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Friday, June 22, 2007

Candlelight vigil for Ravathi (and for Malaysia) Report

I have previously made a post Candlelight Vigil for Revathi (and for Malaysia) for the purpose of alerting as many concerned Malaysians as possible to the candlelight vigil. As mentioned in my earlier post, posts like this are posts that I do not like to publish in this blog, but I am concerned about developments in Malaysia and will like to do my part and do whatever I can about it.

As promised, I did go for the vigil. It rained when I wanted to proceed, but the rain stopped after a while. So I took the candles, an umbrella and asked my son to send me to the LRT station, that was why I was late. On my way there, I saw 2 trucks, one Police truck and another one from Bandaraya (City Hall) with officers milling around them. When I finally reached the site for the vigil, the other participants were already there with their lighted candles. Here is a photo:

candlelight vigil for Revathi and for Malaysia

In addition to the participants with their candles, there were policemen, many photographers, a TV crew from Al Jazeera (English section). I was told there were TV crews from the local stations earlier as well, but I doubt what they filmed will ever get to our local TVs. The abbreviation MCCBCHST in the banner stand for "Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism". I asked about Islam, I was told they would like them to join but they don't want to.

The positive thing about this vigil is that the authorities allowed it to proceed. There is a law which says assembly of more than 3 persons (accuracy of number of persons not guaranteed) needs a police permit. I doubt the organisers applied for one, but unfortunately did not ask. The law is applied selectively, according to what criteria no one knows. When I told my son about my intention to attend, he said "smoke bombs, batons and water cannons you know?". That were what the police used to disperse the demonstrations against petrol price increase in front of the Petronas Twin Towers. I assured him that if there is any order to disperse, I will obey.

When it was nearly 9.00pm, a man went round to pass a message to disperse at 9.00pm. Many did left the candlelight vigil at 9.00pm but there were still some stragglers, including me. I finally left for home probably about 5 minutes after 9.

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