There was a Occupying Dataran activity at Dataran Merdeka, KL going on last night. A couple of hundreds turned up-mostly young er folks. The police claim to act for the DBKL which run the Dataran. The folks who just sat down to start their People Assembly had to come to a stop or risk arrests. A show of hands showed that not many are willing to be arrested so the organiser, in a democraitc manner, announce to stop the assembly.But the people mingled around in smaller groups till late. Before the stop the assembled folks were having fun, games, socialising etc. Many people have many things to say about this People Aseembly and reclaim the public space movement. A small thought from me: actually there is another location where the issue from the Occupy Dataran/Wall Street is more brought into focus: within half a Km, just outside the Puduraya bus station there has been a perennial `occupation’ by people who are homeless and therefore sleep in the open on daily basis! If the young folks here blend into this crowd the police will have a problem to differentiate the crowd and will have a headache to stop the `occupation’ by hundreds of citizens and perhaps also some non-citizens!
Also the homeless folks are a real reflection of the failure of the `system’ as operating now!
The Occupying Dataran focused on reclaiming the democratic process by insisting on consensus building. How do voiceless people who are in the interior of East Malaysia fit into this better democratic process?
Yet more of the `failures’ of the `system’ live outside the views of the city folks-in rural/interior areas of West and East Malaysia. The film on Bengoh is a good enough documentation of a community in Sarawak where the people live without treated water, no electricity supply, no mobile connection, no roads, no vehicles, no….If the people who are bothered about the failures of the system stand together with those who are really `failures’ of the `system’ the `occupation’ will have a real earth shaking effect!
A good read on those occupying the Puduraya open space is here.