A disappointing anti-ICERD rally

[Aliran published an edited version]

Mukhriz’s daughter isn’t the only one disappointed. Many others too, whether or not for the same factors. I’d rather leave Melia Serena’s expression as it is, and attend instead to the major disappointment of those anticipating spectacles ala-Red-Shirts.

The anti-Icerd rally on 8th December ended with a prayer, what an anti-climax! There was no excuse for any FRU water cannon or trucks to swing into action — which was, sadly, a secret wish of many, whether consciously, semi-consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously.

There was neither parang nor blood, not even fire — to the disappointment of those scouting for graphic content, which would then be used to propagate the same decade-old campaign, “See those wild Umno-PAS thugs? Bersih rallies are never like that!”

Of course, nothing stopped the squad from circulating videos of violent protests (some sourced from as far as Indonesia, as far back as years ago) as live updates of the anti-Icerd rally. Why are our captains claiming to be ever-correct keeping quiet, just letting pure lies be?

All the same, the squad stocked up foods and provisions last week, as they did for GE14. Without any real threat, young and healthy people with no life-threatening medical condition stocking up for what?

For the same reason they announced in the social media on the night of GE14 that riots were breaking out everywhere. Days later, missing any evidence, they justified themselves claiming, “Just not yet! Wait and see, those samseng will break into riots very soon.”

That’s a painting exercise of no reciprocity. For all its ills, notice that the Red Shirts never tried painting Bersih members as violent thugs.

Here, let us not argue who is more samseng (those accused of being samseng or those needing to call others samseng). Can we stop that campaign against our fellow country-men and women?

HEALING & RECONCILIATION

Folks, it is really time to (re-)collect ourselves. It is time to heal, time to reconcile. The Ubah tsunami has already succeeded, what more do people want? Do people need to behave in such a driven (or possessed) way, as if under influence (of substances or toxicity of some sort), unable to put any brake on that momentum to attack?

Why are people still punching their fists into the air even as the opponent is already on the floor? Why punch into the air even after the opponent had been taken off the wrestling ring on a stretcher?

Let each of us (re-)collect ourselves. Some did it more seriously; others did it more casually, just in for syok and recreation, without considering the impact of their actions and their share of social responsibility. Some did it more knowingly; others did it less knowingly. Some got drawn in by peer pressure; others were simply not steady enough to face the brainwashing assault; still others were told by their priests or pastors to follow suit.

Rafizi openly stated (http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/runup-ge14-how-big-data-changing-election-landscape) that by his Invoke machinery he submitted you and I to Facebook for micro-targeting, “Once you have the profiles, you know the big issues or emotional points attached to a certain profile or group. From there, we decide what kind of content or campaign to develop in order to make use of that profiling … Facebook will come back to us and say, of the 50,000 people we submitted only 10,000 have Facebook accounts; but they won’t tell us which ones. They will then tell us the cost of sending a post to these 10,000 people is, say 20 sen each, and they charge us.”

While some knowingly and deliberately joined Rafizi’s band of cyber-troopers, spreading like wild fire the posts he injected into the media stream, there are others who till now remain oblivion to the fact that they themselves had been used, effectively recruited into the same battery.

Whatever it was, it is time to disarm, to put down our swords, drop all manipulations and quit the game. Najib is now toppled for good and he won’t be able to make any come-back. Let each of us (re-collect) ourselves.

Those who need to follow the exchanges between Najib, Kit Siang and Guan Eng can refer to their Facebook and Twitter. If the three do not know how else to be, let them be, and let the rest of us return to our senses. The contents are of neither practical nor academic value in nation building and deserve no space in mainstream media. News sites should not reserve multiple top grids on the homepage for them.

BLEEDING, CHOKING MATTERS OF EMERGENCY

For now, let us leave Icerd alone. The time is not ripe not because ‘they’ are not ready, but for two reasons.

First, that decade-long cross-fire victimised a very specific section of our society. Our landscape would have been very different if not charred by divisive sentiments aggravated by Najib and Jakim on the other hand, Pakatan and Ubah on the other.

Second, what we experience is a void in leadership. There is none that could align us and lead us back to values. Ours is just a populist government; that is how it finds itself torn between pleasing pro- and anti-Icerd sides. Yes, there will always be dissent but Justin Trudeau is able to give Canadians a clear set of shared values and a common sense of what is right and wrong — much the same way Barack Obama returned Americans to the ideals about what counts as integrity. We have nothing of that sort. Values? Integrity? GE14 was all about money.

Ratify Icerd or not, both sides of the divide have extrapolated way too far into their own doomsday tales. Ratify now or later isn’t going to be the end of the world.

Can we agree on one thing: nobody is bleeding, nobody is choking because of Icerd. There is no haemorrhage that needs to be stopped as a matter of emergency.

Can we also agree on another thing: nobody will bleed and nobody will choke because of Icerd. Opportunities for higher education, for instance, is far more accessible than ever.

Just to put things in context and perspective, contrast Icerd with, say, the Wang Kelian case. Human trafficking is plainly a matter of emergency, and so is wrongful detention, where many are literally (not figuratively) choking and bleeding. What are we waiting for? We only get cold, indifferent and tidak-apa response from the ever-righteous and the loudest crowd claiming to champion human rights. If Ubah folks made public statements that Maria Chin Abdullah was being tortured during her detention, they clearly have no clue what the word torture actually means.

At this very moment, now and everyday many souls continue to endure horrid tortures of human trafficking and slavery. Some buried either alive, dead or any degree in between. Acting a minute sooner or later could either save or kill many lives. It is not a tick box for completeness sake.

About UN conventions and human rights, ICERD is not the only one Malaysia misses. Certainly not the most burning.