It is ironic that people are commended for doing the things that they are entitled to do.
And so we witness the release of the PSM EO6 today, with the nation rejoicing and celebrating over their freedom and courage for over the past 28 days under detention without trial and proper legal consultation.
It triggered a flashback for me to go back 3 Saturdays ago, as I was released from the Jinjang lockup at midnight with the rest of them who were arrested as well. As I stepped out of the gate of the lockup, I saw a crowd clapping and cheering for me, followed by people shaking my hand, saying well done and other encouraging words. Logging on to Facebook and Twitter after I got home, I received a tremendous amount of notifications, wallposts and twitter mentions which took me an hour to actually finish reading all of those. My friends even started a hastag “#releasejofan” for me which apparently trended in KL throughout that very night. Of course I was very touched and felt an amazing amount of love from acquaintances to those who are closest to me.
However, as I cooled myself down from all that hype and “glamour”, I realized a harsh fact. More than half of those mentions I got called me their hero. Same thing happened as I walked into college and people started to call me a “hero”. I felt rather uncomfortable with that. I wasn’t a hero, never intended and planned to be one. I observed the same response from Aunty Annie (Aunty Bersih) and also a comment from one of the EO6 who as well refused to claim the title “hero”.
We are MERELY citizens of Malaysia who decided to exercise our fundamental rights which are enshrined to us in the constitution. Personally, it did not take a lot (in fact, at all) of “gut gathering” for me to make that decision. It took a simply reasonable conviction that I am a citizen and therefore I should exercise my right. Something like I am a male and therefore I should go to the gents toilet. There are no exaggerated heroic acts in doing that!
It surprises me that there is such a high amount of fascination amongst fellow Malaysians for people who merely exercised their rights as citizens. It is ironic that people are commended for doing the things that they are entitled to do.
Have Malaysians been so oppressed of their basic rights that it has become a status quo? So much so that those who chose to merely exercise their basic rights become national heroes?
Haven’t they realized that they are entitled to the exact same basic rights? And realize that we are talking about BASIC liberties that are clearly enshrined in the constitution here, nothing fancy.
I find this situation pretty incredible, really.
But thankfully, this time around we have online social media. People are beginning to see and be inspired by these stories and videos that normal citizens can be make a difference too. And that it is neither difficult nor wrong because the right belongs to them.
Slowly, the status quo is breaking, but of course it has a long way to go. I might not have a brilliant solution to this, but I guess sharing this astonishing revelation (at least I think so) to all of you is enough to get us all thinking and perhaps find some kind of way to start changing the mindsets of our friends and family back to their rights in the constitution.
Today, we witnessed an event that took place because the people has shown that we are not fools and we know that we the people have the say in this country. Welcome back, EO6!
“Merakyatkan Perlembagaan” now carries a new weight in the heart of JoFan.