I feel demoralized when I read the news in Malaysiakini that Sdr Ezam Mohd Noor, Youth Chief of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, will quit politics soon.
Ezam, Marfuz Omar (the then Pas Youth Chief), Faizal Sanusi (the then Parti Rakyat Malaysia Youth Chief) and me (the then DAP Youth Chief) were among the popular speakers at ceramahs organized by Pas or Parti Keadilan Rakyat during the height of Reformasi (1998-1999) when we travelled all over the country to speak to ten of thousands of enthusiastic people from all walks of life. At one time, the UMNO Youth Chief, Hishamuddin Hussein Onn, had even challenged us to debate with the BN youth leaders. He named Ezam, Marfuz and me to be in the BA team. However, the chicken-hearted Hishamuddin backed out.
We travelled from cities to kampongs and to the most remote area of the country just to disseminate the message of Reformasi. We organized forums and seminars for the youth. We even spoke in the National Mosque compound and confronted the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) who fired tear gas at us.
The most memorable one was the Black 14 gathering preparation. Ezam was arrested under the notorious Internal Security Act (ISA) an hour after leaving the last meeting held in the the PRM headquarters in Petaling Jaya when he was supposed to catch the flight to Penang.
When I later visited him in the Kamunting Detention Centre, he looked pale but was high-spirited. I find it hard to believe that he wants to quit now. Although I feel that he should stay on, I believe he must have very good reasons to justify the decision.
I could only wish that he would change his mind.
Picture by courtesy of Malaysiakini