Saturday, July 23, 2011

Whatever were they thinking?

For starters, it reeks of guilt and fear from the government. If there is no truth in what the lawyer is doing, why the extreme move to deport the lawyer? If there was any doubt in my regarding the investigation of the Scorpene deal, rest assured that it has all been put to rest.

I wonder who is advising the Malaysian PM in dealing with this issue? This action has just reduce your credibility to an even lower level (as if it was possible given that it has probably reached an all time low). I can only think of 2 reasons for your advisors to convince you to take such an extremely imbecile actions:-

1. If it is the PR company, no wonder they are charging such high price for their services.They are helping you damaging yourselves further so that they can step in for 'damage control' and convince you that you need their expertise if you wished to retain the people's support in the coming elections. See? They are doing double jobs! Malaysian Government, you have been duped! or..

2. Your advisors has the intelligence of a 3 year old (which is actually insulting to the 3 year olds) and finnesse of a bull in a china shop. May i suggest that you remove them immediately to protect your good image (Gasp! Assuming there is any left!) and cut down unnecessary expenditures on such unproductive advisors that only adds to your injury. For all we know, it may save Malaysians billions of ringgit in wastage on these advisors which coincidentally may probably be put into better use such as:-
a) buying new quality submarine that can actually function as it is meant to for legitimate purposes proposed by our Ministry of Defense
b) repair the parliament roof, the stadium roof, the newly renovated Puduraya bus station roof (by the way, may i know who is the original contractor? The quality of their work is deplorable and they should have their licenses revoked, the management charged to court for endangering lives, blacklisted from all future government contracts bids (including companies that has the same registered Directors, management teams, workers...i'm sure you know what i mean) and the government should request for refund for those works)
c) proper courses for our poor Royal Malaysian CSI teams who seems to have forgotten the SOP in conducting their work. It is pretty disgracing you know, having their own ex-Head of CSI pointing out their sloppy work in the courtroom and reported by your MSM (Times and Meloya) for all and sundry. Utterly shameful! Whatever would the world think?! (Oh yeah, i forgot. They are all duped by Jewish efforts to topple you! Their views doesn't matter as long as the people reads only local news and believes only in you!)
d) proper equipments for our poor Chemistry Department. Last heard, it seems they are unable to identify the weapons used to fire bullet into a victim's head (reported both by Times and Meloya) which puzzled your ex-Head of CSI. Maybe the department is due for some upgrading?

Oh yes, the decision maker in this whole affair should really be fired. Correct me if i'm wrong. The advisors' job is to layout the scenario and possible solutions. Isn't it the decision maker's duty to think it over before making any decision? Such disastrous decision makers will really save Malaysia a lot of trouble, grief and money as soon as we replace them.

[My Thoughts]

Bourdon deported because he knew too much

Was French human rights lawyer William Bourdon deported because he knew too much?. That’s what PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar thinks.

She claims that Bourdon may have had access to crucial documents that may link Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to the controversial Scorpene submarine purchases.

“But the French court will provide public access to the investigation papers when the case goes on trial in September,” claimed Nurul at the Ops Scorpene fund raising dinner in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

The dinner, attended by nearly 500 guests, was hosted by Nurul’s aide, Fahmi Fadzil.

Yesterday, Bourdon, who was tasked to investigate corruption involving the submarine purchases, was detained at KLIA at 11.40am by the immigration officials when his flight arrived from Penang.

Subsequently, Bourdon was served a deportation order for violating the terms of his social visit pass and left the country at about 11pm.

Bourdon was supposed to be one of the speakers at the fund raising event yesterday.

Nurul, who is also Lembah Pantai MP, thanked Bourdon for his courage in taking up the case on behalf of Suaram to investigate the mystery involving the submarine deal.

“He is a well known personality worldwide yet he was kicked out of the country dishonorably,” she said.

