UPDATE 9 DEC 2007: 10 BERSIH people arrested
I go off to Miri and Mulu a few days, and a mega event like this happens.
And I don’t know about it till late, because the mainstream newspapers superbly downplay and discredit it! Well, they have their print licence to think about… One wrong word, and no more The Star, New Straits Times and so on!
On Nov 12, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak tells the press that street demonstrations are not-part of Malaysian culture… Conveniently whitewashing the history of Malaysia that was strongly influenced by UMNO street protests.
Then on Nov 20, Government Enslaved Media mouthpiece The Star praises the police violence as ‘handling the protest with tact and finesse’.
But it must be said that The Sun bucks the trend by printing this response:
Fair elections > Facials!
Meaning, if we didn’t have blogs and online independent news… We wouldn’t know about goings on in our own capital city!
Methinks it has VERY MUCH to do with the embarassment to the establishment that not everyone in Malaysia supports the status quo over the concept of justice-and-fairness-for-all.
That and the over-the-top police brutality against unarmed, orderly, peaceful civilians.
Here are some links for info on this event:
UPDATE 28 Nov 2007: What did I say about the ISA?
Wikipedia on Bersih Rally (intro to what the Bersih Rally is, info, pics and links)
Darnmalaysia, Masjid Jamek police violence (Kenny Law personally recounts getting water/chemical cannoned and tear gassed despite no marchers causing trouble)
Kakiblog on Bersih Rally (first-hand testimony and pics of being tear-gassed for being not violent)
Bersih.org on police efforts to esclude marchers (since yellow is the colour symbolizing the event, anyone wearing a yellow raincoat is stopped by the police roadblocks! See pic at very bottom of this post for SATIRE!)
Whatalulu’s personal account (contrast the official mainstream media report with the pix)
Dr Hsu: Michael Backman on Malaysian Truth and Justice (reposted article by Michael Backman, ‘Truth and justice are no longer Malaysian way’)
Youtube of tear gas use (tear gas canisters fired at marchers… And flung back at police. Did anyone take a canister home as a souvenir?)
Youtube of water cannon use (water cannon unleashed on marchers)
Youtube of water cannon use on Al-Jazeera (Al-Jazeera coverage of water+chemical cannon and more, same as embedded in the chongeng link earlier)
Youtube of FRU violence (Malaysiakini montages of Federal Reserve Unit violence, including a slow-motion shield bash at 1 min 50 secs)
Youtube of Zainuddin Maidin embarassing himself (our revered Malaysian Information Minister, Zainuddin Maidin, gives an interview to Al-Jazeera. Did I say interview? I mean TOTAL RANT while on automatic gear! He rails against the foreign media for only showing the side of the protests that he doesn’t like, instead of a balanced view. Hello, sir? You already have RTM as can be seen below! His logical justification: the rally is illegal because there are elections, heavy-handed methods used because it’s illegal)
Youtube of RTM version of above self-embarassment (Malaysia’s RTM report of what transpired between Zainuddin and Al-Jazeera, in Malay. According to RTM, the police handled the protest WELL! When the demonstrators refused to leave, the police ‘allowed’ them to march on to the palace and submit their memorandum. No mention of the police violence against non-rioting demonstrators. And apparently, Malaysians are laughing at Al-Jazeera’s reporting… Not our high INT, high WIS level Minister’s performance! Followed by said Al-Jazeera interview. Much blurrier than previous link)
Home of the Shrimpy Baron!!: Another Idiot Minister makes a fool of himself and Embarasses the Country (video embed and transcript of Zainuddin’s interview, with embarassing bits highlighted. Also more examples of his previous nonsenseness.)
Berita Berita: Transcript of Malaysia’s Information Minister’s interview with Al Jazeera News on the Bersih Protest (another Zainuddin interview transcript, cleaner but less lolzing.)
And some pics from various sites, including the above links. Those don’t look like just 4000 peoples!
So who do you believe?
The official Government and local mainstream media, which portrays the Bersih Rally as illegal and thus justifying tear gas and chemically-laced water cannon, small, comprised of only Opposition parties, exploiting children and the King, troublesome for city-folk who get delayed by the marchers, largely unimpactful, and blown hugely out of proportion by the alternative media?
Or the blogs, online news and foreign media, which portray the Bersih Rally as within legal rights but denied a police permit based on political influence, comprised mostly of NGOs and ordinary concerned citizens, peaceful and orderly, manhandled by police use of disproportionate force advocated by the ruling politicians (whose police roadblocks and rescheduling of public transport were the real cause of city-folk delays), largely impactful, and covered-up, smeared and downplayed by the mainstream media?
Decide for yourself.
Meanwhile, emboldened by the silent approval of disproportionate and violent response against opponents as shown by the government-controlled police, UMNO members start taking violent oppression into their own ‘hands’ too.
Translation: Do you know this man? WANTED by the Malaysian Government for being yellow.
Wakakakakaka! Yellow Coverage Fellow (aka Digi Man) should be instantly recognizable to all Malaysians. Info at here for foreigners.
Tags: 2007 Bersih Rally, democracy, Government Enslaved Media (GEM), Malaysia, Malaysia chemical water cannon, Malaysia police violence, Malaysia tear gas, Malaysiakini, media bias, Opposition politics in Malaysia, peaceful protest, people power