Sunday, 28 April 2013 09:33
Ex-general has assured Anwar will be safely sworn-in if PR wins - Kee KwongWritten by Malaysia Chronicle
One reason why the latest movement in town 'Malaysian Spring' is making waves may be because its message of peaceful change through peaceful means resonates deeply in the hearts of many Malaysians. This seems to be what most of the people in the country want.
This message of change is especially poignant now as rumors of unrest and violence flared throughout the country that should Prime Minister Najib Razak and his corruption-tainted Umno-BN coalition lose their 55-year grip on power, there would be chaos and instability.
Tan Kee Kwong, a senior PKR leader who played 'host' to the Malaysian Spring movement on Saturday, urged for calm. He is confident that his Pakatan Rakyat coalition led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim will indeed sweep to power and the changing of guard will be a peaceful one.
"General Ghaffir spoke at the ceramah (political rally the night before) and he said, on behalf of the army we will make sure that we will escort Anwar Ibrahim from his house in Bukit Segambut safely to 'angkat sumpah' (take his oath) in the King's palace which is not very far away. He said he has worked with the police for 30 over years and he believes the police will do their jobs professionally and in a neutral manner," Kee Kwong told Malaysia Chronicle.
"So we urge for calm because there are all sorts of slander going on - stock up lah , there will rusuhan (riots), Tanda Putera (movie of the May 13, 1969 racial riots), what have you! But the people are not scared. Let me tell you a personal story about a former neighbor, a lady lawyer. Last time we talked about it, she would be very scared but this time I met her, 'if there is violence, so be it'. I was surprised, shocked because they are very very rich but she said, 'No we are not running away."
Kee Kwong, the PKR candidate for the Wangsa Maju parliamentary seat, was referring to retired Lt General Abdul Ghaffir Abdul Hamid, who together with a growing group of senior ex-military officers have spoken out against the scare-mongering tactics deployed by the Umno-BN. Alarmed at the barely-veiled intimidation, the retired military men have promised to use their still strong influence to ensure their former staff practiced fair play when the crunch came.
Malaysia is due to hold its 13th general election on May 5. GE13 is expected to be the 'dirtiest' ever in the nation's history, with Najib and the Umno-BN expected to use all ways and means to stay in power.
Hope and peace transcends the vested interests of any political regime
Lightening the atmosphere and to remind the nation that hope and peace transcended politics and the vested interests of any one group, including the mighty Umno-BN, the apolitical Malaysian Spring has managed to strike a chord with the citizenry. Its presence is starting to be felt around the nation's capital.
A lot of its impact is due to the simplicity of its modus operandi. The group conveys its message by planting colorful flags in the ground to look like spring flowers, and this has charmed many ordinary citizens to volunteer their time and services.
"This group of residents from this area Wangsa Maju is very passionate about what is happening to the country. They are the Malaysian Spring. Spring in Chinese represents change. And in Malay, it's called the 'musim bunga' (season of flowers). That's why it is so brightly colored. This 'musim bunga' means that from one season to the next step, there must be changes," Datin Anne Tan, wife of the PKR candidate for Wangsa Maju Tan Kee Kwong, told Malaysia Chronicle.
"And that's what this group (in Wangsa) led by Mr Leong Heng Chee explained to me. The group is actually an apolitical group of people. They say they just want the change. Whichever party (does not matter), they just want the change and therefore they want some nice beautiful new ideas, new things happening to this country."
'You undi saya, saya urut you'
The brainchild of landscape architect Ng Sek San, 'Malaysian Spring' first appeared in affluent and politically-aware Bangsar.
On Saturday, Malaysian Spring went to work in Wangsa Maju at Kee Kwong's invitation. Wangsa is not as high-end and sophisticated as Bangsar but the local activists did not seem to be any less enthusiastic.
"These volunteers actually bought the bamboo sticks, actually made the flags and risked their lives planting them. I have written to DBKL (city council), please respect it," said Kee Kwong, who together with his wife had officiated at the planting of several new patches along Jalan Genting Klang.
"Obviously it is an initiative of the rakyat and we want to show our dissatisfaction. We don't engage in (slanderous) leaflets, in character assassination and we certainly don't engage in video 'lucah' (pornographic) which is most un-Islam but they do it. We show them we want a spring, a renewal, a 'pembaharuan' and this one of the many ways to do it."
Earlier in the morning, at another event nearby, Kee Kwong bumped into his Umno rival for the Wangsa seat, Shafei Abdullah. The two men shared a light-hearted moment before moving off to their respective campaigns.
"You undi saya, saya urut you (you vote for me and I will massage you)," quipped Shafie, who is Najib's political secretary. He was was given the seat to contest over MCA colleague Yew Teong Look.