The last Malaysia Day turned out to be a real celebration. Two months after the people took back the streets of KL during Bersih 2.0, we have proven a few things.
We’ve shown that we are not easily fooled, that our voices are not easily overridden, nor confused, nor silenced. We’ve proven that we own our stories, and that they are not easily taken away from us. Indeed, those who tried grappled as people instantly came back with the truth. And this Malaysia Day, the march and all it led up to proved to have real meaning.
The announcement to repeal the ISA and call off the Emergency Ordinance might not have happened had the people not exerted pressure by making their voices heard. Through our solidarity on the streets and the candles we held nightly in peaceful vigil, the people made moves to clean up our government and nation. A new generation spurred by technology and information seems to be rising. Nationalism is becoming hip.
Its time to move. Have you noticed? A movement is underway. In different ways, with differently expressed causes, pockets of people are moving in synchrony to do what needs to be done for our nation.
This is why its exciting when a new meaningful movement is launched, because it means that new dynamics are continuously forming in civil activism. On Malaysia Day, amidst the sexy setting of Leonardos on Bangkung Row, along with some tasty food and some of the coolest people around, UndiMsia! was launched to public view. Guests were drawn into speeches and songs by finalist campaigners in a pseudo-election on causes such as abolishing the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA), equal rights for citizens, good public transportation system, equal access to internet and healthcare. Among the campaigners on scrutiny were crooners, actors, musicians, artists, students and a beauty queen. There was some serious talk, some absurdity, some name-calling, and of course some singing along. What else could we have expected from a democratic process.
Most importantly, the night saw the launch of UndiMsia! as a fresh model of activating the vote through D-I-Y Youth Action Groups. I look at the increasing excitement and involvement among our Generation Y, especially in recent developments, and I think – this makes sense right now. More than being indifferent or being too caught up in idealism, our youths (who definitely have a role to play, let’s not take that for granted) need the knowledge, the focus and the avenues to actively maneuver themselves in this democracy. Hence, a movement that seeks to provide the education and platform for youths to be active participators in our democratic process, not just in the vote but what happens before and after it? That makes sense.
Because this Malaysia Day was living proof of how this happens. The people took charge of the plot, we moved, and something big – HUGE – happened.
Now’s the time to move. Are you part of the movement yet?