Once again, a crowd gathered in PJ to call for the repeal of the ISA (Photo by [email protected])
Bebaskan RPK! Mansuhkan ISA! (Photo by [email protected])
Shackled by the ISA: Over in Penang, the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) held a commemoration of the 21st anniversary of Operation Lalang outside Prangin Mall with live bands, an ISA exhibition and talks (Photo by Mustafa K Anuar. More pics here and here.)
Blog reader kereem sums up the PJ event like this:
Great night! Great sing-a-long too! What an atmosphere… loved it! Felt so safe last week that I brought my daughter and wife along. Hope we will fill up the padang in no time
[email protected] reports for anilnetto.com from Petaling Jaya:
2115: The rain pelts down now; more cars are honking and they are met with more cheers of approval from the crowd. Time to go back. People start leaving…. Well, another night is over.
My mate and I head towards our car, walking silenty and quietly, satisfed with the night. Our thoughts are with RPK, just hoping he was with us. I wonder what he is doing right this moment. We still need to pray hard and to continue until RPK and all the other ISA detainees are set free. That’s our target and that’s our mission… That’s the minimum standard we’re talking about, the new nation and the new rakyat! Good Night and God Bless All.
2045: By this time, it has started to drizzle – but who cares. Marina has arrived, and she utters a few words of encouragement and gratitude to all the rakyat for their loving support. She adds that RPK will know about what we have been doing. Greeting cards are piling up but the authourities have been limiting RPK to only a few. After that, more handshake for new well wishers.
Well known bloggers then take turns to update us with what’s happening with RPK’s case and many other initiatives the rakyat can support. But the night has to belong to these words that we chant:
“Bebaskan!” cries a solitary voice.
“RPK!” the crowd of over 300 responds.
“Mansuhkan!” rings out the solitary voice.
“ISA!!!” the crowd roars back.
Repeated in random order, 20x.
The night ends with the release of all the balloons. Yes… fly free, RPK!
2030: Without a proper programme, you never know what to expect next; you just move along and somehow everything will be all right. Our action blogger gets it going: All right, gather round people, let me introduce you tonight, our dear (singer and guitarist ) is gonna sing us some nice songs. If you know the lyrics, just sing along. (Sing it loud enough to the heavens so that RPK can hear us through his spirit: I added quietly in my heart.) And so it began.
I understand the blogger will published the lyrics to this song in his blog; he agrees to do that. Trust me, the words and melody are so… touching and appropriate. Sorry you have to wait to hear it but I know very soon it’s gonna be a hit.
I phone Anil when we all sang ‘Imagine”; my hair stands on end, not because its lousy but it’s so touching when you hear the crowd all sing together. Sometimes, tears can come in many ways; this is surely one of those. The musicians belt out a couple other songs, in Mandarin, and Malay too. Rasa Sayang? La-bamba? Great.
And when it comes to “Blowing In the wind”… During chorus… my words just refuse to come out cos I’m choked with emotion. Oh dear, whats going on? Take a deep breath and sing out loud!!! “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind….” More cheering and clapping, it’s the moment…
2015: People just coming in groups and families. Someone has already spelled the words with candles “NO 2 ISA FREE RPK”. People are mixing in small groups and camera begin flashing.
Met two guys with guitars and a great blogger who cordinated their chorus for us later on. I took some pics of the lyrics and the blogger reminds me that it is copyrighted and that I should mention their ownership, to which I readily agree. As I’m very careful and respect names, I rather not mention cos I may mispell and that could be embarassing. Anyway, other blogs will identify who they are, okay?
All right! Music in the air, balloons evrywhere – can you imagine that, folks? Wish you all were here. Again, as one would expect, the crowds are swelling now. It’s definitely more than last week’s… I move on like a real ‘pro-journalist’ taking pictures, occasionally stopping to talk to (strangers?) my extended family. Man, it’s fun! Brought with me another digital camera tonight alongside a camcorder; this should make me look like a real pro, ya?
2000: Small crowds of people were there much earlier though we arrive at about 8.00pm. The first thing we see are some beautiful coloured ballons. Great! I suppose this is a symbol to set RPK free as well, says my partner whom I got acquainted with during RPK’s court case.