There has been some reports (Malaysiakini and Freemalaysiatoday) which say that the Red Rally had been scrapped by the organiser Francis Siah-this has been confirmed by a repost of the same report in MOCS’ own web site. In the reports mentioned Francis is said to finally agreed to delay his 10-point declaration to Sept 16th-actually an earlier suggestion which was not adopted at that time. So there may be only a Buka Puasa gathering if the walk or standing around rally did not materialise. But you can never know if there are Sarawakians who take ownership of the rally and refuse to let the much hyped Walk for Democracy to be chopped without them being consulted in the spirit of democracy???
MoCS calls off rally, cites public safety
Posted on August 13, 2011 by mocsarawak
MoCS will not break the law and we have decided that in the overall interests of our fellow citizens in Kuching, the Red Rally tomorrow is called off, says Siah.
A MoCS press release as published in FMT
KUCHING – The ‘Walk for Democracy and Reform’, also dubbed the ‘Red Rally’, scheduled at 2pm here tomorrow is off.
Announcing the decision here tonight, Movement For Change, Sarawak (MoCS) leader Francis Paul Siah said the movement put public safety as its top priority.
“As the organisers, MoCS is responsible for the participants. We do not want to see anyone getting hurt in the streets.
“Neither do we want to see anyone being arrested for participating in the rally,” he said.
However, he urged Sarawakians to wear red tomorrow in support of democracy and political reforms in their home state.
Siah said he met with Sarawak Deputy police commissioner Law Hong Soon this afternoon and agreed to accept his advice on matters of public order and security.
“It was a very cordial meeting and I listen to his explanation. I can now accept that in the case of Aug 13, police’s action so far was in the interest of public safety and not slanted towards the interests of politicians. That was very important to us,” he said.
Thanking Law for his advice, Siah stressed that “as a responsible organization, MoCS will not break the law and we have decided that in the overall interests of our fellow citizens in Kuching, the Red Rally tomorrow is called off.
“MoCS also concedes that as a small organization, we would be hard pressed if things get out of control. We also humbly concede that we do not have the manpower and resources to control a big crowd.
“To be responsible also means that we must be humble. We have declared many times that MoCS will always operate within the law and today, by calling off the rally, we have again walked our talk.
The MoCS leader hoped that by calling off the event, the police would not have to waste public funds in deploying extra manpower and equipment.
“It is a win-win situation for the movement and the police,” he said.
Siah said that the movement had wanted to walk the extra mile on Aug 13 (which is also the first anniversary of MoCS) since “we have already walked many miles over the past year” but given the circumstances, good sense and responsibility over-ride other considerations.
Siah also noted that the Cenotaph at the Museum Garden was under renovation and it would be disrespectful to hold a wreath-laying ceremony at this time.
He admitted that was an over-sight on his part.
“I don’t reside in Kuching and I was not aware of the Cenotaph renovation at all when I announced the wreath-laying ceremony three weeks ago,” he added apologetically.
With the rally off, Siah said the movement’s 10-point Declaration which was to be unveiled tomorrow will now be announced on Sept 16 Malaysia Day.
The Buka Puasa at the Didi Restaurant tomorrow at 6.30pm is on. MoCS friends and supporters are all welcomed to the function
The police yesterday had obtained a court order to retrain Siah and eight others from gathering tomorrow. – FMT