Fellow PKR vice president, Tian Chua reminded the guests at the dinner on how the Scorpene deal was also linked to the gruesome murder of Mongolian translator, Altantuya Shaaribu.

Ashes still in Malaysia

Chua said that recently Kelana Jaya MP Low Gwo Burne went to Mongolia and subsequently met the Altantuya’s father, Dr Setev Shaaribu.

In his visit, Chua said, Low was told by Shaaribu that his daughter’s ashes still remain in a Malaysian court as the case, in theory, is still unsolved.

“We may feel sympathy for his family but also remember that our tax money was used to finance the Scorpene deal,” he said.

In 2006, Altantuya’s remains were found in a secluded area in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam. Police investigation found that she was shot twice before her body was blown up using C-4 explosives.

She was said to be working as a translator for Perimekar Sdn Bhd, a company linked to Najib’s aide Abdul Razak Baginda, which was the company that sealed the deal on the two Scorpene submarines for Malaysia.

The multi-billion ringgit deal, which was inked in 2002 during Najib’s tenure as defense minister, was reported to have involved kickbacks worth RM500 million.

Subsequently, Abdul Razak was charged for abetting her murder in July 2008 but was acquitted about two months later. The prosecution team decided not to appeal against his acquittal.

[Source: FMT]

Also present at the dinner yesterday were DAP publicity chief Tony Pua, Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah, PKR supreme council member Latheefa Koya and Suaram director Kua Kia Soong.

William Bourdon in Penang

French lawyer William Bourdon, who was in Penang last night to speak about the controversial Scorpene submarines deal allegedly involving millions of ringgit in kickbacks to Malaysian government officials, was detained at the KL International Airport this morning.

William Bourdon deportation - it has become world news

Once again, we are making news around the world for the wrong reasons, and no thanks to Najib Abdul Razak. He claims he shortened his European trip so as to be with the Malaysian people. It is more like he had to rush back because Monsieur William Bourdon would be in town and Najib was making sure he would not be staying a second longer.

Like the saying goes, "You can run, but you cannot hide."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Scorpenes French lawyer William Bourdon detained, to be deported

Malaysian authorities have detained and are preparing to deport French lawyer William Bourdon, who is acting on behalf of civil rights group Suaram in a high-profile "corruption" and "kickbacks" case involving Prime Minister Najib Razak over his purchase of two Scorpene submarines for the ministry of defense in the early 2000s.

Bourdon is now at the Immigration detention centre in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where he was grilled for more than 4 hours. He was flying in from Penang, where he had given a briefing on the case to a citizens group of 600 on Thursday night ahead of open-court hearings in Paris in September.

"Najib has just told the world that he is guilty," PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

Another international black-eye

Bourdon was arrested while still inside the airplane cabin by immigation officials who boarded the plane. "He said he is most likely to be deported to Paris tonight," Suaram director Cynthia Gabriel told a press conference. She was allowed to see him briefly.

Given the bizzare actions of a back-to-the-wall Najib administration, deportation is not impossible even though it might seem to be the height of folly.

"This is another self-inflicted blow by the Najib administration, reflecting other phobias - Scorpene submarines and Altantunya," DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said in an immediate response.

Indeed, the international bruising from the latest incident will only add to the growing conviction that Najib's days in power are numbered. But rather than accepting the calls to step down and paving a smooth path for his successor, he appears to be denial mode and has come out swinging wildly.

Two weeks, ago the Malaysian PM ordered one of the harshest ever crackdowns on a civilians rally for free and fair elections, wherein thousands were injured and one death caused. The high-handed move had alarmed first world leaders, who wondered if it signalled that Najib might go to the extent of installing a police state just to stay in power. The United Nations, United States have issued rebukes for the July 9 Bersih march crackdown, while the British Queen has also signalled her disapproval.

Long brewing

The Scorpenes scandal has long been brewing. From the time it was mooted by Najib, who was then the defense minister, there was public outcry over the deal with French arms vendor DCN, which was seen as excessively priced and the high-tech ships totally unsuitable for patrolling Malaysia's shallow coastline.

