Aftermath of the Abolish ISA rally


Photos by Ong and others

Here are a few more pics from the streets of KL as the Abolish ISA rally was drawing to a close.

The last two were taken this morning. Notice the FRU trucks at Bukit Jalil and the two teenagers, 16 and 13, in handcuffs.

Whatever your estimate of the turnout yesterday, this was easily the largest anti-ISA rally in Malaysian history. A couple of eye-witnesses told me it was bigger than the Bersih rally – which drew some 50,000 people – so that would put the turnout for yesterday’s rally at around 50,000 to 60,000 perhaps.

How times have changed over the last dozen years especially after reformasi was unleashed. In 1997 (before reformasi), a similar protest, held outside the Kamunting Detention Centre to mark the 10th anniversary of the Operation Lalang crackdown, drew only 200 people. Today, they come out in the thousands as more and more people become aware of how obnoxious the ISA is.

Najib and company are sadly mistaken if they think the people will be content with a “review” of the law. One minister even had the gall to suggest that the ISA acronym be changed to something else – as if that would pacify those who oppose the law. They just don’t get it, do they? Detention without a fair trial in open court is unjust – period. Even if they halve the initial interrogation/incommunicado detention period from 60 days to 30 days, there would still be a lot of potential for abuse, whether physical or mental. Ex-ISA detainees have said that some of the worst abuses occurred during the first few weeks of detention.

This was the result of a poll carried out on this blog in May:

[poll id=”36″]

The Sunday Star, the self-proclaimed people’s paper, studiously avoided any mention of the turnout at the pro-ISA rally. That’s not surprising because hardly anyone turned up for that one.

Some of those following the ‘live’ coverage on this blog yesterday accurately predicted how the mainstream media would report the rally in the papers today – the focus being on the chaos created, how businesses were hurt (actually coffee shops and other restaurants that were open did quite well) and the inconvenience to the public. It was all so predictable.

Much of this chaos could have been avoided if the police had facilitated the crowds and acted with restraint. Instead, Malaysia made global headlines for the wrong reasons. But then again, many around the world must have marvelled at the brave Malaysians who had peacefully come out in their thousands to express their revulsion over the ISA.

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anna brella
anna brella
3 Aug 2009 11.44pm

Please arrest the person who handcuffed those two minors in the photo above.

And get that KLPC Mohd Sabtu to explain to the public/world audience the gounds and authority he used to justify manhandling, arresting and locking-up Malaysian children in his police station lock-ups.

And has there been any public interviews given or statements issued to the general public by that pointless IGP and his equally clueless big-boss HM? If not, why not? Do they not consider that a part of their key responsibilities as public servants and supposed “leaders”?

“Imagine Power To The People” John Lennon.

3 Aug 2009 5.27pm

Anil, Don’t mean to pour cold water, as far as any polls taken other than “its”(Government) own, any form of results will be too complicated for them.
This current “thing” has to be treated as “things” as well.Now, how can a thing understand human needs. IMPOSSIBLE!
Just listen how they talk!! You think they know what number comes before and after 1? Even their thinking concept to lie is not logical and this country still believed they can lead. Biggest joke and Saddest truth indeed.

Warrior 231
Warrior 231
3 Aug 2009 2.40pm

I am not going to quibble over those figures pertaining police numbers as: 1. it was not sourced, there is no verifiable link, police statement to ascertain the fact. 2. the numbers if any, are immaterial to the crux of the issue. Did the mob’s numbers , you trundled out, were real numbers or were the figment of other fertile imaginations clutching at straws which given your journalistic approach you didnt deign to verify and published verbatim. As you yourself put it,they were culled from eyewitness accounts which I suspect are partisan. Even I, an eyewitness, didnt force the issue… Read more »

3 Aug 2009 11.48am

These UMNO goons have not learned anything…just pure arrogance in their nature and hidding behind the ‘Red Guards’. Sad, real sad, their false belief is “Might is Right!”

3 Aug 2009 11.28am

Hishamuddin after a mess at the education ministry has been moved to Home affairs. In other countries such ministers would have been sacked but here they get a promotion. Why because its his cousin who is the pm? I scratch yr back and u sratch mine…. They will pay heavily in the next elections esp after I have seen how the police treated the rakyaat on saturday. MY vote and fly is for PR. We the people are watching

3 Aug 2009 10.09am

When will they ever learn. The more they display force and aggression, the more they are alienating themselves from the Rakyat. Now, even those who were on borderline can see how the police have gone out-of-hand. There were no weapons, no violence, no brutality except those carried out by the police.

Angela Ooi
Angela Ooi
3 Aug 2009 6.59am

Probably he PRO ISA group did not turn up cos they were not paid their $$$. People in the BN camp turn up ONLY when. there are freebies and $$$

The gomen still do not realise how more n more angry people are to see the bully, heavy handed tactics on the simple folks. It is a no win situation for them cos all around, I hear people cursing this Najib, Hishamuddin and Musa….

3 Aug 2009 6.02am

The problem is that some want to divert the attention to the leader of the opposition thinking that this is some sort of gimmick or false pretense that he is putting up so that his case will be sidelined! If that is the case, why not allow the defence to view the documents to see what the evidence is since the case is so watertight! … Its good atleast more are becoming aware of this deceit and ridding themselves of the indoctrination that starts from the craddle to the tomb.

