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From A Culture of War to A Culture of Peace in Malaysia
an article by Shu Wen Teo

The events unfolding in Malaysia in the lead up to a rally calling for electoral reform on 9 July 2011, by Bersih 2.0, a civil society coalition, have jarred a nerve with many Malaysians living abroad.

Bersih 2.0's Walk for Democracy

click on photo to enlarge

In the wake of the government crackdown, over the last week, of the legitimate rights of the Malaysian people to peacefully demonstrate, a Bersih 2.0 Global Solidarity Network has sprung up with co-ordinated action and support developing in Hong Kong, Sweden, France, Australia, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Austria and United States in the pursuit of clean and fair elections in Malaysia. The incident clearly showed that Malaysians are taking a courageous step towards the country transition to a full democracy.

Peace is certainly too good to be left to the government. This is a good time for change. It does not take a PhD to understand that globally we face threats to our democracy to which there is no traditional military answer. Democracy for most people means basic needs like food, clothes and shelter, people's power to change the government, as well as freedom, equality and liberty.

Malaysians apparently broke with the culture of war and had the courage to explore new directions. That is a task for all of us, if we are serious about building a culture of peace. Culture has to change. We are all part of the process of making that change happen.


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This report was posted on November, 17, 2011.