Those words uttered by Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi could well apply to Malaysia.
Was it a stalemate on 10 Nov? After all, the demonstrators had been thwarted from gathering at Dataran Merdeka in the city centre. They were unable to accompany their chosen representatives to the gates of the palace to hand over their memorandum. And would the memorandum make any difference? What had they really achieved?
Would Suu Kyi consider the situation in Burma a stalemate – especially in the aftermath of the brutal crackdown of peaceful demonstrations there?
Here’s what she had to say:
“I am really not fond of that expression,” she replied rather sternly. “People have been on the streets. That’s not a stalemate. Ethnic people, like the Karen, are fighting back. That’s not a stalemate. The defiance is there in people’s lives, day after day. You know, even when things seem still on the surface, there’s always movement underneath. It’s like a frozen lake; and beneath our lake, we are progressing, bit by bit.”
Similarly, 10 November in Malaysia was not a stalemate. Malaysians have conquered their fear. There is a sense of defiance – witnessed when tens of thousands of good-natured, peaceful, justice-loving Malaysians waved defiantly at helicopters hovering overhead and at sullen-faced riot police seated in red trucks passing menacingly by. When they were confronted by a phalanx of riot police, they stood their ground and refused to blink.
Instead, it is the oligarchic political elites who now fear the people on the move, who tremble in anticipation of their next move.
Yes, we are progressing, bit by bit.
Read John Pilger’s full piece here.