constituency should stand by you and forgive that you acted first and asked for consent later.

YBs, I appeal to that finest part of you. Let your highest thoughts, your noblest efforts be to uphold justice and for the betterment of all Malaysians.

The abolishing of the ISA and the release of RPK and 63 other detainees – this has become the pivotal point at this moment in our history.

This nation will either go down because the detainees are in OR this nation will rise up because the detainees are out.

For us to have the one and not the other, we have to have you on our side now.

So YBs, please, step forward and show yourselves.

Cross over for the release of the detainees. Cross over so that sanity and sanctity will return again to Parliament, so that the Federal Constitution will regain its rightful position, and so that we shall live in peace again.