Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On Bersih & A. Samad Said's Unggun Bersih


Right now in Malaysia (if you are not from this country), you really can't go anywhere without hearing the word Bersih. You may wonder what it is about but wondering doesn't go anywhere. If you're the kind of person who relies solely on the TV, then Bersih will connote negative images in your head. Yen Yen (tourism minister) just announced that Bersih will affect the country's tourism and economy. WOAH. God forbid if tourism is affected in this pristine goody two shoes country of ours.

But if you're the kind of person who really needs to find out both sides of the story, want to figure out WHY:
  • The President of Bersih received death threats if she was to go ahead with the event
  • 95 people have been arrested so far related to the word Bersih
  • Bersih claimed to be an attempt to overthrow the government
  • MCA members literally forbidded from walking the walk of democracy & fair election
  • Umno Youth threatened to burn down PKR HQ
  • A. Samad Said, one of the country's eminent national laureates, was interrogated by the police for 90 minutes after he recited this poem at a rally:
... Then you better start reading soon. Very soon. Why don't you start finding out what is Bersih all about HERE?



In the meantime, enjoy the poem that got our dear A. Samad Said in trouble in the first place. I love it. If you don't understand Bahasa, you can enjoy the lyrical quality of the words (with his son playing the guitar in the background here. Or if you want to read more of his poem, just click here. Enjoy.


Semakin lara kita didera bara—
kita laungkan juga pesan merdeka:
Demokrasi sebenderang mentari
sehasrat hajat semurni harga diri.

Lama resah kita—demokrasi luka;
lama duka kita—demokrasi lara.
Demokrasi yang angkuh, kita cemuhi;
suara bebas yang utuh, kita idami!

Dua abad lalu Sam Adams berseru:
(di Boston dijirus teh ke laut biru):
Tak diperlu gempita sorak yang gebu,
diperlu hanya unggun api yang syahdu.

Kini menyalalah unggun sakti itu;
kini merebaklah nyala unggun itu.

24—25, 6.11. A. SAMAD SAID

0 poetic mutterings: