Survey: Young professionals reject Bersih rally
A sample of 105 young professionals of various backgrounds aged between 24 and 34 was asked to participate in a survey of what they generally think about Bersih. There were 68 people who responded with the rest received, read and acknowledged the receipt of the survey but did not participate.
Three simple questions were asked: Firstly “What do you think of Bersih?” Next, “Do you support the cause of Bersih?” Finally, “Are you okay with street demonstrations such as the Bersih rally?”
The answers for the last two questions were compiled into a poll result. Of 68 respondents, 49% of them support the cause of Bersih and its demands with 32% rejecting and 19% feeling indifferent.
As for the question of the Bersih rally itself, a whopping 72% of the 68 respondents are against it, followed by 21% of them supporting and 7% who are indifferent.
A noble cause
Most of the respondents who support Bersih’s cause and demands claimed Bersih is a “noble cause” with “good intentions”. They mostly underlined the importance of an “electoral reform” and the timing cannot be as perfect. Some respondents of this group agree Bersih has “a fair cause” and one has pointed out “the country needs a political cleansing and it should start with the election commission”. Some participants insisted the people have “the right to demand for a free and fair election” and the government should listen to the “voice of the people”. One respondent claimed that Bersih has “revived PKR’s fortunes, dented the Prime Minister’s steady image and popularity among youth.”
“I fully support Bersih and the need to do electoral reform. I am concerned about the country's future and we need to have a consistent, independent, and trustworthy election commission. Not that I’m saying what we have now is useless. It can be improved. So, to change, we need to have fundamental change and how the Government reps are elected, and to do that we need electoral reforms; it works both ways, to the current ruling parties and oppositions.” – Respondent A.
Hijacked by the political parties
Meanwhile, some respondents who reject the cause of Bersih think it was a “desperate cause to achieve personal agenda” while another rebutted “not all the demands are valid”. Many respondents from this group have said “there are ulterior motives” in Bersih and “is politically driven” while calling it “unnecessary.” Also, most of these respondents are disappointed of how “the cause has been hijacked by political parties, mostly by Oppositions.” Some even went on to say that Bersih has been hijacked and supported by the “Anwarinas to divert the intention of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy and sex scandal cases.” One respondent is not convinced Bersih “is done by NGO”. Another partaker is “not sure about their claims” and said “certainly the opposition can win election so the level of unfairness, if any, cannot be that bad.” One clearly stated that if she were to give a harsher note, “PKR should start fair election from their own party election first.”
Quite a number of Malay respondents are concerned about the disunity of Malays through Bersih. One participant said “Malay against Malay. Islam gaduh sama sendiri. Kaum lain tepuk tangan” while another claimed Bersih is “breaking apart Malay/Muslim communities”. One added by saying the Malays have become the “coolies” of Bersih.
“I think we, the Malays especially are so dumb to fall into this trap. Trap not by Adil Dap etc but by foreign countries who want to destroy us. It is sad we cannot see this. Instead blame the police, blame BN etc. The only person to blame is ourselves, no one else. I’m disgusted baca status kat facebooks, especially our generation. Very ungrateful with what we have and talk like we have no values. Rather than gaduh, why dont kita semua berbaik nak amankan negara. BN is not 100% clean but so are DAP, Adil, PAs etc. Freedom of speech is good for the developed countries because of their way of thinking is way ahead of us. They criticise in positive ways but we criticise in rude ways. Look at bersih, this is the evidence.” – Respondent B.
Do not care much
For the same question, people who are indifferent about it have said they are not aware of the cause, refused to comment, “have not read the memorandum”, “do not care much”, “do not understand what Bersih is about” or simply “indifferent about the aims” of Bersih.
