ENG to CH Translation: The yellow wave and its durian effect 黃潮和其榴槤效應 (Malaysiakini 12 Nov 2007)

The yellow wave and its durian effect
Azly Rahman
Malaysiakini Nov 12, 07

“Bersih, Cekap, Amanah” – old political slogan

“Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang” – new political slogan

“B.e.r.s.i.h” – slogan to get from the new slogan to the old.

I quote the first few paragraphs of the 1776 American Declaration of Independence:

“… When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands 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 of 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.”

Those are the words penned primarily by Thomas Jefferson, philosopher and statesman; words that became the document of American democracy that is still evolving.

Evolve we must

Evolve we must as a nation of multicultural poor yearning to break free from the shackles of poverty, alienation, massive corruption, and the tiredness of seeing power being abused and absolute power being abused absolutely.

Evolve we must by way of the slogans that have been fed to us religiously. By “we” we mean both the ruler and the ruled, the governor and the governed, the rakyat and the kerajaan (government). Essentially the process of “cleaning up” our act is both the desire of the ruling party and those who are protesting against it. We are a nation in need of therapy. We are one, essentially – our subjectivity and objectivity is being deconstructed and destroyed.

If we are to live with the truth and the power of the slogans we create, we must surrender to the will of the people who put us into power and wishes to see justice being served and a clean, transparent, and trustworthy government being put in place.

We have arrived at a juncture in our own brand of Civil Rights movement. We now need our own Magna Carta to teach our citizens the inalienable rights we have vis-a-vis the aristocrats; those that transformed themselves from the commoners to power-elites – through the huge machinery of money, media, and mental maneuverings and meanderings of the messages we created as the medium. We are made to live in a world of “managed perception”.

Don’t Pakistanize ourselves

Let us pray that we shall not have to Pakistanize ourselves in our struggle to exercise free speech and freedom of assembly. Unless we are like a nation at war with itself with us plunged as characters in the epic movie Lord of The Rings in which Humanity battles Humanoids in the war for natural justice set in antiquity.

The events that led to the declaration of emergency in Islamabad may as well foreshadow the nature and shape of things to come by the time campaigning and Election Day arrives.

Will the yellow fever, like the River HuangHe does, bring sorrow to the current regime? Is the nation seeing the seeds of destruction germinating? Will the Krakatau of the Malaysian rumbling and grumbling finally erupt?

I don’t know. You and I can only make informed guesses. Man proposes, God disposes.

We can only predict and plan for the translation of theory into practice. That’s what praxis is – the marriage of idealism and action to produce “cultural action for freedom”, as Latin liberation theologians such as Gustavo Gutierrez, Denis Goulet, and Paulo Freire would say. Or like what the brave heart Che Guevara would embody.

Being a student of social revolutions in which I have closely looked at the anatomy of peaceful and violent revolutions such as those of The American, The French, Cuban, Iranian, Nicaraguan, Indonesian and also the Computer and the Internet, I believe there are interesting elements one can extract from the Nov 10 march.

Unlike the French Revolution, the march did not begin in a tennis court but from many angles but denied the final congregation in front of Freedom/Independence/Merdeka Square. Nor it deposed a grandson of the Sun King, but rather seeks refuge in the Malay Supreme Ruler. Unlike the Cuban Revolution in which a law doctoral graduate Fidel Castro had to use extra-legal means to gain power and return it to the people, the November march began with a legal application that was denied and was preceded by the Lawyer’s Walk that sent memorandum to stop a judiciary rot. Unlike the Iranian Revolution in which a million people waited for Imam Khomeini, the Nov 10 march was a freedom march whose leadership is collaborative in nature. Unlike the Nicaraguan Revolution in which Daniel Ortega had to go underground to fight a guerilla war, Nov 10 saw not a single shot being fired nor Mat Rempits being hired. Unlike the American Revolution in which the French was General Washington’s ally, Nov 10 was purely a people’s protest devoid of outside influence. Unlike the most Indonesian Revolution in which Jakarta was burning, Nov 10 saw instead alleged chemical laced- water being sprayed on a rainy day.

Parallels and non-parallels there are.

But like the Computer Revolution that spread like wildfire and transformed millions into informed citizens Nov 10 was preceded by a good sense of informational war, with Malaysia-Today and a few other blogs hacked – the power of the Internet reigns supreme in spreading the yellow fever.

There is a durian dimension to the Nov 10 march of grievance.

