In an insipid comment piece on the recent Bersih rally, columnist V.K.Chin at proves that The Star is truly Government Enslaved Media (GEM).
In fact, it’s such a lamely argued article, that I suspect poor Mr Chin was forced to churn out this Government-apologist piece to appease the Print License Overlords.
From The Star 20 Nov 2007. Read especially the parts I highlight in red:
And here are the sickeningly partisan parts that make up most of the article, with my refutations to them.
Police handled protest with tact and finesse
Their fear is justified, even with peaceful ones, since there will always be elements making use of such occasions to start trouble, with people getting hurt and property damaged.
In the case of the Bersih rally, no one started any physical altercations and no one got hurt… Until the police opened up with tear gas and chemical-laced water cannon on the nonviolent marchers.
For starters, people were not interested in the group’s objective of calling for a fair and just election since they have other more serious problems to worry about, such as personal safety due to an increase in criminal activities.
And who is to blame for not controlling the increase in crime? Why, the government of course, duh! The police are obviously better at abusing peaceable citizens than they are at scaring off impudent criminals.
What people were relieved over the latest protest is that there was no violence, and this was due mainly to the way the police dealt with the incident.
Uh, Earth to Government Enslaved Apologist? The police themselves were the source of the only violence during the rally!
The organisers, foreign media and critics would have been disappointed that there were no broken heads or shots fired, which would have made good television coverage.
Many foreign media people and observers were convinced that the police would use force to disperse the crowd. However, the only ‘weapons’ used were water cannons and tear gas, standard equipment for crowd control.
Then what do you call using a shield to bash an unarmed, frightened and retreating rallier over the head?
A walking aid? A prophylactic, perhaps? Video evidence at 1 minute 27 seconds into the link. I wonder how much more un-broken the victim’s head was after that vicious strike.
Above from Malaysian Politics Motivational Posters.
Credit must be given to the police for their tact in handling what could have been an explosive situation. They were not provoked nor attacked by the protesters.
So there was no need to use any force to disperse the crowd and only those who had refused to obey were taken to the police station to have their statements recorded, and they were released within hours.
Absolutely correct! It was the POLICE who provoked and atatcked the protestors, at the behest of their Government masters! The only reason it all didn’t turn explosive was the self-control (and understandable fear) of the Bersih supporters.
As the comment piece says, the polcie were not provoked or attacked by the protestors. So if there was no need to use force since the protestors were nonviolent, then WHY the use of water cannons and tear gas as mentioned a mere two paragraphs earlier in the piece?
On the whole, it was a setback for the organisers in many ways. They could not accuse the police of brutality and using excessive force to deal with peaceful protesters.
But that is exactly what the police did use – the tear gas, chemical cannons and shield blows constitute brutality and excessive force, when the protestors were not even the least bit threatening.
The organisers must also be disappointed because they did not get members of the public to take part in the protest. In fact, they lost the goodwill of traders who had to close their premises for fear of damage to their goods and property.
It’s like saying that the 5-year old child must be disappointed, because no one feels sympathy for her after her abusive step-father beat her with a non-lethal rattan cane although she didn’t even fuss or throw a tantrum!
Credit for tact and finesse should be given to the Bersih ralliers, not the police or the government. For although they had done nothing aggressive when they were attacked by the police, they did nto allow themselves to be provoked into retaliation. There are not even any reports of marchers striking back at the police.
The writer’s use of ‘the people’ is intentionally meant to give the implication that most Malaysians think and feel the same way about the Bersih rally as the Government Enslaved Media.
The most poignant question is not addressed: If the Bersih marchers were not behaving violently, then why did the police start using painful crowd control tactics meant to quell violence?
If the siuation was as potentially explosive as the Government Enslaved Media portays it, with the marchers painted as thugs and hooligans ready to riot at any time, then wasn’t the unneeded use of force akin to throwing a match into the dynamite storehouse?
Or did the Government actually intend to rouse the marchers into a (arguably justified) angry, physical response? Then their attack dogs could be fully unleashed to teach the protestors an unforgettable and painful lesson – SLAVES MUST NOT MESS WITH THE MASTER.
And the result of all this rationalizing and approving of ruling party sponsored violence against opponents? Grassroots ruling party members start taking violent oppression into their own ‘hands’ too.
PS. The article above is still nowhere as insipid as this piece of trivial fluff:
But The Sun shows that it, at least, is not wholly cowed by the Government:
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, The Star, V.K.Chin