Photos by [email protected]
Eye-witness report by [email protected]:
The night when colours fade:
“Where are all the Indians?”
“Where are all the Malays?”
“Where are all the Chinese?”
Haris: Are we all blind or what? Who cares about skin colours? It doesn’t matter any more! We are Bangsa SATU! We are Bangsa Rakyat!
Yes! I feel a surge of adrenaline overflowing within me, a sudden sense of brother- and sisterhood with my fellow Malaysians. It’s a celebration of Life. I feel good, I really do. So do the rest.
Towards the end of the event, someone discovers a wallet that had been dropped. Marina immediately hands it over to a guy and asks that it be returned ASAP. Someone else whips out his handphone and asks if there are any contact details in the wallet. It is sorted out in no time. That’s the kind of spirit when we say Bangsa Rakyat Bangsa Satu.
2100: The crowd continues to mingle and as always, Marina and Zorro are the main attractions. Everyone just wants a piece of “justice” and “power” from Marina. Where’s Haris? Somehow I miss him too. Well, my partner and I ended our night at a fast-food outlet and we had a drink with other newfound family friends. We sure quenched our thirst and our spirit for the night.
Remember 7 Nov 2008. Free RPK!!!!!
2045: Someone’s already speaking. Unusually early I thought, but the number of people could have hastened the momentum of the event. Where’s my camcorder? Where’s my camera? Should I use… can’t get around to it with the umbrella… Dripping wet now and … just forget about the umbrella. And suddenly I remember, my little Olympus claims to be “waterproof”… good chance to test it out now. Fortunately, it lives up to its claim.
After squeezing past through bodies and umbrella, there he was! The man himself! Haris, a mountain of a man; imagine, he must be a six-footer. And now standing on top of a make-shift box as temporary podium, he certainly stands TALL, a person who speaks with conviction and passion, a sense of assurance that sounds like music to me. That’s right.
He makes several calls, reminding us of our first venture into the real world of the “living”; we are not to be in bondage. And all it takes is that one small step to stand up for your rights and for the truth. (Yes, it’s scary at first, but this is exactly what this vigil is all about, to help everyone to come together and get rid of this fear that has been tormenting the rakyat for God-knows-how-long. The rakyat’s presence at these vigils are only a means to larger objectives: to free RPK, to free all the other ISA detainees, and finally to get rid of the ISA.)
Sorry, that’s my own perspective; Haris may be using different words. It’s also about Justice. Justice for all rakyat to be respected as Bangsa Satu or Bangsa Rakyat.
Ah, beside him stands Zorro, smiling, I suppose he must have felt relieved tonight as it is his well deserved day off, now that Haris is here. Cheers, mate.
Next speaker or motivator is a woman who volunteers to set the mood for the evening with shouts of “Free RPK!” and “No to ISA!” or something to that effect.
I’m soaked by now, pretty uncomfortable. Need to move around.
Next speaker: our Adun, Lau Weng San, who continues to reassure the rakyat that this PJ venue is safe. He urges us to bring along more friends for the next vigil. (If there should be any negative or evil elements amongst the crowd, they are also welcome, perhaps to learn that abolishing the ISA will be beneficial to their loved ones too. Again, these are my thoughts; sorry, can’t help it)
A young man takes the stand and mentions that, after attending several vigils now, the number of people attending the vigil is still relatively small. He wishes to see larger crowds and more new faces for the coming event. (Yes folks, do make a stand now. Just do it! Come and be counted.)
Then the floor is opened to anyone who wants to share about the event. A gentleman from overseas says he is happy to join us, and says what we are doing is for the right cause; it is the right thing to do. He isn’t sure when he will return again to Malaysia, but he hopes that we need not have to conduct these vigils the next time. ( He obviously meant “Away with ISA for good.” )
“We want to see more of the young generation here. Is there anyone here?”
Indeed a young fellow, probably in his 20s stands up and takes the mic, “I’m happy to be here, thank you.” Well? That’s all, Haris says he just wanted to see, right?
Okay, move over pal, here comes Mr “Singalaysian”, Stephen, a Singaporean who married a lovely Malaysian woman, Lita. He is another fine example to the rest of the rakyat. He was at the Seremban vigil last Friday and despite his busy travelling back and forth from Singapore, Seremban, and now to PJ, he makes a point to come simply because of the great respect he has for RPK and his support for abolishing the ISA. He doesn’t need a mic cos he’s STRONG…voice and person. Kudos, Stephen!
Right, the rain’s getting into my eyes again… gotta move out once more…
Now, it’s karoke time with a difference. No mike, just “unplugged”, we all sing a beautiful number tonight; it’s called “That’s what friends are for”. So appropriate: through bad times, through good times, in fact through all times, we are friends for life….
It’s another wonderful evening. The rain’s about to stop. Before we end, Haris again reminds us all to remember the date 7 Nov. That’s right, it’s this Friday. So folks, please make a date with RPK, and come. (Get details from Malaysia Today, okay?)
2005: Arrive a little late due to the rain (excuses). But that’s the reason why partners are all important. Sometimes, you just need that little extra push to get lazy bones moving. So here we are. Both of us have the same question: With the rain still pouring, will there be anyone turning up? Yes, the crowds are already there. In fact, more than we anticipate.