Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Posts Tagged ‘protests

The Government’s Fear of One Man

The Federal Government’s behaviour is just appalling. They lock down KL in anticipation of a fictitious rally – based on two blogs and sms rumours? Here I was thinking that the government view of blogs was that they are non-credible news sources, but suddenly two blogs have the power to lock down KL? The traffic jams were incredible!

Today Anwar was arrested in a heavy-handed fashion that was completely unnecessary. It is just like it was ten years ago. On the night of his arrest in 1998, I was on the phone with a friend when the police trucks drove past my window in a convoy to his house. We had anticipated that his arrest could come at any time, and an hour later I walked to his house to see what happened. A crowd of people was standing around listless, no words being spoken – exactly like how you would imagine a leaderless people.

At this point in time I am uncertain what will happen next. Though Anwar requested that his supporters and the people of this nation remain calm, I do worry that some lower ranking Opposition people will organise demonstrations on their own. It would not be surprising given the culture of ‘rabble rousing’ that was present at PKR’s founding.

Malaysiakini References

Roadblocks set up amid protest fears (link)
Parliament out of bounds to public on Monday (link)
Gridlock in KL as police mount roadblocks (link)
Opposition did plan demo today (link)

Press Statement from Anwar’s Office

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ak57

July 17, 2008 at 12:48 am

Protests of the Racists

There have been a number of protests in the last couple of weeks, all driven by individuals with a racist agenda. This is one of my pet peeves so be prepared for a long post.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ak57

March 20, 2008 at 8:56 pm

A Quick HINDRAF comic

HINDRAF Rally #1

Still reading through all the news on this event, its been most depressing. Just a quick comic for now, hope the chaps throwing back the tear gas canisters weren’t identified and caught!

Written by ak57

November 26, 2007 at 8:46 am

Posted in AK57 Comics, Human Rights

Tagged with ,

Incoming Horde Not A Challenge

Bersih gathering an act of defiance: PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 9, 2007): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today condemned the Coalition for Free and Fair Election (Bersih) for its defiance of authority in deciding to carry on with its illegal assembly tomorrow.

“I’ve heard from the police that they will not be given a permit (for the assembly) but I’ve seen from reports and I’ve heard from sources that the organisation wants to continue.

“This shows their stubbornness. I’m very disappointed with this act as this will cause a lot of problems,” he said in his winding-up speech at the Umno General Assembly which ended on schedule.

“Are they challenging the government and the leadership? They are challenging and ignoring the law. That’s what they’re challenging, not me. But I will not be challenged!” he said, to cheers from the congregation.

Abdullah said Malaysia enjoyed peace and stability because she upholds the rule of law.

He said the demonstration was not the way to bring change.

“This is not our way; this is not the way of Malaysia. Ours is democracy and this (the gathering) is not acceptable.

“The police have asked them to stop and when untoward incidents happen, they blame the police, when in fact, it is their doing,” he said.

In addressing Bersih’s concern for change, he said: “What changes do they want? Wait for the election!”

The Election Commission – often the target of the Coalition’s criticism – is putting up transparent boxes, and had approved the use of indelible ink, Abdullah said, adding that the country’s practice of democracy had allowed opposition wins in every election.

“I hope the people will understand that this wayside democracy is not the way to effect change and will not accept this move. People are willing change in a peaceful way. Not this way.

“How can they be leaders (when they ignore the law)? The law must be upheld and respected,” he said.

– quoted from an article published in The Sun on 9th November 2007 (link)

Looking back at this earlier article I can say that i agree with the PM on one point – when bad things happen the organisers would (and did) blame the police. The fact is that the police denied the permit and warned against the march, anyone going should have expected to be arrested, tear gassed and sprayed by the FRU.

A vast majority of the people who did go were very, very lucky indeed, as only the unfortunate ones at Masjid Jamek bore the brunt of the standard FRU dispersal tactics. Anyone from the Reformasi 1999 days can tell you far worse stories.

