The Star Paper headline was “Costly Demo”. 😛 I was curious. Imagine if the peaceful assembly was allowed, and with 15,000-20,000 people supporting the city industry of food and drinks (I can imagine the hawkers smiling now!), no road blocks (thus free access for normal shoppers), and the LRT stations at Masjid Jamek and Pasar Seni were open, how much would the city have earned? Just curious . . .I noticed the Sun didn’t even have the “demo” mentioned on the front page. Hmmm.. From a media perspective, decisions like this interest me.
The question is not whether there are venues to vent anger. The issue is whether there are ears that will truly listen to what is behind the anger and do the right thing.
A little saving grace for the Sun by publishing former Bar Council President Yeo Yang Poh’s comment.
Because, in general, countries that do not persecute marchers are prosperous or are improving from their previous state of affairs, and those that do are declining.
Because Gandhi marched, Mandela marched, Martin Luther King marched, and Tunku Abdul Rahman marched.
Because more and more people realise that peaceful assemblies are no threat at all to the security of the nation, although they are a threat to the security of tenure of the ruling elite.
Because politicians do not mean it when they say with a straight face or a smile that they are the servants and that the people are the masters. No servant would treat his master with tear gas, batons and handcuffs.
Haris provides some interesting pictures on the ground in close proximity with “running” (no pun intended) commentary.
My estimate of the crowd at Sogo : 10,000 – 15,000
However, it was not so much the size of the crowd that got to me.
Firstly, the number of youth who turned up and were passionate about the issue. This was encouraging.
And contrary to what I had expected, this was not a predominantly PAS crowd. It was a good mix.
I spoke to some of the youth in the crowd.
This was one Malay youth’s response, which typified the views of the others I spoke to.
“Tak boleh buat tak tahu lagilah, bang. Kerajaan zalim. BN dah tak boleh caya, dah”.
This was a response from a young Chinese lady.
“If we don’t want the ISA, we have to fight, lah. Who else is going to fight for us?”.
There is hope yet for our nation.
Online media headlines for Monday interesting contrast with the Star for example.
As expected, Anil Netto provides live coverage from multiple sources, and gives space for people to add their 2 cents.
This gives a good ongoing update of what happened on 1 August last Saturday.
for those who prefer pictures than words.
This is Tony Pua’s comment one day before the Anti-ISA rally.
No one disputes the fact that the intent of the law, when it was first enacted, was to maintain peace and harmony at a time when we were facing a communist insurgency. But the threat has long disappeared, and unfortunately the ISA is now used for political suppression by putting away political activists deemed a threat to the BN‘s hold onto power.