By Kim Cheng
When I now think back on 709, my heart weeps! As with many other fellow Malaysians probably… whichever side we may be on, whether we support 709 or not. My heart weeps with sadness at what has happened to beloved Malaysia. My heart weeps with being overwhelmed by what I saw – a great multitude of people of every tongue & tribe, of every age, of every class, of every faith! Every effort was made to intimidate & to create fear, to discourage the rakyat from being in KL that day. Streams & streams of people came… with one purpose… we care for Malaysia.
We have already been reading of so many amazing stories of how “strangers” helped one another throughout the few hours in KL on that day!!!! Hidup Rakyat!!!! There is HOPE for Malaysia.. let’s not believe what we are told. Let’s not propagate racism, prejudice & cynicism by our words & our lives. Let’s go out there to strengthen what we witnessed… reach out to our neighbors, make friends with ALL Malaysians… yes! Let’s build JAMBATAN ANAK MALAYSIA… tearing down our walls of prejudice, doing our small part in laying whatever “bricks” we can to close the gaps between us. Malaysia, there is a place for everyone.
A picture speaks a thousand words! My heart weeps just seeing pictures of 65 year old Aunty Anne ~ her courage & purpose… 85 year old “Amazing Aunty” (my pet name for her), who surely must have worried her children & grandchildren sick by choosing to come out that day… Pak Cik & Mak Cik “Grandparents” who believe they still have a voice. I have called these 4 my heroes! I am so, so amazed how 709 showed us true heroes in our midst. They have bridged a huge gap between the young & the old by simply being there! There is a wise saying, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”!! Thank you, Aunties, Pak Cik, Mak Cik for your journey. I think there are many other senior citizens there I do not know of… I salute you! I don’t know how you could tahan the tear gas & the chemicals and the running away from FRU & police.. Salute to you!
Street demo is NOT our way of life. How true!! If it was, and if the 709 crowd was really out to “buat kecoh”, they would not have dispersed in peace when the “time was up”. The speed with which life in KL returned to normal speaks for itself. The “orderly way in which crowds dispersed & help each other in recovery” at the Menara Maybank Mayhem was amazing. I have no other words for it.
I am not into partisan politics. I did not start wanting to be involved in this rally. I supported the calls for electoral reforms but I believed that negotiation, discussion, a more peaceful alternative is possible. When the official crackdowns started, and then, all the events of the fortnight before 709 unfolded, I struggled long and hard before the Lord. Do I have a choice “not to be there”? Can God’s people condone such actions by the powers that be? Personally for me, the journey had to be made … inspite of every obstacle, every risk, every fear … how far will I reach? It didn’t matter anymore. I will make this journey. I worried for the responsibility I shouldered, I worried for my colleagues who also chose to make this journey.. and yet, I had no choice but to speak in this way. I do not judge / condemn anyone who thinks differently. I believe everyone of us will think long & hard and know the reason for the choices we made. And I know, that across the land, many, many brothers & sisters were praying … this gave me courage to do what I felt I had to do.
I am still not into partisan politics, and I don’t believe in pushing our way to get what we want. I believe we have much work on our hands, to repair the fractures and gaps in our society. If ALL of us will do something, it will add up to an amazing tapestry of peace, justice, kindness in our land. Let’s not be lulled into prideful thinking or become addicted to tear gas … let’s pour out our lives a living sacrifice … to the glory of our Lord … for Malaysia, here & beyond.
Before and after 709, this song rings in my heart:
We’ll walk the land with hearts on fire
And ev’ry step will be a prayer
Hope is rising, New day dawning
Sound of singing fills the air.
Two thousand years and still the flame
Is burning bright across the land
Hearts are waiting, longing, aching
For awakening once again.
Let the flame burn brighter
In the heart of darkness
Turning night to glorious day
Let the song grow louder
And our love grow stronger
Let it shine … let it shine!
We’ll walk for truth. Speak out for love
In Jesus’ Name we shall be strong
To lift the fallen, to save the children
To fill the nation with Your song.
I am bowed in humility & awe to our Father, for what He has allowed me to be a part of … to Him be the Glory.
(First posted at FES Malaysia FaceBook)