The World Anthem




By E.S. Shankar

This is the morning after the unexpected bloodless revolution. Victory is OURS. The hangover has gone. How do we address the problem of that ogre Najib and the citizens who knowingly served in his crooked administration and aided and abeted him in the looting and plundering spree and others who supported his government of thieves?

Perhaps, we should be guided by the words and actions of three men, all universal heroes. I am a firm believer in the power of words and the saying that ‘The Pen is Mightier Than The Sword.’ I would go as far as to say that I live by it. Our victory just proved that.

First, I shall go to Abraham Lincoln’s 4 Match 1865 second inaugural speech as US President, which ended with the electric words:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

So, Lincoln rightfully finished his address by pinpointing that it is the welfare of those who fought on the morally and ethically right side, the victors, which shall take priority. As for the losers, he was magnanimous in treating them fairly with no retaliation or recriminations, the whole objective being to unite a divided people into one nation, to move forward.

Next, and you may disagree with me on this, but I think the precise moment we arrived as the human race was on 4 July 1776 when a group of some of the most intellectually advanced men, ever, led by George Washington, drafted and signed the US Declaration of Independence. Every time I read Lincoln’s words and the USDoI, I choke. Here are the relevant extracts:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

As far back as almost 250 year ago, these men and women who did not have electricity and modern conveniences, television, internet or social media as we know it, realized and put paid forever to an old myth. That fallacy which they dispelled was that among us there are groups of men and women whom a mysterious God ordained to be perpetual rulers. That this group of humans, unlike the rest of us, had strange blue blood running through their arteries and veins. Washington and his men literally told you that “where any form of government becomes destructive to these ends,” WE, THE PEOPLE, have every right to throw them out by the scruffs of their necks. As someone correctly observed, this is the paragraph that sowed the seeds of revolution all over the world, especially after World War 2. Right-thinking citizens everywhere began to take charge of the destinies of their countries. Those who claimed they were Divine Kings and Royalty, largely perished.

Lastly, my hero Nelson Mandela. We all have our favourite 20th century heroes and heroines – Gandhi, JFK, Martin Luther King Junior (what an orator!), Evita, Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, even Princess Diana. Mandela served 28 years in prison before he emerged unscathed and undaunted to wrest control of South Africa and establish democracy. This is a global record of sorts, beaten perhaps only by Singapore’s Chia Thye Poh who was unjustly imprisoned for 32 years by a regime that falsely accused him of being a Communist out to overthrow the government. Again, my tears flow involuntarily whenever I think of the atrocious ways humans often treat other humans.

Why Mandela? IF Mandela, when he finally became President, had given the merest hint to the African National Congress (ANC), there would have been bloodshed in South Africa which would have made the American War of Independence look like a Queen Elizabeth garden tea-party. The white population there would have been wiped out. Who would have blamed him as the ANC was seething with the memory of decades of Apartheid and assassinations of their heroes like Steve Biko.

Instead, in 1996, Mandela pulled out from the 5th Dimension, his Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and healed a deeply divided and wounded nation. What will a TRC do for us:

1.      We will invite victims and/or their families and friends, and all those responsible for wrongdoings, to voluntarily testify in open public hearings about:

(a)     Murders, killings and deaths they know about or that they may have committed or assisted in.

(b)     Human Rights violations.

(c)     Exra-judicial abductions and executions.

(d)    Misappropriation of public money, fraud and money-laundering.

(e)     Abuse of power.

(f)     Violence against others.

2.      If those suspected of serious wrongdoings do not wish to testify voluntarily, they can be legally summoned by the Commission.

3.      Both victims and perpetrators can request punishment or amnesty from civil and criminal prosecutions.

4.       The Commission will eventually decide on the merits of each case and recommend to Parliament to offer amnesties, with public censure for the less serious cases and full prosecution in our courts for the worst cases.

5.      Some of the work of the TRC can be taken up by Royal Commissions of  Inquiry (RCI). This would be relevant where co-operation from the police, MACC and security personnel, ex-Ministers and top civil servants would be unlikely:

(i)                 Teoh Beng Hock (murder)

(ii)               Altantuya (murder)

(iii)             Hussain Najadi (murder)
(iv)             Kevin Morais (murder)
(v)               Pastor Raymond Koh (abduction)

(vi)             Pastor Joshua Hilmi and wife, Ruth (abduction)

(vii)           Socialist/activist Amri (abduction)

(viii)         1MDB/SRC (fraud/financial scandal by Najib)

So, the list below of of those who should be questioned, fired and charged is not about a witch-hunt or revenge. Far from it. We need to heal wounds. We need to reiterate and reinforce the principle that crime does not pay so that the human philosophy, morals, ethics, politics and social conduct of future generations of Malaysians are cemented on solid foundations.

Plus of course, Najib, Rosmah, Riza Aziz, Jho Low and ex-IGP Khalid Abu Bakar (twitter hashtag @Kbab51 whom I have parodied as Kebab51).

When I think of men like Lincoln, Washington, Gandhi, Mandela and MLK Jr and their action-oriented  intellect, shining intelligence and achievements, I feel like a tiny ant by comparison. Actions always speak louder than mere words. And I cry freely. And I try to follow as much as I can in their footsteps. This is for you to think about to secure a nation’s future on sound footing.

We owe it to our children.

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