Justice has no ETA, unfortunately

By Guan Sin

— An activist’s sentiment on the second anniversary of Mar 8

Writing on the eve of March 8, my emotion runs high recalling the two years since the historical moment in Malaysia when the rakyat woke up to deal a serious blow to UMNO-BN in the 2008 general election. Many friends and comrades in the Movement for a better Malaysia have been questioning or having their own self-doubt of the effect of that fateful day.

Understandably, their sentiment is well justified after two very eventful years with much politicking and deeper political oppression from the UMNO-BN government and the many government machineries that have lost their way. I don’t have the answer but allow me to just say with conviction: Justice has no estimated time of arrival, unfortunately.

The reality

Two years is a long time during the tumultuous period. Many of us the activists in the Movement are voluntary or even the ‘hobbyist’ type – i.e. our involvement is on the best effort basis. We have our work/business and family to attend to most of the time. Many work in ‘overdraft’ mode at times – temporarily suspend their routine priorities. It’s not easy to sustain, therefore two years is indeed a very long time.

For me, family took up most of my time and energy. In those two years, we have added our third child and the fourth one is arriving in the next 30 days. Like many of you, juggling between activism and daily life is a challenge. Surely each of us has his/her own priorities to deal with, on top of the involvement with the Movement. Kids continue to grow, businesses continue to struggle between profit and loss, works continue to demand delivery of performance, etc. Life goes on, in other words. The lows and highs in the two years have given us the roller-coaster ride. Keeping up the activism is an achievement in itself.

My own ‘enough is enough’ moment

Oct 1, 2007 was just a typical comfortable day in Singapore, where I have spent most of my adulthood. When a friend sent me a URL about the Lingam tape scandal, it woke me up in an unexpected way. Malaysia had by then been my ‘unwanted child’ – one that I am associated with emotionally by birth, yet a hopeless disappointment. Malaysia has been put on the backburner. Mind you, nine years before that I went on the street of Kuala Lumpur with thousands of Reformasi activists. That was a futile moment for me. But the transgression from the Lingam tape scandal evoked my ‘enough is enough’ moment. It could no longer be ignored, and Malaysia deserves better.

That moment brought me the many trips driving north to Kuala Lumpur and working late into the night for the Movement. Ironically, Lingam the lawyer continues to roamly freely in the corridors of power today, despite the royal commission of inquiry on the scandal. But the irony and injustice has only strengthened my resolve to continue helping the Movement. It culminated to the realisation that justice has no ETA.

I am sure you have your own unique, special ‘enough is enough’ moment. It is important to keep it fresh in your mind. That helps to drive you further in the Movement.

Read more at: https://airkosong.com/_/2010/03/08/justice-has-no-eta-unfortunately/