Warrior 231
Warrior 231
3 Aug 2009 2.58am

I think you allowed partisanship to blind your judgement, Anil. Sad but true. I was there and by my own estimates the numbers amounted to roughly 10k with 12k being the upper limit and those marching were 99% Malays. Biased? Nope as these local and foreign news reports will attest (pay attention, I am not quoting from any “biased” local MSM source, as you would put it): 1. 2.30pm Saksi-saksi menganggarkan hampir 10,000 berkumpul dekat Sogo, simpang jalan Dang Wangi dan Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. 2.Dalam sidang petang tadi, pengerusi GMI, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh mendakwa 100,000 orang menghadiri… Read more »

3 Aug 2009 1.54am

My writing on this issue :

Bernama News on Losses Due to Anti-ISA Protests

Charlie Oscar
Charlie Oscar
3 Aug 2009 12.05am

This is all created by the PR (Pembangkang Rakyat) to protray Malaysia as chaotic in the eyes of the world. Yet again, the PR Leaders have misled and conned their supporters to do the “donkey” works for them. They DO NOT CARE about the RAKYAT who want to make a decent living. They DO NOT CARE about the RAKYAT who want to have a peacefull Saturday to do their own things in the City. When the Police acted on the PR Goons on the streets, it is an abuse of human rights. Streets are meant for traffics. When these people… Read more »

kenneth iswara
kenneth iswara
2 Aug 2009 11.27pm

If pr leaders n rakyat can be treated so brutally in public n on camera, imagine if u were arrested n brought 2 a police or macc station, with no cctv, … god help u wen ur alone with them
make sure u support our brave pakatan rakyat leaders
who r fighting 4 d helpless against mighty…
if not, even god cant save u fr brutal UM(bn)NO regime
spread the word to all malaysians
throw them out in ge13 !!!!!!!!

2 Aug 2009 11.23pm

Disgusted by picture of two juveniles handcuffed and in custody. Are they really so dangerous that they need to be cuffed? A new low point in Malaysia.

Star the Toilet paper
Star the Toilet paper
2 Aug 2009 11.10pm

Someone mentioned the Toilet paper. Ha ha ha. Allo.. Who is the Editor of Toilet paper? …

Review ISA? Ha ha ha again. …. will definitely review ISA – to make even more cruel.

But the road block really made me HATE …. so much. The …. idiot and his Hisham what’s his name caused untold wastage of fuel, time and money. Imagine stuck for 2 hours, extra 10 litres of fuel. Multiply that by 500,000 vehicles.

2 Aug 2009 10.17pm

if before we thought Syed Hamid Albar was the worst Home Minister, well i think Hishammuddin is 10 times worst than him. Yesterday the FRU were on attacking mode, constantly chasing people around. Rounds after rounds of tear gas were fired and the water cannon truck was attacking everyone on sight. Even at the PAS HQ when there were nobody on the street, the cannon was still being fired aimlessly at the street. Seems like the order is to fired till the last drop.

2 Aug 2009 10.12pm

Can the people from Sabah and Sarawak quickly
comes together and support Pakatan Rakyat? Please
be part of the PR team.

2 Aug 2009 9.56pm

Review is ” i send the ISA to the rest to read and there is no comment. Review is closed”.

Police and MACC…. you guys are really obedient

K W Mark
K W Mark
2 Aug 2009 9.45pm

Shamsul Iskandar,

Bukan 20000 orang Malaysia yang bodoh sahaja semalam…Tapi semua kitaorang kat Penang yang tak sempat nak pergi …

Suara rakyat akan hang nampak apabila PR ambil alih kerajaan dari BN@ISA ,PDRM dan MACC…

Ingat akan suara hati majoriti …

To all the GMI comrades …Terima kasih

Mangkuk@Kg Melayu,Pg

2 Aug 2009 9.33pm

Hidup PR !!!

2 Aug 2009 9.32pm

There no point reviewing the ISA. It is like reviewing the price of a property owned by BN.
No way BN will give away ISA for free…….

2 Aug 2009 9.16pm

Any review of the ISA will be hogwash like cutting short the initial period of detention from 60 days to 30 days. This is meaningless as detention after the initial period can be indefinite.

Maybe instead of 2 year detention period renewable indefinitely, it may be changed to 1 year renewable up to 20 times?

One thing is for sure, the review will not include judicial review for the reason for detention…

2 Aug 2009 9.06pm

The police seem to involved in politics now. They are defending the ISA against all the peaceful anti-ISA demostrators. There now feel that they have vast
power to do anything under the ISA!

Anak Kuching
Anak Kuching
2 Aug 2009 8.53pm

Now lets see if PR comes into power by chance tomorrow and ISA is still in place. What can PR or will PR do with it? 1. Arrest all those corrupted leaders who walked the corridors of power and place them under ISA. 2. Release all existing ISA detainees that are victims of politics. 3. Arrest and detain all those government agency heads that worked for the politicians rather than the rakyat? The government including Tun M says public demonstration or taking to the streets to ‘pressure’ the govt is not within our culture as there are other avenues like… Read more »

2 Aug 2009 8.26pm

Followed your live coverage and tweets from others.
Rakyat has woken up to repressive ISA. Police should not take to the offensive and turn peaceful rally into a war zone. Most disappointed with the Malaysian Police. Time for Change.

Shamsul Iskandar
Shamsul Iskandar
2 Aug 2009 8.24pm

This demonstartion is only a gimmick by the …. who wants the police to arrest him under ISA so that his coming case will not proceed. He knows very well that this time the authorities have an air tight case… Quite fortunately, Malaysia has only 20,000 stupid fools.