More rallies, yes! But with a more “unifying” theme
I strongly urge the opposition to move on from the electoral fraud issue. The electoral fraud theme has got a subtle divisive under-tone in it as there are still 48% of the Malaysian electorates voted for the BN/UMNO regime for whatever reasons.
Kuo Yong Kooi

Here are some historical events for examination on ideas for finding the right unifying theme for future rallies. 

The January 2011 Tharir square revolution started with a united voice of grievances of Egyptian protesters on a broad brush of issues from legal and political issues like lack of free elections, freedom of speech, corruptions, police brutality (sounds familiar?) and including economic issues like high unemployment, low wages and inflation. 

The Tunisian revolution events began in December 2010; precipitated by high unemployment, food inflation and government corruptions and other political freedom issues.

The late nineties Asia’s Economic crises was the catalyst for the overthrow of the 32 years Suharto regime. Student protests started in early May 1998 at Trisakti University. The protests were against fuel and energy price rises.

The people power revolution of the Philippine in 1986 against Ferdinand Marcos started with initial non violent protest against electoral fraud and state violence. State sponsored murders and political assassinations were rampant during the years Marcos reigned in power. The tipping point that got people to turn out en masseagainst Marcos was the assassination of the popular opposition figure Benigno Aquino.

The examples from these four countries showed us that the sparks that started the fire against their government’s authoritarian rule comes from a culmination of different factors. 

We need to cast a wider net to give reasons for the 48% who voted for the BN in the last election to participate in the rallies. I think drawing the line just below asking for the “overthrow” of the government is a good idea. The 48% voted for BN and many more from the 51% who voted for Pakatan do not feel comfortable with the idea of “toppling” the government. Malaysians are different from the Middle Eastern. Further more I think we haven’t got to a tipping point yet. One of the major boiling points usually involve economic matters.

What then is the furthest you can go below the “toppling” of the government line? 
As mentioned in my previous letter to the editor “Why not a four-heads-rolling-in-one” rally,, I’ve made some points on better rally themes that unite people. I also highlighted that holding rallies on themes around electioneering matters do not go far enough.

I strongly urge the opposition to move on from the electoral fraud issue. The electoral fraud theme has got a subtle divisive under-tone in it as there are still 48% of the Malaysian electorates voted for the BN/UMNO regime for whatever reasons.

The initial skirmish at Taksim square was over the controversial construction plan for Istanbul’s Gezi Park. That later spread onto groundswell support in shows of discontent against Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule.

The latest Brazil’s June 2013 demonstrations were sparked by a “bus fair increase” protest which later culminated onto issues of high cost of living and lavish new stadium projects.

The two very recent massive demonstrations overseas showed us that the groundswell support from the masses do not have to necessarily come from just political issues.

I think the “law and order” issue is coming to a tipping point. Deaths in custody, daylight robberies, constant news of houses and cars break ins, corruption and the misappropriation of police resources against opposition political activists, are solid examples where the “law and order” issue is at it’s tipping point.

By the look of it, a demonstration to ask the current IGP to resign to give way for a non partisan IGP and asking for a change in our police force’s culture has got a higher chance of massive groundswell support than a demonstration on the electoral fraud issue.

The best question to ask when looking for a unifying theme is “will the other 48% turn out to support this theme?” and “will we lose further support from the 51%?”. The “law and order” issue will give a yes answer to the former and no answer to the later. If you follow that logic, not much can go wrong with rallies along the theme of “law and order”.

Conceding defeat in the GE-13 election does not necessarily mean that you are a loser, it could also mean that you are civilised, matured and have humility. It also portrays the opposition on a positive light by being responsible in moving on and addressing urgent matters of national interest.

As I am a Buddhist, my line of thinking is “the present moment is all we have” and “nothing is permanent”. We should have a break from the constant battles of harping around the post GE-13 issues. Give our weary minds and bodies a rest, things might just turn around by itself without much effort. The Najib administration has previously shown to have constantly shot themselves in their own foot in the past. 

The UMNO regime with it’s mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia and Perkasa are doing the hard yards on national reconciliation for the opposition. The UMNO regime had already united the unlikeliest of allies like PAS and DAP. Give it another four to five years, the other 48% of the electorate will vote for the opposition and the national reconciliation project can be declared a success, thanks to the Najib administration.

The implementation of the GST is just around the corner. 

That could be another potential massive rallying point for the opposition. The “anti GST” rally theme can be a unifying factor as economic themes are less divisive than political themes. The GST is another potential fuel for fire and it might well be the economic or “hip pocket” tipping point. The Najib administration has technically gathered enough fuel to light itself up.

All the opposition needs to do now is to get “the Pakatan house in order”, looking for a winning formula in the rural constituencies and get the delineation process right. We might probably able to march into Putrajaya come GE-14 without much struggle “inshallah” (god willing).