Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Sept 16 “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” or “Himpunan Maruah Melayu” - exercising 'freedom of peaceful assembly'?

Freedom of Expression, Opinion and Peaceful Assembly - well, this is a right we all in Malaysia have, and naturally we must respect others who want to exercise these rights  as well even though the reasons and objects may be contrary to what we personally support.

Many of us were supportive of the recent BERSIH 4 peaceful assembly, that took place on 29-30 August 2015 but now seem to be 'totally against' a peaceful assembly allegedly proposed on September 16 by 'red shirts', which some are calling “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” or “Himpunan Maruah Melayu”  - WHY? Is it not hypocritical? What - we can exercise these rights - but not 'them' who have a contrary view? 

Ethnic Group or ethnic agenda - some say because it is a call for just one ethnic group - with an agenda which is ethnic in nature. I would say, what's wrong with that? HINDRAF, for example was a peaceful assembly concerned with the state of affairs of one ethnic group - and was participated by primarily one ethnic group. 

Likewise, maybe in the future, we may have Orang Asli coming out and doing a peaceful assembly to express their concerns....OR maybe we may have some Chinese or Kadazan or Melanau or Iban or Malayalee persons/groups coming out and having a peaceful assembly...Is that wrong? No - it is their legitimate right, and we should respect that right..

Likewise, it may be just workers... or just employers ...or just GLCs doing the same thing...Maybe even it may be gays and lesbians...or maybe disabled persons... or the Christians...or the Hindus...

Respect the fact that people have different opinions and views, and they all should be accorded their full freedom of expression, opinion and peaceful assembly...

Our Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, in his Merdeka(or National Day) address this year clearly indicated or gave the impression that he was against all forms of 'perhimpunan jalanan' (peaceful assemblies?) ...well, we the people hopefully do not agree with him, or do we?

Or are we saying OK to Freedom of Expression, Opinion and Peaceful Assembly so long as it is with regard to something that I can agree with, and NO to the very same freedoms if it is contrary to what I believe is right...

Freedom of Expression, Opinion and Peaceful Assembly... is really all about 'communicating' information, views, positions,... to others. It is about trying to convince others to take a certain position....It is lobbying, it is campaigning, it is all targeted not just to the people in power...but also to all people..

Now, Peaceful Assembly has an added objective to show that my views/position/stand has got much much support, and is also the common 'views/position/stand' shared by so many others... 

When 'views/position/stand' are communicated to people - we expect people to not simply and blindly accept...but we hope people will listen...consider...to maybe even ask questions...discuss... think about it and finally come to their own conclusions - maybe to agree or to disagree and know the reasons for their position.

In Malaysia, many people have stopped thinking and considering - but are more inclined to 'blindly accept and follow' the views of the powerful, the alleged leaders, parents, etc. In fact, the current government wants people to just listen to what they say...and accept it without any questions. They also now seek to create hurdles to prevent different views from reaching the people... a sad state of affairs for a democracy?

Remember, people also have the right to express their alternate views to the alleged upcoming “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” or “Himpunan Maruah Melayu” - but to start asking the police to take action and stop it or the government to ban it is, I believe, is wrong - a position that goes against the vey principle of respecting people's freedom of expression, views and the right to have a peaceful assembly...


MCA president urges police to take action to stop ‘red’ Sept 16 rally

MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the counter-Bersih rally scheduled to take place on Sept 16 would destroy the peace and harmony. ― File picMCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the counter-Bersih rally scheduled to take place on Sept 16 would destroy the peace and harmony. ― File pic 
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 —MCA strongly opposes the coming September 16 rally being called by an anonymous group that has received the support of some Umno leaders.

According to a Star Online report today, MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said such an event would destroy the peace and harmony and that Malaysia has no room for such religious extremists.

“I urge the police to take the appropriate actions to stop the rally and ensure the stability of the country,” Liow was quoted by Star Online as saying this morning during the Federal Territories MCA annual general assembly here.

A yet-to-be-known group has made calls via social media for a September 16 rally which in different circles is referred to as either “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” or “Himpunan Maruah Melayu”, asking its participants to wear red.

Posters being spread on social media carry messages for Malays to unite in solidarity against a varied cause ranging from protests against political party DAP to polls reform group Bersih 2.0.

Though not much is known of its organisers, another anti-Bersih group leader Datuk Jamal Md Yunos had reportedly said the September 16 rally’s organising group is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday.

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/mca-president-urges-police-to-take-action-to-stop-red-sept-16-rally#sthash.UlTTQmNs.dpuf

No comments: