Here is a billboard ad for Gillian Wearing’s event at Whitechapel Gallery and it asked: “What are you actually thinking?”
Politics is very rarely within my radar (as much as I try to be passively involved). Joining Bersih 3.0 was just an instinct of knowing what is right to do. Almost like attending a party, to be perfectly honest. But when I saw this ad, I immediately knew the reason I joined the movement, even though I am away from Malaysia for about 6 years now.
Here, we are only human – no matter your occupation, skin colour, etc – but we also have a voice. We are assured we have our rights. I can even vote for the Mayor of London (which I will next week), although I am not a British citizen, knowing my vote plays a part.
I am grateful that I am given a voice. I might not speak the right things always but I learn to speak responsibly. Most importantly, I speak (and live) with dignity.
This morning, I was on my way to fight for my right as a Malaysian citizen, for my country Malaysia which is 8000 miles away. I, like all other Malaysians who love our home, just wanted to have a voice.
Let’s just say we forget about not being able to vote from overseas… We at least want our votes to really count. To really be able to make a difference. Otherwise, what is the point of loving and staying in the country but not feeling empowered?
So I joined the rally with the clearest intention:
Can we be given a voice?
(Note 1: After writing this I read a very similar letter by Yolanda who led the Bersih 3.0 London crowd today here… but of course she speaks much better!)
(Note 2: Bersih 3.0 in Kuala Lumpur might not have the happiest ending. I won’t blame solely on the police force/government as it must be understandable that there were some aggressive protesters. I don’t know the true stories – yet another flaw, of not having free media – but really, it doesn’t make Bersih all evil. We really just want one, simple, thing, first.)