Sunday, November 11, 2007


BERSIH got dirty at Jamek Mosque

the Jamek Mosque, Kuala Lumpur

well friends, i got my first taste of tear gas today. and i can report that it wasn't pleasant. in fact i felt so nauseous and could hardly breath and lost my usual cool self and my head and ran to the obvious place where there was no gas and that means running straight into the row of the policemen/FRUs. but i had a presence of mind to make a very quick turn when i saw those in front of me got beaten up by these policemen and ran smack into the thick of the thick smoke again and in a panic i rushed to the nearest safe place and tried to enter the glass door of a building nearby which was of course locked and i must have looked like a very funny idiot to those watching safely from the inside of the building - retching and taking another back turn and scampered like a rat to safety. but again , i had a presence of mind to imagine that i'm a damned aljazeera photographer or something and managed to snap a picture in the thick of the tear gas smoke -for memory sake.

There were reports that in this initial stage of the mayhem some people were arrested . Malaysiakini reported 29, some PAS sources claimed the number to be 80, and later as high as 245 all togather. But i don't know, i was rather at the back of the crowd and always prefer to run away and fight another day rather than be a hero and because i was not a hero i did not get the water canon treatment with it's acidic and corrosive fumes which was the first act of aggression by these policemen towards the peaceful BERSIH protesters.

There was no cause for any of these rough treatments and it should not take this ugly turn as the multitude of yellows of BERSIH rally participants at jamek mosque were peaceful, well disciplined and definitely not agressive or taunting these FRUs.

when i arrived at around 1.30 pm the mosque and the compound was already full of people and the mass spilled over to the jalan tun perak opposite. everybody was in high spirit chanting Allah Hu Akbar, snapping pictures - yes for memory sake and planning to enjoy a nice walk to dataran merdeka and on to the istana negara. Before the march there was a very clear instruction that the protesters should not do any untoward actions to challenge the police force or do anything to retaliate as you can see and listen here. this is a peaceful march and this is repeated many times.

But even as this peaceful march was being reiterated by Dr Hassan Ali one of the PAS leaders the itchy fingered FRU boys already started their water canon display spraying the marchers on jalan tun perak as you can see here which totally took them by surprise and the acidic and toxic solutions not only drenched the marchers but unsuspecting mothers with little children enjoying the scene.

but despite all that the event is considered a success by all as you can read here
or elsewhere. funny thing about numbers though. in events like this people suddenly don't seem to know how to count. some said the crowd that went to istana negara was 40,000. A PAS friend estimated 200,000 .I guess he included all those buses from various states that were prevented from entering KL and sympathetic bystanders. there is no doubt that umno assholes will interpret this event as a dismal failure as there was nobody to be seen at dataran merdeka.

i'll leave it to the politikus to analyze what all this means and what it portends but i sincerely wish that this will be a new beginning to a better and more civilized malaysia. it's beyond any logical explanation why anyone would disagree with having a free and fair election and everybody play on a level playground.

what would be interesting also is to see how the oh malaysian intellectuals take their stand. would be very interested to know how the literary bloggers (which by definition should be considered intellectuals- of sort) view all these. will they be as commited as poor simple village folks who come all the way from Kelantan say, to support BERSIH, or would they just be content with being silent and only remain excited in their own literary world furiously debating story arcs and the meaning of dead goldfish in various cultures? i don't want to hazard a guess for fear of being disappointed.

when everybody in the western world was busy planning a celebration of his last birthday what gabriel garcia marquez did was to run away and visited fidel castro instead. i'm sure there's a lesson there somewhere for our local writers though me being rather stupid can't really put a finger to it.

well, i think i kind of going off tangent again and i don't want to be rude to myself so i'll end it here for the moment with this excerpt from the book i'm currently reading. It's the emperor by ryszard kapuscinski.

And just think my friend, amid all this flowering development, amid the success and well-being proclaimed by our monarch, suddenly an uprising breaks out. A thunderbolt from clear blue sky! In the palace- astonishment, surprise, running back and forth, bustle, His August Majesty asking, "Where did it come from?" And how can we, humble servants , answer him? Accidents happen to people don't they? So, they can also happen to an Empire, and in 1968 this is what happened to us: in Gojam Province the peasants jumped on their ruler's throat.

it's beyond any logical explanation why anyone would disagree with having a free and fair election and everybody play on a level playground.


well done, greenbottle.

this litblogger was 100% with you in heart and would have marched for sure if she were a malaysian citizen and a voter
I was walking along Jln TAR on that particular day and time, doing some shopping when I saw some 'pakciks' proudly wear the yellow t- shirt walking along the same road. It was after the congregation I guess. The rest of us in the crowd just manage to stare but these people really take action into what they really believe in. I salute them.
ms bibliobibuli and aidee;

thank you;

there's no better feeling than the feeling of doing the right thing.
You are a hero.
i'm sure you're saying that with your tongue firmly in your cheek animah!
I'm serious - despite our skirmishes on Miss Bibb's blog in the past.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?