Sunday, August 26, 2012

Homegrown talent Part 3 - Kendrick K

I wrote a post on Malaysian homegrown talent not too long ago. It was a series of two posts. 

Time and time again, we find that musical talent in Malaysia is simply abundant. 

Unfortunately, I'm really not too sure why the local music scene is not as thriving compared to other countries, even Asian ones like Korea (Gangnam style for example).

Maybe that's cause we are all feeding on the mass mainstream market; people like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyruses to name a few.

Because of that, it's really encouraging news to know that once in a while, a Malaysian creates more than ripples in the music industry. 

Yuna did it. We Malaysians were thoroughly excited when we saw her performance on Conan O' Brien. Even Rihanna tweets about her. Then of course there is also Zee Avi. 

More Malaysian talent on the way to bigger things perhaps. I'm always a supporter of local Malaysian music :) Or at least the music that I'm interested in. 

So there, I introduce a new, up and coming talent. 

Kendrick Koh. He is a friend and a fellow church member. 

His influences are mostly John Mayer, Jason Mraz (though I often tell him that there is more to life out there besides the two J's) and very much into fingerstyle guitar playing and some other Indie stuff. I never knew those methods were called fingerstyle playing (Always thought it was just normal plucking! AHAHA). Then again, I'm a noob at the guitar.

So here's two videos, covers of Indie favourites Foster the People and MGMT (I'm not sure if MGMT is defined as indie though, but what the hell).

The videos are nicely done, with the curtains blowing from the wind and all the dramatics. Heheh. So, Enjoy.

Kids - MGMT

 Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People 

Hey, I don't get paid for promoting Malaysian music. But if there is talent and it's worth sharing, I'm all for it :)

And if you want more, below is the album trailer for the upcoming Tempered Mental album. Exciting stuff!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gangnam Style goes to Gotham

You know, sometimes there are music videos that you really love to hate? That kind that is so bad that it becomes so good? That was what Rebecca Black's video did. That went viral. And that song became the Thank God It's Friday anthem. Catchy and lyrically stupid. But who cares? The sillier the better right?

This year, the video it's the Oppa! Gangnam Style video that's viral. So bad that it;s good? Not really. I think this is actually really good! 
Humour, parodied events and good looking ladies aplenty, what's there not to like about this video? Muahaha.
Never knew who PSY was, but he was quite a famous rapper and character in South Korea. I wonder how I missed that during my 10 days in Korea. Then again, though I like some Korean girl bands, I didn't really caught on with the K-pop rave. 

Anyway, I like this video a lot cause it doesn't take itself too seriously. So, enjoy it while the waves are riding high. :)

So riding on the Dark Knight Rises wave, there is still buzz with the Bat. And While I was searching in youtube for the video above, this was what I found instead. 

I gotta say, there are many Gangnam and Batman parody videos. But this is probably one of the better ones (together with the Call Me Maybe video starring Batman) 

Haha, it's about time the Asian wave hit the global market. You know you made it big when people start parodying your stuff. Yes. Even Rebecca Black was big. 

At one point in time :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Writing a blogpost whilst stuck in jam in KL city

So I'm stuck in KL city.
I'm still stuck in a jam as Im writing this.
The jam is so bad I have just finished listening to a Bad Religion album. The whole album on the same road.
And my friend wanted to see me write a post in the jam.
So, I did.
I'm still stuck in the jam even after writing this post

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Remembering Aurora, Colorado

Something I didn't address earlier in my Dark Knight Rises review. 
But amidst the summer blockbuster season, tragedy struck in Aurora, Colorado when a lone gunman fired onto unsuspecting cinema goers during the opening of the Dark Knight Rises on 20 July 2012.

12 people died and 58 others were injured.The shooter? A suspect named James Eagen Holmes. 