Will talk about this more in a later post, still going thru a stack of articles sigh 😦

Ignoring BERSIH’s demands and saying to ‘wait for the election’ doesn’t make a lick of sense sir, all the changes they are demanding need to be made before elections. Oh no, I hope the PM doesn’t make more statements like this in the future, maybe Nazri Logic is contagious 😉

The part where the PM said he will not be challenged, or ‘saya pantang dicabar!’ was sad and funny at the same time – don’t talk like a dictator sir!

Dictator Talk #1

Written by ak57

November 15, 2007 at 10:04 pm

BERSIH Rally Comics

There has been so much to read online about Saturday’s event, I hope to post up a summary of the information soon but for now please enjoy the following comics inspired by that day. Please remember that these comics are based on reports read online by independant media so there may be some factual errors on my part.

BERSIH Moments #1

BERSIH Moments #2

BERSIH Moments #3

BERSIH Moments #4

BERSIH Moments #5

BERSIH Moments #6

BERSIH Moments #7

BERSIH Moments #8

BERSIH Moments #9

BERSIH Moments #10

BERSIH Moments #11

Written by ak57

November 13, 2007 at 7:04 am

Posted in AK57 Comics, Human Rights

Tagged with ,

A Pleasant Surprise

I felt a bit lost today, desparately trying to find live news coverage of the protest. After searching the Internet high and low my main sources of news ended up being :

  1. www.harakahdaily.net
  2. www.suarakeadilan.com
  3. www.malaysiakini.com (especially this map)
  4. ntbn.wordpress.com

No bloggers blogging from their mobile phone? Updates on the sites I mentioned were sporadic and the network was awfully slow. Bersih.org seemed to be back up but I’m not sure about that since it was password protected so no luck there.

It rained heavily today, no doubt to the government’s advantage. The LRT station at Masjid Jamek was shutdown by 2 pm, even Central Market was closed. The pleasant surprise to me was that there was no violence. Yes there was tear gassing and water cannon spraying but nothing beyond that thank goodness. Despite Harakah Daily reporting that the police sent out swarms of men to arrest people at random after the memorandum was delivered, no such thing occurred according to my friends who attended the event.

Unfortunately there were some arrests, at least 20 people though at this moment the exact figure is still unknown. Also the police roadblocks all over town and on the Federal Highway created massive traffic jams having effect all the way to Petaling Jaya. I hope the people arrested today get out soon.

I was a bit disappointed that no Opposition leaders were reported marching with the crowd, especially Anwar Ibrahim despite saying this morning that he would. He did show up at the Istana just in time on a motorcycle though, very cool and very brave 🙂

50,000 people gathered today. No violence by police. Memorandum delivered to the King. So overall I would say it was an historic, awesome day 🙂

Written by ak57

November 10, 2007 at 7:43 pm

Posted in Freedom of Speech, Human Rights

Tagged with ,

Prelude to Bersih March

A rally is going to take place at Dataran Merdeka less than 12 hours from now. A rally that has been reported by the government as an illegal gathering, and as such you are 100% guilty of committing a crime if you attend. Should you go?

If you are physically able to and have no commitments tying you down in case you are arrested for an extended period then go, show your support for a non-corrupt election process, protest the evils of our present government. I have not attended such a large gathering since the Reformasi days, even then it was not organised on a scale as great as this one.

Even though the police have publicly announced they will detain those who attend, I imagine that it will be a difficult journey. The path from Dataran Merdeka to Istana Negara is not easy and it is impossible for a mob to travel it without disturbing traffic flow. Would a gathering alone not have sufficed?

Sigh..it is hard..I have been thinking about this problem of opposing the government for many years, and it is just too easy for the government to take advantage of lack of foresight on opposition entities’ part.

Despite the organisers stating that it is a peaceful protest, it has been well established that our government does not support the people’s right to assembly and protest. It is impossible for the organisers to maintain peace, there are bound to be agent provocateurs to incite violence 😦 Any gathering that is open to all people is also open to trouble makers, it is just an unfortunate reality to accept.

