Posted: 09 Jul 2011 10:41 PM PDT
BELIEVE it is quite amazing that the organisers of the rally that resulted in the lockdown of Kuala Lumpur and the ensuing chaos would declare Bersih 2.0 to
be a success.
The rally paralysed the city, it caused numerous inconveniences, attracted a counter-rally that could have been explosive, resulted in perhaps millions of ringgit in losses, as well as money unnecessarily spent on security. We may soon see if there were injuries as a result.
A success? Is it not unlike kids gleefully sharing notes of their pranks, in spite of the inconvenience they might have caused? Many have suggested that the authorities could have done us all a favour by allowing them to walk.
But the authorities did not.
Whether one agreed with the decision or not, defying it meant breaking the law.
Thus, the decision to pursue the rallies was clearly a sign of arrogance and disrespect for the law and law enforcers. It is often said, the law may be an ass, but unless changed, it remains the law.
Bersih 2.0 was attracting counter-rallies that suggested security would be an issue. The police must react in anticipation of trouble, and not after the fact.
If Bersih 2.0 chairman S. Ambiga claimed that it was her constitutional right to assemble, then it must also be that of Umno Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin and Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali, too. Now, the three would have been a volatile mix. Should the police not have acted? Selfishness can never be a virtue because it makes a person forget that he is among others. It makes a person believe that the world is required to revolve around him? Obviously, it was wishful thinking, or an attempt to delude the public into thinking that the rallies yesterday were going to be peaceful.
When we have tens of thousands of people with energy pent up in the past few days, spurred on by their unbridled mob swagger, they would be anything but peaceful.
Some of the marchers, rabble rousers that they were, appeared to be spoiling for a fight.
How could anyone guarantee things to be peaceful when Bersih 2.0 was inviting all comers to join? This is like claiming one can control a boat going down the rapids — one could probably survive it, but it would not be the smoothest, or the safest, of rides.
Yesterday 's rallies were also significant for another reason. They happened despite repeated pleas from the king, sultans and the majority of the citizens. It suggested arrogance. No one else mattered.
Neither king nor kin could change their minds, it seemed.
If the organisers were complaining that the government is not listening, they were also guilty of drowning themselves in their own rhetoric and righteousness.
Scores of tear gas canisters later, what have we achieved? What is the sum total of all that was gained or lost? If yesterday was a success, I dread to think how failure would look like.
All suggestions that Bersih 2.0 was apolitical were generally dismissed by the make-up of its committee and yesterday, it was smashed to smithereens by the antics of the crowd who wore their political affiliation proudly on their sleeves.
Political affiliation is not wrong, but please don't try to pass off imitations as masterpieces.
"What have we gained?" is a good question to be asked by each of the rally organisers.
Maybe it was a pressure release valve that allowed us to ease the tension in the system, so that we be less tense and combative. If that was so, then it was good.
Maybe, it was indeed fuel to the fire, and there were those whose modus operandi was to create chaos. Firebrand speakers who easily charm audiences with entertainment — enter the showman and exit substance? There is a strong sense being bandied about that one must be dense or politically naïve or a government apologist for not supporting Bersih. This is clearly political posturing at its most annoying.
Nevertheless, the same could be said of those supporting Bersih 2.0 — that they are politically naïve or an apologist for the opposition or dense, too.
No one else knows the value of democracy? No one else cares about what happens in the country? This is surely an elitist weknow- what-is-good-for-you attitude.
Just shut up, endure the discomfort and we will make things better.
I have always argued that the right to assemble does not mean making a mess of other people's lives. And taking to the streets is a great way to inconvenience people.
If the idea of the rallies was to test the will of the police, they have done so. If the idea was to embarrass the government, they may have succeeded. If the idea was to mess with our weekend, they have also succeeded beyond belief.
I understand political dissent is a fundamental right, but I always believe that our rights should take a back seat if they impinge upon other s.
There are many who said that they should have been allowed to march peacefully, and then be over with it. This is if we want to be a developed democracy, they said. But what if the authorities had suspected things could go awry? Undoubtedly, the organisers of Bersih 2.0, purportedly calling for free and fair elections, were in fact setting the marker for the next general election.
It was surely the start of the opposition coalition's campaign for the 13th general election. Don't we know it?
Read more: Was it worth wrecking the weekend? http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/Sheerdisplayofarroganceandpoliticalposturing/Article/#ixzz1Rg6Z92xC
Posted: 09 Jul 2011 04:58 AM PDT
Bersih wanted to street demo. Police said cannot . Bersih insisted. Police again said no. Bersih went ahead. Police asked them to disperse. Bersih refused. Police acted. Tear gas, water cannon and arrests ensued. Dejavu Bersih 1.0 of 2007? Hmmm... I don't think so.