It's unfortunate that the summer will be now remembered for this tragedy and the movie which is associated with it. It will also perhaps raise questions on laws relating to firearms ownership in the United States (firearms are banned in Malaysia, or so I understand it to be). 

christian bale dark knight rises  christian_bale_visits_aurora_shooting_victims_july_24_2012_1

It's good to hear however that the Christian Bale took the time to visit the victims of the Aurora shooting and the visit was unannounced except that it was tweeted and facebooked :) 

Bale is an excellent lad! And my respect for him grows, not just as a terrific actor but as a terrific person as well. In all the gloom, I'm sure his presence at the hospital would have been uplifting one, not just for the victims of the Aurora shooting, but for the community as well.

Source:- Topless Robot , WWTD

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Dark Knight Truly Rises

It is only natural that I would do a review on the Dark Knight Rises. I mean seriously, this was the movie that I was waiting for ever since Batman rode off into the night in the Dark Knight. Heck I even did a review on it.

Although Avengers being a mega super-hero movie, unprecedented and all that, it was the final installment of Nolan’s Batman which was the movie to look out for.  Hmm, I probably should do an Avengers review, yeah. Perhaps later. 

For now, it’s all about the Dark Knight and how the Dark Knight Rises. If you have seen it, then you will understand or perhaps even empathize what I’m about to write. If you haven’t seen it, please go back to google and search for something more constructive. 

Ok. I really loved the movie. I gotta admit, although the story this time had plenty of holes to fill (perhaps done intentionally), the movie was still in my opinion, EPIC. I admit though, that I preferred the Dark Knight as the story was more seamless compared to this one. So, if anything, the Dark Knight edges the Dark Knight Rises by just a bit. 

This is how my the trilogy rating would work out to be – The Dark Knight (TDR) > The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) > Batman Begins. 

No, no no. Don’t get me wrong. I loved Batman Begins. As an origin story, it was superb and was well done. Just that the latter two ranked a wee bit higher.
Ok. Now on to my review. 

THE STORY (the short of it)

The Story goes that Batman has gone into retirement 8 years after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s (Two Face) death and now lives like a recluse in his now completely rebuilt Wayne Manor. Only thing is, he is doing a Gollum and remains mysterious to almost everyone including one time crime partner, Commissioner Gordon. And he apparently is suffering from a bad case of weak knees. The Dent Act is introduced to now curb all mob activities and as I understood the inference of its implications, the Act is somewhat draconian (similar to the Patriot Act in the USA and the Internal Security Act In good ol’ Malaysia). Detention without trial. Instead of Arkham Asylum, the prisoners are now detained in some prison. Not Arkham, remember that.

So, the streets are cleaner and mob activity is close to zero. The last time the TDR played out, it was like a mob / cop movie masquerading as a super hero movie. This time round, no Sal Maronis or the Russian or Carmine Falcone wannabes in sight.  Of course, this peace which was built on a lie (Batman’s murder of Dent) was only temporary as darker forces are in play. As the Selina Kyle aka Catwoman aptly points out “A Storm is coming”. The storm comes in the form of Bane. 

If you are familiar with the comic book events of the Knightfall series, Bane was the mastermind terrorist / villain who broke Batman’s back. This was back in 1993 when I first started my foray of collecting comics. So yes, I was expecting for Bane to break the Bat here and he did not disappoint. 

So Bane hatches this plan to help destroy Wayne Enterprises and had begun building and underground army for an all out assault on Gotham. Why? Because of his links with the League of Shadows, as revealed later that he is a disciple of Ra’s Al Ghul. Now even before the movie was out, I saw the link coming and Nolan made it seamless to give Bane a higher purpose and not just be an ordinary James Bond terrorist, hell bent on destroying the world.

Well, besides Bane, Selina Kyle was introduced as a cat burglar stealing the pearl necklace that Martha Wayne wore the night Bruce's parents were gunned down. This leads Bruce to finally go back to his detective roots and starts investigating. Apparently Selina wants Bruce's fingerprints for a more sinister purpose which will eventually leads to Bane's plan of destroying Wayne Enterprises. 

