Friday, January 15, 2016


By Mansor Puteh

I visited Bali few times over the years but never wanted to stay in hotels where there were many foreign (read White) tourists; I preferred to stay in the ‘losmens’ as they call it in Ubud. But after the Bali Bomb Blasts I ventured and stayed at a small hotel in Kuta.

I asked some people there where were the locations of the blasts and they pointed one of them was just behind the hotel where I was staying at and the other further up.

At that time the buildings had been razed and they had left the land vacant with one of them being grown with banana trees; and the Balinese were allowing for the banana trees to grow fruits after which they said the land would be ready for redevelopment.

Boston had its share of bomb blasts during a Marathon three years ago. And now in Bangkok.

The strange part is that the bomb blasts happened at places with the letter ‘B’.

Now I wonder if the next bomb blast will be during the BERSIH RALLY in Kuala Lumpur to be held sometime in September after the organizers failed to get it on immediately before the Merdeka or Independence Day.

This move was really a nuisance move; it is like the organizers asking for a rally to be held outside of Buckingham Palace in London on 2 June, when the Queen celebrates her official birthday.

The idea for that is definitely for the authorities in Malaysia to reject the application which can give the organizers some advantage in putting down the authorities for not allowing them have the venues on the dates THEY wanted.

And who are THEY? They are the organizers of the BERSIH SERIAL PROTESTS that had been held in the city few times before over the years all of which did not bring about much except for some unnecessary drama and perhaps supporters from abroad.

BERSIH 4.0 can be the highlight of the achievement that the organizers might be looking forward to having and creating, and this time it could be a blast, literally speaking.

If it could happen in Bali then Boston and recently in Bangkok, why not also in the center of the City of Kuala Lumpur?

Anything can happen in any rally held in the city; and no one knows who is carrying what in their backpacks and also trolleys, and other paraphernalia some of the protesters are carrying other than the useless slogans.

Protests however noisy and nonsensical have never managed to bring down the government in Malaysia; maybe this time it can happen with a – blast!

One is surprised that nothing of this sort had ever happened in the Bersih rallies or protests before although some sort of fireworks had been fired and disruption to the rally occurred but nothing that is similar to what happened in Bali, Boston or Bangkok.

But this does not mean after three earlier rallies, the fourth one can be relatively calm.

No one knows what to expect in rallies anyway; it is good if they go on without any untoward incident.

But having them in the city center always invite some sort of disturbances and disruption to normal life and business in the affected areas are affected.

This, the organizers do not care; they want to have their rallies there and when they like without caring for the laws of the land.

This time they have another woman to organize Bersih 4.0. But one can tell how she had got the ‘franchise’ to proceed with the protests, since they are the copyright of some groups of people who had earlier been in the forefront of the protests.

Protest movements in Malaysia had hardly succeeded to achieve anything other than to make the organizers the nuisance of the society.

They get a bit of publicity before the protests and a bit more afterwards; and if they had managed to achieve much, why then have a series of them over the last few years?

And where are the Pemuda Umno leaders? Didn’t they know that they had left or vacated the streets and they had been taken over by those who are now busy dirtying them?

And no one thought Boston too could get it and now Bangkok, too, has become the next city to experience such a calamity.

And the best time the Boston Bombers comprising of two brothers from a Central Asian country was the Boston Marathon.

And they had lived in America for a long time, did it; one of them died in a gunfire while the other arrested and charged and consequently sentenced to death.

It is also ironic how the CCTV capture has a young man sporting long hair and wearing a yellow tee-shirt pillion riding on a small motorcycle and earlier another clip showing him sitting down on a bench by the side of the road and leaving a backpack to go somewhere.

And not long later, the bomb which was in the backpack which exploded.

He is nowhere to be seen and two tourist guides had reported to the local police stations to admit that they were not the guy in the photo who has a look like their own.

Maybe the guy in yellow had worn a makeup and purposely wearing yellow shirt to show that he supports the ‘Yellow Shirts’ group that wanted to counter those in the ‘Red Shirts’ group that had taken some major streets in Bangkok for a long while.

I have been to the three cities; having lived in Boston for a few months and returning to it in 1990 and also 2013, because I had lived in an apartment in Peterborough Street which is near the Fenway Stadium of the Red Sox.

I have also been to Bangkok at least two times and Bali, maybe four or five times.

Bali, Boston, Bangkok…and Bersih 4.0 Bomb Blasts next?!

It could happen. And if it does, I am the first person to be able to see it. 

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