Rumours prove unfounded as day passes peacefully in Penang

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Start of the Maulud Nabi procession outside Kapitan Keling Mosque

women and children procession

Women and children in colourful attire participated

police

Police didn’t expect any trouble but kept a watchful eye

I thought I would head to George Town to see what was going on during the Maulud Nabi celebration today. Arrived near the Kapitan Keling mosque and saw a small crowd there.

The usual colourful procession started at around 5.00pm. Delegations from various parts of Penang participated, each led by a standard bearer carrying a banner indicating the name of the group and its location. The rhythmic, thumping beat of a kompang group livened up the proceedings.

Police had taken up positions. I saw four police jeeps with Light Strike Force personnel in addition to a couple of civil defence vans plus the usual traffic police. Plainclothes police were also around. They appeared relaxed, as if they were not expecting any problems – just keeping a close eye.

I chatted with a friendly police officer and he told me the earlier rumours were unfounded, but the police were there to keep the peace “just in case”. He said there had been no real incident after the election; the real test was during polling night but that passed without anything untoward happening.

As for the demonstration last Friday, he reckoned there were about 400 in the actual demonstration; the rest were largely curious onlookers.

Most people, he felt, had accepted the election results, and he didn’t expect any major problems.

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Andrew
Andrew
21 Mar 2008 3.07am

Rumours cry out for validity based on historical events. They do not take into account what has transpired since then. Just like the songwriters of rock groups who found their inspiration from their days living on the streets, they cannot write from the luxury of their 6 star hotel bedrooms. Unrest happens only when there is widespread discontentment.

Cheeran
Cheeran
21 Mar 2008 2.41am

Thank God. No untoward march or gathering took place in Penang and hope it wont’t happen in the future as well. God bless Penang, the PEOPLE and the lEaDeRs also.

Michael Pragasam
Michael Pragasam
21 Mar 2008 10.58am

I believe in peaceful street procession to express ones feelings or to give a statement.The procession in Penang proved was a clasic example. Let the people to express themselves freely on any topic. Malaysians now are a inteligent lot. Remember the recent 08′ GE was won due to cyber media and not because of print media.(I got my latest GE elections very much earlier than our TV/radio)
Michael Pragasam

lucia
lucia
21 Mar 2008 9.35am

still yesterday many people had been telling me not to leave the house at all as there might be trouble.

yesterday was a holy day for the muslim – not an appropriate day to create trouble anyway… but problem is they still like to demo after friday prayers.

hey anil, change of design (3 columns theme) to your blog i see. not bad but something’s not right. the pictures overlap on some of the text on the sidebar.

artic turban
artic turban
21 Mar 2008 3.41pm

Maybe the threat of ISA and the idea of getting arrested plus being tear gassed and drenched in chemically laced water was a deterrent to would be demonstrators who have lived a sheltered and pampered life, maybe the paid demonstrators didn’t turn up because this is also not their cause, maybe the nasi kandar association took some action, who knows except the almighty, but in the end it is good to see people going about with the religious obligatons with freedom and peace and only god in their minds, instead of foul thoughts and greed the defining point

hellfried
21 Mar 2008 1.18pm

the rallies, imagined or otherwise will be largely organised by the losers of the recent GE ie BN/UMNO. it will never turn ugly as long as their counterparts remain in power at the federal level. to turn the water cannons and tear gas at them would be like shooting oneself in the foot.

Taufiq
Taufiq
21 Mar 2008 12.08pm

I am not sure that I like to see the Prophet’s birthday being used as a convenient platform for political demonstration. And I mean it to all political parties. What impertinence. How easily we forget the cherished values of our forefathers. God Bless Penang. And Kudos to LGE for dropping by. It may be just a little gesture, but i think it is an important milestone.

Keith
21 Mar 2008 12.07pm

Proof that only UMNO is interested in having rallys. The people average penang-ite is not bothered about attending these ridiculous rallies. The numbers that have attended these rallies are insignificant when compared to Bersih or even Hindraf?

It’s the possible the next UMNO rally will not need a police permit, because less than 3 people may attend.

pakshah
pakshah
22 Mar 2008 11.46pm

by the way, the Maulidur Rasul gathering in Penang island was organised by Umno and their supporters.
they boycotted the state-level gathering at Seberang Jaya which was led by the YDPN and DCM.