An evening with Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia

Posted on October 7, 2012

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This weekend, Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) held a gathering of sorts of their state leaders in a quaint ( read this to mean cheap ) little hotel in the outskirts of Selangor to brainstorm the A-Z of all that it will take to remove UMNO / BN from Putrajaya come the 13th General Election.

When asked earlier if I would make time to head out there to speak to these state leaders, I replied that the honour would be mine.

I drove out to the ‘campsite’ yesterday evening with the ABU co-ordinator and what I saw reaffirmed for me what I had said earlier in response to the invite to speak.

The honour was indeed mine.

Huddled in a little room to hear Chegubard and a few others address them was a group of 60 young men, many of whom were instrumental in directing operations on the ground to get the ABU messages that all of you  helped to produce to the target audience in the Malay heartlands leading up to the last Hari Raya.

I was to learn later that most of these young men, who came from all over Malaya, were ‘roughing it out’ in sleeping arrangements that saw something like 10 to a room.

You would never see this at any UMNO / BN brainstorm!

When I was introduced to speak, I was asked to share with them the ABU strategy to win this war against UMNO / BN.

Standing before them, I saw determination in young faces, ready to learn anything from an older comrade.

I started by urging them to make the most of this session as we did not know when Najib would call for elections and we might not have another chance before polling day to meet again and brainstorm.

I do not propose to narrate here all that I shared with these young anak Bangsa Malaysia, because that would be as good as sending a copy of the ABU war strategy blueprint to the UMNO HQ.

Instead, I will share some of the questions thrown at me and my responses to the same.

The very first question I was asked was what was the gameplan if we lost the the 13th GE?

My response was short : my current state of mind simply would not allow me to entertain such a possibility. Losing, I said, was not an option open to me.

The next person asked me what was the plan to deal with foreigners being given the Mykad so that they could vote for BN and who turned up to vote on polling day.

I asked them to imagine returning to their homes and seeing intruders about to rape their daughters or their younger sisters. What would they do? Pretend they did not see anything and look the other way? Or do everything they possibly could to prevent such a violation that would destroy the future of those young ones? If the latter, then treat foreigners given Mykads to support BN who show up to vote no differently.

In response to this, a senior leader of SAMM shared with me a strategy that SAMM had to deal with this same issue of foreigners with Mykads voting on polling day, and then asked if they could look to ABU to assist with funding to see this effort through.

I then shared with them that through my appeal to all of you to assist the ABU effort with funds, ABU had received over RM90,000. Since they were a vital component of ABU, I would  continue to appeal to all of you to help fund this war against UMNO / BN and that included the efforts being driven by SAMM on the ground. The roof almost came down with the applause.

Next, how do we deal with those in the opposition camp who, in nearly all aspects, are no different those in UMNO / BN?

My answer was short : we reject them, and we must be united in making this known to the leaders in the opposition camp.

To this, it was suggested that we, the people, do not have the power to make opposition leaders listen to us.

Again, my response was short.

The power is always with a united people. Speak with one united voice and they will listen to us. Leaders must emerge from amongst our ranks who can convey to those in opposition presently what they need to hear and heed.

Then the questions started getting tougher.

What if either before or after polling day, UMNO / BN, knowing they have lost, resort to creating mayhem?

I replied that I was certain that the opposition parties would have or would be working on a plan to deal with such a situation. Some in civil society, too, were working on a plan. What was needed was an integrated plan of both the opposition and civil society. And a message to UMNO, even now, that hints of such a possibility would not intimidate us. UMNO must be made to understand that many of us are ready to die, if we have to, to liberate this nation from the curse that UMNO has become.

The next questioner took me back to that very first question that I had said my mind at this time simply would not entertain.

What, he asked, if UMNO/BN wins by cheating at the 13th GE?

I replied that if UMNO /BN cheats and wins, it is not the opposition they are cheating but us, the people.

If they deny us victory by cheating, then we must come together to take what is rightfully ours : Putrajaya.

The same questioner asked if by this I meant revolution.

Yes, I replied.

He persisted and asked how many could we expect to lend support if we went the way of revolution.

I replied that we could be certain of the support of all in the room.

For the second time that evening, the roof almost came down.

Chegubard and I at the end of my session

The group photo that I missed