Since the Anti ISA forum at the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam some moths back, I had become disillusioned with public response. Checking my email, I noticed that Nat had sent the information about the candle light vigil to no more than 7 recipients.
I got to blog house at around 7 pm, and was met there by Zorro.
Not long after, the crowd trickled in. As it was an impromptu event, Nat opened the evening's proceedings with a short speech. He then introduced Zorro (Bernard Khoo) who conveyed Marina's regrets for not making the vigil as she had to meet her lawyers. Typical of him, he got the crowd going, before introducing Dato' Ambiga.
Dato Ambiga touched on the need for Malaysia to conform to the United Nations Charter on Human Rights. Citing the need to protect its citizens from 'a most reprehensible piece of legislation', that Malaysians do not deserve to be treated in this unhumane way. Dato Ambiga reminded those present that there are some 65 people that are still held under this act. She also announced that the BAR Council will be calling an EGM come Saturday. Reminding everyone that we need to keep in mind and speak up for those who can't, she also touched on the need for the media to continue to critically report news as it is, and for the citizenry to continue to stand up for their rights. She ended in asking where the detainees are kept, the process of interrogation and the continuing silence and denial of legal rights to RPK and YB Theresa Kok. Commending the action of YB Dato Zaid Ibrahim who threatened to leave his Ministerial post should the government continue to use the ISA, she finished by informing all her intention to write to the deputy Inspector General of Police.
Zorro, then provided information that a similar group had gathered in Penang for another candle light vigil. 600 people or so were gathered there.
Madeline from Bersih was then asked to give her views. She had known and worked with Theresa Kok for more than 7 years. She tried but she could not say anymore, overwhelmed by emotions. She was also one of the few who had spoken to YB Teresa Kok just before she was taken away by the Police.
He also asked for the resignation of the Dato Syed Hamid Albar, given the nonsensical statements he had recently made, which included arrest of Tan as a safety aspect!
A short while later, members of All Blogs (Zorro, Anuradha and this writer) committee present were introduced to the attendees, as well as bloggers present, including Shanghai Fish, Ancient Mariner, Fisherman's Wharf.
It was also pleasant to note that those present also shared their views and took to the mic voluntarily (thanks to Quenie and friends).
A small collection from some contributors was also collected in aid of Blog House (RM445)
Although Rocky could not make it, he was in agreement with YB Sivarasa on the need to have a forum soon enough to bring together the media.
For the security of those present, The Royal Malaysian Poilce provided 3 patrol cars and 3 unmarked cars manned by 12 personnel! 6 in uniform, and 6 others including the famed SB Camera Unit!