“You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.” – Abraham Lincolnc, US President.
As I was watching the events of the recent and ongoing Arab spring on television, those words sprung to my mind once more. The revolution in the Arab world showed us that dictators that feign democracy and suppress the freedoms necessary for a nation to develop never succeed in the long run, freedom will out. The youth of today are no longer content to sit idly by while they watch their countries disintegrate into the pit of corruption and mismanagement, enough is enough. The young men and women of that revolution put their countries before party or race; they put their aspirations for freedom first and foremost.
Two summers ago, I interned with Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU). I worked in this parliamentary research think tank of Malaysia – it was an experience to remember. I remember reading reports on the stimulus package that Malaysia had released that punished states that had not toed the administrations line. I read about the injustices in Malaysia’s courts and the corruption involved within them. My most vivid memory was when I attended a huge rally in Penang. It was there that I realized what I was working for. Muslim Malays stood hand in hand with Chinese and Indians, as one, united for the common freedoms and liberties that we all desire, all hoping for a better Malaysia. The joy on their faces still sticks with me, but so does the hatred and impartiality of the police. I stood thirty feet away from the scene where a parliamentarian was brutally beaten by police so badly that he was sent to the hospital on a stretcher.
This was not the Malaysia I grew up in, this is not the Malaysia we had hoped for. I believe in a Malaysia that serves as a beacon of light and hope, not of prejudice and police brutality. I believe in a Malaysia where people are judged by the content of their character, as God intended, not the color of their skin. I believe in a Malaysia where justice flows like a mighty stream and corruption is rent asunder.
– Omar Kasule, 2009 KPRU Intern –