Tuesday, March 24, 2009

All In A Night

[to Malaysiakini moderators: appreciate it if you do not link my blog onto your website with the link of your news in this entry, very many thanks, folks. What? My husband owes you cartoons? Ok I'll let him know. haha ;-) ]

I'd like to thank a number of you out there who have called to express their concerns and dissatisfaction over the banning of Abang's paper (well, not his paper la, but he leads the running of it).

And while Abang was so busy last night entertaining calls from journalists of the non-BN-controlled medias (and also entertaining emails pertaining the issue, hence, aku tak dapat tatap internet langsung, hmph), he also received a 'live' report of what happened in the Bukit Selambau ceramah last night. FRU fired tear gas canisters and chemical-laced water among the crowds. Only a 5,000 crowd, mind you.

Have you been and seen how big a 5,000 crowd is? I've been to ceramahs with crowds of 10,000, 14,000, 30,000.... so, 5,000 is not at all big and harmful. In these crowds, usually bukan hanya orang lelaki tegap perkasa aje, tau. There will be pakcik-pakcik & makcik-makcik who feel that they need to 'reform' and contribute in the last years of their lives, and parents with kids who feel like the kids need introduction to erti perjuangan untuk Bangsa Malaysia Yang Bersatu yang sebenarnya.

So, you imagine, oh i dunno, like, your mom and dad? or aunts and uncles? or atuk nenek? or anak-anak menakan hat kecik-kecik tu?... being fired tear gas canisters and chemical-laced water without warning. Apa yang diorang dah buat sampai kena macam tu, sekadar duduk nak dengar ceramah aje?

I've seen rowdy crowds of BN supporters before, like, really rowdy macam samseng. Aku tak tipu, dan aku tak exaggerate. Sampai aku naik malu sebab tengok budak-budak Melayu macam tak da pelajaran dan ugama berlagak samseng macam monyet kat Taman Botanical Pulau Pinang tu.

I've also been, quite a few times, mingling around in Pakatan Rakyat crowds. Yes, they can be a wee bit rowdy, but there will always be someone or somebody or the jawatankuasa keselamatan (like the Unit Amal) who would keep reminding the crowd to stay as level-headed as possible and not to provoke anything. Ni pun aku tak tipu, sebab aku dah saksikan sendiri kala selalu ikut Abang join these crowds. Respek dan keyakinan aku bertambah dengan PR. Bulu roma aku naik kalau berada di tengah-tengah rakyat dalam crowd Pakatan Rakyat. Semua orang sama taraf, sama level, sama manusia, sama berdisiplin. Semua ramah tak kira umur, bangsa dan agama. Semua akan tolong each other tak kira umur, bangsa dan agama. Hmm, masa menaip ni pun, bulu roma aku naik. Aku boleh terbayang-bayang lagi how I felt. Semangat patriotik aku untuk Negara Malaysia akan meluap-luap kalau ada di kalangan rakyat in PR.

And this, coming from someone who was once a Ketua Biro UMNO UK&Eire Cawangan Edinburgh. Yes, me.

In Suratkhabar Bintang today, this is the only reporting about the FRU in Bukit Selambau that they manage to add (I want to bersangka-baik that it was a last minute addition before they started printing for Tuesday's distribution):

But this was what happened:

From Malaysiakini --
Bkt Selambau: Tear gas fired at Anwar's ceramah

Mar 23, 09 11:36pm

Volleys of tear gas were fired into the crowd minutes after Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim took the podium in a ceramah tonight at Bukit Selambau, Kedah.

According to eyewitnesses, the police fired tear gas and unleashed chemical-laced water on about 5,000 people who had gathered in an open field opposite the PKR election operation centre for the ceramah.

The ceramah, which kicked off at 9.30pm, was to feature a number speeches by top Pakatan Rakyat leaders including Anwar.

“After a 10-minute introduction, Anwar went up on stage and in less than a minute after he started speaking, the police fired tear gas and doused the people with water,” said Saiful Izham, who is Bukit Selambau PKR election director and party’s supreme council member.

Saiful said that no warning was given by the police. The crowd began to disperse soon after but at least 19 people were arrested.

“I saw 19 people held in one truck alone,” said Saiful. He estimated there were more than 200 riot police deployed, backed by two water cannon vehicles as well as five police trucks.

