My Anthem

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Opposition members told to be "streetwise"

mGf from olde media days Terence Netto filed a news report which I sighted only in an online newspaper but ignored by MSM. Maybe Bloggers can fill in the "gap"? I try to.


PKR legal adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim expressed "deep concern" over the "new heights of Police harassment" that he said led to the incident in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday in which two people suffered gunshot wounds.

"It was supposed to be a normal gathering organised by Bersih, of the sort that one can expect in the lead-up to the general elections," said Anwar.

Bersih is the nongovernmental organisation concerned with ensuring the cleanliness and integrity of the electoral process in Malaysia. Guests speakers at the Bersih-organised gathering at Batu Buruk in Kuala Terengganu on September 8 were Mohamed Sabu from Pas and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim of PKR.

Anwar said his understanding of events leading to the crowd disturbances at Batu Buruk prompted him to fault "some quarters who realised that the gathering would be a large one and so decided to exert pressure such that the Police would move to stop the ceramah."

A crowd of a few hundred had gathered at the venue for the Bersih-organised ceramah when Police intervened and ordered the crowd to disperse. Disturbances ensued in which tear gas and water cannon were used and gunshots rang out. Two people were later treated for wounds consistent with the discharge of gunfire.

Anwar said: "People will suspect that something manipulative is at work when permits for gatherings by bodies favoured by the powers that be are applied for and obtained with ease."

He said the use of water cannon and tear gas by the Police in the Batu Buruk incident was evidence of "new heights in Police harassment towards gatherings considered unfavourable to the government."

Anwar cautioned that political power "does not flow out of the barrel of a gun." He said: "The discharge of gunshots in the incident suggested that Police harassment has reached new heights. This is cause for grave concern."

"Public order and security are as much the effect of rational considerations by the enforcement authority as they are of public restraint and good behaviour under conditions of democratic governance," said Anwar.

Finally, he had a word of caution for supporters of the Opposition. "Beware of the presence of agent provocateurs whose aim is to provoke you into responding in the way that would justify the premeditated repression of the authorities," he said.

"I know this exacts from you a level of awareness and restraint that surpasses the normal but we are living in a time where the authorities alternate between crude and subtle forms of repression. It is imperative that we be streetwise."

DESI: The one and sole highlight in the report is mine, and here I wish to recall some lines (paraphrasing hear... and therefore I stand corrected on its accuracy!)

In one episode of The West Wing as I travelled back in time to do catch-up recently, President Barlet was aked by one among a group of high school students caught in a "crash" situation in the White House if the Muslim fundamentalists who sacrificed themselves in "sucide bombings" were to be admired as martyrs.

"Ameirca does not need martyrs. WE need heroes.

Bartlet added that a dead hero would be less of service to the country (something to this effect-lah!).

Back to the one highlight, my point is that Opposition members who take to the streets to demonstrate against "social injustices" should be awae of the inherent dangers -- one was pointed out by DS Anwar Ibrahim and that relates to AP which I have also told some juniors here -- Beware the AGENTS PROVOCATEUR! They also exist in Blogosphere -- I had encountered a few. Ask Howsy and Mob1900, maybe Nat Tan and Polytkus who's on Desi's list. Dear ER, you will be surprised one or two might be "familiar" names even at Desi's Place!

No comments: