Thursday, August 11, 2011

Failing The Spot The Difference Game

AUG 11 — It does seem like honesty is a rare commodity in Malaysia. Not once before, during and after the Bersih rally have the BN government, police and senior politicians spoken truthfully about the rally.

Now we have the country’s No. 2 cop alluding that police put down the Bersih rally because otherwise things would have gone awry like the London riots.

This is the same line of argument put forward by Umno bloggers and the mainstream media (one can only surmise that instructions were handed down by Putrajaya).

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar is rewriting history. It is an open secret that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, after an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, decided to offer the Bersih people the use of a stadium.

Soon after that meeting, he chaired a meeting of government officials and announced that he had decided to offer a stadium to the Bersih cause, prompting a round of congratulations by attendees who were pleased that a reasonable solution to the stand off was in the offing.

That stadium offer was revoked the next day. Why? It is anyone’s guess but a representative of an NGO met the PM a day before July 9 and said that the PM was talking about an uprising to overthrow the government and about resistance from groups within Umno.

It is interesting that some of the PM’s insiders are now blaming the Home Ministry and police for the mishandling of Bersih, saying that both groups told Najib that the Bersih people would not vacate the stadium for weeks ala Tahrir Square in Egypt and would force the collapse of the BN government.
These insiders say that Najib’s gut feeling was to allow the rally to take place but was persuaded otherwise.

All that sounds nice on hindsight but the fact is that he took the advice of people — home minister and the police — who don’t have a clue on the DNA of Malaysians. Ninety-five per cent of people who marched on July 9 probably have jobs, unlike the unemployed in Egypt and the yobs in London.

The Bersih people were marching for electoral reform. A sizeable number are from the middle class, and the middle class all over the world are not looters or people who are willing to lose their employment by staying in a stadium for days or weeks!

So for the police and Home Ministry to liken the Bersih rally to the situation in Egypt and London is dishonest.

The police clamped down on the rally because their political masters in Putrajaya told them to do so. 

Now Khalid is trying to put a sheen of credibility on the over-reaction by the police by drawing a parallel between Bersih and the London riots.

How far has the rot set in?

--- What A Load of Rubbish by The Malaysian Insider, 11 August 2011


I was laughing my ass of loud on Khalid Bakar's comments. Not only me, but in twitter space, everyone too is having a good laugh at how the deputy IGP puts the London riots with Bersih protests. However, in this case, Khalid has failed in his language because it shows that there are people who are unable to discern the difference between riots and protests.

A few of us got "maki hamun" by some at twitter about talking bullshit in this subject matter. But I just simply asked those a question of whether they are able to understand the clear definition of riots and protests. Even the dictionary also defined it clear and concise of what is protests and riots. Therefore, if you are unable to discern the difference, either you have fared poorly in English in school or, as I have told someone, MSM inaccuracies and spinning as been feeding you with shit. Full stop, and I don't even bother to reply at all.

The London riots originally started with the killing of an innocent man. Similarly, the Los Angeles riots in 1992 started with the beating of Rodney King and the first acquittal of the four police officers involved. While it's clear that the four were guilty, acquitting them got the city into furor and thus days of carnage started. Bersih 2.0 in contrast was just only a one day, 3 hour affair on the streets to send an electoral message to Najib and Co.

I sometimes asked the nay sayers whether they have read the history of Malayan Union, which I always remembered that part while in secondary school. UMNO was formed out of the protest against the Malayan Union. They came out in demos to make a collective statement to the English that they don't want the plan. Otherwise, Malaya then Malaysia would not have exist. This of course contradicts Dr. M's famous statement in the aftermath of the Perak takeover in 2009, which he said "Demo is not our culture". Sounds contrasting, yes?

As what Pete said today, the riots in London happened for no reason apart to loot, plunder and making mayhem along the way for nothing. If anyone of you who have watched The Dark Knight, you would see the tag title, "Welcome to a World Without Rules." A world without rules is like you can do anything you want including riots above there. Good and bad allowed, no holds barred. But as what was witnessed in Bersih, there have been a clear set of rules - a three hour affair, once message has been sent to the King, disperse. Simple as it. Bersih's protest, as he said, was to make clear political statement to the Najib administration and the Election commission.

The BERSIH march was a political statement. There was no political statement in the UK riots. It was all about plundering, looting, robbing and stealing.

No, we can’t compare BERSIH to the UK riots. This would be like banning drivers/bikers who do not drink and only allowing drunks on the road because drinking and driving causes only 1.4% of traffic accident deaths.

Did not the Malays oppose the Malayan Union that the British were trying to impose on Malaya through a street demonstration? And was it not because of this demonstration that the British abandoned the plan for the Malayan Union and instead the Federation of Malaya was formed?

-- Ban Non Drinkers, Malaysia Today

Of course, when the ruckus happened on 9 July, this shows that Najib has violated his own tenets, whereas the many events happened during Pak Lah's time indicate that he too violated his own Islam Hadhari tenets.

The main mistake that politicians made out of paranoia was to associate protest with riots. This was how the tone of antagonism towards Bersih started. The 1969 riots happened because the ruling party could not stomach losing the customary 2/3rds control fair and square in the elections. From there that's where they got berserk, fueled with delusions. A side note though, my late grandfather was absolutely upset later when it was known that his ex-colleague Harun Idris started the whole thing.
Back to Khalid Bakar, the mistake was assuming that people are stupid. In fact, the statement simply reflects of making himself look stupid or "membodohkan rakyat". I always held that man as an unqualified person sitting behind Ismail Omar and a liar on the fateful night on 9 November 2008. In fact, there are more and more people that start to laugh at his face since this morning for the nay sayers, I am not the only one needed to be criticized of.

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