Anwar ushered into operation room

Soon after pandemonium erupted as a result of the tear gas, Anwar was quickly ushered into the PKR operation room where aides sealed the door.

Saiful said that the police tried to “break down the door” but decided not to proceed. Anwar later emerged from the office at about 11pm apparently unscathed.

“The police shot 20 or 30 rounds of tear gas,” lamented Saiful, adding that the police continued to chase remants of the crowd into the Sungai Petani's Taman Ria Jaya neighbourhood for more than an hour later.

He said that those arrested were brought to the police headquarters in Kuala Muda. According to party members, more than 50 could have been detained.

Among those held are Kedah senator Zamri Yusuf from PKR and aides to Pakatan leaders, including those working for Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak, PKR's Bukit Selambau candidate S Manikumar and Anwar.

Kuala Muda OCPD ACP Hashim Ali said police had no choice but to act tough against the crowd.

"We cannot allow them to assemble unlawfully due to the security factor
[bullshit, that I can tell you] and moreover the ceramah did not have a police permit [oh pray tell which ceramah Pakatan Rakyat yang pernah dapat permit, even though dah submit permohonan 2 weeks prior, hmm? BAGHAL]," he told Bernama.

According to the police, the crowd had repeatedly defied orders to disperse.

Tensions are high in Bukit Selambau, a state constituency where a crucial by-election will be held on April 7.

PKR is fielding greenhorn Manikumar against Kedah MIC deputy chairman S Ganesan in the contest.

Two other by-elections will also be held on the same day - in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat in Perak and Batang Ai state seat in Sarawak.

The opposition Pakatan Rakyat has today named ousted Perak menteri besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin as the PAS candidate for Bukit Gantang while Jawah Gerang is the PKR candidate for Batang Ai.


I don't know what sort of kerajaan yang mentadbir kita ni, really. Pengecut, kot?

I once asked Abang -- what sort of guarantee should the Pakatan Rakyat take over the country one day, that all these fiascos of FRUs, police beatings, almost non-existence press freedom and corrupt judiciary systems will not occur as now?

Abang's answer was simple indeed -- these things only happen when a government knows how weak it is. If a government is strong, you goncang lah macam mana pun, it will still remain strong.

What I know is, I don't want my children and great-great grandchildren to be living in the present government if they are not willing to properly reform and unite, and become more transparent in their dealings.

That, I know.


updated at 3.20pm:[after a Press Conference at the Parliament]
Suara Keadilan to defy suspension order
[free B.M version here]

...The ministry's decision to suspend the two party newspapers also invoked the anger of former minister Zaid Ibrahim, reports K Pragalath.

"There is no respect for people who voted for opposition. No respect for democracy and law. It looks bad internationally," he told reporters at a book launch event in Kuala Lumpur today.

"They (the government) talk about being first world but behave like the third world.

"Which country in Asia has so much control over the press? Practically all BN parties own the newspapers. Is that not enough?"
he asked.

Saiiiiyaaaaaaang Zaid Ibrahim.



nik awin said...

lawan tetap lawann

jOnOs said...

: )

Roti Kacang Merah said...

tegar, beb. ;-D


cakapaje said...

Salam Alin,

Bukan saja suratkhabar lama je, tapi kesemua media conventional kepunyaan si baghal dan bahalul tu! Bila kerajaan negeri Kelantan memohon radio, ianya ditolak. Tapi, rtamno kini sedang lancarkan 9 saluran baru. Hampir kesemua tidak ada kandungan yang membangunkan minda rakyat, apalagi hal agama.

Si baghal dan pengecut yang sebenarnya merupakan bakal Perdana Mentaliti rendah tu kut...den dah agak bahawa bila dia naik takhta, dia akan gunakan kuku besi. Tapi kita lawan habisan. InsyAllah, kebenaran akan menyerlah dan kemenangan di pihak kita.

Roti Kacang Merah said...

bro shah
yup...kita sama-sama lawan habis-habisan!!!

hari ribut said...

dulu masa zaman mula-mula reformasi selalu petang sabtu ke jln tar,tak ada kecoh-kecohpun...tepat jam 6.45pm semua orang tahu je nak balik...

Roti Kacang Merah said...

hari ribut
ye lah, bukan nak buat kacau pun sebenarnya, kan? sekadar nak bagitau ketidakpuasan hati sebagai rakyat, betul?


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