Loyal Followers

Monday, August 02, 2010

When our shadows are taller than our soul...

"And as we wind on down the road,
Our shadows taller than our soul"

Robert Plant: Stairway to Heaven

When our shadows are taller than our soul, at the end of it, we would be consumed with fear. Just as we are nearing death, and we realise that our sins have far outdone our good deeds, we would be consumed with nothing but fear of the judgment day.

That is only to be expected. That is just a part of being a mortal human being.

When I learned about the arrest of about 30 people who attended an anti-ISA candle light vigil at Amcorp Mall last night, the first thought which came through my mind was, why is this government so afraid of the people it wishes to govern?

It is like this government is bereft of any moral standing to govern. Like it fears any kind of expression of feelings by the people. Like it fears any show or display of whatever which may teeny wee bit resembles an opposing opinion or stand.

No wonder even cartoon books lampooning the administration has been banned. Not long ago, even t-shirts bearing some depictions of funny cartoons and logos were seized in Central Market just because they "offend" the powers that be.

I ask on Twitter, when will this government ever respect the people's constitutional rights to assemble peacefully and to express their opinion and themselves peacefully? When?

Why must the peaceful people of Malaysia, who just wish to express their stand against a totally archaic law, which has been abused again and again and again, in a totally peaceful manner be met with riot police, swarming and bearing on them with baton and riot gear?

Just take a look at this video:

This was supposed to be a peaceful candle light vigil to mark the 50th anniversary of the Internal Security Act 1960. In addition, of course the attendees wanted to make a statement that the ISA ought to be abolished. That was all.

What was so threatening about that that they had to be met with riot police in full riot regalia? And why must they be stormed at, swarmed on and dragged like some arm bearing bank robber?

Has this government  lost any kind of ability to treat the people with at least some common decency? Has this government no ability to acknowledge the existence of human dignity, some very basic form of rights which the people, as human beings, naturally possess?

Most importantly, has this government lost the plot?

The most sickening thing about this episode is the fact that all of us, members of civil society and the peace loving people of Malaysia, are made to swallow the blatant and nauseating hypocrisy by this government day in and day out.

All of us would remember that when some rabid "mentalites" from Shah Alam marched from the mosque while carrying  a bloodied and severed cow head, stomped and spat on it in front of the State Secretariat, no less than our Home Minister said that those people felt "victimised" and that "they had only wanted their voices to be heard".

He then cavorted them, met and sat with them and even had a press conference with them. This government actually cavorted with pure utter racists who were hell bent on creating racial disharmony.

The few policemen who were around that day did not even lift a finger to prevent that shameful act which threw the whole country into a state of international infamy!

Oh, they had only wanted their voices heard.

Well well Mr Home Minister, how about the attendees of the vigils last night? They had wanted to overthrow the government, were they?


Why must they be treated like some criminals? Who were more threatening? Those people carrying the kepala lembu or the candles?

One would also remember that when some Muslims threatened to have a big demonstration after Friday prayer over the "Allah" issue, no less than the Honourable Prime Minister who said that the government will not prevent such demonstrations. That statement was made knowing full well how the Allah issue was being used to fan racial hatred and how big such demonstrations could be, as it was planned to take place after Friday prayer. (notice how these people just love to turn Friday prayer into a hotbed for demonstrations).

I remember clearly the Honourable Prime Minister saying that the planned demonstrations cannot be stopped because "if people want to demonstrate, there is nothing the government could do"!

And what was the result of that statement? Yes, churches were burnt nation wide. Are we happy?

Why the double standard? Why the talam dua muka?

Why can't some peaceful Malaysians be allowed to have a peaceful assembly to pursue a cause which they thought was worthy of their attention?

What is there to fear?

Some people really have to go back home tonight, stand in front of the mirror and ask him or herself, "what has become of me?"


*P* said...

people who are afraid of their own shadow are apt to do anything. that's our gov. kudos and keep standing up for the small man, art.

Anonymous said...

Cow's head cannot burnt down the country but candles can.

Anonymous said...

