Hungering for action on justice

by | Aug 6, 2021 | Opinions | 0 comments


In a passive country like Malaysia, known more for its conservatism, it comes as a resounding shock and surprise that activist Nathaniel Tan is on a hunger strike for justice in the fashionable Kuala Lumpur suburb of Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

If this was happening in India or the United States it won’t even raise eyebrows. But in Malaysia? Covid-19 has prompted and brought about some sweeping changes that even in a staid nation like Malaysia there are desperate cries for help.

It’s not that Nathaniel is an attention seeker. He feels there is too much talk and not enough positive, concrete action taken by the authorities while thousands have already died in the country due to the pandemic.

Nathaniel has gone on a hunger strike and listed five demands to be met before he ends his strike.

They are:

* To give decision-making power to experts or the Parliament in handling Covid-19 immediately

* To channel RM 500 million to buy medical equipment for hospitals handling Covid-19 cases

* To allow frontliners to reveal the real Covid-19 situation without any action taken against them

* To make public companies that are allowed to be able to operate during the  lockdown

* To provide N95  face masks and sanitisers at all hospitals and police stations for free

This is not some prank by a youth but a real serious bid to highlight the gravity and how serious the consequences are for failing to give in to his wish list.  But Nathaniel is no wishful thinker. He knows he is biting off a lot, perhaps more than he can chew, but he is sticking to his game plan.

Nathaniel draws inspiration from his hero and role model, the late Indian freedom fighter, Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi and points out that Ghandi was able to gain Independence for India without firing a single bullet.

This is why Nathaniel says his bid is peaceful and non-violent and although he has been questioned by policemen armed with guns on his stance, he is not backing down and plans to go on with his hunger strike until his demands are met.


** The views expressed on this opinion is of the writer and not the publisher