Malaysiakini reported that the Abolish the ISA Movement (GMI) has postponed its planned ISA vigil at Dataran Merdeka.
GMI had planned the vigil to protest the government’s detention without trial of Malaysian citizens under the Internal Security Act. This has been due to the Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman issuing a stern warning to GMI and the public to stay away from Dataran Merdeka because he wouldn't issue any permit for the event.
We know that in recent months the police had dispersed protestors who participated in assemblies, forcefully and even with the use of water cannons and tear gas. The men in blue had also arrested many taking part in these rallies.
It seems that in recent times, the only opposition rally that emerged reasonably unscathed (except for a contained fracas which didn’t affect the main body) had been Bersih which marched all the way to the Palace to hand over a petition to the King, with the police handling the protestors with reasonable restraint. There was even an uninterrupted press conference with Bersih leaders after the petition was handed over.
By stark contrast, the police suppression of the Hindraf rally, even though it was just marching to the embassy (or rather High Commission) of a foreign country, was fiercely suppressed.
Put a question mark against those different treatments for the two rallies by police, or more correctly, by their political master(s).
GMI president Syed Ibrahim stressed that the planned but now postponed event, like previous GMI events, would have been entirely peaceful, posing no threat to public order and national security.
He scoffed at the police refusal to issue the permit, stating: “It has rather been the actions and deliberate provocation by the police which have caused (peaceful) gatherings to end in chaos.”
But sometimes I feel for the police because, as I mentioned earlier, it’s their political master(s) who set the policy, tone and probably the instructions for their over-the-top SS-type heavy-handed actions.
Look - our dear wonderful PM AAB, who is also the offending Internal Security Minister, has deliberately shut out a significant segment of the Malaysian public by his refusal to take heed of what protestors in peaceful rallies have been unhappy and complaining about, even though this Bapak Islam Hadhari has claimed he possesses Big Ears to listen to our dissatisfaction.
Instead he has buried his head in sycophantic sand while, with rapt attention, poured over a petition of support handed over by a mushroomed-overnight Damai, which claimed to represent nearly 400 NGOs and 1.5 million people.
And those up-to-now-unheard-of-and-unnamed but amazing NGOs, all 395 of them, must have all this while been representing the mute, comatose and very dead, because until post Hindraf we haven’t heard a single peep, squeak or sokong from them. As for the 1.5 million people ... well ...
Dataran Merdeka means ‘Independence (or Freedom) Place’, but it has become a blasphemy that this public Square continues to have a name with the word ‘Merdeka’. Until the Malaysian people, of whatever creed, political persuasion or religious beliefs, can enter and assemble peacefully there, the place should be re-named.
Since we are for all intents and purposes living in a police state, let’s call it Dataran ‘Sembilan Belas Lapan Puluh Empat’ (1984) after the Orwellian model, until we may enjoy true democracy once again.
It's clear that Dataran 1984 is off limits to those who believe in democracy!