What you’ve done for your country

 |May 3, 2017
Raja Sara said she took part in Bersih march to Istana Negara in 2007.

Some have asked: what have I done for the country?

I assume they mean if you have not done anything for the country then you do not have any right to talk.

Well, as starters, I spent five years in university – three years in Malaysia and two years in the UK – without any government money.

How many other Malays, especially those criticising what I write, can say the same thing?

In 2000, when I was still in standard six, I was already ‘active’ in politics.

I was at the ‘historic’ Lunas by-election, which PKR won and which caused Barisan Nasional to lose its two-thirds majority at the Kedah Legislative Assembly.

How many of you were there?

In the 2004 general election, I was in Abdul Rahman Othman’s campaign team, the then PKR deputy president, when he contested the Putrajaya Parliament seat.

We actually had to sleep in a tent the entire period.

We also called up for help but no one came forward to help us – so just my family and a couple of my school friends had to handle the entire campaign.

I was also in the Bersih march to the Agong’s palace in 2007 (the genuine one and not the hijacked Bersih 2.0) plus I was involved in the 2008 general election.

And in all that time I was still in school and not even eligible to vote yet.

So what have you done?

But why that determines my freedom of speech and right to comment was beyond me?

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Raja Sara Petra is a MO reader and a political commentator. Raja Sara understands that every Malaysian, like the three generations of her family before her, must do their bit for Malaysia. Although she was from what can be considered as an elite family, she empathises with the difficulties most Malaysians have to endure in their daily lives.