So, then the Commish during one of the investigations was injured by Bane's henchman and hence calls upon this young rookie named John Blake to look for Bruce to seek the Batman's help. Blake goes to see Bruce and confesses that he knew that Bruce and Batman were the same person. How this is so? I don't really know. But I have my views which I will reveal later.

So when Bane finally shows the public his face, this is where Batman re-appears once again. And as one older cop tells his younger colleague "Oh boy, you're in for a show tonight!" And this is how the Bat re-enters the foray and my personal opinion, of all the movies, this has to be his strongest entry ever!! I was excited as hell. 

So, anyway, Bats finally confronts Bane and fights to the death. Or near death in Batman's case cause he hasn't been in the best of shape and sure enough Bane breaks Bruce's back, but not before revealing Bruce's identity to Catwoman, whom had earlier double crossed Batman and put him in this trap. 

So Bane, then places Bruce in this prison he know controls called the Pit, somewhere in Africa or the MIddle East (it is not revealed where this place is). With Bruce terribly injured, Bane tells his plans of destroying Gotham to Bruce and says "When Gotham is in ashes, you have my permission to die". And Bane goes on this onslaught on Gotham, trapping the lot of the Gotham police force in the sewer. Oh yeah, and there is this potential nuclear device which threatens to blow up Gotham within 4-5 months. 

Anyway, Bruce makes new friends at the pit, learns about the value of life and to will to start living, finally recovers from his broken back (this would be the part which is somewhat unbelievable) and manages to climb up the Pit where none had done before except a child (thought to be Bane at first instance). 

He goes back to Gotham to have a final showdown with Bane and also meets the other mastermind behind Gotham's impending doom. And this finally comes to an epic close. :)

Ok. My review on the story. There are many holes which need to be filled as said earlier. However, Nolan ties up the beginning from Batman Begins, uses the events in the Dark Knight to set the finale for this movie. To fully appreciate the whole trilogy, you need to watch or revisit both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight to see the bigger picture. And what a beautiful picture indeed. 


Batman / Bruce Wayne

Like many critics say, this is more a Bruce Wayne movie than Batman movie. Yes it is indeed. It comes full circle. In Batman Begins, it was about Bruce. In the final movie, its back to Bruce. Because Batman is what fuels Bruce and Bruce is what gives the Bat it's physical being. So vice versa. But it starts from Bruce. And here Bruce has given up. Ready to die. So there is no longer real motivation since Rachel died in the Dark Knight. Ok. This kinda pisses me off because as Batman, his motivation was always the rage inside until it consumes him. But anyway, this is how this story is told. Perhaps taking the rap for everything has a psychological toll on him as well. But anyway, the beauty of his character is, he realizes that life is worth living and thus now fights for it. So the story of Bruce is about redemption and rebirth. Bale as always is fantastic. As for Bruce's recovery of the broken back, as what Ra's Al Ghul said, "Training is nothing, Will is everything!" (Batman Begins, 2005)

Alfred Pennyworth 

Always the steady butler, but even as stead as he comes, he still cares for Bruce. As he has been the guardian of his welfare since the death of his parents. Like a surrogate father. And Michael Caine doesn't disappoint. This time, there are some teary exchanges between both "father" and "son".

Commissioner Gordon

He carries the guilt of living the lie. And in the end, he buckles to the pressure and finally admits that the Bat is needed once more when things get tough and awry. Definitive scene, the hospital scene when he grabs Bruce by the hand and pleads for Batman to return to face the rising evil. 
Gary Oldman as versatile as he is delivers a good performance as the Commish though in this movie, he is more of a fringe player as compared to the earlier ones. 

