Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Malaysians are uneasy about demonstration.

On August 1, 2009, opposition parties of Malaysia held an anti-ISA protest in the nation’s capital. Average Malaysians were quick to denounce it. (ISA is a law which permits the government to detain, in most cases, political opponents without trial for up to two years.)

Personally, I believe demonstrations should be allowed, so long as they are peaceful and do not greatly interrupt the living of the public. Unfortunately, in countries with limited freedom such as Malaysia and China, the police often provoke the protesters by cracking down on them. In the end, angry protesters retaliate and turn unruly, and the government would say, “You see, I told you protest is bad.”

America is a country whereby demonstrations are deemed acceptable. In 1960s, hippies shocked Washington with their Make Love, Not War protests. During Bush’s years, anti-war activists rallied against the President in his ranch in Texas. The protest was led by Cindy Sheehan, a woman who lost his son in Iraq. I am sure many Malaysians supported the anti-war protest too. After all, didn’t we spot many car stickers which read Give Peace a Chance?

If you want true democracy, learn to tolerate demonstration. You can’t have freedom without chaos.


  1. it is not easy but can be done
    the problem is
    is our government ready to do that ?

  2. I like "make love not war"!

  3. I believe protests is acceptable....AS LONG AS it is peaceful and don't disrupts others' lives. But too bad..this is hard to achieve. Sometimes tensions will build and protest might turn ugly. I believe our police did the right thing to crack them!

    Next time they should protest in Stadium! Ha :D

  4. Peaceful march or protests should be allowed. Some people may say the authorities did the right thing by cracking down on the protest. But what if one of your loved ones was held under that law of detention without trial?

  5. 迷迭香
    We ordinary folks must be ready first.

    Haha... I like the slogan too.

    Actually, in many cases police cracking down on the demonstrators is the CAUSE, not the effect, of violence.

    Mei Ting
    Most Malaysians, and especially Chinese Malaysians, have the 'mind your own business' mindset.

  6. A democratic country should allow for freedom to speak and express opinions.

    The Police has over reacted this time.

    Most importantly the politicians should not demonize the genuine protesters who only want basic human rights.

  7. In a democratic society, demonstrations should be allowed. Our Police should just be around to maintain order, and not be offensive.

    It's hard not to have life affected when there is a demonstration. For a start, traffic will be affected. It's only natural. The smart thing to do is to avoid that area, if at all possible.

  8. If only politics wasn't that political.

    Singapore is another country where they ban demonstrations. Though outsiders say that the people here have their rights subdued, but at least there's still peace and prosperity - which is what the people here care about.

    But I agree with you that peaceful demonstrators should not be provoked by police.

  9. Grass
    Not this time. Every time!

    Actually, police road block worsen the traffic...

    The US is prosperous despite the demonstrations.

  10. 其实我一点也不赞成示威抗议的方法,我比较喜欢以和平的方法去处理,这对大家都有好处。不然我怕会引起种族的纠纷。

  11. 花木兰

  12. The government should allow legal demonstration asap.
    Like what Singapore has... The Speaker's Corner...

  13. Josephine
    From what I know, Singapore's the Speaker's Corner is underutilized.

  14. I find Europeans are the best when it comes to demonstrating. Even North Americans are a bit awkward about it.

    To me, demonstrations (peaceful ones) are a great tool to express opinions and to rally people to a cause. But hey, I'm French, I grew up with demonstrations!

  15. Zhu
    Demonstration is a novelty here, but we should get used to it.