I believe in freedom of speech and the freedom to hold a peaceful assembly.

The organizers of the protests in Penang, Perak and recently Selangor have all the right to protest and air their grievances in a public assembly.  Personally, I think they’re made out of mostly UMNO members who can’t quite get it in their thick, chauvinistic heads that they’ve lost the support of the people, but that’s just my opinion. I respect their right to behave like sore losers.

But what I do not respect is the pin drop silence from UMNO leaders on these protests. I remember the widespread condemnation from the same leaders after the HINDRAF rally in Kuala Lumpur. The party’s official mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia even coined the protesters as ‘pelampau Hindu‘ (Hindu extremists). But apart from the fact that the HINDRAF rally was bigger, the assemblies all have a common thread. They were intended to be peaceful (regardless of what you read in the mainstream media about the HINDRAF rally), they are about airing grieviences and they involve racial issues.

So why is one condemned and the others condoned?

At least the police’s stance has been consistent so far: no permit = illegal = FRU deployed = maybe ISA.