Friday, April 27, 2012

Why The Sheer Stupidity?

Tomorrow at 2pm Malaysia time supporters of free and fair elections will zoom into Dataran Merdeka much like those who participated in Bersih 2.0 did on 9 July last year. At that event the police locked down Stadium Merdeka, the assembly venue and thousands of supporters tried to converge from various streets, alleys and shortcuts, avoiding riot police as best as they could, helping each other, encouraging each other. It was the real 1Malaysia spirit on display because of a common drive to see justice and fairness prevail. But the police drove them off using tear gas and water cannons firing chemical laced water. These people were unarmed and congregated for the singular purpose of voicing their protest towards the underhanded manipulation of our electoral process to cheat and win the general and state elections at all cost. Like in a wrestling match, they said no holds barred. For a developing nation this is not only unacceptable but to be vehemently condemned as uncivilized and backward. Some may even call it dictatorial in spite of the face of outward democracy we wear, deep within we rot.

In just under 24 hours the same scenario will be replayed at Dataran Merdeka, a walking distance of 1.5km or 20 minutes from Stadium Merdeka. Just as in Bersih 2.0 the City Hall of Kuala Lumpur and the police have locked down the Dataran to close it to the protestors exactly as they did last July. And in the exact manner tomorrow the people will converge from various directions towards the Dataran like moths to bright lights. And the police will be there to defend their fort. Why the sheer stupidity?

Even if the peaceful protestors fail to get into the Dataran, like those last July who failed to get into the Stadium, the outcome and the objective would have been achieved. News will splash over the world of the passive protestation against a repressive and unjust government. The hearts and minds of reasonable Malaysians would be hardened when the elections are finally held.

I hate to say this. Poor handling of tomorrow's sit-in protest at the Dataran will be a costly mistake to the government of Najib Razak. It will be a home goal for the coalition led by his nemesis Anwar Ibrahim.

Update April 28:
Predictably Najib loosed his tongue at the last minute and came out with his statement HERE. While I don't condone violence how do you contain suppressed anger against an unlistening government? Thank God no one was injured but the damage is once again afflicted. Read HERE.

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