Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DO MALAYSIANS KNOW HOW TO PROTEST AND DEMONSTRATE INTELLIGENTLY?

…THEY ARE UNRULY AND DO NOT OBSERVE THE LAWS THEY OFTEN ALWAYS LIKE TO CLAIM TO UPHOLD…AND HOW THE MEDIA AND POLICE LIKE TO HYPE IT.


They are lucky they are not in America where no one bothers with anyone who protests but who does not have credibility or who knows how to do it nicely and intelligently.


The media in the country does not care for any protest taking it like it is street theater.

In Malaysia the media still gives a hoot to anyone wanting to protest in the streets because this is still news to them. It is not when they finally get tired of reporting on such events and which are always organized by the same people who normally do not have anything new or original to say.

They will soon get tired of doing that if they are not getting any media attention or from the police.

It is much like the crowds that gather at the corner of Hyde Park at Oxford Street in London every Sunday to listen to some people standing on soapboxes to express their woes which no one cares to overreact to; they know what the shows are about.

And the authorities also do not seem to mind; they take the shows as nothing but performances by individuals or groups wanting to release some hot air.

It has become a tradition in London for the Speakers’ Corner to be opened to the public where the laws of defamation are suspended for a while.

So far no one has been known to have instituted any legal challenge to the speakers even if what they say or claim against anyone or organization that can be deemed to defamatory or scandalous.

The British have gotten used to such acts. They ignore them and what they say treating them like street performers.

In Singapore the authorities have created a small plot of space in a park somewhere that they say is the Speakers’ Corner of the country but no one has said anything defamatory or incriminating yet.

In Malaysia there used to be a Speakers’ Corner on the Universiti Malaya campus where the students were allowed to say whatever they wanted to say in such an enclosed space in a campus where the speakers were normally students from the university who were said to be better trained to handle issues and who knew how to express them.

But the space had since then been closed. And no one seemed to mind.

Now everybody is saying a lot through their FB account with some who had already been charged for defamation and some others because they are abroad are safe from such threat, which is a shame considering how they are misusing the medium to become rude and also seditious knowing that they can become defamatory and yet safe from legal persecution in Malaysia. 

* * * * * * *

I went to Canal Street in South Manhattan one day earlier on in my stay in New York City out of curiosity to see Chinatown.

I bumped into two groups of Chinese protesting at different parts of the area, one supporting China and the other, Taiwan.

And here is a photo I shot in Chinatown in New York City in 1978 during a protest march by the rival groups who hardly shouted at each other. 

The groups were large and they carried placards with all sorts of slogans mostly in Mandarin which I could not read.

But they were well-behaved with the local police keeping watch.

Here in Malaysia, there are some who would like to voice their discontents on some political matters and issues but they do not seem to know how to go about doing it.

They tried to copy those who do that in America, but most of the time the protests and demonstrations are organized by the opposition of NGOs or groups and individuals who are clearly with the opposition.

In America the opposition and their supporters hardly ever organize such protests and demonstrations which are largely left with well-meaning groups or individuals including Occupy Wall Street.

And in Malaysia protests and demonstrations are mostly aimed at disrupting public order and business as they are often held at places which are busy with traffic and business.

But mostly it is to ensure that there is a ready crowd that comprises of the customers and people who would be there anyway, that can easily help the protests to look like they are successful.

Those who protest and demonstrate are often unruly; they shout and use whatever means to express their anger, so in the end no one knows what they want to say.

They also bring along their children and the whole area will be devastated with rubbish strewn.

No wonder they have declined the offer by the authorities to have their protests in a stadium.

They had tried to have a protest concert to sing their blues in a stadium that could seat 80,000 spectators and many more on the field, but it managed to attract less than four hundred persons, many of them are from the organizers’ group.

So that is why they like to hold their protests and demonstrations in the busiest street in the busiest area in Kuala Lumpur City where they can be assured that the road will be clogged, as much as the others leading to it.

This is also what the media and also police want, since they are the ones who had been giving the organizers of the protests a lot of media coverage each time they say they want to have another protest and the media play the matter up with the police chief also doing the same.

They are not aware that they have become pawns in the game played by the organizers of the protests, and turning them into their lackeys.

And we can also put the blame on the media and police for helping to promote the protests to happen, by talking and writing about them.

If the media and the police keep quiet and do not show any interests on what the organizers of the protests want to do, they will go on without anyone noticing it.

And why do the police have to consistently issue warnings to the organizers of the protests? Can’t they just keep quiet and take whatever action necessary?

They have all failed to abide by the law and the new protest will also turn out to be like what had happened in the past that had caused damage to properties and also disrupting traffic and business and the lives of those who do business in the areas where the protests take place.

Maybe the inspector general of police must keep his mouth shut or to appoint himself as the official spokesman of the protestors and the media acting as their official media supporters.



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