Anti-ISA: Girl in jubah and tudung labuh

By Helen Ang

When my friend rang me up for a live update of the situation yesterday, I breathlessly told him that teargas was going off everywhere.

Another friend who was with me commented that the FRU were “trigger happy” with firing teargas.

A young man near Sogo informed me that the riot squad earlier aimed teargas at the overhead pedestrian bridge, which sent him staggering down its steps while momentarily blinded. It is really dangerous for them to do that to a bunch of people crowded in an elevated narrow space.

Actually teargas does not only affect the eyes and nose, it chokes you as if your lungs are on fire and stings the skin too.

I ran to escape the water canon by scrambling up the highway embankment; this was somewhere between the Dataran Merdeka and Sogo route.

Ahead of me was a slender young woman in jubah and tudung labuh. What struck me about her was that she had a towel slung over her shoulder. This indicated that she’d come prepared or she probably knew what to expect, having experienced a police-dispersed demo before.

We walked a bit through the bushes and along a dirt trail, and emerged in single file where we had to climb and clamber over a railing to get back on the main road. Two young men helped hoist all of us up. It was here that I bumped into Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad. The PAS leaders were on the ground for the event.

It’s reported that almost 600 people were arrested in yesterday’s GMI street protest. That’s a shocking number taken into police custody – and for what crime, pray tell? For wearing T-shirts with slogans? For illegal possession of a subversive T-shirt of the wrong colour stashed in a bag?

What the government did – again – was unleash its helicopters, trucks, shock troops and ‘weapons’ of crowd control against the rakyat. Its Special Branch officers were busy with their videocams recording faces in the crowd. You’d think the authorities were waging war against its own citizens.

In an unintended way, Najib Razak – who said “leave it to the authorities”/”let police do their job” was fostering 1Malaysia. So many strangers showed their concern for me yesterday, offering me water and salt.

And when a girl in jubah and tudung labuh, in her own determined way, is willing – to the borrow warning words of Star Online “to face the music for being so stubborn” – then I think Najib should think again about passing the buck.


Readers, please let me know how MSM is spinning 1-Eight (Aug 1).

Err, shoppers and KL-ites inconvenienced by traffic jam?

19 Responses to “Anti-ISA: Girl in jubah and tudung labuh”
  1. Eric says:

    Hi Helen,

    Chief propagandist: Kadir Jasin uttering his yet-to-be-proven minority bullying majority. Well, Kadir Jasin should tell this to the kopitiam owners all over Central Market, Sogo etc. who had the best day in the year yesterday. Indeed, protesters I guess, blocked the traffic and prevented innocent shoppers. And guess what, they did this all the way to Sungai Petani Selatan, Kedah and Kemaman, Terengganu!
    No wonder Najib can use the gimmick of the so-called ISA review. Luckily Nazri called off his lie and clearly said the BN will not revoke the act.

    It seems BN’s PR company is really into Goebbels. From Wikipedia Goebbels: “perfected an understanding of the “Big Lie” technique of propaganda, which is based on the principle that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses.”

    See you this afternoon.

  2. hartalmsm says:

    Utusan front page said ‘Perhimpunan itu bagaimanapun hanya dihadiri lebih 5,000 penyokong berbanding 100,000 orang yang disasarkan’.

    Utusan said “only 5,000-plus” attended the rally; Malaysiakini had the most conservative estimates putting it at 20,000.

  3. Paul Warren says:

    You know…the extent of the police and FRU action this time around, may not necessarily be Najib instigated. It contradicts his 1Malaysia and he knows that it is these events more than anything that brings the various communities together. so why would he want to brutalise them so that they can go back and curse Najib? Of course now it looks bad on Najib. but who gains? Not Najib. And there are forces within UMNO who are against Najib and who have the necessary influence over the cops for the kind of action carried out yesterday.

  4. ananyoos says:

    20,000 is not enough to make a ripple. It should be 300,000 or more. I prefer to stay at home because I knew it will not make an impact. The 3 parties have more than 100,000 members. Where are they? Where are the Hindraf’s? Where are anger of people over Teo Beng Hocks? Where are those people who have direct related experiences on police brutalities?

    • Eyes Wide Open says:

      Where were the missing 100,000 people? Most likely they stayed home because they knew it will not make an impact and so preferred to take a Sunday nap.

    • husz says:

      Dear Ananyoos,

      to reply to your question, where were the people?
      They were like you. At home.

      I know it seems like a hopeless cause. Its not. Don’t join an event because you want it to have an impact. To change. This is a war… each battle counts and sometimes, even losing a battle will win the war.

      All we have are our hearts and our resolve. And BELIEVE me, those are weapons FAR greater than tear gas and water cannon. Face the fear. I think I will also borrow the line from the star, “I am willing to face the music for being so stubborn”
      Today, I was threatened in my facebook by my old schoolmate. She said she wanted to report me to ISA which incidentally her father administers or something. I was angry… and afterwards saddened.. She wanted to see me locked up indefinitely 2 years at a time because she had to wait for 4 hours in a CIMB at sogo?

