PM Najib and his UMNO boys should know there is a fundamental difference between the Arab Spring street demos and the BERSIH Rally.
In the Arab Spring countries, with their 40% graduate unemployment and their poverty so bad that the poor have barely enough to eat, the Arabs took to the streets ready to bring everything down and to sacrifice their lives to get the dictator president to listen to their voice of hunger and desperation. They had nothing to lose.
We are different. Those who went to the rally today have jobs to go back to. Some are well to do middle class. We are not starving.
But as we have reached a high level of material development, it is natural for us to want more than just bread and butter. We also want to see justice and clean government, which can only come from free and fair elections to produce a responsible Parliament and an honest government, with accountability and transparency to those who elect them into power.
UMNO politicians often claim that our elections are free and fair as shown by the fact that 3 states are in opposition hands. They forget that by popular vote, the BN lost the previous elections.
They also forget all the 3 states are struggling to perform because the central Government makes things very difficult for the opposition states. And because the media is not free, the public do not get a true picture how the states suffer from Federal injustice.
With free and fair elections, there will be balanced representation in Parliament and more parliamentary committees to check on the abuses of power and the cocky behaviour of Federal ministers.
That's what we want to get from free and fair elections - stronger institutions to provide checks and balances on the PM and his ministers.