Najib’s intention to stop Bersih’s rally almost succeeded if we look at the train of events: he declared from the onset that he want the Bersih rally stopped. When the Bersih organisers defied that wish from him he back down and ask Bersih organiser to do it in a stadium. Yet the Bersih organisers refused. Then he get the King to make the request which put the Bersih organisers in a difficult position to refuse, which can be taken to mean defying the king! The Bersih organisers agreed to move it to a stadium, at a high cost of taking the rally outside the public’s view! In a close-up stadium the rally will be seen only among the attendants-but a street rally will be seen by 100 times more than the attendants!
Then the nightmare begin just when some people think that a peaceful resolution would flow from the King’s timely intervention-and the police and UMNO behind it would retreat to allow the rally a safe passage. However the arrests, road blocks and intimidation continued non-stop. Stadium wanted by the Bersih organisers is put beyond reach by numerous excuses by the owner. Then the police strike by saying that they want to push the Bersih rally out of KL-thus denying the people even a glimpse of its wide appeal! Not even that: 91 leaders of the 3 rallies planned for July 9th -actually only the 66 Bersih suporting leaders were really targetted, were barred from attending and participating in the Bersih rally-totally repudiating the assumed understanding that exist between the Bersih organisers and the government via the audience with the King. So: without a space/venue allowed and without the leaders allowed to show their face, where is Bersih going from here?
If the police and Najib have their way then there will be almost no Bersih rally as initially wanted by Najib. He has come close to achieving his goal, his end game. What doubt there may be of this would be dealt with by the police and the media that keep creating a tense intimidating, will-bending atmosphere!
But there is no guarantee that the people would be intimidated. People have grown to not believe in what the media and the `leades’ are saying. Even to the extent that people take the media and politicians in reverse: if the Bersih rally -which is said to be a horror story for the country then more people may want to deliberately join it. The allegations of disrupting peace and order, losing tourists dollars and FDI are not convincing to most people, younger people especially. They may just turn up and found these `strange’ things:
1. The police simply don’t have enough hands to arrests the people once the attendants breach 10 000-what to say 100 000!
2. There are not enough police stations to house the 10 000 arrested persons -not to say 100 000;
3. There are not enough police to take statements from 10 000 arrested persons-not to mention 100 000!
4. Even the awesome water cannon vehicle cannot keep shooting over 30min!
The fear that individuals and small groups may have can only rationally be overcome by sticking to the big group. And it only takes enough people to form the group for it to attract like a magnet even more people ie the critical mass, after being reached, will overcome the fear factor more than anything else. This can happen even without any big leaders! The Bersih rally, without the big party leaders, may well empower the people to take possession of it and bring it to higher level of achievement! This, Najib may not have factored in his calculations.
The people, united, can never be defeated! The people will unite when enough of them get to know the dirty tactics used by BN to perpetuate their power!