Monday, September 22, 2008


10 years ago, on 20th September 1998, I joined thousands to show support to Anwar Ibrahim. When I reached the National Mosque, I saw two sides, one side, in the Mosque, and the other side, the police and light strike force, were outside the Mosque.

The police was confronting anyone passes by, warned anyone trying to go to the other side. As I was standing right in the middle of two sides, the Mosque side gate opened, someone from inside pulled me in, and told me better be inside the Mosque and they will protect me. Before I realised what was going on, the police was trying to pull me away. Quickly I ran into the Mosque, and they closed the gate.

The man who opened the gate for me, smiled, and greeted me with "Reformasi!". I replied the same, and both of us smiled. I dunno who he is, but am sure that he is a Malay, an ordinary Malay that you will hardly remember his face almost immediately.

This is the first time, really, the first time, I have a feeling that I am doing the right thing. I wasn't Anwar's supporter, I did not buy his idea of injecting Islamic value in the Government Administration at that time, which we were brain-washed by MCA, Gerakan, and a host of other controlled main stream media, including the media I worked for at that moment: Sin Chew Daily.

I went because I do not see justice served on Anwar, I see him as a person who, like you and me, deserves the rights to defend.

It was since then I have decided to post all images that our print media photographers taken from scenes during the reformasi movement, despite the fact that many advised me not to do so, within and outside the organization.

The print media, is limited to pages printed, thus, only a handful of images, get published on paper. We posted all of them daily, hundreds of them, on our website, with no caption, not accompanied stories.

The images told the story, without words, which I hope to create awareness on why people went to the streets for a man whom he/she doesn't even know in person.

10 years later, I attended the Batu ceramah when Anwar is wrapping up his election campaign right before 308.

What impressed me is the crowd, even it was raining, all of us stood in the padang in the heart of Sentul, listening to speakers after speakers campaigning for Tian Chua.

When Anwar arrived, his speech, as usual, full of passion, powerful, and straight forward. I did not pay much attention but rather looking around the padang. I noticed with PKR donation collectors going around to raise campaign fund, I see Chinese, Indian, Malays, young and old, contributed. I have not seen this in any of the political ceramah where people from all races, willingly, taking out their money, and donate.

I see the future. I see people from all walks of life, peacefully gathering together, helping each others, cheers and echo when speaker deliver strong statements, shouted reformasi as if it was 10 years back. But this time, the crowd is no longer Malay majority, the crowd is a perfect blend of races. I see the future.

When Anwar predicted that the Opposition will deny 2/3 majority, I told my wife that I think the situation may be even more optimistic, i.e. BN will fall.

The last rally I attended, the 916 rally in Kelana Jaya Stadium, to show support to the 3 detained under ISA, I was impressed! I was impressed with the crowd, orderly, peaceful, sitting together like brothers and sisters, we do not know who the one sitting beside us, but we are coming for a memorable night, the Eve of Malaysia Day, and show our concern on abuse of ISA for all the wrong reason on wrong person. Perhaps ISA should either be repealed, or it should apply only to alien from outer space (should you think we should still keep the law for contingency), not any creature on earth.

915 was the night I sang Negaraku with tears in my eyes, after 10 long years I have not been singing Negaraku, neither have I waved Jalur Gemilang since 1998.

I know I am back, I am back, and deep in my heart telling me that I need to do something. I told my wife, let's do something, we do not want to be a passive citizen waiting to be spoon-fed no more. We can no longer see others lost their freedom, or their life, for us. We need to play a role, no matter how small, or insignificant to others. We need to contribute, we need to facilitate, and we need to share.

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