Question of Numbers

Menteri Luar Negeri, Dato' Seri Utama Dr. Rais...
Menteri Luar Negeri, Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Our extremely honest and trustworthy information minister – Dr Rais Yatimclaimed today that they were able to conclusively determine from image estimation techniques that there were only about 22,700 people gathered at Bersih 3.0 rally.

I think that our government has lost the forest for the trees.

Firstly, nobody believes in whatever official figures you quote any more as you have lost all credibility. In Bersih 1.0, you claimed that there were only about 4,000 people. Nobody believed you.

In Bersih 2.0, you claimed that it was smaller than Bersih 1.0 with only 5,000 people. Malaysia became the only place in the world where the immutable laws of mathematics have been violated – 5,000 is less than 4,000.

Also, the police managed to arrest a whopping 1,600 people – 30% of the crowd. That’s essentially one in every three person at the rally. I can tell you that no Malaysian can ever believe that our PDRM has such efficiency catching unarmed people.

Now you claim that there are only 22,700 people and I guess that the point is to show that this is the fringe minority who are making noise. All these mathemagic just beguiles the average Malaysian like me.

Does it matter whether it is 22,700 or 227,000? – No.

What matters is that:

  1. Bersih is growing. You cannot deny that. I can tell you that for every person that attended the rally, there are at least another 10 who’re unable to attend it due to various reasons and that they will be there for Bersih 4.0
  2. Bersih is able to pull in a truly 1Malaysia crowd. Maybe the UMNO birthday bash drew in huge crowds – but it was not a 1Malaysia event. Bersih is the single largest 1Malaysia event in Malaysia.
  3. Bersih attendees came on their own volition and under the threat of police arrests, tear gas, water cannons, police beatings, etc. Quantity isn’t the only thing that you should be concerned with – quality too.

So, what I’d like to say is that the numbers are not at all important. What is important is the message, which I think that our government is missing. The people want clear systemic changes, which our government is unable or unwilling to commit to.

You’ve lost the plot.

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

2 thoughts on “Question of Numbers”

  1. This is just one of many red herrings thrown in by a desperate regime. The crux of the matter is that EC is still bias with the two top guys being UMNO life member, the Electoral roll is still tainted, and all the other demands of Bersih are still not met. We should be constantly asking UMNO BN are you sincere in cleaning up the election process?

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