Malaysiakini Letter

Why I did not attend KL112

Tan Zhong Yan
Published:  |  Modified:

I did not attend and participate in the People's Uprising Rally or simply known as the KL112.

This is for two reasons. Firstly, I do not see any specific purpose and objectives for this rally and secondly, I do not agree for this rally to be held.

But before going on to explain further, I would like to make it very clear that I was a participant of Bersih 3.0 and I support the rise and movement of civil society.

This can be clearly reflected in my writings - 'Bersih 3.0: Was it worth it?' and 'The rise of civil society in Malaysia' .

There is a need for me to make this clear first because if not some readers will start labelling me as pro-government, etc, and be prejudiced with what I'm going to write.

The reason that I did not attend KL112 is because unlike previous rallies, this rally has no specific purpose or objectives (in terms of for the people).

Although they have their Eight Demands, I am of the opinion that they are not really demanding for anything but merely trying to gather the supporters of various demands together and create a final boost for the Pakatan Rakyat in facing the coming general election.

Having said that, I do not agree that this rally should be held as I am afraid that its costs are much greater than the benefits obtained.

It is undeniable that each and every rally and demonstration comes with costs, especially those participated by tens of thousands of people.

Just a simple example on how it affects me - because my college is near to where the rally was held, all my classes on that day had to be postponed.

Of course I should not be self-centred but the question is, is it really necessary for such a rally or demonstration to be held?

I really think that there is no such necessity as there have been a lot of demonstrations in these few years demanding for what KL112 was ‘demanding', just that they were held separately.

One should understand that the very of purpose of a rally or demonstration is to convey a message to the people and put pressure on the government to make changes.

As what was said earlier, we already have many demonstrations these few years and I believe that the people have already got the message and the government has already decided whether to make changes.

As the general election is near, there is no need for such a rally any more as what the people can do is to change the government in the coming general election if the government refuses to change.

Further, even though I agree and support that each individual have the right to assemble peacefully, I am of the opinion that we should not make such rally and demonstration as a norm.

Rallies and demonstrations should be taken as the last resort as the costs are too high.

Moreover, if we make such a mega rally or demonstration as a norm, it would lose its value, purpose and effect.

We can just simply ask ourselves what is our reaction when we first heard of the first Bersih or Hindraf rally and then compare it with the KL112.

For me, when I first heard of the first Bersih and Hindraf rally, it gave me a ‘wow' effect but with this KL112, it seems to have lost the effect even though the numbers of participants are a few times higher.

Therefore, I hope that such rallies and demonstrations should only be held when it is necessary and when the benefits that will be obtained by the people (and not political parties) weigh much higher than the costs.

The benefits should be weighed in terms of for the people and not political parties as the people are the one who will bear the costs.

Even though I do not agree with KL112 to be held, I would nevertheless like to congratulate the participants as they have proved that we Malaysians can assemble peacefully.

KL112 has shown that as long as the police give their full co-operation, such rallies can be held peacefully.

We are certainly on the right path in transforming this country into a civilised and democratic one.


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