A peaceful demonstration will not get the police down and dirty. But perhaps it wasnt a so peaceful demo after all? I wasnt there, so im assuming. But i suppose many of us werent there too :).
Imo,ISA is very much needed here. Cant be denied theres abuse of power in couple of cases, but if its not for ISA,(God forbid) many terror activities would have succeeded here.
Modify it, dont abolish it.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 13.46

One evening, they come for you, tell you (or maybe not) that you are a threat to national security and send you to Kamunting. They don't have to charge you but can keep you away for a very long time. You have no way out legally. They acted within the ACT! Your application for habeas corpus thrown out. Of course you are not a terrorist. You may not even be a member of the opposition party. You happen to be a very good man. In what way then can we modify the ISA so that a case like this do not happen, if it hasn't happen?

Remember, the Parliament and Rakyat was assured 50 years ago the ISA was strictly an anti-communist threat tool, no more and no less!

Batang Berjuntai said...

Kecil-kecil lembu ditawan,
Sudah besar pula dimakan;
Api kecil-kecil menjadi kawan,
Sudah besar nanti menjadi lawan!

Biar membawa lilin atau berjalan,
Harus ditangkap dan ditawan;
Dilayan seperti lembu naik sawan.
Tak kira lelaki atau perempuan.

Beginilah sedihnya keadaan,
Jahat dan baik tak dibezakan;
Sampai bila ini akan berlanjutan?
Pilihanraya nanti tahulah jawaban!

Fahri said...

All those who say ISA is necessary need to be detained in it and experience its abuse. It is easy to say others should be locked up from their comfort zone. ISA needs to be repealed for this country because we cannot trust our government with it.

kang said...

Instead as a servant to the country, the men in blue turn into a good dog to serve their master. What's the point to sit in UNCHR if the elementary regulations were violated by themselves ?

Anonymous said...

This coward government is practicing double standards without any shame or morals. Any form of gatherings by non pro-government/BN folks are simply viewed as anti-government and the full force of the PDRM/riot squad is unleashed on the peaceful folks at the gatherings.

However when gatherings are illegally organized by certain groups of people defending their so-called ketuanan or religion or what nots, the PDRM just stand on the sidelines with the most stupidest excuse that they are outnumbered. It's pretty obvious which groups of people the PDRM is supporting.

50 years of blatant abuse by those in power will continue to persist unless the good malaysian folks vote with their heads and clear conscience in the next elections if they do not want Malaysia to become another pariah state like Zimbabwe, Myanmar or North Korea.

Malaysia is fast becoming a riches to rags country, no thanks to this regime.

Ah Beng Crosby said...

Yes you are right when you called our PM talam dua muka. The PM and the government will allow demonstration as when it suits them. Anything against them is a no no. That is UMNO and that is how UMNO projects its image.

Still there are so many who are loyal to UMNO, why?

telur dua said...

Even an undertaker is smart enough to stop at 6 feet when digging a hole.

UMNO never stops digging. How not to be buried in the next GE? Only when evil is buried will there be a new dawn. It will come soon.

LAT said...

If this BN government feels so very insecure without the ISA, ok then, just keep it for the sake of BN and use it on these BN morons when Pakatan Rakyat come into power 2012 ! Looks like Kamunting Camp won't be enough to sandwich these BN morons,let them have rejoicing fellowship in the Tanjung Rambutan.

Mohd Taufik said...

"If anyone walks with an oppressor to strengthen him, knowing that he is an oppressor, he has gone forth from Islam." - Prophet Muhammad SAW

The audacity lies with the people who rationalize that these hard fist tactics is warranted. Some would go so far as to say that candlelight vigils would lead to violent demonstration. Between those who don't give a damn and those who knowingly consent to these injustice with their silence, Malaysia is set towards a bleak future.

What is closer to Jahiliyah but the rejection of truth? What is closer to Asabiyah than the selective administration of justice and the abundance of corruption?

Pray for more of the people to wake up to the truth before the next General Election. And let's hope that they'll do what's right for the nation.

Anonymous said...

I implore you to work on an article, or a series of write-ups and give your indepth understanding of why there is so much fear in the Umnoputras? Has it to do with certain "inferiority complexes" ? If so, what are these complexes, and how have they intensified in the past 20 years or so? Why were such complexes not around in the past, say before the 1970s?

Specific advice (however condescending and painful they may be) must be given to the Umnoputras to stop doing what things, and start doing what necessary things, so that these self-defeating, devastating, and racially fragmenting role-model bahaviours can be stopped.

americk sidhu said...

and it's whispered that soon
if we all call the tune
then the piper will lead us to reason

and a new day will dawn
for those who stand long
and the forests will
echo with laughter

Robert Plant: Stairway to heaven

Anonymous said...

