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Yellow Saturday breaks through information filters November 11, 2007

Posted by Tim in Malaysia, News.

Yellow Saturday hasn’t been a good time for Malaysia’s information czars.

On Friday, Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin said this to Malaysiakini:

“Do you believe thousands of people will be coming for the rally? Don’t be so silly as to be taken in by them,” he said, adding that even the Umno annual meeting could not gather such a number of people.

On Saturday, even the govt mainstream papers had to put the number of attendees at 4,000 – still a ridiculously low number; most other sources put the figure at 10,000-40,000 people. Look at the pictures yourself.

[edit]Najib himself now says it was 10,000 people:

“The Prime Minister has said that as long as there is an understanding that all races have their sensitivities, there is no problem that cannot be resolved through discussions,” he said.

Hence, Najib said Malaysians did not go to the streets to voice their dissent, as street demonstrations were not part of the Malaysian culture.

“If they (the Opposition during the Bersih rally on Saturday) can gather 10,000 people, the Government through Barisan Nasional can gather even more people.

He’s also trying to put a racial spin on the thing. Completely ridiculous since the rally was one that people from every religion and race attended because they were MALAYSIANS. He only succeeded in showing that people from UMNO can only see everything in colour.

Zam also got creamed by Aljazeera (worse than Syed Hamid did at the hands of BBC not too long back ) in a phone interview right after the march. He claimed that Aljazeera was “exaggerating” the actions of the police, to which the correspondent replied “As you say that, sir, we are watching scenes of protesters being sprayed by chemical-filled water!”

Also sad to note that both our Foreign and Information Ministers don’t speak English very well..

The ironic thing is that one of the key points in the memorandum was the control of the mainstream media by Barisan – proven right by the massive cover up the govt is trying to put on.

The Star’s report only showed pictures of a traffic jam, on page 8 to boot, and was so short you wonder why they had three reporters on the byline – to decide what to edit out, probably? Since the rally was a perfectly peaceful one outside of police action, they couldn’t paint the opposition as rowdy troublemakers. The only thing they harped on was that it was an “illegal gathering”. Pretty stupid since any gathering of more than 5 people without a permit is “illegal”, and it was the authorities themselves who disallowed the protest on the grounds that it would disturb traffic – and then surrounded the city with roadblocks to fulfil their own predictions.

The problem though is that unlike the Batu Buruk incident, this took place in the friggin city center of KL. Anyone who went knows that the figure given by the Star is flat-out wrong, and anyone with access to the Internet can view the mounds of footage taken of the protest, including from international news agencies.

Could 10-11 be the straw that breaks the camel’s back?



1. shahid - November 11, 2007

I marched from Sime Darby, into Jalan Kuching, up until Dayabumi when the FRUs blocked the road in front of Masjid Negara. It was indeed a great walk, full of spirit eventhough it was raining. It was also the longest walk in my life, after the last one when i was in form 3 (merentas desa). Another thing is, while walking, i realised that, well, KL’s scenery is not bad at all… probably will do the walk again with my wife next weekend!

2. Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose » Blog Archive » Black in Manila, Yellow in KL, whistle blower in Seoul - November 12, 2007

[…] think it out*, another harsh look at the party-controlled media in Malaysia: Zam also got creamed by Aljazeera […]

3. yh - November 12, 2007

zam got creamed? understatement of the year. he looks a idiot par excellence, boy.
never imagine a minister can be that thick skulled without any fillings ( of grey matter)!

4. Kean - November 12, 2007

‘Memalukan’, really ‘memalukan’!!! As a Minister of Foreign and Information his English is far more worst then mine. How can this kind of person become our minister?? ‘Duit kopi ke’ or he has some kind relationship with ABB to get that position? Really makes me wonder how ABB choose his minister, makes me feel disgust.

5. funny facts - December 20, 2007

I was wondering, do you had any more blogs?

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