John Blake

Now who is this guy you may ask? Well, his first name is Robin. :) Get the picture? So the fact that he knew who Bruce was in the beginning clearly show some semblance that he is based on the Tim Drake Robin. And for his brashness, perhaps the Jason Todd Robin. And taking over from Batman in the end, the Dick Grayson Robin who eventually becomes Nightwing and then becomes Batman :). So he is the beacon of hope that Bruce needs to hand down the mantle to. Will Nolan do a movie on this new Batman / Robin? I doubt it. But it serves as a perfect closure for this Batman series knowing that the legacy continues. Joseph Gordon Levitt shows that he is capable of taking on big roles as last seen in Nolan's inception and his role in this movie is rather a meaty one.


Another Inception alumni. Tom Hardy. Its a pity his face is behind the mask almost 99% of the movie. But as one critic reviewed, even with only 20% of his face shown he can do so much more than the crop of actors around. As Bane, he was menacing. He was deadly. He was a wrestler from hell but with the mind of a strategist. And, don't ever, ever compare with him with that piece of crap from Batman and Robin. This Bane is a cold blooded killer and mastermind. Although i gotta admit he may not be as charismatic as Heath Ledger's Joker. But Bane's villain was one which Batman could not defeat and probably never will. 

Selina Kyle / Catwoman

Now many early critics have scorned the thought of Anne Hathaway playing Catwoman for she is far too sweet and perhaps nubile to play the Cat. I'm glad Anne Hathaway prover her detractors wrong! She kicked ass! She held her own and was there to rescue Bats when the time needed of her to. Of course, she also betrayed him earlier on, but Bruce reckons that she is capable of bigger things and hence offers her redemption. A lesson on grace perhaps? :) Ahaha. Anyway, Selina Kyle here is very much different. Never the victim but never the villain as well, and like other comic incarnations have always been shifty. Her character here kinda reminds me of the Catwoman in the Hush story-arc. So Anne definitely has my vote as the best catwoman ever. There is even a scene where the Cat does a ninja on the Bat leaving the Bat to say "So....That's how it feels like". It had me laughing silly.

Lucius Fox

I thought he had resigned from the events of the Dark Knight. Apparently he didn't. And is still the CEO for Wayne Enterprises. Morgan Freeman plays Lucius effortlessly. I beamed with the introduction of the Bat. Batman's new toy. Not as sleek as the Batwing, but in Nolan-verse, this seems to be the closest thing you can get to a functional Plane-copter-machine. 
Miranda Tate/Talia Al Ghul

I admit. I didn't see that one coming. Though I though that a love interest for Bruce Wayne (with the introduction of Catwoman) was pretty....err...unnecessary.  Of course I see the plot much later on. With Ra's Al Ghul or at least the idea of it and the League of Shadows, it was only a matter of time before Talia Al Ghul showed up. Just in case you wonder, Talia Al Ghul is Ra's daughter and also the lover of Bruce and mother of his child, Damien Wayne. Marion Cottilard serves as eye candy although I had a friend who mistaken her as Rachel Weisz. Too bad her character wasn't expanded.


Let's face it, the entire Dark Knight trilogy was told in cryptic symbols and many scenes were symbolic, at least to me.

For the the TDKR, here are a few;

Climbing out of the pit, which shows Bruce's will to continue living and to live to fight another day, rather than give up.

The fact that for once, Batman fights in daylight, perhaps to show Gotham that he will no longer be in the shadows and to show Gotham its true self. Or maybe the bomb just couldn't wait till night to blow up haha.

Alfred's fantasy of Florence and the final scene. Alfred's fantasy was explained in the beginning of the movie, that Bruce would one day live a normal live with a loved one. The significance of it was played out in the ending. Some people say it's a dream like in Inception. However, have another viewing and the dream conclusion would definitely seemed less probable.

The idea of mortality here is a very real and grim one. If you think super heroes only die extravagant deaths, then this is a movie which clearly shows that one bad judgment call could lead to death. Such as the fight with Bane when clearly Bruce is not physically ready. Although, I would definitely prefer the Knightfall story arc of how Bruce was weaken by Bane's plan and Bane capitalized on a weakened Bruce. Here Bruce is definitely no match for Bane's physique and strength and played the underdog.

