A concerned Malaysian writes about Malaysian affairs. "You are the Change you Seek" Barack Obama

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

BERSIH Rally...the AfterMath

In any functioning democracy, a peaceful protest or demo is part and parcel of daily life.

Often the silent majority are content to just go about their daily activities and for many, spending time out defying the law must require a serious problem.

The rally of November 10th was not about an individual but about the principles and practical workings of the voting process; without which a good democracy cannot survive long.

It is therefore sad that the Agong is being perceived as being unable to differentiate between his duties to the government and to his loyal subjects as described in this malaysiakini article.

Now it appears that the police want to take action against both marchers and their children under the Child Protection Act.

I wonder what does "rehabilitate" mean? It seems like a heavy-handed approach to children who were following the parents' bidding.

Even the action against the parents seems out of proportion to the disobeying of the authorities in not going to an illegal gathering.

For a start, the children's presence caused the police to to act less brutally against a peaceful march and a more brutal response would have damaged the police reputation even more.

I am guessing that possibly a friendly police contact may have tipped off the marchers that the police SOP is not to tear gas and water-cannon children.

I would allow demonstrations based on the following conditions:

1. Away from large town centers.
2. No unfriendly gestures like flag-burning or burning effigies.
3. Definite time limit like 4 hours and must end before 7pm.
4. Pay police for security and traffic arrangements.
5. No breach of any laws of the land.

And this will also apply to any demonstration organised by the ruling parties.

Photo: Thanks to malaysiakini

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