Sunday, July 10, 2011

I Witnessed the Day the Government Lost the Middle Ground

I was at the Bersih 2.0 rally to witness up close the demonstration process. I am sad to witness how the government has lost the middle ground through the senseless and irresponsible reaction by the police.

Most of the protesters were ordinary Malaysians who took part for various valid reasons. Some were not happy with the state of governance, high inflation, abuse of power, corruption etc. Granted, there were many partisan members too but the government cannot discount the fact that easily as many as 30% of those who took part were ordinary people or the middle ground.

Together with the crowd, we were 'ambushed' by the police in front of Tung Shin Hospital. Tear gas canisters (at least 4) were fired into the hospital compound and some of the crowd got agitated and shouted at the police to be more considerate because they had fired tear gas into a hospital compound, right next to the emergency ward.

The IGP and Home Minister Hishamuddin should not deny that there were no provocation. The police did not try to use a less hostile manner to disperse the crowd. If any, the police and the government should have allowed the use of Stadium Merdeka and avoid the total clampdown of Kuala Lumpur.

By allowing Bersih to use the stadium, the government could have negotiated some ground rules e.g. it must be non-political and a totally NGO event. It could have avoided the opposition parties from taking advantage of Bersih 2.0 as a rally point for their political momentum towards 13th GE.

By allowing a peaceful protest to take place, the government could have helped to boost the country's image and it's own credibility as an advanced democratic country able to accept and tolerate dissent and freedom of assemble and speech. It could have made Malaysia a new spring of democracy and a beacon of hope among Muslim majority countries.

The sight of police chasing the demonstrators like a pack of wolves would have a powerful impact on the minds of middle ground Malaysians. Police brutality should not have happened at a peaceful rally. The force should not have been unleashed on our own Malaysians.

In summary, the government should learn to be more tactful and crafty in managing its political communications. It should have engaged with Bersih 2.0 and the Election Commission. Some of the demands made by Bersih 2.0 are reasonable and if implemented could have given more credibility and legitimacy to the winning coalition.

It should learn that brute force and might albeit through Perkasa, PDRM and other threats are not the right method to win over the middle ground. BN or UMNO's current strategy is both outdated and counter productive. The diehard UMNO/Perkasa members would have endorsed what had been done to Bersih 2.0 but they are not the ones who are going to win elections for BN or UMNO.

By being more skillful and savvy, the PM would have neutralised Bersih 2.0, enhance his own democratic leadership, avoid Pakatan from capitalizing on Bersih and prove to the world that he is a leader who has his ears to the ground.

The way forward, the PM must learn his lesson well and use the right advisers. Otherwise, he might ended up as a casulty of his own outdated political model.

Read my comment on AFP.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

it will be a different story if it was the general hospital at jln pahang.majority of the race and working status are different. as a snatch theft robbery victim myself.i make police report just to get replacement for my ic and driving document and etc. never expect police to lift their tiny last finger to help or dreaming even cos they are divine rejected creatures in 4 r sia country viz 1)ragut 2)rogul 3)rompat and 4)rasuah.

najib manaukau said...

Why should you be sad at what the quarter cooked police did at the rally ?
They are doing what they are good at and most of all that is what there for to kill people and rob the public whether it be at street corner or hide in dark places at night. Or they have become for bold they would even rob and the motorist along the high way. Above all they are very very good at killing aspect at the police stations. Annually they kill thousand of unproven guilty people who would not even be sentenced to die by the court of law if they were found guilty.
These quarter cooked are there in police uniform not because they are qualified and best person for the job but are there because of the colour of their skin. A good example would be all the IGPs up till now since independence ?
They now said that there were provoked to do the things they did. Wow just rallying in the city bare handed would be considered as provocation ? This is what I mean they are not only stupid and quarter cooked and above all should be in jail for the crimes they are out there supposed to prevent. In fact Malaysia will surely be a much peaceful and better place to live without them.

Anonymous said...

MALAYSIANS. REMEMBER BN IS BERSIHKAN NEAGARA PLEASE BE ALERTED TO THE FACT THAT BN IN ITS WEAKNESS IS STILL A STRONG PARTY AS IT CONTROLS THE MEDIA, MONEY N MACHINERY. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE BN BUT BE PREPARED FOR A MASSIVE PROPOGANDA FOR GE 13, BN IS NOT GOING TO SURRENDER POWER TO PR ON A SILVER PLATE, TO GET TO PUTRAJAYA, PR MUST WIN IN ALL THE RURAL PARLIAMENT SEATS. SO GOOD LUCK

TOKZ said...

