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The Sedition Act should not be replaced in name only

COMMENT | Yesterday, Facebook brought up a memory from eight years ago. It was a picture, actually a video screen capture, that Shufiyan Shukor, an old friend of mine who used to be a journalist at Malaysiakini then, had sent to me.

It was a picture of me running cowardly away with a camera in my hand (photo, above) from a row of riot police who were firing tear gas into a crowd of demonstrators near Puduraya. I never looked so sissy-fied in my life!

Eight years ago, on July 9, 2011, the Bersih 2.0 rally took place in Kuala Lumpur. As usual, I was covering it as a video journalist and so was Shufiyan. We fraternised a little when the demonstration started out peacefully. But when it got chaotic, we had our game faces on.

If you remember, this was the most violent Bersih demonstration, where police brutality was at its height. I saw demonstrators being beaten, kicked and detained. That one-day demonstration saw more than 1,000 people being arrested.

Aside from demonstrators, people who attended the Bersih event and were supposed to talk to the crowd were also arrested. Many were detained even before they gave their speeches. Among them included Ambiga Sreenevasan, Sivarasa Rasiah and Ngeh Koo Ham...

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