Bersih 2.0 is not Bersih 1.0. Thanks to the internet, now more people are aware of their hidden agenda. More people could read counter arguments from the government side.
When I read my twitter timeline and facebook wall, I could see that pro-government supporters were as spirited and boisterous as the anti-government supporters. Clearly, without a doubt, the Yellows did not dominate the cyberspace at all. Let alone claiming to have majority of rakyat's support.
You don't agree? Proof you say? Well beside the much smaller crowds at today's illegal street demonstration, one can easily deduce that by looking at the low numbers of likes, followers, downloads and members of Bersih's pages, Twitter, Pic Badges and Facebook. In fact, more people registered their support with the movement against 100 storey Menara Warisan than Bersih's sensational call for clean and fair election. Is something the matter? Weird isnt it? Read the revelation here.
I am not a fan of Bersih. I guess that is given. But if I were Bersih:
I would not abandon talks with the Election Commission. I would have more meetings with them to discuss further my demands than just that one meeting Bersih attended;
I would not allow the opposition to hijack my cause. No joint press conferences, no pictures taken together, no chanting of "Reformasi";
I would have taken the offer by the Menteri Besar Selangor to use Stadium Shah Alam instead of the Stadium Merdeka. Read my blog here for my thoughts on this;
I would have postponed the 9th July street demonstration and negotiated with government on proper venue and the Dos and Don'ts. What is the rush? It's not like General Election going to be held next week;
I would not heighten police's sense of concern for possible security problems by boasting 300,000 people would swarm Kuala Lumpur to protest when a smaller crowd would have the same impact unless if it was meant for show off!;
I would not use "Demand for fair and clean election" slogan. It was too provocative and insinuating the government you wanted to talk to as being illegitimate. How do you want to deal with someone who calls you a "bastard" and expect pleasantry and politeness? A slogan like "demand for election reforms" would have been better.
By the way, I am confused.
Is Bersih's objective to call for clean and fair election or is it to prove their democratic right to assemble under the constitution, in particular the much quoted, Article 10?
If it was the former, then Bersih could have just handed over the memorandum to the King when His Majesty granted audience to Bersih early this week.
If it was the later, then Bersih should read Article 10 of the constitution in its entirety. Do not just partially quote Article 10, in particular clause (1)(b) by saying, "All citizens have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms".
Please let the rakyat know of the clause (2)(b) of the same Article 10, which says that, "Parliament may by law, impose, on the right conferred by paragraph (b) of Clause (1), such restrictions as it deems necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof, or public order."
Talk about deliberate misquote and mislead! Read further here.
And do you know what happened to the detainees after they were arrested today? Tortured? Interrogated? Beaten?
No! They were treated nicely and even offered hot meals by the police. Go read here. I am happy to note that the police now knows what public relation is all about. Great!
To Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, I am sorry to hear that you got hurt. But I hate to say this to you, "I told you so!".
All in all, Bersih street demonstration today failed to excite the masses as it did in 2007, except for some die-hard supporters of Pakatan Rakyat.
Back then, Malaysians thought they could not win at all because they were told that elections were rigged by SPR and BN! So they poured into Kuala Lumpur streets to vent their anger and frustration.
Now 4 years later, Malaysians realize that Bersih and the opposition could and did win on "tainted" electoral roll. It had won several states and denied BN of its precious 2/3 majority! What else is there to prove?
But then, I could hear the opposition gleefully say:
" Kalau pilihanraya 2008 dulu bersih dan adil, BN tentu kalah habis!".
Well, to that I say:
"Kalau PR tak semborono menghasut,memaki, mencemuh, memfitnah dan menuduh, BN tentu akan sapu habis!".
Terima kasih Polis DiRaja Malaysia. Anda semua adalah hero saya. You are the clear winner today.
Additional notes (845pm):
If there is anything to be learnt by the government form this is its failure to disseminate information. SPR has not been really effective in its effort to counter specific allegations hurled at it.
I have seen how Tan Sri Aziz, Chairman of SPR answered many questions but unfortunately most of SPR's explanantions are scattered everywhere in the interenet. Susah nak cari. Susah nak kumpul maklumat. SPR should have a good spokesman who can answer specific allegation and all answers are posted in its website.
For that the governement is paying the price.
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