But Najib pushed through the RM7 billion deal in 2002 amid accusations that he was benefiting his cronies and despite clear evidence of a dubious 114 million euros side-deal granted to his close friend Razak Baginda.

The eldest son of Malaysia's second prime minister, the late Abdul Razak Hussein, Najib was able to convince his bosses, who were then ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad and to an extent Abdullah Badawi, who became Prime Minister in 2003. They allowed Najib to carry through with the deal and closed an eye to the dubious contract, allthough he was warned that this 'excavation' into public funds would have to be his last.

Hell broke loose in 2006

However, in 2006, all hell broke loose when the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a stunningly beautiful 28-year old Mongolian national, was discovered. Killed in a jungle clearing in Selangor state, lurid details of her downfall and how she died shocked and titillated Malaysians and world citizens.

At that time, no one could get enough news of how she was shot in the head and face, how she told her killers she was pregnant and how she had begged for mercy before they pulled the trigger, and then detonated her body with special military C4 explosives to prevent identification.

It turned out that the killers were two special squad police officers, who were also Najib's former bodyguards. Both men have been sentenced to hang but till now, the buring question remains, who ordered the killing?

Najbi was then the Deputy Prime Minister and still the defense minister. He was still on the political rise and protected by Mahathir who wanted him to take over from Badawi and then pass on the top seat to his own son, Mukhriz Mahathir.

Indeed, power in Malaysia's ruling party, UMNO, is basically confined to three families - Najib's, his cousin Hishammuddin's and Mahathir's. All others including Badawi, his son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin and current Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin are appeased with seat-warmer terms. But real power will remain with the three families, thanks to the huge wealth they have hoarded through the years.

Have courage, Malaysians told

On Thursday night, Bourdon had confirmed to Penangites that the French authorities had approved Suaram's request for an investigative judge - a major step forward for their case to uncover the bribes allegedly paid by DCN to top Malaysian officials.

In his presentation on Thursday night, Bourdon did not give details of the latest evidence uncovered by the French police. He was expected to share more details in the second briefing, which is due to be held in Kuala Lumpur tonight and Petaling Jaya on Saturday night,

However, he had promised that Malaysians would get the "truth and justice" they sought. And as if sensing the danger ahead, he even told Malaysians to have courage.

"Despite many obstacles and although such proceedings are complex and difficult, the truth shall emerge in France and we will expose the corruption related to the submarine deal. We will reveal and disclose details on all the beneficiaries. I am confident in Malaysians to overcome difficulties and I wish you courage," William said.

New commissions and a VIP

In the runup to Scorpene briefings, the French lawyer had also said the identites of several 'new' people had been traced.

There was also evidence that a VIP had travelled Baginda and Altantuya to Macau. Speculation is rife that this person was Najib.

Such information would immediately debunk Najib's denials that he ever knew or met her. It could also pave the way for the re-opening of her murder trial, during which a clearly biased trial judge had forbidden questions on whether the two bodyguards had been paid or instructed to kill her. And by whom.

William, who is known for his activism work in the French legal circles, also said that more commission payments have been found. It is illegal in France for a firm to pay commission to anyone to secure a deal. And this why Suaram had lodged its complaint in Paris after failing to make the Malaysian authorities investigate the Scorpenes procurement despite years of trying.

If found guilty, DCN would have to reveal the amounts of illicit funds it paid out to win the Malaysian contract and also the identities of the people who received the kickbacks. This would obviously be very bad news for Najib, especially if the allegations about him deriving hundreds of millions in benefit from the deal are true.

[Source: MC]


Investigations by French authorities into the controversial RM7.3 billion Scorpene submarine deal, which allegedly involves kickbacks to top Malaysian officials, may shed light on the mystery surrounding the death of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Paris-based lawyer William Bourdon, who was in Penang yesterday, said the probe would probably reveal relevant details related to Altantuya's involvement in the purchase of the two French submarines by Malaysia.

