Thursday, December 13, 2007

Disturbing news from home

I'm not quite sure what to make of these news items. It's hard after being away for more than 20 years not to look at these with Western eyes and mindset:
1. 2007 Bersih Rally The 2007 Bersih Rally was a rally held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on November 10, 2007. Event organizers intended to have a peaceful, non-violent rally, advising participants in the days and weeks beforehand how to keep the rally peaceful. However the rally was marred by government sanctioned police violence. The aim of this walk was to campaign for electoral reform. It was precipitated by allegations of corruption and discrepancies in the Malaysian election system that heavily favor the ruling political party, Barisan Nasional, which has been in power since Malaysia achieved its independence in 1957.
2. Five ethnic Indian rights activists have been arrested in Malaysia, under a rarely used security law that allows indefinite detention without trial. The men belong to the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), which organised a mass rally last month alleging discrimination against ethnic Indians.

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