I won’t say much since I think that the police are doing a brilliant job of digging a grave for themselves. Their stories no longer fit together properly.
A news report, that quotes the actual numbers:
Commenting on the rally, IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar said as a result of steps police had in place only about 6,000 managed to gather unlike the crowds seen in the 2007 Bersih rally.
And the general kudos for a job well done today:
Ismail also attributed the smooth crowd control to systematic and professional policing, adding that the number this time was not as large as the gathering for the 2007 Bersih rally due to the steps taken.
And the gem from TheStar archives, Nov 2007:
The police have said it involved 4,000 people while the organisers have put it at 40,000,
Yes, our police force must be the most brilliant in the world, which can say that 6,000 is less than 4,000. Goodness knows what else goes on inside such brilliant minds.
I guess that explains a lot about how they chose to handle things. I must learn mathemagic from them. Repeat to self – 6k is less than 4k… 6k is less than… 6k is… frak it.
And of course, the numbers who were arrested:
A total of 1,667 people were arrested for taking part in various rallies in the city, said Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar.
I must congratulate our police force for a job well done and being so efficient – arresting almost 30% of the participants. Let me put it in another way, that is almost 1-in-3 of the participants.
Take a good look at the photo gracing the front-page of the Thestar today – every third person got arrested! Wish they solved crimes as efficiently.
If they are so honest about this, I wonder what else are they honest about – like the police did not gas Tung Shin Hospital (the multi-storey gray building at the top of the hill).
He also denied allegations that the police team had fired tear gas into the Tung Shin Hospital grounds to disperse crowds gathered there.
Tears stream, not always naturally.
I see more hope than I ever had, in the rakyat.
I see the young, old and everything in between.
I see the dark, light, and lots of yellow.
I see face-bookers, twitters and even ben-10-ers.
I see, for, I see.
Things will never be the same again.
I was previously denied my legal right to vote by our Malaysian government. I have chronicled it on my previous blog. However, I have just noticed that most of the links to SPR are broken and I thought that I should update the entry a little here, with some recent thoughts on the issue of postal voters.
As a background, I was denied my right to vote as a postal voter in the 2008 elections. I tried to register myself as one while I was studying in the UK and was vehemently denied by the Malaysian High Comm in London. I still have copies of the correspondence with me.
I would like to highlight the relevant parts of the law that says that students studying overseas are allowed to vote by post.
As specified in the Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003 – Part II – Section 3(1)(a):
Persons entitled to vote as postal voters
3. (1) Any person who has registered as a Parliamentary or State elector under the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002, and is –
(a) an absent voter;
(b) a person certified by the Election Commission to be an election officer and liable for duties on polling day;
(c) a member of any police force established by any written law in force in Malaysia, other than a member of the Police Volunteer Reserve Force;
(d) a member of any of the public services who on poling day is employed full-time in a post outside Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak;
(e) a member of the Election Commission appointed under Article 114 of the Federal Constitution; or
(f) a member of any category of persons designated as postal voters by the Election Commission from time to time by notification in the Gazette, shall, on receipt of a postal ballot paper, be entitled to vote as a postal voter at an election in accordance with these Regulations.
The definition of “absent voter” can be found in Part I – Section 2 – of the same regulations:
2. In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires-
“Form 2” means a declaration of the identity of a postal voter and bearing the ballot paper number;
“agent” means the election agent or any person appointed to attend in the election agent’s place;
“postal ballot paper” means a ballot paper issued to a postal voter;
“issue” includes the original and any subsequent issue;
“postal voter” means any person entitled to vote under regulation 3;
“absent voter” has the meaning assigned to it in the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002 [P.U.(A) 293/2002];
“envelope A” means a covering envelope bearing the words “ballot paper envelope” and “ballot paper number”;
“envelope B” means a covering envelope bearing the words “returning officer” for the return of envelope A and Form 2.
So, look up the relevant Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002 – Part I – Section 2(e):
“absent voter” means a citizen who has attained the age of twenty-one years on the qualifying date and is-
(a) a serving member of any regular naval, military or air force of Malaysia, the Commonwealth or other country;
(b) the spouse of a serving member of any force referred to in paragraph (a), who elects to become an absent voter;
(c) in the public service of the Government of Malaysia or of any State or in the service of any local authority or statutory authority exercising powers vested in it by Federal or State law, who is on duty outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak;
(d) the spouse of a person in the public service of the Government of Malaysia or of any State or in the service of any local authority or statutory authority exercising powers vested in it by Federal or State law who is living with her or his husband or wife outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak at the date of application for
registration as a Parliamentary or State elector,
(e) engaged in full-time studies at any university, training college or any higher educational institution outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak; or
(f) the spouse of a person engaged in full-time studies at any university, training college or any higher educational institution outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak who is living with her or his husband or wife at the date of application for registration as a Parliamentary or State elector.
Don’t believe me? Read the documents for yourself.
Now I wish that the Elections Commission will tell me why I was not allowed to vote by postal ballot; and tell me that our election system is running perfectly fine when I and thousands of others like myself have been disenfranchised illegally by the Elections Commission.
I wonder what their little booklet says about this.
I would not have expected any less of my government. Honestly, they have already hit rock bottom and are now scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas on how to handle the Bersih movement.
Stadium Merdeka it is then. 9th July @ 2pm.
PS: If I was a dreamer, I would dream that our Agong makes a surprise appearance at the stadium so that the organisers would not even need to march to the Istana to hand over the documents but can just do it formally in the stadium. That would also keep the pesky elements at bay for a while.
How stupid can things get with our government. Let’s recap developments for just today.
#1 – Our King has struck a deal with the organisers of Bersih. As a result, everyone was happy to have the rally in a stadium instead of the streets.
#2 – Our Prime Minster has publicly declared that Bersih should have the rally in a stadium instead of on the streets.
#3 – Our Home Minister declares that Bersih is still illegal even if our King has struck a deal with them. I don’t know if this is considered derhaka or if the King is now guilty of bargaining with criminals.
#4 – The Bersih application to use Stadium Merdeka as the rally point has been promptly rejected on the excuse of some last-minute and random upgrade works being carried out.
#5 – Our police continue to intimidate and pressure the people. Today, they started blocking the roads in KL on the pretense of searching for weapons such as yellow t-shirts.
Does the government plan to incarcerate all the rally participants, thus preventing them from participating in snap polls predicted to be called soon? Does the government plan to incarcerate any opposition politicians found participating in the rally, thus disqualifying them from running in the coming general elections?
If that’s our governments’ plan, they are truly in need of some Blue-Ocean thinking. They are bereft of any thought.
All I can say is this – pray for the people rallying on the 9th. The government seems to want to force things to a head – to what end?