Monday, April 02, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi : fearless in doing the right

The triumph of Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi in the by-elections yesterday is a victory for the people of Myanmar who have been oppressed for over 2 decades and a victory for democracy in that country. It is also a victory for people oppressed all over the world.

After two decades in opposition, much of it spent as a prisoner of the former junta, Suu Kyi now faces a slew of unfamiliar challenges to bring the much needed democratic changes in her country. She may be no more in prison but her freedom is not going to be easy for her too. Bringing about the much needed reforms is not going to be easy. It will be more challenging as her voice in parliament may just be a minority. However knowing the resilience and determination of Suu Kyi whom her people call “The iron lady” we know she can do wonders for her people and country.

Realizing her potentials to bring change, the people have begun to call her not just “Iron Lady” but “Mother Suu” which is indeed a tribute she rightly deserve for her relentless efforts in standing up against a tyrant regime that ruled her country. In her over 2 decades of defying the oppressive ruling junta she held firm to her believe, “You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right.” In fact it is this fearlessness to do right that is beginning to bear the fruits of freedom in her country.

Suu Kyi attributes corruption, which is a common evil in all long-serving and oppressive regimes, to fear as she says, “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

The victory, although small one, for Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) at the by-elections comes at a time when we are at the brink of the 13GE when Malaysians are tasked with the most crucial decisions at the most defining elections in the history of the nation. We are witnessing an increasingly greater maturity of the people who are demanding greater democratization and accountability in the governance of the nation.

This is the first time there is a possibility of a change of government and Malaysians should not let fear stop them from doing what they think is right.Suu Kyi’s “fear factor” is very relevant to us as we make our decisions on who to vote. All decisions are subjected to some uncertainties so too our decision on whom we vote. What is important is we should not allow our fear of uncertainty to prevent us from doing what we feel is right.

Malaysians who are thinking of voting for change may be buoyed by her victory whereas those who want to retain the incumbents may be gripped with the fear of losing. Change, even when it is right, is always wrought with risks and uncertainties but if we fear to effect that change we may lose all the good that may follow later by our right action now.

Aung San Suu Kyi may not be a Malaysian but the freedom and democracy she stood for transcends all national borders as these are basic human values that are not confined to any political boundaries. She becomes the icon of democracy in her country and a source of inspiration for those fighting oppression and injustice all over the world.

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