What option do the people have to voice their dissension at the government for the recent price hikes that had caused considerable hardship to many? In the first instance, were the people ever consulted before the announcement was made to raise the price of patrol? The answer is NO. That be the case, why is it so wrong for the people to protest at a gathering yesterday Sunday, 6 July ?
The government has consistently said that voicing the people’s displeasure through a mass protest, is not the righteous way, with the excuse that such protest may cause fear and disrupt public order. My question is, “did the protest on Sunday disrupt public order and instilled fear among the people”. My answer is again NO.
From my observation, the protest went on without any untoward incident, because there were no water cannons and riot police in large numbers ready to disperse the protesters. Had there been the excessive presence of the riot police, the situation may have been different, simply because the protesters may get agitated at the sight of the riot police.
Sunday’s protest has proven to all that we Malaysians are a civilized lot, and they understand the difference between right and wrong. They value peace and stability, but the unfortunate thing is that the government has totally an absurd perspective of Malaysians. They still think that a crowd of more than five people can create public disorder of national consequences. Hence, the crowd need to be silence at all costs by whatever method…..dragging and beating in most cases. This I suppose is the modus operandi of our police force….the guidance of peace and public order. The use of minimum force, as I was taught early in my military training, does not seem to apply to the police, when dealing with the public. Even the use of live rounds on protesters is an option for the police nowadays.
The people has made their voices heard, and it is now for the government to act, by action and not by words. This protest is not the last, and I believe it is just the beginning to an even larger protest, if the government adopts a lackadaisical approach to the many dissenting voices of the people.