Hi KHOO,

"Government Lost the Middle Ground"???

I'm NOT too sure about this but what I do know is that a YELLOW MONKEY had LOST & DIED due to the stupid BERSIH March.

Serve this DEAD YELLOW MONKEY right on 1 hand but deepest condolence to his monkey family members on the other hand.

MORAL VALUE:
"Never try playing hero when one is just a weakling"

MORAL LESSON:
"Next time just stay home" (Oopps sorry!!!...there will be NO next time becos this monkey sudah MAMPUS)

Anonymous said...

Totally agreed with the editor of this article. Our PM really need a good advicer, otherwise our country will go down hill.

Anonymous said...

its over for umno

bruno said...

The Umno GOM got excellent reviews in the foreign press for its handling of the Bersih fiasco.It has drop two notches below Zimbabwe's authoritarian government.Our Umno GOM is now considered a pariah.It's time the people demand that the GOM called a GE soon or resign enmass.

bruno said...

In times of war no opposing forces has even attacked hospitals or ambulances.Hospitals are protected under the Geneva Convention.Here we have our GOM attacking our own hospitals.The present GOM should be tried as war criminals.

bruno said...

With the expectation of a huge public backlash of the Bersih fiasco the rakyat is waiting to punish the Umno GOM in the coming GE 13th.The three little siblings of Umno Mca,Mic and Gerakan are expected to win not more than 5 parliamentary seats and maybe 0 if totally decimated.

Umno the big sibling is expected to lose at least 15 more seats than in 2008.Because of the Umno GOM's publicly abusing the power bestowed to them and the Bersih fiasco it could lose even up to 80 more parliamentary seats than in 2008.The forcasts is that the beginning of Umno losing power is fast gaining steam.The worst scenario is that Umno will follow its sibblings and get decimated.

Anonymous said...

Najib should have
UMNO should have
Police should have

Why need you advice them? They won't listen.
What happened on July 9 was God's plan. He made the leaders look stupid and act stupid.
God gave the people the moral high ground by making the leaders mad.

Kok Wai said...

Welcome back. As always, your insightful comments, a gem.

Even among those disgruntled with BN, few would understand that the progress of any country is how strong the middle ground are faring.

If the middle ground is lost, no regime no matter how oppressive nor brutal could hang on to power.

Instead of Ketuanan this, Religion and Race, it's the daily issue like diminishing spending power, hardship of the day to day life and social liberty that we needs our address.

Kok Wai said...

Welcome back. As always your input is precise and spot on.

A progressive nation is measured by how the middle ground is faring.

Instead of focusing on Ketuanan whatever, race and religion, the government of the day should tackle daily issues, the likes of diminishing spending power, education, social justice, accountability and etc.

We have become smarter. Ignore this at your peril.

Anonymous said...

If UMNO loses the next erection, UMNO will play dirty tricks even to the extent of not giving up becoming the next government. The rulers are also siding them. PR especially PKR and PAS has to be prepared for this.

Chong Kok Wai said...

After Saturday's rally there are many people still debating on who is right or wrong and who are the culprits. I find that our country really has got no hope both BN and PR
The most important thing is are we going to experience this every few years? BN and police warning people not to protest, opposition stubbornly going to the street with many observers joining in and voila everything repeat again. Bear in mind BN is also ocassionally holding street protest and they dont need permit on that.
Therefore, to be fair for both sides, we need a solution that is agreeable on both sides. Maybe start off with what is practised by Singapore. Appoint a place for people to vent their frustrations. BN, PR or NGOs can use the venue and no where else. Most importantly, set a general rule, no fighting, debate strictly n issues and forbid race and religion topics. Hope we can make this country a better place

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....quarter cooked police??? So if opposition took over, the whole police force will be disbanded. So no police force? Criminal can run freely and help opposition to run the country???? Wonder how the country going to be if run by the opposition....my goodness.

Anonymous said...

TOKZ 8:52pm

I don't know who you are but you are a bangsat pariah.A man died because of the brutality of the police and you bastardly pariah think that is very funny.Go rot in hell,you bastard.

antahberantah said...

To TOKZ 8:52PM
U're no better than the quarter-cooked police. A man died to speak his rights as a Malaysian citizen, and yet here u are making fun of him. What a stone-hearted vilian you are.
To Anonymous 10:29PM
Don't be bangang man, if PR takes over the whole police force will be re-educated to be a fully-cooked force...high moral values be instilled in them. Umno has ruined their body and soul for more than 53 years.