Monday, February 14, 2011

Hindraf Convoys

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I read about this case of the police detaining about 58 Hindraf members and supporters in four states for taking part in a vehicle convoy, in a simultaneous protest against racism and especially pertaining to the controversial novel Interlok, that had allegedly hurt Indian feelings (Star, February 14, 2011, p N21). The Star newspaper had hinted that they were arrested for taking part in an illegal gathering. Interesting, isn't it?. Couldn't people gather in a car? Isn't this called 'car pooling'? How do you determine if a gathering is illegal anyway? Can a convoy be illegal? Maybe, now Malaysians do need a police permit to travel in a convoy of cars?

Popular Malaysian news blog, Malaysia Today (Webpage, posted on February 13) gave more information. The car convoys were organized by Hindraf-Makkal Sakthi members in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Kedah and Penang. The police were quick to pounce on them in order to make arrests. In Perak, six Hindraf members were arrested in Jelapang after leaving Buntong. At about the same time, Selangor police arrested five Hindraf members, including Human Rights Party’s information chief S Jayathas at Rawang. In Brickfields, KL, the police arrested about 20 Hindraf supporters and had taken them to the Jalan Travers police station while fifteen others were arrested in Seremban. In both Kedah and Johor, the car convoys were tailed by the police but so far no arrests have been made. There were no details about Penang.

Now I really wonder! What about a wedding convoy? Football fans in a convoy of cars going to a game? I cannot believe this is happening in Malaysia – this country never ceases to surprise me! Maybe Tourism Malaysia should change our advertising slogan to “Surprising Malaysia”?

In the SPL match between Celtic and Dundee United, the former flaunted power and poise to win 3-1. Deflected goals from Anthony Stokes (16) and Mark Wilson (36) put the green-and-white in command before the break. Then, David Goodwillie brought hope to his team when he swept in United's reply after 64 minutes but Celtic killed off their challenge when Daniel Majstorovic dived low to fire into the near corner of the net (78) from Charlie Mulgrew's free-kick to the front post. Celtic's victory meant that they completed their 16th game without defeat. That’s the way to go, Celtic!

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