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We've right to both public assembly, public safety
Published:  Dec 14, 2007 4:53 AM
Updated: Jan 29, 2008 10:21 AM

One cannot be traded for the other. It is the job of a responsible and democratic government to provide both to its citizens.

On PM warns public safety is top priority

KSN: Public assembly - such the Bersih and Hindraf rallies and the lawyers’ march - is a fundamental right of citizens in a democratic country. It does not become illegal just because the police refuse to give a permit and then turn them into violent ones by using water cannons and tear gas.

Public safety is a police responsibility. They cannot be traded one for the other. But if the PM is talking about himself that he is willing to trade one for the other, that is his democratic choice as any other citizen. But he has no right to impose his will on the citizens of this country.

The people have the right for both public assembly and public safety. It is the job of a responsible and democratic government to provide both to its citizens.

On ISA crackdown: 5 Hindraf leaders detained

Teh Chian Yi: It was inspiring to read in history books about how great people fight for independence and against oppression. Although our schools teach students to be honest and to be brave in speaking the truth, in reality honest people are not often appreciated. Indeed, they are punished. The use of Internal Security Act by the government to detain Hindraf leaders who organised a peaceful assembly totally violates their civil rights.

As many Indians are suffering from poverty, inflation and unfair treatment, they need to voice out their dissatisfaction. The Nov 25 Hindraf assembly was a peaceful event. It is a channel for people to voice out their concerns, and provided the government an opportunity to address them.

Hindraf is a platform for Indian community to assert their rights. Therefore, I sincerely hope that the government stop the crackdown against these leaders using ISA but look into the root cause of the people’s dissatisfaction seriously.

Anak Malaysia: Sejak kebelakangan ini kita bercakap pasal Hindraf. Setiap kali membuka berita perdana, kita akan terdengar perkataan Hindraf. Jika media massa sudah sebati dengan Hindraf, bagaimanakah pula dengan para pendengar dan penonton.

Saya percaya sudah tiba masanya bagi kerajaan mendengar mesej yang hendak disampaikan oleh pemimpin hindraf. Tidak ada faedahnya kepada mana-mana pihak sekiranya tidak ada penyelesaian yang sewajarnya. Jika asyik menangkap pemimpin Hindraf dan menghukum penyokong mereka, maka makin lama mereka makin membenci kerajaan sahaja. Siapakah yang untung dalam perkara ini? Kerajaan atau Hindraf?

Semua pihak harulah menepikan emosi dan berfikir secara waras. Dengarlah apa yang hendak disampaikan oleh pemimpin hindraf. Tidak salah jika kita mendengar pendapat,pandangan atau cadangan orang lain demi untuk memperbaiki kelemahan kita sendiri. Jika kita sedia mendengar pendata orang lain maka ianya akan menyelesaikan banyak masalah serta mampu membawa Malaysia ke arah kejayaan yang lebih cemerlang. Bukankah itu merupakan impian setiap individu di Malaysia?


Little People: I have been reading quite a number of articles on the Hindraf issue including that it has or in the midst of getting terrorist help and that it causing racial tension. The government appeared to be trying to divert the issues on why the people are willing to go out and protest.

To the PM, DPM, Hisham, Nazri, Zam and the IGP, have you try cornering a dog and see what would happen? So just a little advice from a nobody - listen to the grouses of the little people or it could one day return to haunt you. It is very hard for the little people to put food on the table when prices of everything keep increasing.

To KJ, Nazri, Zam and Hisham (even if you think you are the smartest person in this planet), it does not hurt to be humble.

On 'Ethnic cleansing' claim laughable

Concerned Citizen: There appears a need to emphasise that there are two types of ethnic cleansing - one violent while the other, non-violent.

The violent type is being carried out by Israel against the Palestinians and by the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia. The non-violent type is being carried in almost in every country in the world where the ruling class decides to keep some people out of the mainstream. This need not necessarily be based on race. This non-violent type is carried out in instalments and can take much longer but with same devastating effects of the violent type.

I hope nations will allow its citizens to work through the system and allow them to be all that they can be without state interference. Nations are there to stay for generations and therefore it is necessary to ensure that transition from one generation to the other is carried out smoothly based on strong institutions and strong principles.

On PAS' stand on Hindraf

Momentum M: I read with interest the letter on PAS stand on Hindraf. I was also at the forum at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Dec 11 on the subject of Malaysia after Hindraf. It is amazing how many parties are now jumping on the Hindraf bandwagon on a hundred and one pretexts of giving advice instead of recognising that the Hindraf movement has in one brilliant stroke created a momentum that is changing our political landscape forever.

If the immediate objective for the next 12 months is to mount an effective challenge to BN, the obvious thing to do is to support this momentum instead of frittering away this advantage. Politics is all to do with momentum and timing. In my 40 years observing Malaysian politics (including standing for elections), I have never seen the impact of an event such as the Hindraf phenomenon on the electorate.

So let’s back Hindraf to the hilt without any reservation. Neither PAS or PKR has openly done so. We must not let the momentum slip away. Seize the hour. Seize the day.

On Human rights march: 5 lawyers arrested

Ahmad Kamal: December is a special month for right holders and duty bearers. Other than World Aids Day and the 16 days of activism Against Violence Against Women, there is December 10. And rightly so that the Bar had noted that the Dec 10 march was open to any person, group, association (political or friendly) and all others.

However I beg to differ that "everybody will drop their differences and join us to celebrate human rights" as Ambiga was quoted to have said.

It would be more meaningful for a Dec 10 celebration to recognise differences (biological, political and all other configurations) and to recognise that differences should not result in discrimination and unequal treatment.