Tue, 08 Jan 2013 07:17:17 GMT | By Haris Ibrahim

Why we should all be at the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat rally

Activist Haris Ibrahim shares his thoughts on the People's Uprising Rally happening this 12 January 2013.

Himpunan Lynas

I would like to share with you my thoughts on why I feel we should all be at the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat on 12th January. It is not about rallying to ask UMNO / BN for the BERSIH demands, to shut down Lynas, or for anything else. First, we will show zero tolerance towards any form of cheating on polling day during the 13th GE. Second, we expect UMNO / BN to peaceably surrender power when we beat them at the polls during the 13th GE. In that sense, this rally is, for me, at least, an Anything But UMNO / BN rally.

This takes me, then, to my reasons why I think every able bodied Malaysian should make the effort to be at the rally this Saturday.

I have two.

Two comments from the “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible…” post actually makes my first point.

First, Shakuntala’s.

“…Why should we be afraid.or unwilling or be cowards….so far Malaysians have shown a strange dignity and togetherness whenever they gather to campaign for a just cause…it has become, strangely enough, part of our culture.

And we’ll go, why ever not, to take our places with each other to make Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat exactly what it is meant to be a Peoples’ peaceful movement,growing each time to greater and greater numbers”.

Malaysianatheart’s actually hits the nail square on the head.

“My gut feeling tells me that the Malaysian people will not allow the country to descend to a Syria or Egypt. Post GE13, we should expect attempts to fuel civil commotion. I reckon though that it will be limited to a few scuffles here and there and will quickly fizzle out simply because the Rakyat know who the rabble rousers will be and how to avoid being drawn into anything nasty. Well, that is my prayer anyway! But I have said before and I will say it again, the powers that be will agitate, and very likely, viciously. It will be up to us to diffuse it quickly.

Why we should all attend the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat .. ? definitely at least to send the message to potential agitators that they will be hugely outnumbered by simple, peace loving folk and that their attempts will be futile. God bless us all!”

Shakuntala’s observation that with each rally, the numbers have grown is one that has also been noted by those in authority, and noted with concern.

It is Malaysianatheart’s point that a well-attended rally will “send the message to potential agitators that they will be hugely outnumbered by simple, peace loving folk and that their attempts will be futile” that spotlights my first point.

I am going to ask you all to trust me on this and not ask me to elaborate beyond what I will say here.

Certain quarters need to see that an overwhelming number of the rakyat want to see a regime change, and that this is not merely the political aspiration of those who now make up the opposition. They need to see us come out in the largest numbers yet to be seen in a public rally here, and yet we will be peaceful.

And if these quarters are persuaded by what they see on Saturday, it may well be that they will incline to the side of the rakyat.

Getting these quarters aligned to the rakyat is most crucial to our cause.

That is all I can say on this point.

My second point is this. In my earlier post today entitled “You want change?…” , I alluded to a friendly exchange between Mat Sabu and myself at a press conference last month in relation to this impending rally.

Let me reproduce the same here now.

My question: “UMNO / BN have already demonstrated that they will not give the rakyat the reforms and changes we want. Are we gathering on the 12th to again present demands to a government that is not listening to the people? If so, tell me now and I shall not be there”.

Mat Sabu responded : “Make your demands to the new government-in-waiting, and if they fail to deliver, continue protesting”.

We must take Mat Sabu and the other opposition leaders up on this.

If, in past rallies, our demands to UMNO / BN went unheeded, let us, at the rally this Saturday, now present our wish list to those who would take the place of UMNO / BN post the 13th GE.

*The author's views do not necessarily reflect the views of MSN Malaysia