August 31, 2008

#33 Public Protests

Malaysian people are collectivists by nature and aren't fond of straying from societal norms and conventional paradigms. This is why they indulge in communal activities like gathering or complaining.

A long time ago, a group of Malaysian people felt very strongly about an issue but didn't know how to channel their frustration. Then they had a brainstorm. They combined the Malaysian affinity for collectivism and complaining into a single activity, which is what we now know as a rally, demonstration or protest.

The Public Protest is the pinnacle of Malaysian discontent demonstration. Among the more prominent shows of dissatisfaction revolve around politicking, economic grouses, commodity hikes or even education policies. However, given the fact that Malaysian legislation prohibits gatherings of four or more people without police permits, most of these protests end in violence, more disgruntlement and neverending arguments on civil rights. The foreign press is fond of reporting on such Malaysian protestations because it allows them to remind their citizens that freedom of speech is a privilege, not a right.

Public protesting can sometimes start out as innocent community events. However, given the Malaysian penchant for grievances, this soon turns into a full blown show of dissatisfaction for policies, administrations or the most important cause of all: self cause. If you happen to witness a Malaysian protest in action, be careful who you side with. Historically, the administration being rebelled against would prevail indubitably and you would be advised to accept the status quo. But in the words of Sam Cooke, "a change is gonna come."


louist said...

haha... one of the things in which singaporeans differ. we like to 'comprain' too, but practically nobody takes part in (also illegal) public protests.

possibly because down here, it'll get you into jail, bankrupt, or both =p

Grace said...

haha, yes I agree with lost.. they just can't afford to end up in jail etc.
Here in Malaysia.. anything also can!! But then again, in public uni, they make you sign the Aku Janji, one which makes you promise not to go against the government..LOL. Don't think that helps very much.

So relek lah bro, the most is go to penjara only what.. at least you let off some steam..
I would love to take part in a protest someday, just for

B.H. said...


Whine is fine but protesting is quicker.


I sense an opportunity coming very soon.


Grace said...

yes B.H. I should probably think of what I should protest about first. Petrol is overrated, let's go for something out of this world. And maybe if I'm crazy enough, I'll let myself experience life in the lockup. LOL.

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