Bersih 3.0 was promised to be a peaceful rally but things turned ugly when the protesters went violent, broke the rules and even acted brutally towards the police. As the dust began to settle, a new question sparked, who is to be blamed?
The protesters blamed the police for the the unrest caused. They claimed that the police violent act of spraying water and shooting tear gas to the crowd sparked anger among them thus caused them to retaliate with force. But according to several videos posted on the internet, the police only shot after the protesters broke the barricades. Isn’t it what the police should have done, control the crowd and keep them from getting out of control? Surely the PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) do not want to be blame if things got really out of control like what happened in London between 6th to 10th August 2011.
Let us look back at what the DAP vice-chairman Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim had mentioned in a news conference before the rally took place, by not using the locations offered by the police, the leaders of the rally were “encouraging the people to break the law” – The Star Online (DAP vice-chairman against rally (Update)) 26th April 2012.
Or is there any possibility that the violence is actually intended? The leaders of the rally claimed that they condemn the act of the protesters who broke the barriers blocking the road to Dataran Merdeka. But did they mean it? The opposition leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had been caught on video communicating with PKR deputy president, Azmin Ali and another man (who some had claimed to recognise him as a PKR Seremban member) using hand gestures just before the man pushed the metal gate blocking the road. Does this suggest that the two PKR leaders instigated the crowd to go against the police? Please watch the video below:
Even if (as the both PKR leaders claimed) they didn’t instigated the breach, why couldn’t Anwar, as the leader, use the megaphone to call back his people? Why wasn’t there any such effort made? And why did he left the scene at that critical moment? If he knew the police would act violently, why didn’t he step down and protect his people? Why did he let his supporters down and let them walked into danger by themselves? No wonder Mr. Benji Lim expressed his anger during the PKR press conference yesterday.
Had they really wanted to organise a peaceful assembly, why couldn’t they agree with the police and settle for a stadium? In a stadium, it is much easier to control a large crowd and there is a less chances of starting violence within the assembly. With the crowd being led away from public roads and private buildings, tourists would not be scared off and this would not disrupt the sales of the shops around the city area as well; thus causing less unrest and possible damage caused. Why are they insisting on using the Dataran Medeka when the police rejects their request for their own safety? Or do they has hidden plans as been said, debated and discussed around the social media.
As a free citizen of a peaceful, democratic country, I wouldn’t want my country to be ruled by unruly mobs who would in the end cause insecurity as what happened in Egypt, Libya and several more during the Arab Spring.