Thursday, April 24, 2008

Kuala Lumpur torch relay

In Thailand and Jakarta, I learned that the 2008 torch relay is not mainly an event about the Olympics, the Olympic spirit, universal brotherhood, or the athletes of the various countries which the torch visits. Rather, the 2008 Olympic torch relay is mostly about the Games' host country, China.

It appears that one protester, Hafiz Noor Shams, learned the same lesson, live-blogging the torch relay in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.* Shams writes:

I just got back from the whole event and it was a scary experience. . . . I brought with me a yellow banner with the word “LIBERTY” on it.

After awhile walking, I was harassed by volunteers from PRC at the Dataran Merdeka and the police did nothing to help me. About 20 thugs from the so-called volunteers youth from PRC surrounded me while flying their red flags-as if trying to cover up their action-and pushing me around. While doing so, they told me not to politicize the Olympics but I told them back that the PRC politicized the Olympics back in the 40s up to the 70s. And the PRC is politicizing the Olympics even right now. Just look at the shirt they were wearing! That made them upset.

The blogger continues:

Things calmed down until the relay started. I shouted FREE TIBET but was again harassed. This time one person from PRC grabbed me from behind. Being defensive, I pushed him back and shouting “TOLONG” to two police officers nearby. When the police came over but the PRC guy just walked off into the crowd. After some explanation, the police however advised me to let it go. It seems, the police feared these thugs.

After the whole hoo-ha, I noticed that some thugs were stalking me. So, I stayed close to several police officers, being friendly with them in hope those stalkers would back off. It took some time before the thugs relented.

I was slightly shaken but hey, it strengthens my belief in liberty. I’ve been so far only simulating liberty in my head but this is it. Coercion was used upon me and that is a cause for greater stress in liberty.

These thugs are not used to free speech and they tried to impose their un-free political culture back in PRC on others. To them, I say, to hell with you. And if this is how you treat differences in opinion, I would be honored to have been “brainwashed” by the “western media”.

It seems Shams' was later disingenuously profiled in The Star. Not only are Malaysian cops doing Beijing's dirty work, so are institutions of Malaysia's not-very-free press.
* KL4freetibet has the blogger's photos here and a description of the event here. The blogger, Hafiz Noor Shams, has another post at another website on the KL rally which includes more photos.

1 comment:

  1. Game over for Jotman. The Olympic Torch Run in Bangkok, KL, Jakarta and Canberra are hughly successful. Now it's time for whoever who manage Jotman, to slap himself for all the gabbage news.


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