November 10, a historic day for Malaysia, yet many of us were not able have a clear picture of the events due to the distortion by the mainstream media.
Last Saturday, a rally calling for electoral reforms were organized by BERSIH with more than 10 000 people took to the streets to join the peaceful march. Yes, more than 10 000 people!! Nope, not 4000 as reported by The Star.
The march of the monks in Myanmar created major headlines in our local newspapers but strangely a rally of this magnitude can’t even make the front page of our local daily ( not even the 2nd or 3rd page for that matter )
It’s at page 8 of The Star with no pictures. The television news were no better with the local channels reporting about the success of the police in foiling the rally.This couldn’t be further from the truth, as the rally successfully hands over the memorandum to the Agong with minimal disturbance.
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Luckily, we can rely on the foreign media to give a truthful account of the event with al Jazeera having a correspondent in Masjid Jamek ,right when they were spraying chemicals on the protesters. The poor journalist was one of the victims as cameras captured FRU spraying water and throwing tear gas to break up the crowd.
Our Info Minister was so furious with the channel, he made a mockery of himself on live TV.
But I must admit though, what he said does have a point, that Malaysia is a democratic country, unlike Myanmar or Pakistan. Because you see, when the monks march in Myanmar, the military junta let the peaceful protest go on for weeks before a crackdown.
But in so called democratic Malaysia, the police set up roadblocks leading to the city to prevent people from gathering. When they managed to evade those, they used water cannons and tear gasses to disperse the crowds before they can even start marching.