The durian effect
The durian is a yellow fruit – an exquisite and truly “world-class” Malaysian fruit. It has a Marxist contradiction built in. It is pungent, banned in hotels and airplanes, tastes like vomit to some, feels like eating ice-cream in a Malaysian toilet to many, yet is has one of the most heavenly taste that even the most glorious of Malaysian statesmen and Supreme Rulers would not resist it over a pot of thick Malaccan coffee. In the yellowness of it lies heaven and hell. In it lies the joys and sorrow of tasting. It is a bitter fruit of freedom. Like the fruit in the song “Strange Fruit” rendered beautifully by the grand diva of jazz, Nina Simone; a fruit that tells America the story of lynching down South.

The yellowness of the durian is a metaphor of the yellow wave of change.

It’s only the beginning of a peaceful revolt against the might of the machine. Indeed the next wave will be met with even more machines from the regime. Like in the movie Lord of the Rings. Like in the movie the Matrix in which things will multiply as Humanity battles with Humanoids conditioned by totalitarianism.

The photos of the rally tell us a lot about the nature of our peaceful marches – thanks to the leaders and the marshals. Thanks to the wisdom of the leaders who are in tune and in syn with the gentleness of the people. But the faces of the protesters read like Chairil Anwar’s poems and WS Rendra’s plays.

We have evolved into brave souls with brave hearts. But with finesse and patience must we revolt. If we can have the masses to continue to wear yellow (like the Irish with their St. Patrick greens) as a memory of Nov 10, we will continue with the message right till Election Day. Revolutions need martyrs, reformations need signs and symbols and significations – etched in the memory of even the little child near Pasar Seni pepper-sprayed by the Mighty Machine trying with paranoia to crush those voices no longer in the wilderness.

This is why we have the yellow fever. Clean, Efficient, Trustworthy – a good old slogan to arrive at. But clean up we must. With lots of shower. Not with ones with chemically-laced water though.

We must evolve – collectively.

黃潮和其榴槤效應
姚文傑
當今大馬 07年11月23日
(原著文章:阿兹里拉曼,姚文傑翻譯)

「清廉、有效率、可信賴」—舊政治口號。
「卓越、輝煌、昌盛」—新政治口號。
「廉潔」—一個從舊政治口號得之而來的新口號。
且讓我引述1776年美國獨立宣言的前幾段:
在有關人類事務的發展進程中,當一個民族必須解除和另一個民族之間的政治關係,並在世界各國之間依照自然法則和上帝意旨,以接受獨立和平等的地位時,出於對人類輿論的尊重,必須把他們不得不獨立的理由公告天下。
我 們認爲以下這些真理是不言而喻的:人人生而平等,造物者賦予他們若干不可剝奪的權利,其中包括生命權、自由權和追求幸福的權利。爲了保障這些權利,才在他 們之間建立政府。政府之正當權力,是經被治理者同意而產生的。當任何形式的政府,對這些目標具有破壞作用時,人民就有權力改變或廢除它,以建立新政府。新 政府奠基的原則,及其組織權力的方式,必須使人民獲致最大的安全感與幸福感。
美國民主現今仍在發展,其所依據的文獻,就是由哲學家兼政治家托瑪斯?傑弗遜撰寫的美國獨立宣言。

我們必須進化
我們的國民對多元文化認識不足,嚮往掙脫貧窮、分化、貪腐的桎梏,以及擺脫眼睜睜地看著權力被濫用、絕對權力被侵犯的疲憊感,因此都必須進化。
我們的進化,應當以像宗教信仰般來灌輸的口號爲標準。「我們」涵蓋著統治者和被統治者、領導者和被領導者,以及人民和政府。實質上,反貪腐是執政黨和反對派的共同願望。我們的主觀性和客觀性都被解構、摧毀,因此亟需治療。
若我們想要擁有真理,以及得到口號中的力量,就必須遵循人民的意願,畢竟是人民讓我們執政的。人民也期望可以實現公平正義的理念,也希望看到一個廉潔、透明、值得信賴的政府執政。
我 們自家品牌的民權運動,已經到了一個關鍵時刻。我們需要自家版本的「大憲章」來教導公民—相對於貴族,我們也擁有著不可剝奪的權力。這裡的“貴族”,是指 那些透過金錢和媒體的龐大機制,並以欺詐和被曲折的訊息作爲工具,從平民階級爬到政治菁英階級的人。我們是活在一個「個人認知被控制」的世界裡。

