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Kampung Pictures Tale in Ten 50 Years of Darkness and the Light of a Candle
50 Years of Darkness and the Light of a Candle PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nanda   
Wednesday, 04 August 2010 18:14

1st August 2010 marked 50 years of the existence of the Internal Security Act (ISA). A nationwide candlelight vigil was organised, spearheaded by Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) and SUARAM together with several civil society groups including Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia. What was meant to be a legitimate exercise of a right guaranteed in the Federal Constitution was smeared by the actions of the police. The aim of the vigil is simple, to show solidarity and make our stand clear that the ISA is beyond amendments and must be abolished. This event is a clear contrast from last year's 1st August rally in the heart of Kuala Lumpur but the actions of the authorities were the same if not worse. Here, we bring you images that tell the story of 1st August 2010 that took place in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.





Dataran MBPJ and Padang Timur were cordoned off by the police as early as 7:15pm in an attempt to stop the candlelight vigil. Attempts to negotiate with the OCPD were met with a plain 'No'.



Permission, however, had already been obtained from MBPJ to use Padang Timur and Dataran MBPJ for the candle light vigil and the official letter proving this was brought to the attention of the OCPD who chose not to acknowledge it and ignore everything that was said by the people.


The OCPD roared into the loud-hailer, commanding the people to disperse without following due procedure as highlighted by the participants.


And then they charged. With their shields and protective wear, they moved towards people holding candles.


Towards citizens such as these, who came out to exercise their right and to show their solidarity and to make their stand known, that the ISA must go.


Boots, shields, helmets, and batons - against candles that shone with the hope that 50 years of darkness will be lifted and no more shall we allow our names to be used to justify unconstitutional and oppressive laws.


But candles are no match for batons. When the baton strikes, the body feels the pain.


And the body can be made subject to force. Beaten and handcuffed. Dragged along the pavement and into the truck in order to be brought to the police station.


But no baton can break the spirit. And what the authorities can't seem to comprehend, this little girl understood and she taught them that night that some things are more important than the fear of batons, tear-gas and water cannons.


The police effectively forced the people away from Padang Timur and into the nearby shopping complex. At the entrance of Amcorp Mall, they stood in formation.


Another group of police came into the mall and the shutters were brought down, imprisoning those who were inside, in an attempt to snub their resolve.


But how do you imprison a spirit? This girl showed all of us that you simply can't.


And the spirit is colourful, it knows no difference between race, religion, gender, and age.


30 people were arrested and brought to the police station that night, a few of them were detained right in front of the police station. That's how guests are treated. But people stayed on with their candles, this time in solidarity with those who were inside.


The camaraderie and love were evident. Every single one who had been detained came out to be greeted by cheers and affection by every single one who stood there waiting in front of the station gate.



"The feeling is mutual. If it is the other way around, you know I'd be standing here waiting for you, comrade."


Friendship was made, old ties renewed, and some even took time to exercise while waiting for every detainee to be released.


In the end, the eyes may be forced shut, the face may be swollen and bruised, but the spirit, you see it in the smile.


Picture 4 - delCapo

The rest - Nandakumar Haridas


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Only registered users can write comments!
Antares  - Excellent documentation! |2010-08-05 12:10:43
Most beautiful pics I've seen of the ugly police action on Aug 1st. Great post, folks.
Anonymous |2010-08-18 20:52:48
It's touching to see how Malaysians unite to achieve some thing. It's a spirit that is thought since young but are soon forgotten.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 06:29

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