Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Overwhelming Force

In a reply to a parliamentary question by Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan, the Home Ministry said the government spent RM1.8 million to police the Bersih 3.0 rally for free and fair elections; that a total of 909 tear gas canisters and 58 tear gas grenades were used to disperse protestors; and that the number of tear gas shells fired was nearly four times the 262 used in the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 09, 2011. Yet, amazingly, the powers-that-be felt no contrition at all. The punitive action taken by the police against unarmed civilians was unwarranted, unacceptable and unforgiveable.

Can you recall that the numeracy-challenged Rais Yatim had alleged that Bersih 3.0 could only attract a pitiful 22,270 demonstrators? (Webpage http://www.sinarharian.com.my/nasional/rais-hanya-22-270-sertai-bersih-3-0-1.49851, published May 21, 2012). If we use this number, then Malaysians must be shitting in their collective pants because each volley of tear gas was aimed at an average of only 23 people! Isn’t that scary?

The MidValley Toastmasters Club witnessed a fabulous turnout; forty-one Toastmasters and non-Toastmasters came to make this a very well-attended meeting. I counted those from Great Eastern, Money & You, AFC, Taman Indrahana, and Sunway University. The speeches were alright and I especially loved the ones delivered by How Yee and Penny Choo. The evaluations were pretty good although some, to a degree, came across as being mild while others were plainly verbose. My only involvement was taking part in the Table Topics segment and I was voted Best Table Topics Speaker. I would score this meeting a 6.5 out of a 10 – the loss of points was because the General Evaluator wasn’t able to value-add on the meeting.

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