By any account, getting more than 10,000 folks to spend a Sunday just to tell the government that they are suffering is a major feat.
They had to travel far, go through various police check-points and then spend hours in a crowded stadium. This is a major departure from the usual outing of "lepaking" in an air-conditioned shopping mall.
For me I would not want to be in such a place as the police had not issued their permit and were ready for any trouble; started by their usual order to disperse or any trouble from the crowd.
Thankfully sanity prevailed on both sides - the police allowed the crowd to carry on with their peaceful though sometimes noisy activities.
Given the sentiments of the Home Minister about such gatherings as indicated in this malaysiakini feature, it appears that he was instructed by the PM to allow the gathering to proceed as the organisers had agreed to shift the venue on the advice of the police.
"Najib calls anti-oil hike rally a failure"
I believe this is a good move by the authorities. It is much easier to manage a compliant crowd of protesters than simply giving them a dose of tear gas, water cannon and baton charge. Apart from the physical injuries to innocent onlookers, the PR damage to the government is much higher.
The next step is for the police to grant the permit for anyone who wants to organise a gathering at an approved venue like a stadium, away from the bustling city streets where business can be adversely affected. Only then will we see if the people still want to send the government a strong message.
Maybe we can even hold such gatherings on a regular basis. Like on alternate months, the BN will hold a rally and the PR will hold on the other months.