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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Guns versus candles - Candlelight Vigil turned into a march

You know the saying that hindrances can be a blessing in disguise (my own version)? Well, it turned out to be true on the night of 27 September 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There was supposed to be a peaceful candlelight vigil at Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) where the tallest flagpole is located:

tallest flagpole in the world, Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur

Unfortunately (or fortunately) the biased Malaysian Police barricaded the place and prevented the peaceful candlelight vigil from taking place at the planned location.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur night scene

However, the demonstrators would not be deterred. They marched from the tallest flagpole in the world to the other end of Dataran Merdeka (junction of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Tun Perak) along the Klang River and by the beautiful Masjid Jamek:

Hindraf demonstrators moving along Klang River towards Masjid Jamek

Masjid Jamek lighted up at night

Thousands of demonstrators holding lighted candles and shouting "Mansuhkan ISA" (Abolish ISA) ended up at the other end of Dataran Merdeka at the junction of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Tun Perak where it is busier and more visible and wherew they faced off riot police with guns, batons and shields:

Candlelight vigil demonstrators face off riot police

Malaysian riot police with guns, batons and shields to counter peaceful demonstrators with only lighted candles as their weapons. Do we need such potentially violent countermeasures against harmless demonstrators without any weapons beyond little harmless lighted candles?

potentially violent riot police with guns and batons plus shields

After a noisy demonstration at a very busy part of Kuala Lumpur, demonstrators slowly marched along Jalan Tun Perak towards the even more busy Pudu Raya:

candlelight vigil marchers moving along Jalan Tun Perak

I held a lighted candle too with no shield protecting my fingers from the hot melting wax. The melted wax solidified at my thumb until it fuses the lighted candle with my thumb and it can be held high above my head without me having to grip it with my fingers:

lighted candle glued to thumb by resolidified melted wax

All in all, despite the presence of armed riot police, the candlelight vigil turned march is successful in demonstrating our feelings of revulsion against the draconian ISA (Internal Security Act) to the public as those places we were in were all very busy parts of Kuala Lumpur.

1 comment:

I Kadek Bagus Widana Putra said...

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