NONEPolice investigations have alreadyrevealed that Altantuya and Abdul Razak Baginda, a close confidante of Prime Minister Najib Razak, had been beneficiaries of travel expenses paid by an obscure French company in Malta.

Bourdon (left), who was detained by immigration officers at the KL International Airport upon arriving from Penang about 10.30am today, said he had kept abreast of Altantuya's case since her death in 2006, and had noted that her murder trial had been overly dramatised.

Speaking to Malaysiakini in exclusive interview just hours before he was detained by immigration authorities, who boarded his plane at KLIA this morning, Bourdon said: "The manner in which the trial was conducted provoked many questions; a lot of obscurity remains regarding her murder."

The trial ended in 2008 with two of the bodyguards of Najib, who was then deputy prime minister and defence minister, being convicted of her murder.

The duo are currently appealing their death sentence. Abdul Razak, who had been charged with abetting the duo, was acquitted without being called to make his defence.

altantuya razak baginda mongolian murder 020707 short hairObservers had remarked that despite the high-profile trial, two pertinent questions surrounding Altantuya's murder were yet to be answered: why was she killed and who ordered her killing?

Najib, who as defence minister was in charge of the mega-Scorpene submarine deal, has denied any involvement in the murder.

On the Suaram case which the lawyerfiled in Paris last year, Bourdon said he was confident he would be able to access the related documents and files very soon.

These expose is expected to bring to book high-profile Malaysian officials who are said to have received kickbacks amounting to millions of ringgit from the submarine deal.

Bourdon said the case was still under the investigation phase, where the police still interrogating witnesses.

On behalf of human rights group Suaram, Bourdon has applied to the public prosecutor to allow the Kuala Lumpur-based NGO to be admitted as a civil plaintiff in court.

If accepted, he said, an investigative judge will be appointed to handle the case.

"The investigative judge is the only real independent institution to deal with sensitive cases such as corruption," he said.

No real democracy if judges not independent

On whether the independence of the judiciary could be guaranteed, Bourdon said this would be assured through the appointment of the investigative judge by an independent body.

"The judges in such cases answer to no political hierarchy, so there is at least a legal guarantee that ensures their independence," he added.

"There can be no real democracy if judges are not independent."

NONEHowever, Bourdon does not discount the fact that in sensitive cases like corruption, there could be a possibility of the public prosecutor being approached to keep the truth from coming out.

"Especially if the truth is dangerous (to the people who approach the prosecutors)," he said.

"Which is why we need an independent media to balance between state power and these institutions," he said, adding quickly that he was aware of the current state of the media in Malaysia.

Although Bourdon is confident that the case is making a headway in France, he is still careful not to be presumptuous on whether Suaram would eventually be accepted as a civil plaintiff.

This is due to the circumstances in any case involving corruption, which can be very challenging anywhere in the world, he said.

The public prosecutor could well deny Suaram the right to appear as civil plaintiff and if this happened, Bourdon said, he would definitely file an appeal.

Even if Suaram failed to make it to court, there would be the opportunity for its lawyers to access the relevant documents and files in the case.

"In my opinion, if Suaram is not accepted as a civil plaintiff, it would seem like a breach of international legal standards and law," Bourdon added.

A Plan B in place

In any case, he said, he has a Plan B, about which he would not speak now. "All I can say is that we will move forward."

Bourdon himself has been involved in battles to make government leaders accountable for their corrupt ways and in issues of human rights abuse over the past 30 years.

He set up Sherpa, a non-profit organisation, with other lawyers in Paris in 2005 to work on international justice cases.

He has conducted about 50 monitoring missions in several countries.

During the course of his work in various countries, the authorities have threatened him with deportation - but never went through with it.

military malaysia navy french built submarine scorpene classThey did, however, monitor his movements and he felt he was 'in permanent control by the secret police', for example, in Tunisia and Turkey, from 1995-2005.

