Ah, what price this beast called activism

Posted on April 16, 2016


many-colours-one-dream923089_576322912401152_1069880995_nAs I write this, I ask that this post not deter anyone from stepping forward to do your part to save this beloved nation of ours.

I want to respond to a comment somewhere that the UMNO/BN efforts to instil fear amongst the rakyat was having its intended effect as even ‘Haris Ibrahim has chosen to lie low’.

This is not true.

By the time the 13th GE had come and gone, I had been in full time activism and without any income for almost 2 1/2 years, having ceased legal practise at the end of 2010, getting by on savings. This situation continued until June, 2014.

It took a heavy toll on my health, my relations with my family given the limited time I spent with them, and my personal finances.

Doctors who I have come to regard as dear friends have been attending to my health issues and continue to do so to this day.

And whilst continuing my activism, albeit with changed strategies post the 13th GE, I made efforts to spend more time with the family, especially my kids. Ask them and they will say it has not been enough. They are right. I can only pray that, in time, they may understand why I have made these difficult decisions, and to find it in themselves to forgive me.

The state of my personal finances was of greater concern because of the pending sedition charge. Towards the latter part of 2014, with the charge set for trial in February, 2015, the sense, then, was that assuming a conviction was a foregone conclusion and taking into account any appeals that would be heard, I should expect to spend Christmas in Sungai Buloh.

I was prepared to face that.

What I was not prepared to face was leaving my son, who was to start university the following year, having to turn to others for his tuition fees.

An angel, in the form of our Aunty Bersih, came to me in those difficult days and introduced me to a business. At age 55, I had to learn a new skill.

In January, 2015, I was able to register my son in university.

By June, I had overcome a difficult period of my life.

Yes, I am truly blessed.

When the sedition trial started late last year, I knew that I should not make the task that confronted the team of lawyers any more difficult by anything I might say or do in public.

That trial reached its conclusion two days ago.

Haris succumbed to the culture of fear being spread by UMNO/BN?

Not true.