As for the question about the Bersih street demonstration, those in favour of the rally have mainly said it is “the only channel” that they can make use of to vent their anger and express their concerns. Others said that it is important to make the rest of the public “aware of the situation” and there is “nothing wrong with a rally with a positive note.” Some commentators has said that the “Government should let them walk but must ensure the security of the public.” Others were quoted saying it was the Government’s fault for “mishandling the case” that made it worse. Another agreed the Bersih rally proves that the people of Malaysia “can unite for a reason” while another, who was at the rally, claimed he “has not seen as many Chinese as before, around 30% of them.” He added, “It was the police who asked the shop-owners to close down for the day.” During a phone interview, a respondent has said “the Government should let them go on street demo”, not countering them by deploying road blocks because that will only ruin the events for the day.
“I totally understand why they wanted to walk for it. But, at the same time, the opposition is taking this as an advantage. It is a freedom of speech which i believe in it and what the goverment should have done is let them walk and just ensure the security of the public. But biasa la.. malaysia politic... byk bullshit. So at the end of the day...something that should have been a good cause ended up ugly. And the loser end is the government coz they ... SHOULD LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF THE RAKYAT.” – Respondent C
The majority says
The participants who disproved the rally have called it as “unnecessary”, “troublesome”, “chaotic”, “uncalled for”, “nuisance”, “not fun”, “should be done in moderation”, “cowardice”, “provocative”, “more harm than good”, “has off track modus operandi”, “against Malaysian culture”, “not the best approach”, “disgrace”, “embarrassing”, “waste of time”, “destroying nation’s reputation”, “deceiving”, “injects fear”, “ineffective” and “business disrupting”.
A few respondents even suggested that the Bersih rally was “funded by the oppositions” with one insisted “the orphans and the villagers were being manipulated; with RM200 being given to them to join the rally.”
Most of these respondents however support the less controversial approach; sit down and have “a top level discussion”. Since “the Yang Dipertuan Agong has somewhat acknowledged Bersih by seeing Ambiga”, Bersih should have a “roundtable discussion with Yang Dipertuan Agong, the Prime Minister and the Election Commission to resolve the matter amicably, not Ambiga-ly.”
“Haha no comments not into politics. But no matter what their cause is they did menyusahkan a lot of ppl lol” – Respondent D
“If it is bcoz x puas hati sbb spr, deal with spr 1st, try to use demo as last option. Bersih sendiri tau yg via demo, byk perkara boleh berlaku, so supposedly benda demo can be avoid. Instead buat cara lain, just a campaign, for everyone who support bersih, just wear yellow in one day, no matter where you are, home, office, pasar, shopping. Try to do live dialog on national TV. SPR approach that, but they don’t want still insisted to go for demo. They know the police will go for kekerasan, gas and all.So this is just a reason to show how bad is our police. Or, it’s already being manipulated by oppositions? To use this channel as their kepentingan? So it's not about bersih anymore, its more to political parties.” – Respondent E
“Due to the nature of the socioeconomic situation of the nation, the intellectual capacity for Malaysians to hold political debate as well as agenda of politicians, the protest should have not went on.” – Respondent F
“Totally against it. Menghuru harakan negara. Menyusahkan org ramai. I don’t want to get involved in this bersih stupid thingy. I just want to have a peaceful country. We live happily like family” – Respondent G
“This rally should not happened in the first place. Why PM does not want to curb this from happening? Why he does not want to have a peaceful talk with bersih? Y he does not learn from previous bersih? I believe prevention is always better than cure. Now to heal scar of the rakyat is gonna be tough.” – Respondent H
“They should meet first. Police should co-operate not oppose them. Give them designated route. 50k students can march in london, why not us? No lockdown, traffic jam a bit public transport still ok (snowstorm much worse). Support 100% if the PR didn’t hijack it. Free neutral NGO. Why teargas? Is malaysia very anarchist? dont think so” – Respondent I
On a less serious note (ignore this if you are a serious person)
There are also some comments made by respondents that worth taking some space here.
“Put it this way, I delete facebook friends that support Bersih. Just exercising my rights Lol” – Funny Guy
“Govt are too much. Like the rally. Didn't go to rally.” – Confused Lady
“I had a good time getting girls phone number. The one and only day where u can talk with random girls. Not another day. 9/7. A good street test for the police too.” – Randyman