I took the liberty to paste this, (oops sorry, without his permission) I feel it might miss some readers attention, its for us to read and digest.

The Army is on our streets – What will you do in Malaysia’s hour of need?
Bloggers Buzz
Written by Nathaniel Tan
Sunday, 06 July 2008 07:52

By Nathaniel Tan

July 5, 2008

Some days, we feel that all the good fights have been fought; that all the important struggles are over and left to history. Some days, we feel like we are mere spectators in the great river of destiny.

Not this day.

Musa threatened the use of the army to “maintain public order,” and this day, he made good on the promise. Joint police and army exercises have already been spotted throughout the Klang Valley, ahead of tomorrow’s Perhimpunan Rakyat.

The men with big guns have arrived, poised perhaps to inflict on Malaysia its own Tiananmen.

I quote Adama via Shawn:

There’s a reason we separate military and the police: o­ne fights the enemy of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.

This is not a joke.

I spent my university years charting how failed states, especially in Africa, descended into brutal chaos.

I studied in careful detail the processes which started from corruption and theft – where greedy leaders learnt perfect lessons from their former colonial masters – slowly evolved into suspension of civil liberties, witch hunts, threats, and finally the desperate maintenance of power via the barrel of a gun.

Before long, all semblence of democracy, human rights, or basic decency and rights to life disappear. Places like Zimbabwe or Burma were not always as they are now; through insidious manipulation and an obsession with maintaining power at all costs, men have turned countries with vast resources and potential into wastelands of injustice and suffering.

A crucial crossroads in a descent to such wastelands is the question of how we deal with men who hold guns. Let me repeat:

There’s a reason we separate military and the police: o­ne fights the enemy of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.

Any government that fails to adhere to this principle, or begins to adopt anything resembling a loose attitude towards this separation, has lost all claim to the term ‘civilised.’

We no longer need to imagine whether it may ever happen here. Today, army personnel were already spotted surveying the streets of Petaling Jaya, a bankrupt attempt to instill fear into a populace that those in power hope will cower themselves into submission.

Today, the powers that be say to you, the rakyat: “We are willing to use a very big stick to keep you in your place. We don’t care about your votes, we don’t care about your rights, we don’t care about your welfare.

“If you do not keep your place, we will have you shot. By professionals.”

The first step towards Saddam’s Iraq, Idi Amin’s Uganda, Hitler’s Germany; wastelands of injustice and suffering.

What are you going to do about it?

Throught history, good men and women have resisted tyranny.

We talk about Gandhi and Martin Luther King as if they were saints who lived in the parallel universe of history.

Nonsense. Gandhi and Martin Luther King were mere humans like you and me. Tomorrow, we will be called to do what they did: Resist. And resist peacefully.

In honesty, I’ve grown weary of demonstrations. Of tear gas, water cannons and men in helmets with sticks. Tomorrow, we may get a few M-16’s thrown into the mix.

But now is not the time for weariness to be our watchword. Let us choose instead for our watchwords vigilance and vigour.

Let it never be said that when tyranny reared its ugly head, that you and I sat idly by and watched our integrity disappear on television.

Let us resist.

Let us leave behind just for a day our cynicism, our disillusionment, our despair.

Let us draw the line here, and no further.

Tomorrow, at the Kelana Jaya stadium at 10am, we will not be cowered by men with guns. We will not let our society fall victim to oppression, and lose forever all that Malaysia holds dear.

We will sacrifice our quiet Sunday morning to stand together to uphold justice, unity, and peaceful Sunday mornings for the children who will come after us.

We will resist.

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