Monday, April 7, 2014

Baling 40 Years Later

The Malaysian Insider pix by Hasnoor Hussain, April 06, 2014.

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On April 05, 2014, more than ten thousand braved the rain to participate in the PAS-organized Baling rally – dubbed 'Perhimpunan Derita Rakyat 2.0' – and it serves to remind Malaysians of the mass protest led by progressive students for farmers' rights 40 years ago. 

It was in 1974 that the original rally held by the Action Front of the National Union of Malaysian Islamic Students ended up with Anwar Ibrahim, then leader of the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement, arrested under the Internal Security Act. [But the opposition leader and Permatang Pauh MP was missing from the Saturday event, though it was this very rally four decades ago that launched his career in politics]. 

Speakers included PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, PAS Kedah commissioner Mahfuz Omar, Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda president Mazlan Aliman and PAS deputy president Mohamed Sabu. 

Mat Sabu had started by ticking off the huddle of people. "Why are prices of goods increasing? Because you ask for it! Whatever we (i.e. Pakatan Rakyat) proposed (during the general elections), you did not accept, you never listened to our cries or cared about our promises. Instead you voted for UMNO". And the crowd responded with a "No!" 

He also reminded the gathering of the bloody Memali incident where 14 died, including PAS imam, Ibrahim Mahmood (better known as Ibrahim Libya) and two policemen, with scores of villagers hurt. The incident occurred at a remote village in Baling, Kedah, on November 19, 1985 when a police contingent of some 200 – were ordered to arrest Ibrahim under the Internal Security Act for supposedly creating discord and disharmony – laid siege to the village of about 400 people. 

"Those who are responsible for the incident are still alive but we see how they are starting to contradict one another," Mat Sabu mocked. 

"Former PAS president Fadzil Noor used to pray for then premier Dr Mahathir Mohamed to have a long life so he can see the outcome of his actions," said Mat Sabu. 

Mahathir is now being blamed for the Memali deaths as his deputy, Musa Hitam, alleged on March 27, 2014 (and he reaffirmed it again on April 04, 2014) that the then prime minister was in the country and not otherwise. [For decades, it was reported that Musa Hitam was the one who took charge of the operations as acting prime minister in 1985 because Mahathir was in China for a visit]. 

"His own deputy (Musa Hitam) has now shown us how he (Mahathir) had lied. He said he wasn't in the country during the incident when in fact he was. When asked about it, he says he does not remember. Aha!" exclaimed Mat Sabu. 

It is now coming to light that Mahathir has blood on his hands because of Memali. 

Steven Gerrard scored two penalties as Liverpool regained the Premier League leadership with an incident-packed 2-1 victory at West Ham. 

The club captain put his team in front (44) when Hammers centre-back, James Tomkins handled the ball as Luis Suarez tried to cut inside him after breaking on to Gerrard's 50-yard diagonal pass. A minute later, West Ham equalized when Guy Demel tapped in from three yards as Liverpool appealed that Andy Carroll had fouled their keeper Simon Mignolet. Gerrard struck again (71) after West Ham goalie Adrian brought down Jon Flanagan. 

And did you know that Steven Gerrard's two penalties have taken his Reds goal tally to 173 – putting him sixth in the club's all-time scoring list, one ahead of Kenny Dalglish?

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