In all these years, his team has not only registered defeat but there have also been several victories.

For example, in a forced labour case between France and Thailand, his intervention helped secure a better life and working conditions for his clients.

Bourdon said he has realised that these days citizens, from Malaysia to Tunisia, were no longer tolerant of corruption.

"In the last 20 years, there has been a sense of resignation where corrupt practices are in a way 'acceptable' but not any more," he said.

"What has become important is democracy and rule of law, and corruption involving government leaders can break the confidence of public votes," he added.

[Source: Mkini]

French lawyer Bourdon detained at KLIA

French lawyer William Bourdon, who was in Penang last night to speak about the controversial Scorpene submarines deal allegedly involving millions of ringgit in kickbacks to Malaysian government officials, has been detained by the immigration at KL International Airport.

According to Suaram director Cynthia Gabriel, immigration officials boarded the aircraft and detained Bourdon just as their plane touched down at KLIA in Sepang, Selangor.

"He has been taken to the immigration holding centre at KLIA," Gabriel told Malaysiakini.

Initially, the immigration officers, did not allow Bourdon's wife, also a lawyer, to go into the centre with him.

ops scorpene dinner 220711 willian bourdonFollowing some negotiations, she has been allowed to accompany him.

According to Gabriel, the officers wanted to "question Bourdon".

At a packed dinner in Penang last night to raise funds for the Scorpene trial in France in which the NGO Suaram is involved, Bourdon (left) said the case would also expose details of secret meetings of those involved.

He said those beneficiaries and kickbacks from the RM7.3 billion
Scorpene submarine deal would be revealed when the matter is raised in a French corruption trial against defence giant DCNS.

[Soure: Mkini]

The Malaysian government have better come out with a good explanation as to the detention of Mr Bourdon. If not, the public will have no choice but to believe in the obvious. As the saying goes, you can run but you cannot hide.

July 9: Exorcising the ghost of May 13

EYEWITNESS What we saw on July 9:

  • A Malay youth, no more than 20 years old, with tear gas in his eyes running around and distributing salt to his fellow protesters so that they could neutralise the effects of the tear gas on their eyes and noses. He shouted "Garam! Garam!" as he himself grimaced in pain, tears flowing from his eyes. Though blinded by the tear gas, he stood there with arms stretched out as fellow Malaysians grabbed the salt in his hands.
  • NONEAn old Chinese uncle shouting "Hidup rakyat! Bersih, Bersih!", and the crowd joined him in his refrain.
  • A group of young people soaked in chemical water, trying to escape the tear gas. They asked me for more information via tweets and I gave them the bad news that Ambiga had been arrested. "Shoot! Damn!", they said. "We need to get back out there!", pointing back towards the heart of the protest, with steely determination on their faces. It was inspirational to watch them running back down the hill. At the same time, so surreal, as the group was made up of various races. Then again, why should it be strange? We are Malaysians...
  • Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Dusuns, Bidayuhs, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, free thinkers, uncles, aunties, guys, girls, hippies, lawyers, pastors and students. People from all walks of life, standing together as one.
  • The main column of marchers turned towards Petaling Street as they headed for Stadium Merdeka and there, were greeted by a largely Chinese crowd merging with their column. "Cina mari! Reformasi! Reformasi! Hidup! Hidup! Hidup Rakyat!"
  • People gathering around a group of Sarawakians in their traditional costume on Jalan Sultan, complete strangers wanting to take pictures with them. People walking by shouting "Hidup Sarawak!"
  • People of all races helping one another, holding up those who had crumpled to the ground, pouring water on their faces, wiping eyes with wet cloths, encouraging one another to stay calm. Others directing the crowd to move slowly and not to push. Miraculously, the crowd followed these instructions, despite the tear gas in their eyes.
  • Smiles in the midst of tear gas and water sprays. Hands reaching out in assistance to fellow citizens.

bersih rally petaling street 090711We don't need money or a free meal to gather in numbers. We don't need door gifts or empty promises at lavish rallies to show our solidarity. We don't need famous musicians or fancy shows to attract our support.