切莫自我巴基斯坦化
讓我們一起祈禱吧,祈禱在這爭取言論與集會自由的坎坷路上,我們不會自我巴基斯坦化。除非我們是一個內戰中的國民—像奇幻史詩電影〈魔戒〉般—在那古時代分成人類和半獸人兩大派,雙方爲了正義兵戎相見。
當競選活動和大選來臨時,伊斯蘭馬巴德宣佈緊急狀態的導因,我們也不妨引以爲鑒。
這次的黃潮熱會像黃河氾濫一樣,令到政權害怕嗎?國民看到毀滅的種子正在發芽嗎?馬來西亞人的怨聲載道,會像印尼喀拉喀托火山般最終爆發嗎?
我不知道,你我只能有根據地揣測。謀事在人,成事在天。
我們只能預測、策劃來實踐理論,這就是實踐法—讓理想與行動結合產生「追求自由的文化行動」。大概拉丁美洲解放神學家古鐵雷斯、古萊特和弗雷勒也會這麼會說,或者革命烈士格瓦拉也會體現這實踐法。
身爲一個社會革命運動的學生,我曾就近觀察有關和平與暴力革命的分析,其中包括美國、法國、古巴、伊朗、尼加拉瓜、印尼,還有電腦和網路的科技革命,我想我可以從11月10日爆發的黃潮遊行中,找到一些挺有趣的要素。
不像法國大革命,黃潮不是從一個網球場開始而是從各地發起,但最終不被允許在獨立廣場集合;黃潮也沒有要罷免任何皇親 國戚,反而向馬來統治者尋求庇護。黃潮也不像古巴革命—當時擁有法學博士的卡斯楚,必須採取法律管轄以外的步驟來奪取政權,之後再歸還人民,黃潮組織申 請遊行准證被拒絕,之前還有律師遊行提交備忘錄呼籲停止司法腐敗。不像整整上百萬人等著霍梅尼的伊朗革命,11月10日遊行的領導層都跟民眾緊密配合。不 像奧德嘉必須走入地下打遊擊戰的尼加拉瓜革命,黃潮遊行一槍也沒開過,也沒有雇用飆車族來壯大遊行聲勢。不像美國獨立戰爭—當時華盛頓將領有同盟國法國撐 腰,黃潮純粹是一場沒有外國勢力影響的人民反對遊行。不像讓雅加達陷入一片熊熊火焰的印尼革命,黃潮遊行反而見到警方在雨天發射滲有化學物質的水炮。
這些歷史事蹟,有些可以互相比較,有些則不然。
電腦革命像星星之火,瞬間將11月10日集會遊行訊息如燎原般,在人民之間迅速蔓延開來。當然,在這之前就有理智的資訊戰—《當今大馬》和其他部落格開山劈石,讓網路力量得以在“黃潮熱”的擴散工作方面位居第一功臣。
11月10日黃潮遊行有著一個榴梿特點。

榴梿效應
榴梿是一種精緻的黃色水果,並且是真正「世界級」的大馬水果,但當中也有馬克斯主義式矛盾。榴槤之味道,頗爲刺鼻,因 此被列爲酒店、機場禁品。有些人覺得那味道彷若嘔吐,抑或彷若置身大馬的廁所裡品嘗雪糕,但榴梿也會讓人覺得「此美味只應天上有」,就連德高望重的大馬政 治家和統治者,也會爲了它而捨棄一壺香味濃郁的麻六甲咖啡。天堂和地獄、歡樂和憂傷就盡藏在那黃色果肉裡頭。榴梿是自由的苦果,正如偉大的女爵士歌手妮娜 西蒙演繹得非常好的〈怪異果〉—一個告訴美國人有關在南北戰爭後,南方白人殺害、逼迫黑人的故事。
榴梿的黃色性質,象徵著黃潮的改革風潮。
這只是以和平起義對抗強權的開端而已,下一波黃潮將會碰上更多國家機器,就好像電影〈魔戒〉,或是像〈駭客任務〉裡頭的情節—人類和受極權主義支配的半獸人決一死戰時,事情總是成倍增加。
遊行照片顯示黃潮的和平本質,這要感謝黃潮領袖和遊行隊伍統帥,也要感謝支援、同情人民,並且和人民一樣溫和的領袖。但遊行者的臉龐,看起來像是凱里爾安哇爾(Chairil Anwar)的詩和WS仁達(WS Rendra)的表演。
我們的靈魂和心靈,已經進化到擁有勇氣的階段了,但我們也要有技巧和耐心以堅持改革。若大眾以穿黃衣(例如愛爾蘭人穿上屬於聖伯德綠色的衣服)來紀念11月10日,我們的訊息就可以一直延燒到大選。革命需要烈士,改革則需要訊號、標誌和意義—在首都藝術廣場附近的小孩,他們的記憶裡都會留下烙印—龐大的國家 機器,妄想著可以利用水炮噴射不再是一盤散沙的反對派聲音。
這就是爲什麼我們燃燒起了一股「黃潮熱」。「廉潔、精明、可靠」,儘管都是舊口號,但都是我們要達到的大好目標。我們必須靠多「洗澡」來審貪,當然可不是用滲有化學物質的水炮。
我們都必須集體進化。

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