Whn we hate s/thing,in this case the guv ,we will hate everything abt it, including ISA. And you hate the whole police unit too? Very mature.
Just take a look into countries where ISA like body doesnt seize to exist because the ppl thought they rather catch the culprits(if the culprits are found of course) after an attack or incidents. Any governance will put national security ahead of anything else. You cant catch a bomber if he hasnt detonate the bomb, or if the bomb doesnt exist physically. But would you spare him time to ensure he can and will go ahead with the plan?
Anon 14:32 is correct,initially ISA exist because of certain reasons then.But why throw something which is very effective IF used wisely?
We condemn everything without giving much thought abt the implications.Ask for a change instead.

rob said...


I noticed that you repeatedly use the word "Honourable" to precede "Prime Minister".

Very honourable and noble of you!

I thought the words "honourable" and "prime minister" - substitute - politicians or what have you - are mutually exclusive?

non ? je fais des excuses

Anonymous said...

When the Government fears candles, it is a cue for the Rakyat to change it, the Government I mean. As usual, spot on Art.

Shalom Admiral Tojo

art harun said...



sam sung said...

Day by day, very violent crimes are on the rise, and the apparent "confessions" and "convictions" are not addressing it. Lack of slow patrols of streets is a factor. I saw 4 officers doing their rounds together recently. The motorbikes seemed too small for them. They seemed to be moving as a group for their own protection.

Anak Merdeka said...

It's the people controlling the various institutions who cannot understand that they are not subject to the whims and fancies of the ruling govt. Is this country beyond redemption?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Art, for keeping the flame alive for all Malaysians irrespective of race or color.
God bless.

teo siew chin said...

"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead

And who fears the lost of the power they now brandish? ;)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Those holding cow's head looked so fierce, better don't touch them but those holding candles, can lah can bully them, kacang puteh only.

Anonymous said...


An anti ISA group are those who have a tendency to break a law. If not why are they so against it?
Everybody think what they are doing are good. But is really true and without personal agenda?
The goverment think they need to use ISA in order to preserve peace and racial harmony . So far a every body enjoyed a peaceful life in Malaysia. They can make money as much as possible without fear!
When we are not involved in ruling the country, it is easy for us to criticize everthing done by the goverment! And when anythings turned bad we still blamed the goverment for not doing preventive measure! To me ISA is a prevention measure to preserve peace and harmony. But I do agree sometimes it is missused.
To certain extend the result of PRU 12 is a bless in disguised. Now they have a chance to rule few states. Asked them if it is easy to satisfy everbody. 'Adakah mereka bikin serupa cakap' More than two years had passed. Are they better than the BN goverment?

Warga setia

Anonymous said...

you want to assemble without the police going after you? aiya, simplelah, join UMNO.

when the morons from UMNO drag the cowheads around, what did the equally intellectually challenged home minsiter said? he says its ok for them to vent their frustration. there you go, my friend, UMNO is the law, simple aint it. afterall, they dont put a UMNO marriage cert torcher at the helm of the law for nothing, aint it.
enough said.

Anonymous said...

Anom 9 Sept. 1.09,

Tidakkah anda dengar berita atau baca surat khabar baru-baru ini? Walaupun apa kata Menteri Dalam Negeri, kumpulan menagrak kepala lembu telah didenda RM1000.00? Tidak cukupkah denda yang dikenakan?
Adakah hanya dengan penjara 1,000 tahun baru anda puas hati?
Cukup-cukuplah menghentam membabi buta. Jangan jadikan rasa benci hati menguasai diri. Itu juga merupakan penyakit jiwa yang tidak ada doktor yang boleh mengubatinya kecuali diri sendiri!!!

Anti Cakap Semberono

Anonymous said...

Anom 9 August 1.25,

Pembetulan dari segi tarikh dan waktu komen ke 27 Maaf dari segi kesilapan fakta!.

Anti cakap semberono

art harun said...

Saudara/i Anti cakap semberono,

Nasib baik saudara/i telah membetulkan waktu pos saudara/i. Pada mulanya saya ingatkan saudara/i ialah seorang pengembara masa yang datang melawat blog saya dari bulan depan. :)

Sekiranya saudara/i baca artikel saya betul-betul, saya hanya membandingkan cara pemberontak-pemberontak kepala lembu tersebut diberi layanan istimewa oleh pihak polis yang hanya berdiri seperti tiang lampu semasa mereka berdemonstrasi mencaci hamun kaum dan ugama lain sambil meludah dan menendang kepala lembu tersebut.