How do you react when some hothead starts spewing racial slurs and throwing things at police? Hit the hothead? Then police will arrest you for violent behaviour, your supporters will get angry, shoving starts – BAM! Riot starts!

Perhaps the organisers have a plan to form a chain of people locking hands, establishing a zone of peaceful protestors – any potential rioters can then be peacefully pushed out of the zone. That’s one idea of the top of my head. I just hope that there is no communications blackout to prevent people from posting news as it happens.

Don’t misunderstand, I do support peaceful protests. It is just that given the laws in place, government agent provocateurs and police brutality, that makes it nigh impossible to have one. This rally is a last resort, to show the government the massive support of the people for a just honourable government and election system.

More than 5,000 people from across the country..sigh, I wish I could go but disabilities prevent me. I truly hope this is not going to be a day of public tragedy. If you are going, be prepared for a hasty escape if the situation turns extremely violent – better to live to vote on election day and help foster opposition in the hearts of those who blindly support the government 🙂

Good luck supporters of justice!

BERSIH Solidarity

Written by ak57

November 10, 2007 at 4:19 am

Minister’s words unbecoming

Lawyers’ march unbecoming, says Nazri

PUTRAJAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the lawyers’ march was “unbecoming” given that the authenticity of the videotape recording had yet to be determined.

He also shot down the Bar Council’s memorandum to the prime minister asking that a permanent judicial commission be in charge of judicial appointments.

“There’s no need (for such a judicial commission) as there is no crisis in our judiciary,” said Nazri.

“No crisis, no problems. I don’t see any scandal.

“This are all efforts by the opposition to create distrust and erode public confidence in the judiciary.

“They wish that we can be like Pakistan, but it isn’t.” (He was referring to street protests by lawyers there over the sacking of the country’s top judge.)

Nazri was speaking after attending a breaking of fast for staff of the legal affairs division in the Prime Minister’s Department.

On the regulation of judges’ conduct, Nazri said judges had their own peer system by which they regulated each other. … (cut)

– quoted from an article published in NST on 27th September 2007 (link)

Regardless of a visible crisis or not, there is a need for a judicial commission. Otherwise the practise of ‘Jobs for the boys’ (cronyism) will be kept in place. I guess since Nazri may want such practises to be maintained he has no choice but to just refuse to entertain the request. No problems? For goodness’ sake man, 2000 people just marched in protest earlier that day. Not uneducated masses, but working lawyers – a difficult course to learn, pass and be good enough to get a job. Nazri’s denial is deplorable, like a child slapping his hands to his ears and saying ‘no-no-no’.

I think the Agong can step in and straighten things out when someone as high up as the Chief Justice is found to be corrupt, but its been a while since I read the Constituition, guess I’ll pick up a copy next time I’m out.

Peer systems don’t work when everyone is friend-friend with each other and rubs each others backs at every opportunity (yes I am exaggerating, but how much I have no idea).

Written by ak57

September 27, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Posted in Local News, Nazri Nonsense

Tagged with ,

March for Justice

What a shame I couldn’t go for yesterday’s march, the turnout was very impressive indeed – an estimated 2000 people including lawyers and members of the general public attended. First there was a gathering at the Palace of Justice:

Palace of Justice Gathering

Some of the buses that were ferrying people (from town I believe) were stopped by police. The dedicated passengers got off and walked an estimated 5km to the Palace. Awesome. Then the 2.5 km walk began at high noon, there’s a picture below to illustrate the size of the procession though I ran it thru a filter to prevent anyone’s face from being recognised :

A very, very long procession

Some time after they reached it started raining, but still most of the protestors put up with it and waited for the Bar Council representatives to deliver the memorandum. No FRU spraying the crowd, or arrests made or government moles starting riots – perhaps the government has learned a lesson after what happened recently in Terengganu?

*Update 30th September 2007* – NST has published a report on the march (link)

Written by ak57

September 27, 2007 at 9:34 pm

Posted in Local News

Tagged with ,