When the GetanMP flyers were first conceived, we inserted the tagline Make Malaysia Home.
Its brevity spurred multiple readings; a little aphorism aimed at different sections of voters. For the middle/upper-middle class contemplating the greener grass of migration, it was a challenge to stay and irrigate our own land. For the apathetic, it was a call of duty to clean up our own house. And yet on another level, it pleaded that we become more inclusive, that we breathe as a family regardless of race, religion and class.
March 8, 2008 is special. Be it the challenge, the call of duty, or the plea - this was collectively answered. It is now entirely up to us to make Home so. If we imagine, we give it life.
We at GetanMP-PJ Utara are embarking on the next step. We're out to make PJ a very fine place to live. Not PJ Utara, not PJ Selatan, not Bukit Lanjan nor Seri Setia, but all Petaling Jaya. We are Anak Bangsa Malaysia-PJ. And if you're a PJ resident we'd like you to join us. We're many different layers - fat, thin, black, yellow brown - yet we're common. As with GetanMP, we're starting an e-group of interested PJ residents. From there we'll work things out together. Commitment is entirely your call. Join us; bring a friend, bring a family. Send us an email and we'll set you up.
Below is a description of what we'd like to do. Can we? If we want it, why not.
We'll allow the dynamics of this group to unfold naturally. Like society itself, it's best left organic. Leaders will emerge, ditto specialists and interest groups within our midst. This is desirable. We're plural. We're mongrel.
Even so, we've identified three broad categories where AnakBangsaMalaysia-PJ will organise itself. Its geographic locus is PJ, yet its societal current is free to spread out to Selangor and Malaysia. It transcends mere politics; it is about Grace and Being. The categories are:
PJ folks are diverse. Yet in its diversity it is atomic. We'd like to see bonds form. Ownership. A sense of Belonging. This can come via shared activities and interests. Some will take a long time to germinate, some sooner. Ideas include:
a) Talks/Dialogues: To get experts to talk about topical subjects. eg History of PJ and where we've sidetracked; the Sg Buloh Leprosarium, Bukit Gasing Wildlife and Wild Plans. Venues could vary. This could be in Living Room settings of 20 people; casual, but informative; it could be the auditorium at Sin Chew.
b) People First community-driven projects: This may be about working hand-in-hand with MBPJ, or with private-sector sources. Draw ideas from around the world - there are many - and let these inspire our own. For a very fine example, see Project for Public Spaces.
c) PJ Pengembara: Organise off-the-beaten-track road trips within the state and its neighbours. Orang Asli settlements, Carey Island, rubber estates... you name it.
a) To hold awareness forums on development in PJ.
b) Public transportation and carparking issues - the strategic solutions.
c) To safeguard public parks and green lungs.
Again, the scope and depth is determined by members. It may be in alliance with existing NGO initiatives such as Save Bukit Gasing, or the Save the Valley of Hope program. We assure you that we're keeping a sharp eye on UM's reported 'lease' of its land to high-end developers.
In any case, it would be good that we get to know about the issues within our backyard.
This will be in line with The People's Parliament Representative Watch Committee. Barisan Rakyat happened; it wasn't merely a pretty poster, it actually happened. Now the next step. For more info, read Haris Ibrahim's election pledge. We shall be closely allied to PP on this initiative.
On the DUN and municipal level, a similar auditing/cooperative system will be set in place.
Biting off too much? Perhaps. And perhaps not. We're throwing as wide a net to involve as many PJians-with-a-heart as possible. The grandpa, the restless youth, the SUV man. Each comes with a cord. We'll weave. What we'll weave is what we dare imagine. The PJ we imagine won't happen overnight, we're well aware of that. Ideas will lie buried or kicked, there will be disagreements, bonds may even break. But the idea of an amazing tapestry is just too good to let go. It is our design.