Monday, January 14, 2013

A People's Gathering

The mammoth crowd at the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (People's Uprising Rally) on Saturday could have reached up to 150,000 people at its peak, according to preliminary estimates by the think-tank Politweet. Actually, that number only reflects those at the venue and the masses who surrounded the stadium and not counting those held up elsewhere in the city. Anyhow, it doesn’t really matter how many Malaysians showed up – what is important was that hundreds of thousands came from all over the country to register their disapproval of the BN government; that the people are telling those in power that they will not be cowed; that the people wanted change. Ini kali lah!

And this time around, the authorities allowed Pakatan Rakyat to rally at the highly symbolic Stadium Merdeka and even the police had their "zero casualties" target which they fulfilled. In other words, they were well-behaved.

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Save for Sinar Harian and all the Chinese media organizations, the usual suspects from the mainstream media focussed not on the turnout nor the message(s) of the rally but chose to zero in on the infractions chalked up by the rally organizers. No wonder many Malaysians have ceased reading thrash.

This was a historic moment when the rakyat declared their freedom to assemble, express and demand their rights as citizens of Malaysia. There is hope yet for this country!

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