I always thought that Malaysia is a country that provide good economical, industrial, social-cultural, and political environment for its multiracial people to live in peaceful harmony.
My thought is based on the facts that have I seen, read and heard when I frequently visited the country between 1979 to 1983 when my father was assigned to the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and other visits after that.
Besides, many Malaysians invested in various business activities here and their products are available in our market such as Proton cars, Petronas petrol stations, and many Indonesians visited various places in the country every year for vacation, working, education, medical treatment or even gambling.
For that reason I was surprised when the news media reported about the clash between 50,000 protesters and the Riot Police in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday.
According to Herald Sun, the rare protest was organized by a broad coalition called Bersih that demands
indelible ink to be used in the general elections to prevent multiple voting, equal access to the media
for all parties and the cleaning-up of electoral rolls.
The opposition led by Anwar Ibrahim made major gains in 2008 elections
against the ruling coalition but said it would have done better -
potentially threatening the half century rule of the Barisan Nasional - if
voting had been more fair.
The street protest was Malaysia's biggest since 2007, when the opposition led a demonstration in the
capital also demanding electoral reforms.
At the height of the event, protesters faced baton-wielding riot police in front of a
bus station, retreating at times and regrouping to push back police
lines in a cat-and-mouse confrontation in heavy downpours.
demonstrators fought back by picking up tear gas canisters which they
lobbed at police. But
police lines held firm and the protesters failed to break through to march to the Merdeka Stadium and to
the King's Palace to hand over a memorandum detailing their demands.
A total of 1667 people had been arrested although
many were expected to be released on bail.
I hope that both parties would want to seat and talk together so that their differences could be solved amicably.