Antara Realita dan Mimpi Demokrasi di Malaysia (2)

I was reading the latest news from Malaysiakini just now: Bersih PC disrupted, two arrested.

I find this news interesting, so I have decided that I will write a post about it. Now, this post is named as Antara Realita dan Mimpi Demokrasi di Malaysia (2). I specifically decide to make this post with that title as that title reflects what I think about the aspirations of the Bersih movement and the reality facing them today in Malaysia.  If readers care to read the post Antara Realita dan Mimpi Demokrasi di Malaysia  , they will see that I have a somewhat negative perception on the future of democracy. And in this post, based on what is reported in that Malaysiakini article, my opinions becomes more pessimistic.

Here are some excerpts from that news – Bersih PC disrupted, two arrested:

Police today stopped polls reform group Bersih from holding a press conference in front of Istana Negara and in the process arrested PKR’s Information Chief Tian Chua. Also arrested was a PAS member identified as Jalaluddin Abdul Manap.

Earlier, a delegation of Bersih leaders had submitted a protest note – addressed to the King – with regards to the fairness of the upcoming elections slated for March 8.

And the two people arrested are/ were:

…Tian Chua was arrested when he tried to prevent the police from confiscating a Bersih banner.while Jalaluddin was arrested after he ignored a police warning to stop distributing leaflets calling the EC chairperson ‘a liar’…

And the immediate reaction to the arrests:

PAS Research Centre director Dr Dzulkifli Ahamd was heard pleading to the police officers to release Jalaluddin.

‘This is so cruel. Please release the old man. He’s old and has a heart condition . I’m willing to trade myself with him as long as you release him,” he said.

It turns out that the event was not legal, in the sense that the necessary permits have not been applied; but the police allowed it anyway:

Brickfield’s deputy police chief, Supt. Azri Abd Rahman had earlier told the crowd to disperse but Bersih’s representatives asked to be allowed to brief the reporters at the event.

‘Please disperse. You can do your press conference anywhere but here,’ Azri said.

Azri told reporters later Tian Chua and Jalaluddin were arrested for obstructing police duties. The duo were taken to the Brickfields police station for questioning.

Azri clarified that although Bersih had not applied for a police permit for their event, police had nevertheless still allowed them to submit their memorandum to the palace. He added 243 policemen and 26 police officers were present at the scene today.

Asked to comment on Tian Chua’s arrest, he replied: “Well, I don’t know if he is (Tian Chua) but as I have been told, he looks like Tian Chua.”

Azri further said that for the general election campaigning period, anyone could apply for a police permit to hold a public assembly as long as they complied with public security rules.

Later, at a press conference held by Bersih at the PAS headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut, Syed Azman questioned the police’s action in dispersing the crowd outside the Istana Negara.

“The police reacted brutally and in an aggressive manner in dispersing us,” he said.

“Why did they act in this manner? It was not a rally or a demonstration. It was just a memorandum giving event and the palace even received our memorandum,” he added.

Actually, I had written a longer comment on this issue. But somehow, I have decided that what I wrote below would suffice for now:

Sometimes I wonder, what is the meaning of democracy…

Sometimes I wonder what can a small group democracy activist do to improve and further enhance democracy…

Sometimes I wonder what can I do for democracy…

Sometimes I wonder what can I do for democracy…knowing that what ever I do will likely not work for 1,001 reasons…

Sometimes I wonder if I am just dreaming about democracy….

This post is a continuation of this previous posting with the same title – Antara Realita dan Mimpi Demokrasi di Malaysia.

There will be more of this post later on….


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