Monday, August 9, 2010

Anti-ISA Protest in London



About 30 protesters from the London-based Abolish ISA group confronted Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman outside the Malaysian High Commission in London yesterday – and after receiving their petition, he assured them that “dissent doesn’t mean you will get arrested.” He insisted that the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) was not clamping down on civil protests, saying that he would quit the Cabinet if this were true. As if, he was expected to say otherwise!

And to make the whole thing sound believable, he did try to allay the concerns pertaining to the August 01 arrests. “On the surface, even I asked, ‘why don’t we allow candlelight vigils?’” he said, referring to the candlelight vigils on the 50th anniversary of the law that provides for detention without trial.

After that, he made an absurd explanation. “There were people, not from the protest groups, who wanted to make use of the gathering for their own purposes. The police were compelled to prohibit them (the protesters) from going through this vigil because there was information that something untoward may happen,” he claimed (Webpage http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/anifah-vows-quit-if-bn-silences-public-dissent/, posted August 09, 2010).

What Anifah meant to say was that the police were not confident they could stop these agent provocateurs – whoever they are – and so the police had no choice but to arrest the candle-carrying protestors instead! Don’t ask me why Anifah said “prohibit” when the police meant “arrest”?!?! And if you ask the police “why”, they would probably explain that the protestors were arrested to ensure their own safety! Yes, yes, I am laughing so hard, that tears are flowing freely down my unsuspecting cheeks! Who says Malaysians are humorless?

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