Read the spin in NST and STAR regarding Bersih’s massive Nov 10 rally, and you have a pretty good idea how PM Pak Lah deals with issues: deny, deny, deny. But first you preface your response with threats, threats, threats.
The fact is, dozens of websites, blogs and youtube posts are collectively telling the whole world how underdressed the emperor and his increasingly arrogant party are. Clearly the whole event – relatively incident-free and orderly – was a slap on the face of the coalition dominant partner, particularly its leader who faced down the rally with a “saya pantang cabar” challenge.
I say, were mainstream media reporting on some other protests when they put the figure at 4,000? And were these protestors the cause of the lock-down in the city? The truth is, the chaos arose because of police action to keep potential protestors away from the city centre. The use of tear gas and water canons on protestors at Masjid Jamek were totally uncalled for, but the intimidation and aggression on the part of police or FRUs distracted attention away from marchers who were converging at the Istana. While the cops were havimg their fun, thousands upon thousands were waiting for Bersih leaders to hand their petition over to the Agung's representative.
Inthe aftermath of what was probably the largest public demonstration in a decade since the Reformasi outbreak, PM Pak Lah changes his tune, while official numbers turn mysteriously from 4,000 to 10,000:
Meanwhile Information Minister Zam gives his bumbling two sen when interviewed by Al-Jazeera on the phone here. "Protests are illegal because we have elections every 5 yrs - no point having protests –we are not like Myanmar, like other countries," said the erudite Minister. Right.
The rakyat is tired. We can't take it anymore. The time for words is over. It's time for "Mr Clean" to act before he is himself taken to the cleaners.
But the big question is, what is the Agung going to do with the petition?