Nabbing and cuffing Black 505 protesters wrong

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When the public take to peaceful expression of their unhappiness over the issues surrounding GE13, using the tough hand of the law is a foolish strategy.

It is of no gain to both the minority-votes-polled Umno-BN government as well as the law enforcers.

The arresting of over a dozen protesters at the Sogo shopping area on Saturday, June 15, brings back memories of the Mahathir Mohamad regime that governed with a steel hand.

But that was a period in time where the awakening of civil liberties, parameters for public accountability and transparency had not yet arrived in this part of the world.

Today, the global scene has transformed with the successive tides of change sweeping all over the world.

In case the powers that be forget, Russia fell, so did China from the grips of totalitarian powers. The Berlin Wall collapsed and the Euro belt took shape.

In recent times, countries that resisted this tsunami of democracy are beginning to relent as they pay a high price. The Arab Spring is just one example.

Close to our region we have even more lessons for free. How for example, the Thai authorities - police and army - quickly and wisely recognised the steel of citizens' will for democratic rule, demonstrates how powerful the global resurgence of civil liberties is.

Anyone who would have been in Thailand during the ‘Red protest' will tell you how police personnel enabled security for the protesting citizens ensuring that the subjects of His Majesty the King of Thailand were not harmed.

That paved the way for an early resolution to the political deadlock and today the country is on the fast track of economic growth.

Now, why are our law enforcers not able to learn from all these global lessons?

Do we not realise that when the population joins the global wave of the new socio-political order that is re-writing the democracy of the 21st century, force, brutal laws, fear creation and intimidation cannot curtail the quest for a better world?

Fortunately for the powers that be, Malaysians are a peaceful lot with great patience - though sometimes foolishly misunderstood as indifference.

But the powers that be better be forewarned too. As learned minds of social behavior will tell you, when you push law-abiding peaceful citizens to the wall, they will become extremely unpredictable.

And if that happens, again the law enforcers must take the total blame.

The real problem that even the unschooled observers will vouch is that our police force apparently seems to be taking "instructions" from higher up; and the higher-ups are subservient to political masters who have a barrage of interests at stake - given the long years of a single regime master's toil.

Paying international consultants using taxpayers' money is not doing the trick either for those who seem to fear the daylight each time the public want to register their displeasure.

Now, let Malaysians give the forces that be a free lesson out of goodwill and love for this nation:

Do not lash the whip against the peaceful citizens who only desire to create a benign political landscape that can take this nation of ours to a brighter socio-economic future.

This Black 505 must be harnessed not bulldozed and steam-rolled over. Reading the signs of the times must not be clouded by the regime-masters.

The law enforcers must remain non-political and enable democracy to emerge the victor.

Handcuffing citizens at the helm of peaceful protests will only destroy any traces of goodwill and honour still left with the forces.

And for the Umno-BN masters, your fear of Black 505 is a foregone conclusion. The longer you take to recognise that this is not an Anwar strategy, the worse will be your plunge.

Hopefully common sense, wisdom and a clear conscience on the part of our police will take charge as the rakyat gear up for the mammoth mother-rally of June 22.

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