An email I sent to my friends on March, 8:
March, 8 is celebrated worldwide as International Women’s Day. It is a reminder both of how far we have come from a 100 years ago in women’s rights struggle as well as how far still the journey towards our goal. Today, we stand in solidarity with women all over the world who have to face various challenges in their lives because of their gender. As a man, I renew my support for ending violence against women, to remove gender discrimination and prejudices as well as to ensure a more equitable society for all, both men and women, young and old, regardless of race and religion.
March, 8 is also a special date in Malaysia because it marks the anniversary of what has been called the Political Tsunami in our country. It was on this day in 2008 that Malaysians went into poll against a regime which has ruled the country for more than half a century. It was our version of People’s Power, and although relatively peaceful, it was not without its own struggles. The newfound power of the people is constantly challenged by a regime desperate to prolong its rule. Yet 5 years after March, 8 2008, Malaysians can experience, feel, see and taste for themselves the kind of difference an alternative system can bring. Today, we see in clean and good governance in Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Kelantan, states ruled by the federal opposition coalition. We see the implementation of C.A.T – competency, accountability, transparency. Surpluses from prudent financial management are being channeled to the people. There are now better policies in place to ensure that developments do not only profit corporations but also the people. And the list goes on.
March, 8 is a strong reminder, my friend, of our struggles to make this world a better place. Keep up the good work you have been doing, but most importantly, keep the fire burning so that we may carry this torch till the end.
Happy International Women’s Day! Hidup Rakyat!