Another gathering for Nat

I just got back from another vigil for Nat. Strictly, it was not a vigil but rather, more like a gathering of political parties. In a way, I prefer yesterday’s gathering better. Yesterday, in many ways was a gathering of friends. Today, it was a gathering of people from all over.

It was raining so the gathering started late. While waiting, Chris Vallance of the BBC called me. Earlier, he emailed me about wanting to talk about the free Nat “campaign”. Campaign sounds like a big word but anyway, I am not sure if I was clear during the conversation. I think I was mumbling. BobK was the other person interviewed by Chris.

Anwar Ibrahim was there and many shouted “reformasi“. With probably close to 100 people, it was pretty loud. Li Tsin left early and told me that the whole thing has been hijacked. I went over to her blog and found out that Nat’s parents disapprove of today’s gathering. Probably, mostly because the police informed Nat’s parents that they don’t want to see anymore of vigil-like event like yesterday, and definitely not like today. And so, it was canceled in the last minute but with people already there, the cancellation came in too late.

Bob has an interesting opinion on that. He shared with me that with the parents out of the picture, the police, or the authority in general could accuse the others of politicizing the matter.

I don’t completely disagree with Li Tsin’s opinion about political parties hijacking the gathering. It is good to see so many people expressing support for Nat but with flags of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) as well as other political parties, flying, it just deterred other from joining the group. It made others like me that prefer just to express support for Nat felt like foreigners. Besides, vigil is supposed to be quiet. Today’s gathering is anything but quiet.

PKR and others, namely DAP and PAS, could show their support but they need to show it less explicitly. Thye could just support the whole thing by being there and throw away that street protest-style of shouting and flying banners. I think this is about liberty, about Nat. Not about PKR, DAP or PAS.

Talking about that, the police didn’t look happy. They switched on their siren now and then. I’m not sure what the police was trying to achieve but clearly, it only emboldened the crowd by shouting “reformasi” even louder.

I waited for awhile, listened to Anwar Ibrahim and then went home.

Nat’s expected to be released tomorrow, unless the remand is extended by the court. Let’s us hope for the best for Nat.

6 Comments so far

  1. Bob K (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 5:07 am

    You did pretty good Hafiz. I could hear you loud and clear.

  2. elizabethwong (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 6:01 am

    Hi Hafiz,
    The police ‘advice’ reached me way too late, and we rarely cancel something we said we’d go ahead. So hence the hard-core.

    Happy to have NAB/All-Blogs to do the next vigil. I’m ready to drop in exhaustion.

    I think it’s alright to wave flags and all. The more the merrier. We’d been condition to freak out everytime we see an opposition flag, whereas every other corner is a “ini satu lagi projek (insert ‘dacing’)”.

    In any given situation, best to dwell on the positive. If not for Nat’s boss coming tonight, the international media wouldn’t turn up to report on Nat’s case. That’s another star for Nat!

    Crossing my fingers n toes for Nat!

  3. Bob K (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 7:44 pm

    I’ve got the clip uploaded and published at :

  4. Chadie (unregistered) on July 18th, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

    I heard he was free, today. Is that true? I heard in in Swedish news.

  5. Chadie (unregistered) on July 18th, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

    I heard he was free, today. Is that true? I heard in in Swedish news.

  6. Bob K (unregistered) on July 18th, 2007 @ 8:12 pm

    Yes, he was freed on police bail at 5.20pm local time (1020 GMT) on July 17, 2007.

    A press conference will be held tomorrow (July 19, 2007) by Nat at:

    110-3, Jalan Tun Sambanthan
    Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur

    10.00 am

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