Sudahlah begitu, YB Menteri Dalam Negeri pula kemudiannya berjumpa mereka dan duduk mengadakan press conference bersama-sama mereka.

Kenapakah pula puak yang lebih aman, yang hanya membawa lilin dan tidak pun memaki hamun kaum dan ugama lain diberi pula layanan yang amat teristimewa sekali oleh pihak polis dan FRU kita? Mereka diasak dan ditangkap serta ditahan lokap?

Itulah yang saya komplen. Saya pun tahu bahawa sesetengah pemberontak kepala lembu itu dihukum baru-baru ini.

Bayangkanlah saudara/i, si Lim Guan Eng yang menududh pasal Ketau Menteri Melaka mengadakan hubungan seks dengan budak dibawah umur pun kena 2 tahun penjara dibawah Akta Hasutan. Namun, orang-orang yang memaki hamun dan mengancan kaum dan ugama lain serta meludah dan menyepak menendang kepala lembu yang dianggap suci oleh penganut-penganut Hindu hanya kena 1000 ringgit denda dan seminggu penjara?

Apa pendapat saudara/i mengenai ketidakseimbangan tersebut ya?

Kalau nak menangkap orang-orang yang mengambil bahagian dalam ileegal assembly, tangkaplah Ibrahim Ali dan penganut-penganut Perkasa beliau yang juga berbuat demikian.

Tangkap lah Khairy Jamaluddin yang terpekik terlolomh tanpa permit ditengah jalan tu.

Asak lah semua mereka yang berbuat demikian.

Mengapa tidak?

Saya pun anti cakap sembrono jugak. Itu sebab saya tidak pernak cakap sembrono.

Anonymous said...


Terima kasih kerana menjawab komen saya terhadap Anom 9 August 1.25. Saya yakin Anom tersebut amat menghargai komen balasan saudara!

Memang ada persamaan fakta antara anda dengannya. Tapi untuk makluman saudara komen saya khusus ditujukan terhadap komen Anom tersebut. Jangan-jangan saudara adalah Anom 9 Agust 1.25 tak?

Anti Cakap Semberono

art harun said...

Saudara/i Anti CS,

Saya sebenarnya telah membuat kesilapan. Saya sangka komen saudara/i ditujukan kepada umum. Maaf. Silap saya sebenarnya.

Untuk pengetahuan saudara/i, Anon yang saudara/i niatkan itu bukanlah saya. Saya hanya memberi komen dan menulis dibawah nama pena saya, iaitu, Art Harun.

Selamat berpuasa.

feizal said...

Logically if a person is coined as a criminal, then there should be supporting evidents in order to make the case valid and trial-able.

And there should be an opportunity for the convicted to defend him/herself against the conviction. This is their basic right as a freeman.

If the supporting evidents are strong enough, then a fair and unbiased judge will punish the criminal accordingly. If the supporting evidents are not strong, then there are no ways for us to either know the criminal really did wrong or not. We are not the real judge here on earth, but it god who is the real judge.

I am a Muslim, so I learned and I believes it only ALLAH who knows everything on earth and heaven. So, only HE can has the supreme power to instantly convict and sentence a person as he has the complete knowledge of everything.

So by letting ISA flourish in Malaysia, it like we let the people in control of the ISA power to act like a god.

ISA should be abolish, not just modify. If there is any doubt that worst things such as terrorist can occur in Malaysia, it means that there should be a total revamp on the Malaysia internal security forces (police, military, policies, etc) as they are the main culprit why terrorist can or possible to enter Malaysia.

It analogous to, when a robber enter the chief of police house and he called his men (the police) but they don`t show up because they was so busy flapping to porns on internet. The real criminal got away and he is in a real potential to be humiliated by the whole country due to your own incompetent forces.So, you call your big power friend to sign a document that will able your men to go stomp a random Indon house and accused them of robbing your house. Then throw those Indon into prison without any trial. Then you go make a press conference telling the whole country that the police has done a good job again in preventing criminal activities in Malaysia.

ISA is just a tool that has been rationalized by the government so that they can abuse it for their own interest.

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