Peaceful birthday, dear Pete. We love you.

Posted on September 28, 2008

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Star online reports today that Dang Wangi police chief Asst Comm Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman said police had received information that a gathering was scheduled to be held at Dataran Merdeka last night.

“But we had placed our people at various roads leading to Dataran Merdeka and this had caused the group to change the location of the gathering to an area near Puduraya”, Star quotes Zulkarnain.

Malaysiakini reports today that last night, there were two separate groups ( Hindraf and a coalition of NGOs led by WAMI ) that had initially planned a candlelight vigil at Dataran Merdeka at about 7.30pm, but that did not materialise due to police cordons, so that the Hindraf group re-routed to the Hindu temple opposite Puduraya.

When they came across a police cordon at Dataran Merdeka, the Hindraf-led group numbering about 500 decided to march to the temple opposite the Puduraya bus terminal about 1km away.

Both reports give the impression that there was no candlelight vigil at Dataran last night.

Well, not quite true.

A motley crew of about 50 did manage to get to Dataran Merdeka to hold that candlelight vigil, even if it was only for about a half hour.

At about 7.15pm, people started to trickle on to Dataran close to that flagpole that is the pride of Dr M, light candles and to mingle.

The numbers quickly grew.

And just as quickly, we were joined by the men in blue.

From where we were, we could see a lot of activity at the junction of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Tun Perak. In fact, we could hear the Hindraf crowd that we were sure was building up there and that we thought might soon be joining us.

It did not happen. The Malaysiakini report narrates why.

A birthday card to RPK was put up

and everyone joined in to sing ‘Peaceful birthday, Dear RPK’.

Close to 8pm, the police ordered us to disperse, or to risk arrest. Some of us thought that we should not disperse, and not resist arrest if that was what the police were minded to do. However, we were literally ‘pushed’ and ‘dragged’ and ‘pulled away’ by friends and family.

Not content, we headed out hoping to join up with the Hindraf group, believing that they were still at the Jalan TAR- Jalan Tun Perak junction.

As we neared the junction, there was no crowd. They had dispersed towards the temple in Pudu, we were told.

And so we decided to do a second vigil on the road side, encouraged by the honking of passing motorists.

Word got to us that the crowd that had dispersed earlier had re-grouped at the temple in Pudu. Some of us decided to make our way there. Said our bye-byes to those who were calling it a night.

I leave you with the photos taken at the Pudu temple.

Got to say that I too was pleasantly surprised at the restraint demonstrated by the police last night.

To those who made it out there last night, proud of you.

Michelle, the candle that I carried was for you, your family and every other anak Bangsa Malaysia who is not in the country but who are praying for the rest of us.

Posted in: People Power