Toll Demo #5 March 19, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Economy, Event, Human Rights, Malaysia, Photography, Photojournalism.
USJ Summit Anti-Toll Hike Demo
A Narrative in Pictures (and a few words)
This is Dr Hatta Ramli (PAS). We like him heaps because he’s articulate and very humorous. But not the cops. They get edgy. So often enough, when he gets hold of the mic/megaphone, this is the inevitable outcome…
Today, five (5) people were arrested, including my neighbour Chan, who’s helping me video the event. It’s his first arrest so he was thrilled to bits. I wasn’t. There goes my footage.
The cops got him because he shot them arresting Nora. They told him they had to keep his tape because it was a matter of national security, and the Singaporeans (?!) mustn’t get a hold of it.
This is Nora (behind bars). Her husband was held in another truck.
Officer Mazni asked if I was coming along for the ride. I replied, “Not in this or the next lifetime.” She blinked.
Sure enough, the protest continued. Everyone decided to have a sit-in. Here’s Tian Chua (KeADILan, middle), flanked by Dr. Dzulkifli Ahmad (PAS) and Dr. Hatta Ramli. If the government had kept him longer in Kamunting, he too could be ‘Dr. Chua’.
Later, we proceeded to the District Police Station (IPD) of Subang Jaya to bail out the five. That’s in the middle of nowhere, near Serdang, housed in a row of shoplots. Because Umno was never good with geography or reading maps, USJ folks have to travel to this a**-end of Klang Valley if ever they have a problem and need police assistance.
Coincidentally, this IPD is where I’d accompanied Jeff Ooi for his witness statement during the ‘Islam-Hadhari’ commentator fiasco, when the First-Son-in-Law (boo!) said Jeff should be arrested under ISA.
The man above (left) is Chan’s brother, also known as Chan. He’s not looking particularly happy as the cops were dragging their feet. When cops take too long to process a simple bail, activists get bored. When activists get bored, strange things happen, like ….
They make me take these cutesy photographs of them.
People start bringing out flags and placards. And producing more placards on the spot.
Tian Chua starts making mysterious calls.
Did you just say, ‘Machap?’
This dragged on ’til dusk. So Dr. Hatta led the Muslims to prayer. Right in front of a row of the station’s Light-Strike Force. The whole station came out to watch. They were so enthralled that even when someone shouted, “Eh… mengapa tak sembayang?“, no one budged.
After almost two hours and upon hearing that the 5 inside were watching Astro, drinking ice-cold water and relaxing in the air-conditioned police station, Tian decided to bring out the ‘ultimate secret weapon’ – the megaphone – to speed things up, and to entertain us.
Dr. Hatta wonders how long Tian’s speech will be, this time round.
Never make activists wait…. they’d stand at the side of the road and rally the forces. Soon enough, cars and buses were honking in support, residents and shoppers gathered. Little wonder – the placard says, “Tangkap Rasuah’. They probably thought we were protesting against police corruption AND the toll-hike, so they came to cheer us on.
And they still make me take more cutesy photos.
Less than an hour after Tian unleashed the ‘ultimate secret weapon’, the cops couldn’t take it any longer.
Freedom at last! SAMY UNDUR!