We don't need any of the things that this current administration has to offer in response to our cry for freedom. We did it for ourselves, out of our own free will, out of our frustration and out of our love for this nation, and this generation will be judged by its actions on this day and from this day forth.

This generation has never seen unity until 709. In the years to come, this generation will look back and tell its children that this is how it went down. This is what gave us hope, determination and strength.

Never in our lives have we ever seen a Malaysia like this before. What does it take to finally put the ghost of May 13 (1969) to rest forever? The answer lies in the events of the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally. This generation is not afraid anymore. This generation looks forward to a future of unity and strength.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Auntie Bersih: 'I marched against injustice'


"It is very insulting. They didn't want to arrest me. I was prepared to be arrested."
"I didn't do anything. I just went for a walk."

Utusan is stirring the Jewish hornet nest

A global Jewish organisation has hit out at the Utusan Malaysia newspaper for
propagating anti-Semitic hatred. The paper had claimed in its editorial that the
Bersih 2.0 rally was an opportunity for Jews to infiltrate into Malaysia’s national

B’nai B’rith International, a Jewish humanitarian organisation, called the allegation “preposterous” and “offensive” and which only serves to perpetuate an anti-Semitic attitude.

“Though no specific plot was mentioned in the editorial, the accusation of a possible Jewish interference in Malaysia’s internal affairs is an outlandish claim that promotes anti-Semitic attitudes,” said a statement on its website.

It added that that this claim was “especially harmful” as spreading such messages in a government-backed paper only lends more legitimacy to such arguments.

“As many Malaysians rely on government-backed media outlets for news and information, this destructive claim is likely to be the only information some citizens receive on this issue,” it added.

On July 18, Utusan had carried an editorial linking the Bersih 2.0 rally to pro-Jewish groups. It said that supporting the demonstration can assist the alleged motive of “pro-foreign parties who are trying to control the country”.

It further cautioned: “Muslims and Malaysians should not allow any party especially Jews from interfering in the affairs of this country.”

Prior to the July 9 rally, the Malay daily had also carried headlines linking Bersih 2.0 – which had staged the rally demanding for clean and fair elections – with Communism and being funded by international Christian organisations.

B’nai B’rith International also denounced the so-called “Jewish link”, saying it is a separate development in internal politics.

B’nai B’rith president Allan J Jacobs said: “Turning an internal call for reform into a forum for religious prejudice is unacceptable, and serves only to induce anti-Semitic sentiments.”

Echoing that sentiment, its vice-president Daniel S Mariaschin said: “It is completely without foundation to attempt to vilify Jews totally unaffiliated with an internal reform movement”.

B’nai B’rith claims to be the oldest operating Jewish service organisation. It has nearly 100 000 members and supporters in 50 countries.

I was there - Hann Sze

I was surprised to wake up on the morning of 9 July to see both my parents dressed in yellow. My dad had only decided that morning that he would go.

He was ready, wearing his yellow shirt firmly tucked in. After much persuasion, he decided to change into a blue shirt instead.

As for my third sister, she wanted to bring a whole bag of clothes so that she would have some clean clothes to change into, in the event that she was arrested.

At about 11 a.m., we entered the city by monorail. To my disappointment, I encountered a ghost town. KL's roads were empty and the shutters were closed. I did wonder whether or not the rally would be able to succeed.

Was I afraid? Hell yes. Every road block we crossed and every small group of people gathered sent chills up my spine.

After all, the Bersih 2.0 office had been raided just two hours after I bought my t-shirts. But I really wanted to be there! To be together with the rest of the people whom I prayed would turn out.