      Ananyoos, come and let your views be known in protest even if nobody joins. Even if you are the single person. To me, it is dearest. Even if I marched aloned. shit… damn .. We should have done that!!! we should have distributed 20,000 copies of the memorandum, and each one of us is to try and get to Istana Negara. They cant possibly stop 5000 different groups spread sooo wide.

      • Helen Ang says:

        Well said, Husz.

        Yeah, some people were unhappy to be caught in the traffic snarl.

        But they forgot that it was police who locked down the city days before the event and setting up road blocks in the other states as well.

        These affluent KL-ites were unhappy because of their few hours of inconvenience trapped in slow traffic.

        They do not see the bigger picture of the many long decades when Malaysians were terrorised by the state because the govt can use laws like ISA at will.

      • hartalmsm says:


        To put a context to the quote from ‘Star’, here’s the complete paragraph: “Despite being repeatedly advised against doing so, thousands of anti- ISA protesters gathered in various locations in Kuala Lumpur in a show of defiance.

        “And Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said those arrested would just have to face the music for being so stubborn.”

        The ‘Star’ article is titled ‘Street protest a senseless move, says Prime Minister’.

        Thank you.

  5. MarGeeMar says:

    Democracy dies when the Institutions that suppose to protect Democracy turns against the People. Has the BN planted the seeds for a Revolution?

  6. ananyoos says:

    ananyoos , im sure if you came out for the comfort of ur home u wud have known where were they .. they were being tear gassed and chemically sprayed..but im sure being the bold one, u wud have stayed not moving an inch being sprayed and tear gassed..and u did show ur boldness and braveness commenting about others from the comfort from ur home..brave ananyoos !!

  7. Sagaladoola says:

    My writing on this issue :

    Bernama News on Losses Due to Anti-ISA Protests

  8. Bliss88 says:

    Dear Ananyoos or whoever ur…(who really cares!!)

    Make yourself useful. Start growing up(i mean ur brains. if any). If you cant make it to the rally or rather the lack of guts to do it (you need 30,000ppl rite?), have a heart for those who risk their lives. sacrifice their weekend, pay their transport to be part of the group who wants to see change for the better. Problem is. we do have ppl like you too, in Malaysia. Just like wht my grandpa warn me against ,,,,,,being a bird that have wings but couldn’t fly a.k.a A CHICKEN. I rest my case and make ur vote counts in13GE.

  9. Mat Setia says:

    Everyone has a role to play ,however small.if you cant make it to the march you can do several effective/useful gestures.
    For example….you can spread the news of Reformasi to your neighbours…tell them the real situation the ordinary people face in their daily lives.
    …..snatch thieves,robbers brandishing parangs in cars and bikes team in broad daylight bringing fear and despair everyday
    … police action to STOP the thieves & robbers
    ….the MACC & Polis being used by Umno/Bn to maintain power
    You can also go on internet esp www. youtube .com and give constructive comments and counter the lies & racist remarks
    You can also volunteer yr service in NGOs or elections for Pakatan candidates
    R E F O R M A S I !

  10. dev says:

    Ananyoos or whoever you are,

    If you don’t have anything fruitful to comment then it will be better for you stay at home and sleep. But don’t come running to the opposition for justice if you happen to be mistaken by the state apparatus as their chosen targets. The people who braved the might of the police must be commended for their bravery, it is people like this who are going to make Malaysia a much better and fairer place in the future. The Indoctrination is waning off, it never works anyway.

  11. Eric says:

    I have to say I am simply bemused by the people complaining about traffic woes. Well, when exactly was KL’s Saturday afternoon traffic a leisurely pleasure? Hari Raya, Chinese New Year? Whom do these people blame otherwise?
    Let’s picture this, nowadays most cars are fit with aircond and radios. People who got stuck one or two hours in a jam ONCE with aircond and music radios on (including all these nice 1Malaysia ads you and I paid for to BN cronies) refuse any kind of solidarity with fellow human beings being put to jail for an INDEFINITE AND POTENTIALLY UNLIMITED time with NOT EVEN A SHRED OF EVIDENCE. If this is selfishness of the highest order. Is there no conscience left anymore?
    Besides, most people do not work on Saturdays anymore nowadays. Sadly the people who do (e.g. cashiers, waiters, etc.) cannot even afford the luxury of a car anyway.
    Anyway most people, who probably gave a miss to their shopping trip on Saturday (and how dearly they suffered for this!) went on Sunday instead. That’s indeed a major inconvenience isn’t it?

  12. NUR MUHD NIDZAM says:

    Next we must organize in all state capital simultaneously.Lets keep up the pressure on them.They will be strecth if we do it in various location in the country in one go.

    • Eric says:

      Protesters will be stretched too. Remember Ipoh’s 7 May for instance? But there is something we should work on here.

  13. Rahman says:

    Helen, exactly my sentiment. I was impressed with the many tudung labuh ladies. IN fact I thought I was more impressed with the ladies on Saturday. Kudos to them

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  1. […] Anti-ISA: Girl in jubah and tudung labuh By Helen Ang When my friend rang me up for a live update of the situation yesterday, I breathlessly told him that […] […]

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