I joined KEADILAN or rather became a part of the Reformasi movement in 1999 when it was not fashionable for an ethnic chinese to join especially one who runs his own business. For the benefit of those who were born in the 90’s those were years when Malaysia was under the iron fist of Dr Mahathir who knew who you were and was not hesitant to take swift and drastic action to curb any form of democratic expression. I joined because there was injustice and my Christian convictions would not allow me to sit quietly while these injustices were going on. I also joined because I caught the vision of a Malaysia which was not governed by a race based political party.
Today, I sat in on a KEADILAN Division meeting in Kelana Jaya. I sat back and observed the faces, the camaraderie, the closeness, the smile on each face. We were Malays, Chinese and Indians all sat in a room discussing the needs of the community. As I faded into my own world, I could not help but feel melancholy having worked with some of these men and women for many years. There was not one more superior than the other but we respect each one as individuals. Sure, there are disagreements, even the normal factions in politics. There are individuals who are there for selfish reasons. This is normal but when push comes to shove we unite around a single purpose and mission. I know that my dream of a better Malaysia is not far off.
I wish the general public could see this. The potential when we unite. Its not about tolerance of one another, its about trully loving the country and each other. Its about hating corruption, the things and the people who divide us. For those of you who are in your 40’s and 50’s you know that it is possible because this was the Malaysia we grew up in as young children. There are many who wish to divide us for this is how they retain power. These forces are retreating and they are losing ground because they are build on the foundations of distrust.
What can we do? Rise up to be involved. Speak to your neighbours, family members, colleagues and friends of the possibility of a freer Malaysia. A two party system and a government which work for the people. Volunteer to be involved in the upcoming General Elections as PACA or in whatever capacity. Donate time or money to the cause. There are many out there.
We are at the doorstep of a new era for Malaysia and I think Ralph Waldo Emerson says it best in describing our God given duty as Malaysians; “To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”