There are many riot proponents around today to try to dissuade anyone trying to attempt public assembly. Worst was the announcement by the defacto law minister Nazri that there is no such thing as `peaceful gathering’ under Malaysian law as he interpret it! But there are big holes in the argument:
1. UMNO/BN/Government gatherings in the hundreds of thousands are not bothered about them turning into `riot’ or `communal confrontations’ -is their riot argument plainly partisan propaganda?
2. Much is said about the source of a mysterious individual who can spark a riot-who could that be? In most public assemblies there is no one except the police who start violence by shooting tear gas, water cannon onto the assembled crowds. Even then all people are showing great restraint by not hitting back. Wonder if these riot proponent would suggest to restraint the police?
3. The peaceful assembly is about free and fair elections; not about communal issues; all communities want free and fair elections; pretending that the communities are ever ready to fight over communal issues is an artificial, partisan interpretation-or simply, propaganda! In anycase many peaceful assemblies may have more people of the same ethnic groups involved.
Why these riot proponants only see ethnic identities and nothing of other issues? Blinkered views with tinted glass? They are not worthy of the supposedly `neutral’ `objective’ image of `analyst’. These are simply partisan job-climbers who go up with spewing out pro-regime propaganda!
Update on crackdown on Bersih: another 14 persons were arrested today in Perak for distributing material on Bersih, including Assembly man Chang Lih Kang.
Analysts fear riots from Bersih rally
KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — The July 9 Bersih rally is causing concern in two political analysts, who fear it may be used by unsavoury elements to create full-scale riots in the city.
Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain of Universiti Sains Malaysia said it takes just a small section of the crowd, which organisers expect to be in the hundreds of thousands, to spark chaos.
“The organisers might say the assembly will be peaceful, but one individual is all it takes to cause mob behaviour,” the sociologist was quoted in a Bernama Online report.
Ahmad also voiced concerns that any potential clash may lead to intercommunal unrest.
He did not, however, share his thoughts with regards to the identities of the possible instigators.
Another pundit, UTM political science lecturer Che Hamdan Mohd Razali, expressed doubt that Bersih’s motives are as transparent as the group claims, and voiced suspicion that the rally was intended to goad authorities into heavy-handed reaction.
“I see the assembly is meant to provoke. It is also to build up anti-government sentiment among voters for the coming general election,” he said in the same report.
The first Bersih rally in 2007 saw up to 50,000 people take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur before they were dispersed by police armed with tear gas and water cannons.
The demonstration has been partly credited for Pakatan Rakyat’s record gains in Election 2008, where the opposition pact swept to power in five states and won 82 parliamentary seats.