Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Anwar and Azmin could have miscalculated

Anwar Ibrahim signalling to Azmin Ali.

If Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his accomplice Azmin Ali are guilty of instigating the Bersih 3.0 demonstrators to break the barricades and razor wire to dash into Dataran Merdeka on Saturday, then they have miscalculated.

If they thought the mayhem and streetfighting would strengthen their thrust to capture Putrajaya, then they have again miscalculated.

The problem with Anwar is that more often than not, he resorts to tactics that he is familiar with - street demonstration. Perhaps that is the only tactic he knows.

Even if he did not signal to Azmin to instruct his Indian henchman to push aside the barrier, his speech was filled with nothing but inflammatory statements designed to whip up the appetite of the restless crowd for an act of defiance and - ultimately - violence.

My feeling is that the majority of the demonstrators that day supported the cause of fighting for free and fair elections - maybe even the Lynas environmental issue - but they did not, do not and will not support violence.

Surely the demonstrators that I saw, the senior citizens, the disabled on their wheelchairs, the schoolkids, artistes, filmmakers, fashion designers, writers, bloggers and tens of thousands of ordinary folks would not agree with demonstrators attacking policemen (or policemen attacking demonstrators).

If Anwar and Azmin felt they needed some blood and gore to make things more interesting and exciting for a foreign audience, then again they have miscalculated.

Photos of demonstrators kicking a fallen policeman do not go down well with Western leaders despite all their talk about freedom, democracy and the right to assemble and free speech.

After Bersih 3.0, the Barisan Nasional government, the rally organisers and the Opposition parties are licking their wounds trying to figure out which of them has been most seriously injured.

The Barisan Nasional government is trying to blame PKR's Anwar and Azmin for triggering the mob violence. Bersih 3.0 organisers are saying the rally was peaceful and under control till the riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at the demonstrators.

And the desperate duo of Anwar and Azmin are busy denying that they ordered their henchmen to break down the barriers while the riot police are saying they held their fire till the barricades were broken.

I dare say that of all the people involved, Anwar and Azmin have suffered the most - not from breathing in the tear gas or itching from the chemical-laced water from the water cannons (because they were nowhere to be seen when the peaceful rally turned ugly) - but from not anticipating the negative reaction from the majority of the Bersih supporters.

* Look at this clip which shows Anwar signalling to Azmin before the barrier is broken: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yGCDOcchB8

* And also this clip of the same scene from another angle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCXvqoMK8Bc

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