I think ordinary citizens – Malays, Chinese, Indians and others – are reasonable and sensible people. They would not want to cause unnecessary trouble for the country unless their day-to-day life is severely affected.
The culprits are always the ruling elites: they want to make use of the people to stay relevant or to get back on the gravy train.
Given the already less-than-conducive situation in the country due to the recent fracas in Seafield, I get the feeling that the turnout for this Saturday’s ICERD rally may be lower than generally anticipated. As I said earlier, people will be sensible, regardless of racial and religious backgrounds and despite the constant instigation and incitement.
Initially, the promoters of the rally wanted to protest the government’s plan to consider ratifying the ICERD. But now, even though the government has reversed its stance, they insist on going ahead with it, this time to celebrate the reversal.
It’s a good thing that the police have given a permit for the rally to proceed on Saturday. Yes, let’s make it legal and let’s make the organisers responsible.
I am not surprised that the promoters of the rally are giving lots of assurances and encouraging people to join. I suspect they know the turnout is likely to be low.
We have Umno wanting to provide 3,000 security personnel at the rally. We have PAS urging the police to take pictures of potential provocateurs at the rally and to nip trouble in the bud. All these announcements, to me, are aimed at enticing more people to attend.
If the issue of ratifying ICERD has been neutralised, why is a huge turnout on Saturday so important to some people?
We all know it is not about ICERD. We also know that Malays, Islam and royalty are not under any threat in any way.
If indeed there is any threat to any community, race, religion or institution, it is the threat from corrupt, inept and stupid leaders who scheme, squander and drain the national coffers dry, and run the country to the ground.
So why is a large crowd important to some this Saturday? There are probably many reasons for this. Some think they can get back to power quickly after losing it.
Some can’t wait to get back on the gravy train. Life has been hard since May 9, I suppose. Some think they can prevent the government from going after those who have committed crimes. And some think they can intimidate the government from pursuing further reforms.
Well, we shall see. The organisers can assure and expect many things. But ultimately, the security and safety of all is the responsibility of the police.
TK Chua is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.