One of the reasons why thousands of Hong Kongers abandoned their comfy home and went out to support the pro-democracy protesters was because of police force’s sudden brutality. Later, when triad gangs were unleashed by Hong Kong CEO C.Y. Leung to intimidate young students and sexually harassed women protesters, Hong Kongers were once again furious and threw their supports behind the protesters.
What does all this means? It simply means you can’t use excessive force, especially police, military or triad gangs to deal with students. That’s overkill and you would be seen as a bully, no matter how much people were frustrated by the inconvenience caused by the students. It was the job of the protesters to provoke and curse the chief who walks the corridors of power. It’s part and parcel of the game to frustrate the present government.
And that was precisely what Malaysian Najib administration did to the University Malaya students last night, well, sort of. Dammit, why doesn’t PM Najib Razak learn from his past mistake? Has he forgotten how the Queen Elizabeth belittled and insulted him by wearing yellow, something extremely rare, when the prime minister paid a visit to the Queen? Flashback – Najib administration went bonkers and practically lock down the whole capital of Kuala Lumpur, arresting dozens of people wearing yellow not many moons ago.
The police force wasn’t called in yesterday, possibly due to leakage that they were secretly engaged by the University Malaya administration to do so at an earlier stage. In fact, opposition de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim was hopeful that police force would be deployed to brutalise the university’s students. Then it would create the exact scenario as what happened in Hong Kong – innocent students tear gassed, kicked, beaten, molested, arrested by Malaysian Police Force – the headlines Anwar would love to read.
Too bad it didn’t happen. Still, over 2,000 students turned up to listen to Anwar Ibrahim, despite a heavy downpour earlier. Although police were absence, the fact that University Malaya (UM) – the oldest and once most prestige – acted like the evil political party UMNO apologist contributed to the roaring attendance of the students. First, UM administration under deputy vice-chancellor of student affairs Professor Dr Rohana Yusof did a huge mistake by banning Anwar.
Anwar Ibrahim was invited to speak by the University Malaya Undergraduates Association (PMUM) at the university, his alma mater. It would be another boring 30-minute session if “Professor Kangkung” Rohana Yusof had allowed it. But in her attempt to suck up to PM Najib, the professor declared the talk as illegal and proceeded to lock down the entire university campus . Multiple main gates were shut down as if terrorist Anwar was about to spread the Ebola virus.
The not-so-clever professor also decided to insult undergraduate students’ intelligence by sending staffs home by 4pm, apparently due to electricity substation and blackout problem, just hours before Anwar scheduled to arrive at 9pm. It would have been more convincing if the professor offered a story that typhoon Katrina was about to strike. Of course, what happen next was predictable.
Students who otherwise wouldn’t have turn up – just like in the case of Hong Kongers – turned up in droves, all because UM administration treated its students as if they’re kindergarten kids. As admitted by many students who joined the crowds – the number of people would not have been too big and things would have been calmer if only the university had given its approval to Anwar to address the students.
Apparently, the event – “40 years: from UM to prison” – had not only attracted the attention of over 2,000 students but also triggered what appeared to be “storming their way” through the main gates as if Anwar Ibrahim was Michael Jackson arriving for his last concert (*grin*). After domestic Bersih rally and Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstration, it’s weird and strange that Najib administration haven’t grown up and become wiser.
The moment UM administration played the childish game of banning Anwar Ibrahim and subsequently locking down the whole university disguised under electricity blackout, they’ve essentially given free publicity to Anwar. Are Najib administration and University Malaya so fragile that the sight of Anwar Ibrahim would make them panic, so much so that they couldn’t think straight but do all the possible stupid things?
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