At about 1.15pm., we received a call telling us that a group of Bersih supporters would pass by our location (we were at Berjaya Times Square as my dad wanted a Starbucks). Immediately, I eagerly grabbed my camera and ran to the streets, trying to find the crowd.

Just being there excitement

They were walking in the opposite direction. My friend and I broke off from my family and ran as fast as we could to catch up with the procession.

I felt so happy, so excited, and so thrilled to be in the midst of over 3,000 others walking and chanting! I ran ahead, hoping to capture some pictures in front, where people were walking with their arms linked together.

Not long after, I saw a much larger group of people in yellow ahead... all waiting for our batch to catch up!

This spurred us on even more. We started running and yelling and clapping until we met up and merged with the larger group. At that point, our numbers had reached at least 10,000 already!

I can't really describe the feeling but it felt so good. Despite the heat, everyone pushing around, and smelly people! Somehow in the pack, everyone is your friend. People start shaking your hands, giving you random high fives, wide smiles, and lots of encouragement. It felt like we were actually achieving the 1Malaysia theme.

We then slowly marched towards Puduraya after waiting for other groups to join in.

Gas, water, brings togetherness

Upon crossing the Puduraya station, we were greeted by the PDRM and FRU units. You knew then that they had been anticipating our arrival as the water canon trucks were already deployed ahead.

Soon after, water cannons started spraying us with chemical water, followed by many canisters of tear gas. Immediately, people startingrunning in the opposite direction.

The gas was terrible; it felt like I had just been showered in pepper spray. It brought on difficulties in breathing, loss of sight, and sharp bites on my body! Nevertheless, we ran as far as we could where
we reassembled again.

What's interesting is that after getting gassed and sprayed, people from different races were helping one another, helping those who fell, passing salt around, providing water, etc.

I remembered how a Pakcik saw us in pain and handed us salt, which is supposed to help ease the effects. The salt didn't help, trust me, I don't know why. But the gesture of that Pakcik did help. It didn't feel that bad anymore, and we got away quickly from the scene.

However, as we all ran in different directions, we were cut off by other policemen and FRU punks who had blocked off the other end of the road.

Many sat down on the road, with some giving speeches and taking orders from the organizers. Many others were forced to the Tung Shin Hospital, where they hid at the hospital's compound.

How has this changed me? I'm amazed, how one woman could initiate a global event involving tens of thousands to gather for a common cause!

We may not have made it to the stadium, but deep down, I know that the rally was a success by itself - for the rakyat to gather in harmony to show that we have a voice.

I have the highest regards for the rally leaders, who, despite knowing that they would be detained on sight, took a bold step to appear to provide further encouragement. Many of them were detained and injured! You guys are my inspiration!

I always believed that Malaysia had no future.
I finally realized that I was wrong, because of today.
Today might not change anything up there,
But it definitely showed the world that we, the rakyat, have a voice!
The voice went, "Rakyat Bersih; Rakyat Hidup"

Some comments from Malaysians with regard to the censoring of The Economist's article on Bersih 2.0

Malaysian Born: Someone should get a message to Home Ministry Publications Control and Quranic Text Division secretary Abd Aziz Md Nor. Next time you want an opinion on what to do, please check with someone at the ministry and the police who is qualified, preferably someone with a basic level of common sense.

There is no point censoring the truth especially after it has been put up online. There was no part of the article in The Economist that was even marginally exaggerated, so what is the point of blacking out sections in the magazine given that it is also available online - you just made it important for everyone to check it out, and they will.

You are behaving like you are from a 20-year time warp. You all look like a bunch of illiterate desperate buffoons, but much worse, you make the country look terrible which is unforgivable.

3com: Here are the missing parts:

1) "...and one man died of a heart attack."

2) "The march itself was then banned, although the authorities offered Bersih a stadium to meet in - and then withdrew the offer."

