The problem with Malaysian mainstream media like this report from the Star is the selective reading and interpretation of events (some might even say spinning) which is utterly disappointing! (it makes one wonder whether they even had a journalist there as a eyewitness of the events. My comments in RED! (This might be a little raw than my usual random and restraint style. It is equally selective and bias at least I better admit it first – it consciously accents the elements which was obviously downplayed)
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MP and two reps among 23 held for illegal assembly
Perhaps the title should have been “FRU charged to disperse peaceful gathering of civilians singing the national anthem “NegaraKU”?
PETALING JAYA: Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua and assemblymen Lau Weng San and Ronnie Liu were among 23 people arrested during a candlelight vigil near the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) last night.
Who were the other 21? How about the catholic priest who was in his white robe? How about the ordinary lady who was hit in the commotion?
They were arrested under Section 27 of the Police Act for allegedly taking part in an illegal assembly after several warnings to disperse were ignored.
What warnings are they referring too? . we heard some unintelligible shouts .sporadically at the MBPJ. Is that a warning? or is it intimidation? I can’t recall anyone speaking from a loud hailer giving several warnings and there was no negotiation with anyone who like the MP and Two reps mentioned above.
The vigil, organised by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih), started at about 8pm at Dataran PJ near Amcorp Mall.
The vigil was in some sense organized by ordinary citizens for the past few weeks with no incident. Since November 9 is the eve for the BERSIH effort last year, so they converged for last night. Of course, I know there’s word limits for news pieces but then facts are facts.
However, the group, numbering in the hundreds, moved to the civic centre near MBPJ when police ordered them to disperse.
Again where was the intelligible orders? I mean in words . are shouts orders?
Also arrested were activists and a priest. Pua and Lau, who is the Kampung Tunku assemblyman, claimed they were manhandled when they were arrested at 10.15pm.
A Roman Catholic Priest to be precise who either didn’t run or couldn’t run because he was wearing his cassock! It should still read “Also arrested were activists, a Roman Catholic Priest, and the rest were ordinary citizens.”
Plus, from the SMSes I got and eye-witness accounts, it’s more than a claim they were manhandled, they were seen to be manhandled! How about the following from Lau’s Blog in real time live below!
I was arrested by police in front of MBPJ. Hit twice at the face. The second punch hurts my lips and it’s bleeding, also a few scratches on my face. The riot police marched in to disperse the crowd without any warning.
As elected rep, I went forward to the first truck and would like to access the situation. I was scolded off in a very rude way and was chasen away by them. I repeatedly told them that I merely wanted to know who were arrested. I was scolded off again and I told the plainclothes to be polite.
Then I was dragged into the truck while punch twice at my face. The police officers applied some yellow lotion on my wounds to avoid the breeding. I manage to recognise the plaincloth who beat me. I will lodge a police report against the injuries. Ronnie and I saw him in the police station just now and Ronnie went forward to ‘interogate’ him, asking him about his name. He refused to give but thank God I can recognise him even he is reduced to ashes.
At midnight, several MPs from DAP and PAS and members from non-governmental organisations gathered at the PJ district police headquarters, condemning the apparent police violence.
More than several to be precise. It was not just DAP and PAS, PKR was there too! No BN reps in sight! Members of NGO were expected to show up. But if the pictures below are correct . again, give some credit to ordinary peace loving Malaysian citizens . they were there too!!
The vigil was held to protest against the detentions under the Internal Security Act, among other things.
Of course, the police station was impressively well guarded . . . kesian, pity them it was a long night for them too . . . I wonder whether they get overtime.
Selangor Chief Police Officer Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed that police had arrested 23 people, including the three representatives under the Police Act.
He said the group had been gathering there illegally for four weeks and had not obtained permits to do so.
DCP Khalid denied claims that the group were singing the national anthem when they were arrested.
Watch the videos here and decide for yourself (especially the 2 darker video clips!).
On second thoughts, maybe this is more like splitting hairs. The FRU charged into the group while they were singing the last two lines of the national anthem, but by the time they arrested them they managed to finish the last line! Are we missing the point somewhere?
He said police would complete investigations and if those arrested co-operated, they might be given bail.
So, there you go . Malaysian journalism at it’s worst . This is not only disappointing (which I expect), it’s blatantly insulting to our common intelligence (please show the people some respect if you claim to be the people’s paper!) No wonder I don’t buy the paper . save money and give it to those who need it . I recommend child sponsorship programs like World Vision or similar efforts locally!
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6 thoughts on ““NegaraKu”: PJ Anti-ISA Candlelight Vigil and Bersih One Year Anniversary Part 2”
I read some other related report on The Star earlier. *sigh* This sucks. Thanks for the info Sivin.
Shi-Hsia – of course, the reporting is one thing, but the reported is also the other saddening reality.
the catholic priest who was arrested is my parish priest. he was not man handled but he saw some who were.
he was there with few other nuns. it is unbecoming of them to arrest this priest and the assemblymen. whatmore manhandle the assemblymen.
where do we mere citizens stand in all these, if our elected reps are being detained?
I just want to know what happens after they appearing in the police station today. people dont be silent. the least we can do is to pray for a better tomoro. stand up and be counted. just as my parish priest always says
Linda, I have great respect for your parish priest. In fact, I hope to interview him on his reflections of the event.