Tuesday, January 01, 2013


I spend part of Monday 31st Dec 2012 at Dataran Merdeka. On the 30th evening talk, the Hunger protest 100 co-ordinators have already announced that some blogs have accused the protesters of "curi makan" during the fast. I don't think that is true. We must first distinguish the supporters of those who are fasting from those who are fasting. Let us call them the fast100. They are all protesters like me as they are against Public Hazards. I am sure that even Ah Cheap Gor is against Public hazards.
 I know that there were 22 protesters who started the fast on Thursday, 27tth Dec 2012. I had to advised that 2 protesters not fast on the grounds that they are age 10 and 13 years old. I was concerned. One other fast100 pulled out on Saturday, I think, because of stomach cramps. They committee decided that she should be excluded. Therefore 19 fasted for 100 hours. I am sure that they were fasting genuinely.
So I arrived at Dataran Merdeka at about 10 pm on 31st Dec 2012, by LRT from Taman Jaya to Masjik Jermak. The crowd were huge and making a lot of noise with this new Brazilian contraption, the vedivolas, that can make a very loud noise. All was noisiy except for a group of about 50 protesters ( I am eyeballing ) who were seated at one corner of Dataran with candles beside them. It was a silent candlelight vigil. They were surrounded by a small crowd of about 4-500 people and about 3 Amal Unit members who were helping to maintain control. Amonst the protesters, I when to shake hands with my friend, Dr Micheal Jeyakumar, MP Sg Siput, who is obviously a supporter and who came to be with us.

                                          The silent candle light vigil. Me in green.
The Fast100 protesters were seated at the center of the circle, with their candles. Every 30 mins, they took a break, so that they can drink, stretch their legs and ease themselves ( escorted ). The weather was good and the crowd was large. The crowd was very supportive and allowed us to block off ( by persuasion ) a section for the protesters on vigil to seat and keep their silent vigil. There were no untowards incident. the Public understood.

                   The protesters candle vigil, close-up. Those fasting are with green headband.

                The larger group of protesters during the silent candle light vigil. From one angle.
The last break was about 11.45pm when they stood up, stretch their legs and sang the negara-ku as a mark of love for the nation.

Then the countdown began, some were counting down for the new year, some were counting down for the 100 hours, and then to break fast.

                                                             The clock struck 12 MN.
 When the clock struck 12 MN. The 100 hour fast is over and I motion to the organisers that the fast100 people should be allowed sugary drinks that they have prepared, to break their fast.

                                          Fast100 with their sugary drinks, after breaking fast.
This the Fast100 happily did. They were hungry and thirsty. Syabas to them. They have been disciplined and kept the fast. We should not forget their sacrifice of food and pleasures for 100 hours, through rain and noise, and all kinds of disturbance. I salute them.

                                                  The fireworks display. Short and sweet.

Of course we also had some time to look at the fireworks display. Good display, but only for a shortwhile. Looks like funds are running short, or they rather forget 2013.

                                          Fast100 receiving their bouquets from the committee.

While the fireworks were lighting the skies, for the few minutes, the Fast100 were receiving their bouquet of flowers from well wishers. I do think they deserve the token of appreciation.

                                          Our friends the FRU. Happy New Year, FRU.

Then it is 12.45am and I am on my way to the Majid Jemak LRT station to take LRT to Taman Jaya. All the while the FRU were there, I think 3 truck loads, but they were just watching. Nohing was out of control, and they were never provoked. I was a bit concerned at 11pm when a group ( numbering a few hundreds ) UM students walk pass us with placards. They were protesting, I think about the University Act and their student elections. It was very noisy, so I could not hear what they were shouting about. I was more concerned to keep peace in our group and NOT break the silent candle light vigil.
I must say that since 27th Dec - 31st Dec for this Hunger Protest 100, DBKL and the FRU have acted with considerable restrain. Besides minor DBKL regulations issue, there have been no major confrontation. The organising committee tells me that DBKL had been reasonable. Our Unit Amal had nothing much to do, Thank God. Datuk Ambiga, Bersih 2.0 must take some credit for this softer stance. Although they would not admit it, BERSIH 3.0 had taught them what NOT to do.
The trip home was uneventful. The train was crowded till KL sentral, then the usual. Got home at 1.15am.

This is indeed a memorable weekend and night.
To take a line from the late Neil Armstrong - " a small step for 19 protesters who fasted, but a big step for Malaysia". The young people have stood up.
Let 2013 be a year for change.

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