The Nov 10 rally for justice and democracy by tens of thousands of rakyat was embraced by the weeping skies. The torrential downpour echoed the rakyat's cries for a greater nation through better governance.
Unfortunately, as peace-loving men and women from all races and walks of life marched in fervor , the blockades and extraordinary presence of police only further drove home the widely-held perception that justice and democracy are at high risk in a nation that was often seen as a model nation not too long ago.
Every man and woman on the street in so many different ways heaved the same sigh, "Why must the government stop us when even the Palace has agreed to receive our concerns?" Many shopkeepers fronting Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman were told to close which prompted one calm owner to ask, "The people are not rioting, why close?"
This rally was a golden public relations opportunity for the government to ride upon and win back the support and approval from the rakyat. Unfortunately, it was wasted as the authorities took the offensive and defensive route. This will only further entrench the perception of corruption, police state and elite mismanagement by the powers-that-be.
The right action would have been for the police to provide heightened security to ensure that the rally remains peaceful. That would have won the police the best image-building opportunity and showcase to the world and to the nation that the police are right-minded.
Reflecting on this episode of Nov 10, one thing is certain. The rakyat would remain more convinced that justice and democracy are at an extremely vulnerable point. The fact that the people who thronged into the federal capital are from all over the country is a fact that the ruling party members cannot afford to dismiss lightly if they really are serious of not doing a disservice to their parties that they profess to defend.
The rakyat cannot be wrong in so many ways. The tens of thousands of drenched rakyat would only have gone home even more resolute. That is how the weeping skies work on the emotions.