3) "The heavy-handed police tactics have provoked a lot of anger; the government has conceded an official investigation into claims of police brutality. In one instance (caught on film), police seemed to fire tear gas and water cannon into a hospital where protesters were sheltering from a baton charge."

AnesthMO: The mature and responsible thing for the government of Malaysia to do would be to write a letter to the editor rebutting the points that it is in disagreement. Instead, the government resorted to childish and infantile behaviour.

Anonymous_3e86: Stupid move by the government. Those copies that are blanked out are only the Malaysian copies. Elsewhere around the whole world, the uncensored version circulates.

And what's the use of blanking the Malaysian copies when the rakyat have witnessed the rally through YouTube and other online media. In fact, the whole Malaysia has already viewed the online videos.

The blanking out merely shows that the government is trying to "hide" the facts. Now, everyone is curious to know what was blanked out.

WangMalaysia: "Meanwhile, Home Ministry's Publications Control and Quranic Text Division secretary Abd Aziz Md Nor said action was taken to censor parts of the article which he claimed to be incorrect and misleading."

Abd Aziz, who do you think you are? God? Were you there at the rally to verify those statements to be false and misleading? While you are free to state your version, you should not stifle others from doing the same.

SusahKes: Every time their big boss goes overseas to promote the country and try and bring back FDI (foreign direct investment), these jokers climb out of the woodwork with their cave man mindset and muck it up. What's the point of the PM going abroad?

Not Confused: To censor an international publication by using black marker pen? If it were not so serious, I would be rolling on the floor with laughter.

Do they seriously and honestly think that this is a sensible thing to do in this day and age? It just shows how scared and delusional they all are. Malaysia is becoming more of an international joke every day and the idiots at the 'top' just don't see it at all - how sad.

Lusiapa: A truth is a truth even if it is mentioned only once; a lie remains a lie even though it is denied (in this case, censored) a thousand times!

Fly Emirates: I am very surprised the Home Ministry is resorting to censorship in this day and age of Internet and social media. Instead of censoring the article, the Home Ministry should have issued a rebuttal to the Economist, unless of course those folks in Home Ministry cannot argue their case.

One suggestion - Malaysiakini has excellent social media and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) courses. Perhaps the Home Ministry can send all their top officials to attend these courses so they can stay abreast of current developments.

TehTarik: What a waste of black ink on a world-class weekly. It would have been more beneficial if the ink was used to blank out racist hate articles in Utusan Malaysia.

Anonymous: What an irony. The police come under the Home Ministry but they have to consult the police first before censoring. It only goes to show a police state in existence.

Borg Kinaulu: These government servants are again wasting money and time doing unnecessary, unproductive, ineffectual tasks without thinking things through.

Why censor that few lines in The Economist? The target readers of that magazine are likely to be upper middle class, educated, Internet savvy, intelligent people who will feel insulted by the censoring.

Please concentrate your efforts on the readers for the likes ofUtusan and other mainstream media. And of course, don't forget to keep up the efforts to keep young Malaysians ignorant and 'dummified' through the national education system.

You can't do anything to those who are already educated, so don't waste time there. Just stay focused on safeguarding BN's fixed deposits of votes. Let's see how long the flames will remain under wrap.

Lin Wenquan: A desperate regime will do anything to hide any unpleasant truth about their failings and misrule. The censoring of parts of The Economist's article termed as 'incorrect and misleading' by the home minister is both a juvenile and stupid move.

What did he hope to achieve when the cyber world was ablaze with first person accounts, and pictures and videos to match, about the police brutality? If he had not mutilated the article it would not be such a sensation. After all, we have been fed a constant diet on Bersih 2.0's ordeal with the frightened government in the e-media.

Instead, this ludicrous action has now attracted the curious who are non-subscribers of The Economist and further expose the regime to more ridicule and ignominy for trying to hide the truth. The forbidden fruit is always sweeter.

Teh: The Malaysian government should use the indelible ink for the coming general elections instead of using it to censor parts of theEconomist.