On weekend plans and street demonstrations…

It’s Friday today, after a long and slow week grinding along at snail’s pace, most working folks would be looking forward to the coming weekend. Usually for me, weekends are spent catching up on quality time with friends and family – it could be movies, a spot of shopping or a shared meal together. Weekends are also a good time to check out inane things such as the new mall in town, or even just to trawl Petaling Street for a good rip-off designer handbag…

This weekend, as GSC Pavillion is offering free movie tickets, I was planning to catch my usual dose of celluloid without spending too much. The opportunity seemed too good to miss – new cineplex, new shopping complex, good food at shopping complex. It would only make sense for me to seize the opportunity, and be typically kiasu, and print out as many of the coupons that I can, and drag as many family and friends as I can…

There is a damper on my ‘el-cheapo’ weekend plans however, as there is going to be yet another street demonstration this Sunday, smack in the heart of KL. For those of you interested in defending the rights of the minority Indians in Malaysia, come to the British High Commission on Sunday morning dressed in orange. Just in case you didn’t know what the cause is all about, HINDRAF or Hindu Rights Action Force is suing the British Government to the tune of US$4trillion (RM13.5trillion), or US$1million (RM3.4million) for every Indian in Malaysia, filed at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Simply put, HINDRAF is claiming that the Brits are responsible for the lurch the Indians are in, especially here in Malaysia.

If you’re going to the demonstrations, please keep these simple tips in mind :

1. Take public transport to the venue, preferably LRT or PUTRA. It will be almost impossible to enter the city by driving, as the police want to minimize the number of protesters. Not to mention its going to be hellish to park, right?

2. Keep your handphone, wallet and documents in a Ziplock bag, just in case it rains or you get a ‘free shower’ from FRU.

3. Carry a bottle of clean water and some clean clothes packed in Ziplock bags, just in case they use the water cannon again on the protesters. The water ain’t just H2O, its laced with nasty chemicals, and could cause permanent damage if you don’t wash it out of your eyes, and it really stings the skin. Oh ya, forgot to mention there’s also a flourescent marker that reacts to UV light in it, so if they find you later at night at those endless roadblocks, they can make life difficult for you….

4. Finally, do not forget to document the whole experience, either by still or video camera. If the authorities confiscate your device of choice, don’t forget to remove the memory card before handing it over 😛 . It’ll make great bedtime stories for your grandchildren when you’re old, to say you were actually, part of a revolution, no matter how small your part…

For those of you who are not as interested to participate in such street demonstrations, dire warnings of massive traffic snarls especially when entering the city are already in place.  Roads that are predicted to be affected are Jalan Ampang, Jalan Tun Razak, Salak Selatan, not forgetting massive roadblocks at the Sungai Besi Toll Plaza, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Gombak, Karak Toll Plaza, Brickfields and surrounding areas, Federal Highway, Middle Ring Road II, LDP and Jalan Duta Toll Plaza.

Sharing is caring guys, so spread the news!

Personally, I suppose we’d have to see how our plans will change this Sunday. I will most likely not demonstrate with the HINDRAF fellas, as it really isn’t a cause that I feel I should be part of. I’m also especially worried about how demonstraters will be treated, as there are whispers that the authorities will not hesitate to use force this time. I’m all for peaceful gatherings, but getting kicked and pummeled isn’t really my thing…

As much as we like to think that all is fine and dandy, it cannot be denied that changes are afoot, and whether we like it or not, we are being swept away with it. Even if it only means that your weekend plans are down the drain…

Hoping that the traffic isn’t THAT bad… and waiting gleefully for our politicians to bumble along and make up stories about the demonstration, AND be shown on Al-Jazeera. That should be priceless entertainment… – Jasmine.

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