What Janji Demokrasi means to me and why I will be at Dataran on 30th August

Posted on August 26, 2012


Democracy : derived from the Greek demos (meaning “people” ) in combination with kratos (meaning “power” ). People power. It envisages the fullest possible number of eligible citizens having an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives and participating as fully as they choose to in the self-determination of the policies and direction of the demarcated territory in which they reside. Wikipedia has a useful starting point for anyone who wishes to  do some reading up on this.


FMT, reporting on a Gabungan Janji Demokrasi (GJD) press conference last Friday, reported my friend Hisham Rais as saying that this call to gather at Dataran Merdeka on 30th August is to demand that the Federal Constitution be upheld, to demand for greater reforms and for a free and fair electoral process.

Malaysiakini, reporting on the same press conference, reports that GJD plans to join the Merdeka eve celebrations at Dataran Merdeka, with participants wearing yellow to remind the government of its unfulfilled promises on electoral reform.

I attended one meeting of the  (GJD), representing ABU at the same.

At that meeting, I shared with others present that for some years now, the commemoration of 31st August, 1957 had, for me, been more a day of mourning rather than rejoice.

Who revels on the day, I asked the others present at the meeting, if not UMNO /BN and their cronies who have made a killing from the vast amount of public funds spent in the days and weeks running up to the 31st of August every year to give the impression that all is well in this Malaysia of ours?

UMNO and BN continue to hold out that this 31st August marks the 55th year of the founding of Malaysia.

But that takes us back to 1957.

The sham independence of Malaya.

Malaysia was formed in 1963.

49 years ago.

What about Pakatan?

Will they acknowledge this untruth that has been celebrated all these years?

Pakatan billboard in one of the Pakatan states

Even my colleague in GJD seems to think we are celebrating 55 years of Malaysia this coming 31st August.

In the same Malaysiakini report I refer to above, Raja Retinam of Warga Aman is quoted as having said that “The goal is that in conjunction with the celebrations for the 55th National Day, we wish to remind the rulers that our democracy is crumbling. It has been eroded many times. We wish to return it to the original democracy, as stated in the constitution”.

So, this 30th August, as we assemble at Dataran Merdeka, are we all to become accomplices in this continued distortion of the truth of what Malaysia was, in 1963, intended to be, and, how, by subterfuge most foul, for near half a century, the Janji Demokrasi of 1963 has been obscured away and denied to the people of Sabah and Sarawak?

I will be there at Dataran Merdeka with all of you and, yes, in yellow, but my presence there is to mourn the denial, these past 49 years, to the people of Sabah and Sarawak, their fullest rights under the Malaysia Agreement, 1963.

And my demand, on behalf of the people of Sabah and Sarawak, is that they be given what is rightfully theirs.

No more, no less.

Please make time to watch the video below.