I went down to the HINDRAF Solidarity Against UMNO Racism with full expectations of being tear-gassed and sprayed with chemical-laced water.
Nothing of that sort happened. It was a non-event.
Instead of the violence in previous demonstrations, this time the participants and even suspected allies like citizen journalists were arrested on sight.
The government does not want any publicity. Not now.
In fact, Najib has been caught whining about how HINDRAF has cruel intentions :-)
Hindraf deliberately creating bad publicity for Malaysia, says PM
Sunday, February 27th, 2011 16:03:00
TEMERLOH: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak regards the action by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) members of holding a demonstration in the federal capital today as deliberately creating bad publicity for Malaysia through the international media.
He said the group was actually hoping the police would use force on them so that the Malaysian government would be seen as a brutal and autocratic regime.
"We don't want to use force, but they are hoping we will do so as they want to exploit the situation by painting a bad picture of Malaysia through the international television channels," he said after attending a gathering with Felda Jengka 25 residents, here, today.
The prime minister was referrig to the incident where more than 15 people, believed to be Hindraf members, were arrested by police for holding a demonstration protesting against the novel "Interlok", at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) grounds, here, this morning.
In my personal opinion, Najib could have avoided the bad press entirely by allowing the protest to go on as planned.
But the bigger fear was that it would evolve into the crises in the middle east. I don't think the BN government will step down as easily as Mubarak of Egypt did, and even that was no easy feat, mind you.
This is not a good setting to call for the general elections.