Speak Out


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The following meditation was shared by the Rev. Sivin Kit in three occasions; twice during the "May He Be the Last: Memorials for Teoh Beng Hock & Beyond" memorials held in the KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and the LLG Foundation on 29 July 2009 and 7 August 2009 respectively and once during the "One Better Malaysia: Tribute to Teoh Beng Hock & Yasmin Ahmad" held in the premises of the Bangsar Lutheran Church on 21 August 2009.

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Speak Out

  1. 1. One Better Malaysia Tribute to Teoh Beng Hock & Yasmin Ahmad
  2. 2. A Memorial for Teoh Beng Hock…. and Beyond
  3. 3. <ul><li>Why are we here tonight? Why can’t we forget about Teoh Beng Hock? </li></ul><ul><li>We saw the tears. </li></ul><ul><li>We heard the tributes. </li></ul><ul><li>We were at the funeral. </li></ul><ul><li>We were watching from a distance. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ You left me without saying any last words. You said we still have a lot of things to accomplish together, that we have not been to many places before. You said you will always walk this life together with me.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Beng Hock’s Fiancée, Cher Wei </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Our hearts broke. </li></ul><ul><li>Beng Hock is gone. </li></ul><ul><li>The pain is real. </li></ul><ul><li>The anger cannot </li></ul><ul><li>be ignored. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Most of us never knew him when he was alive. </li></ul><ul><li>Some were fortunate to be friends. </li></ul><ul><li>Others were fellow colleagues. </li></ul><ul><li>A few might have remembered his articles in the papers. </li></ul><ul><li>Let us not forget the loved ones he left behind. </li></ul><ul><li>Especially the one who is yet to be born. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Now, we all know him in his death. </li></ul><ul><li>Our hearts are aching. </li></ul><ul><li>Beng Hock’s life was cut short. </li></ul><ul><li>The sadness will stay for a while – a long while. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>A lot has been said. </li></ul><ul><li>Some promises made. </li></ul><ul><li>MACC. DAP. Royal Commission. Inquest. Politicians. Police. Papers. Blogs. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>We may sit comfortably and compare theories on what could have happened. </li></ul><ul><li>And then, we move on to another topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing has changed. </li></ul><ul><li>We might even say nothing will. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>But there must be change. </li></ul><ul><li>Because Teoh Beng Hock is about “us”. All of us. </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese, Malay, Indian, Orang Asli, Orang Asal - “dan lain lain” - All of “Us” - Malaysians. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>More than that – “Beng Hock” was </li></ul><ul><li>a son, </li></ul><ul><li>a husband, </li></ul><ul><li>a father … </li></ul><ul><li>one of us – a young man </li></ul><ul><li>with dreams and aspirations. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>He was the first “political death”. </li></ul><ul><li>But he was not the first to die in custody. </li></ul><ul><li>1,805 died in custody from 2003 to July 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not just a number. </li></ul><ul><li>These numbers have names. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some: </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>§ A Kugan </li></ul><ul><li>§ Samiyati Indrayani Zulkarnain Putra </li></ul><ul><li>§ Francis Udayappan </li></ul><ul><li>§ Dr Tai Eng Teck </li></ul><ul><li>§ V Vikines </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>§ Tharma Rajan </li></ul><ul><li>§ M Ragupathy </li></ul><ul><li>§ Syed Fadzil Syed Ibrahim </li></ul><ul><li>§ Hasrizal Hamzah </li></ul><ul><li>§ Prakash Moses </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>§ Kannan Kanthan </li></ul><ul><li>§ Ahmad Salleh </li></ul><ul><li>§ Ulaganathan Muniandy </li></ul><ul><li>But we don’t have all the names too. God knows who they are! </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The families sure know … </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>We entitled tonight “May He be the last”, hoping Beng Hock was indeed the last one to die in the custody of the authorities. </li></ul><ul><li>But he wasn’t. </li></ul><ul><li>R. Gunasegaran, 31, was next. It was reported he was a drug addict. Drug Addicts are still human. A human who could have had second chance. We will never know. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>All these deaths in custody must STOP. </li></ul><ul><li>Someone is responsible for all these deaths in custody. </li></ul><ul><li>Who will take responsibility? </li></ul><ul><li>Who must be accountable? </li></ul><ul><li>Who will at least tell us the truth? </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Today it is Teoh Beng Hock. </li></ul><ul><li>Tomorrow, it could be you . . . me . . . </li></ul><ul><li>my son … your daughter … anyone. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>A lot has been said thus far. </li></ul><ul><li>There is so much more to be done. </li></ul><ul><li>Before the next step, we need to speak less tonight. </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, we need to get away from the noise for a short while. For tonight’s memorial to have meaning, the choice is ours to go deeper. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>As we enter quiet moments together to pause, to remember, to pray and to ponder on what all this means for us. </li></ul><ul><li>We enter a silence where we the people can find strength and guidance to do what is right. </li></ul><ul><li>A silence where we can decide to take up our responsibility as a human being with a conscience and conviction for the good of ALL. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>So friends, when we leave this place. We will choose to speak out. </li></ul><ul><li>Not just speak out against the abuse of authority and power, but speak for the victims those whose voices can not be heard. </li></ul><ul><li>After tonight, if we mean </li></ul><ul><li>what we say – </li></ul><ul><li>“ May He be the Last” </li></ul><ul><li>- we can no longer be silent. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>“ First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out </li></ul><ul><li>-- Because I was not a Socialist. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out </li></ul><ul><li>-- Because I was not a Jew. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Then they came for me </li></ul><ul><li>-- and there was no one left to speak for me”. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>- Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>In Memory of Teoh Beng Hock </li></ul><ul><li>And the 1804 others who died in custody </li></ul><ul><li>from 2003 until now </li></ul>