Who created the disturbance? — Tay Tian Yan
APRIL 30 — Assemblies can be peaceful. Why can’t they be?
In Penang and Johor Baru, atmosphere of the sit-in rallies were passionate, but peaceful. Penang is ruled by Pakatan Rakyat while Johor is ruled by Barisan Nasional. There is no contradiction at all.
From Melbourne, Taipei, Hong Kong to London, many Malaysians overseas sat in under the blue sky to show their support for the rally.
The air in Kuala Lumpur, however, was filled with choking smoke and jets of water. People were staggering, pulling and pushing. There were also physical conflicts and even reporters were assaulted and detained.
A friend who was at the front line said, “After you have suffered the pain caused by tear gas and water cannons, you will never forget it and the anger will never subside.”
Perhaps it is a trauma that the authority and police would never understand.
Yes, the police said that some people pushed past the barricades and barbed wires, and tried to make their way to the Dataran Merdeka, forcing the police to fire water cannons and tear gas.
However, even if it was a counterattack, there must still be limits and restraint.
Tens of thousands of people crowded the narrow Jalan Tun Perak, and when tear gas and water cannons were fired, they ran in panic but found no way to retreat.
We have always heard of similar tragedies. In foreign countries, stampedes took place when major concerts or football matches went out of control, causing heavy casualties.
There were exits at the venues for the concerts and matches and there were security personnel to provide guidance.
Jalan Tun Perak and other roads around the Central Market on that day, however, were fully crowded. It turned chaotic when people tried to squeeze and retreat to avoid the water cannons.
We should really thank God, as no tragedy had taken place that day.
Regardless of whether the police’s action was meant to disperse the people or fight back, it was indeed too reckless. People shook their heads and sighed when they saw or read about it, no matter whether they had participated the rally or not, and which party they support.
At the same time, the motive of the few people who boldly tried to break into the restricted area is dubious and their action is outrageous.
Some said that a few people were too passionate and did not comply with the agreement between the organisers and the police, while some people said that the action was instigated by politicians to make the situation go out of control.
Also, some people said that they were political proxies with a mission to create conflict and deliberately make a chaos.
No matter which of the many speculations are true, the incident has shown that all parties have committed negligence on that day.
The perpetrators should be stopped promptly. The security personnel of the organisers and police officers should have ferreted out these people, before they succeeded in making the trouble. — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication, and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider