“don’t humiliate islam” – the forum can do that?

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woke up early this morning… excited, as going to attend the forum on ‘federal constitution: protection for all‘ at hotel cititel. anil netto (from aliran) came to fetch me. we met, together with dr sandy smeltzer from canada last night for some chit chat. sandy is a canadian professor of communication and media studies and she wants to find out what kinds of on-the-ground political impacts blogging has had in our country, so contacted me. she happens to know anil, so the 3 of us met together and we plan to to go the forum together.

anil was late so sandy went by herself. while we were in the car anil already told me that there were a group of maybe 100
people demonstarating in front of the hotel and police had set up road blocks leading to the hotel. well, we thought as long as they were doing it peacefully and will not stop our forum, let them be, as they do have a right to demonstrate. (but if you want to expand on that, that’s another matter).

when we reached hotel cititel, yes i saw the group of protestors still there. they were all standing at the corner opposite cititel and there were many policemen around. i quickly snap 2 photos of the group from in front of cititel. they held lots of signs that says things like ‘batalkan IFC’. IFC, btw, stands for ‘inter-faith commission’.. another one reads ‘IFC bunuh aqidah‘ (IFC kills aqidah). that’s strange. the forum had nothing to do with IFC. then another sign caught my eye… a sign that is so ridiculous. it says ‘jangan hina undang-undang allah’. (do not insult allah’s law). whoaa! bringing in allah! and are they sure (whatever) laws they were talking about were from allah? most laws are man-made!! at any rate, it they were indeed allah’s law, did their allah told them to defend him?

have a look yourselves at the 2 pictures here, taken by myself.

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the forum panelists consisted of 3 muslim men (one was from kota bahru, kelantan), and the participants who turned up for the forum, there were about 30% muslims. they were comfortable with the forum. they know this forum is simply to talk about the article 11 constitution, and a simple, peaceful, close-door forum… thier faith won’t be threatened. but why did these group of idiots $#!@%)*! bastards need to protest? need to stop the forum???

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when the forum chairman, encik johan (yes, a muslim) opened the forum at about 9.45am, he said they had to end the forum at 10.30am and everyone was shocked and said that was not fair. it was supposed to be a 4 hours forum and the speakers were to speak for 15 mins.but now the speakers were asked to speak only 5 mins!! each speakers to speak 5 mins so that the forum can end at 10.30am. it was not fair to the speakers who had prepared so hard for the talk and not fair to us participants who came all the way from all over penang island and the mainland to listen to this 4 hours forum.

just before johan called on the first speaker, a man with white robe and of course that skull-cap, stood up to protest that the forum should not go on. he said the organisers did not have a police permit to hold the forum. huh? but this was a close-door forum, where police permit was not needed. and what about thier demonstartion??? as if they had a permit to

coming back to the forum, though this man shouted that the forum should not go on, many of the participants said we ignore him and carry on with the forum. this man then said ok he will wait for the police to come and close the forum because the organisers have no permit. of course this man had some supporters with him who will shout, whistle, thump the chairs, each time he spoke.

well, ok so the forum started. first speaker was honey tan…, 2nd speaker… all of them had to speak only 5 mins!! when the 4th speaker’s turn came, suddenly someone moved forward and whispered to him, then the 4th speaker said “i’m sorry. i am told not to go on. we had to stop the forum”.

what??? goodness me!!! DAMN!!! WHY??? just because of a group of idiots protesting, we must give in to them? oh no! it
was the police who gave in to them!!

i don’t understand at all why should the police requested the forum to be halted. they were afraid the bunch of goons protesting outside will get voilent? then they should control those goons! what was so wrong with an indoor forum on article 11 of the federal constitution? the organisers had spent so much time to get all the speakers together (one even came from kota bahru), and they were all good speakers. the participants who came were looking forward to some interesting input, and maybe voice their concerns too. we had a right to do all these – and we do it in a peaceful manner… through forums (not demonstrations!),

why disallow the forum to go on?? i can see everybody was so disappointed that the forum had to be called off. yes, i was
disappointed and MAD!!!

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this picture above was taken after the forum was stop, when i was leaving cititel. i notice the riot police were there, with their shield. sorry it was taken from a far distance, thus can’t see clearly the police. dare not go too near to take lah.

what is our country coming to? we can’t have a dialogue to thrash out matters or discuss, gave our views on matters that concern us? why did those idiots need to protest against the forum? this goes to show how narrow-minded they are, how shaky their faith are!! oh yeah and how ‘tolerant‘ islam is (sic).

comments heard in passing during the day/time of the forum:
“why should the police stop the forum? they should stop the demonstrations instead!”
“aiya. those people were paid money to come and protest.”
“malays demonstrators lah. what do you expect? if indians or chinese, sure the police will forced them to disperse or tangkap them all!”.
“those people were sent by UMNO.”
“i see some very young men there. they look clueless as to what’s happenning except knowing to hold the placards and shout.”
“it’s so silly of the police to stop the forum.”

comments from me, now:
i could just imagine the police chief or whoever in charge saying “we have to stop the forum before things get out of hand. we do not want anything untowared happen.”

don’t forget to read aliran’s take (aliran is one of the organsisers): aliran/article 11 forum disrupted.

UPDATED: read also the statement from malaysian bar, one of the organisers.
the media:
the sun

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