Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Pakatan Rakyat's actions just like BN - anti freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, protests, demonstration...

We oppose the ISA and Detention Without Trials - hence we must not be calling for the usage of these laws against any other

Sedition Act - We are also opposed to this Act, and we have called for its repeal.

Freedom of Assemble and Freedom of Expression - we are for this, and we say that this a fundamental right.
- We condemn the necessity of getting 'permissions' from the police. We say it is a right, and hence there should not be any requirement for getting any permits, etc.
- We condemn police action breaking down protests, public assemblies, etc. We condemn the arresting of persons involved in their exercise of the right to protest, right to assemble, right to march,
- We condemn the use of tear-gas, water cannons, etc..

And sadly, now it the Pakatan Rakyat that is behaving exactly like the BN

Making of police report - asking police to arrest the organisers, etc 

Earlier today, PKR state youth deputy chief Ahmad Azrizal Tahir lodged a report at the Lebuh Pantai police station calling on the police to probe and nab the culprits behind the demonstration.

In his report, Ahmad Azrizal (right) alleged that the demonstrators had made inflammatory statements, hurled racial taunts and their banners and placards were offensive.

He also complained that the protesters wrongly accused the state government of deceiving and lying to the people of Penang. - Malaysiakini, 1/12/2009, BN demo condemned, police report lodged

The burning or stepping on posters, effigies, of persons, flags,  - what is so wrong with that? Is that not a graphic display of expression, which is commonly found in many a rally or peaceful assembly.

Newly appointed PKR state youth chief Amir Ghazali condemned the burning of Lim's poster during the demonstration.

He described as "unruly and unethical" the stomping and torching of a state government leader's poster.- Malaysiakini, 1/12/2009, BN demo condemned, police report lodged

So childish – say former PKR assemblymen Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Jailu, who had pictures of their faces “stepped on” by DAP members.

Disregarding the act by the Perak DAP yesterday, Jamaluddin said: “They are behaving like children, so why should we entertain them?
Disgruntled: Protestors stepping on the poster of Lim in front of the State Assembly building to protest against the Pakatan government in Penang yesterday.

”I’m not angry although I’ve not seen any leaders behaving this way,” he told reporters outside the Sessions Court here. Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman are jointly facing trial for corruption.

At its annual convention on Sun- day, the Perak DAP placed a poster with the faces of Jamaluddin, Mohd Osman and Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong, formerly with DAP, onto a floor mat for all to step on.

The huge poster was laid at the doorway leading into the convention hall at a hotel here where the convention took place.

While most of the attendees stepped on the poster, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng leapt across it, saying that the faces were too dirty to even step on.

Jamaluddin said being stepped on was nothing new.

“We have been stepped on ever since we were in Pakatan,” he said. “They must have missed stepping all over us in our absence these few months.”

Mohd Osman said the DAP could go ahead and satisfy themselves.

“It’s really nothing to me, it’s not a big deal,” he said.- Star, 1/12/2009, It is a childish act to ‘step on’ us, say ex-PKR reps

Meanwhile in Georgetown, a man said to be a disgruntled resident of Kampung Buah Pala stepped on a poster of Lim Guan Eng and set it on fire during a demonstration by Penang Barisan Nasional Youth outside the State Assembly building.

The incident took place about 12.15pm yesterday at the Penang Municipal Council’s carpark across the road.

More than 100 members from the state Barisan Youth wing, led by its component chiefs Norman Zahalan (Umno), Eng Hiap Boon (MCA), J. Dhinagaran (MIC) and Oh Tong Keong (Gerakan), gathered at the carpark from noon to protest against the state Pakatan Rakyat government’s handling of various issues..- Star, 1/12/2009, It is a childish act to ‘step on’ us, say ex-PKR reps
But, of course stepping on the cow's head (sacred animal of the Hindus), Koran (Holy Book of the Muslims), Bible or cross or picture of Jesus (religious book and symbols of Christians) are wrong for this amounts to incitement of racial animosity, etc BUT stepping on pictures of Chief Ministers, Prime Ministers, Ministers, politicians, local councillors, etc is acceptable in my books...as a form of expression.

Passing of resolutions condemning the demonstration. I have yet to see the resolution but if it was a condemnation of the right to protest and demonstrate, then it is wrong. But, the State do have a right to pass such resolutions for after all they are the state...but the contents are very important..

The Penang legislative assembly today passed a resolution condemning yesterday's demonstration by a group of Barisan Nasional youth leaders and supporters.

DAP backbencher RSN Rayer (Seri Delima) tabled an emergency motion this morning to condemn the 45-minute protest staged outside the august House.

NONEThe resolution was passed after all 29 Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons voted in favour of the motion while 11 Umno assemblypersons were against it.
- Malaysiakini, 1/12/2009, BN demo condemned, police report lodged

What should have Lim Guan Eng and the Pakatan Rakyat government of Penang done?

1- If there was a memorandum, letter, etc - accept it.

2- Have a dialogue with the prootesters or their leadership to hear and understand their concerns and views.

3- Respond to the concerns raised explaining the State actions and the reasons for it doing so, whilst agreeing to take into consideration the views expressed. 

4- Thank the police for their respecting the freedom of expression and assembly - hoping that this position would be stance of the police from now on.

Now, if there have been offences committed - i.e. damaging fences, billboards, property...or assaulting someone - then make a police report about that BUT not about the demonstration.

In a protest and/or demonstration, we all know that we cannot control the actions of each and every person, and it is true that some 'naughty persons' or even 'agent provocateurs' will sneak into the crowd and do all kinds of bad things - but this should be blamed on the rest of the peaceful protesters...or the organisers. Remember during the 1998 Reformasi protests, we had similar problems with certain protesters throwing stones at the Bar Council and the Court, burning of motorcycles (the Kg Baru protest), etc..and, I believe that the organizers had no hand in it, and certainly they or the other protesters are not to be blamed for these wrongdoings.

Just because the BN government and the police broke up other protests and demonstrations, used tear gas, water cannons, beat up people, arrested persons, charged them - do not call for the same 'bad' unacceptable treatment when pro-BN anti-PR demonstrations happen. If you do, then you have become no better than the BN... shame on you.

Remember, this is democracy, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly... and, as such, ye who promote this should be seen to be promoting this.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I totally agree with you, Charles. Pakatan must show it is different from BN and put to practice what it preaches. Do not ask for police brutality only when it benefits you, then cry when the same is used on you.
The protestors may not agree with you , but that is their right. And you , the people in power should guarantee that right.Even if you do not like it. It is called walking the talk.