Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Loud, Happy, Protest.

On last Saturday, I woke up early (though it was a non-working day) and dragged my huge heavy ass down to city to meet up with this cool awesome blogger fellow Aaron. I met him and chatted briefly at Mojo few weeks ago on the Poetry Night, and we decided to meet up and hang out at Coffee Beans. Yeah, why Coffee Beans you ask? Because, we both are bloggers, and bloggers need internet to read blogs, and make our entries !!! All to serve you guys reading our blogs out there. And Coffee Beans has got wireless hotspot, and yeah, you can tell, we brought our laptops along.

AARON from http://aaronparan.blogspot.com

Aaron was such a nice and sweet guy !! We chatted and chatted and talked about blogs and general stuff all morning till afternoon. It was so great meeting another cool blogger, and yeah, Kuching is the place where all the good bloggers come from besides Perth !! Muahahhahahaaa

While we were busy doing what we were doing, suddenly we heard screams and loud music and chanting coming from a near distance. As curious as any normal person can be, I took out my cam, and ran out of Coffee Beans, and towards the source of the noise. It was not too far away, only two streets apart, and surprise surprise, it was happening at Standard Chartered, next to the Riverside Shopping Mall, and also Bumiputra Commerce. Goodness, there was a huge pool of people flooding the entire front part of the building, getting together in unity, shouting God knows what words, protesting loudly, but in a mild and non-violent manner. Yeah, you got that right, there was a freaking demonstration going on right there, and it was my first time witnessing something like this happening in Kuching, over my pathetic 21 years of existence.

At the front of Standard Chartered....

No wonder there was traffic jam along the road, all the cars slowed down to have a peak on the noise and fuss happening there. Kuching people are curious, like kucings (cats).

Freedom of speech, or freedom to voice up our dissatisfactions towards issues or anything at all has been extremely restricted and well "marginalized" in this so-called believed to be a nation of democracy. Democratic indeed, and once spoken on something so TRUE and HONEST and REAL but against the policies set up by certain group of people "above", no talk or negotiations, straight into the jail you go. Therefore, it is a rare case for street protests or demonstrations happening in Malaysia, especially those involving politics in general. The happening last Saturday, was indeed an interesting and eye-opener for me. I have seen similar things in Australia, but this was my first in my own hometown !! And gosh, those people were sure full of hatred and anger. You can feel their emotions radiate through their chantings and movements.

Closer look on the people...

Wait a minute, but somehow I have got an impression that half of the people there were actually smiling and chatting and enjoying the time there !!! They were blardy enjoying themselves in the midst of a protest !!

It is good to see that freedom of speech is still exercised in this land. I did not go in and find out what the entire fuss was all about, what caused the whole thing and on and on. The apparent point was, Standard Chartered is in deep shit. No kidding. Tired of still pictures, here is a short clip I recorded, viewable exclusively on robinwong.tk only. Ok, thats not true can also find in you-tube, under my uploads.

Man, I do not know how effective demonstrations or mogoks (In Malay terms) may change the course of actions or judgements by the respective authority, but one thing for sure, people have their own voice, and their voice can be very loud at times. If their needs are not addressed and badly abused, I believe their voice will just get louder. After all, we Malaysians are famous for talking loudly, no?

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  1. i'm not sure if it's legal. To organize one like that, you need a permit. It's nothing to shout about because it's only related to the bank. Say if you were to demostrate being dissatisfied with political issues, then yeah...off to jail you go.

  2. lousy protesting. no burning of tires. no looting....what is kuching comming to?

  3. hey ivan,
    its legal, one of my readers pointed out if you demonstrate under the name of a union, then its ok. Its SBEU = sarawak Bank Employee Union...

    hey hong,
    not everyone is as kinky as you..

  4. u should be more like an investigative reporter & find out exactly what they were demonstrating about!

  5. Kuching apa apa macam punya orang pun ada. =)

  6. I once drove pass a demonstration and the banner read "Honk for Support". So i honked not knowing what is the demonstration about. lol just for the fun of it. Hey, and they cheer when I honked! So i lagi feel syok. lol.

  7. Hi Robin,
    wow.. i was surprised to read this entry of yours...

    So whats really happening over there? I am KPO lei...


    But i guess its not serious bah cos i don see any enforcement lei...

    I never witnessed like this before in my entire life!

    But i guess singaporeans are too conservative and takut of the laws bah??


  8. hey wuching,
    aiyoo... i better not be kepoh and get my neck slit..

    hey cynthia,
    mestilah !!! we are people of wide variety... mauhahahaaa

    hey hijackqueen,
    that was one of the bank protest too I believe, heard of that before. Was one of the famous few ones I guess..

  9. hey Iwan,
    i think in terms of freedom of speech, singapore fares much better than malaysia.. here.. goodness.. u wont want to know the restrictions.. its just scary... so many things we cant do and say publicly...

  10. In Singapore, protest are held indoors and far from the view from the public's eyes haha

  11. hey merv,
    whoah, indoor huh, kinda hidden and well, it does not reach out as much as doing it outdoor !! And whats the fun of doing it indoor.. sadness.. ahahaha

  12. fulamak! my mum works at standard chartered in KL somemore...hehehe