The final showdown between the cops and the terrorists. The daylight and final battle showed that anyone, even ordinary folk can rise to be heroes. And so is the converse where the ordinary folk too can be villains if guided wrongly. This is really relevant in today's world where extreme elements are introduced to tilt the balance between right and wrong / good and evil.
So it's not just the Bat who rose, but the people of Gotham who rose to fight evil as well. 

Those are the few that I can think off right now. I may add in more when I do get round to figure it out.

Best quotes of the movie

Bane: Using darkness as your ally?I was born in it...molded by it. I didnt see the light until I was already a man. By then it was nothing to me but blinding!! The shadows betray you because they belong to me!

Selina Kyle: You don't owe these people anymore, You've given them everything
Batman: Not everything, Not yet.

Batman: A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy's shoulder to let him know that the world hadn't ended.


I was happy to see many cameos such as those of Ra's Al Ghul and Johnathan Crane aka the Scarecrow! Thought i would be able to see the Joker too but it was a decent move to not mention that character in honour of Heath Ledger. 

The Dark Knight Rises played out like a comic book movie. One that tries to ground itself on reality and sometimes, it doesn't fully succeed on the grounding. As compared to the Dark Knight, the Dark Knight was more of a crime caper where Batman battled the mob and the Joker got in the way. In the Dark Knight Rises, Gotham is even in a bleaker state and so is Bruce. But it played out to be a bleak, dark and wonderful symphony in the end. 

Of course it also raises questions:- Why didn't Bruce use the rope to pull himself out of the pit to escape instead of using the path of the broken ledge? (Some say that the rope was only half way, which probably made sense since we can't really tell from the camera angles if the rope reaches all the way to the top). Also, how was Bruce healed from a broken back? (Unless the doctor has some secrets, it would probably take years to recover) Then again, as Ra's pointed out, "Will is everything". 

But I'm happy and fine with the ending and I thought i was a good closure. To kill of Batman but let Bruce live his life normally. Something that the comic Batman will never have the luxury of as he will be a perpetual Dark Knight to Gotham. 

As much as many have said that this movie was really long, being 2 hours and 45 mins, I felt that they had to rush it even and so many parts were left hanging hence my earlier questions. And perhaps like any other Nolan movie, they always manage to spark discussions on issues pertaining to it. Inception is one. And here's where Nolan succeeds as a filmmaker :) To raise questions and allow it's audience to come to its conclusion. Some say that Bruce never survived even,. I take the view that he did as it seems more plausible :) 

Even the soundtrack seemed to grow from strength to strength. I have the opportunity of listening all three movie soundtracks and this one is really the more epic of the lot. The chants of 'Rise" will raise goosebumps for anyone listening to it. 

So, ends the Dark Knight trilogy as it manages to reboot the entire Batman series, making a force to be reckon with and has created a phenomenon. 

The Dark Knight Rises - truly epic and marvelous. Until the next Batman, which I hope won't come until 20 years later, we shall once again revisit the Bat. For now, I'm planning to watch it the second, third, fourth  - 15th time :) And with a heavy heart, I shall now say goodbye to the Nolan Dark Knight trilogy.

"Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."

Enjoy the trailer below :) My fav amongst the other trailers

Monday, July 9, 2012

Great Power, Great Responsibility

"With great  power, comes great responsibility"

The Amazing Spider-man will do like what Batman Begins did for the Batman franchise. An edgier, grittier and perhaps even funnier Spider-man than the Sam Raimi version of things.

Unlike Batman Begins, where the reboot was wholly necessary to fix the order of things (the atrocities of Batman and Robin still linger in the thoughts of many) to bring life back into an already tainted depiction of the Dark Knight, the Amazing Spider-man seemed wholly unnecessary.

Why was it unnecessary? Because Raimi’s vision of Spidey was excellent, except that Spider-man 3 suffered from the greater expectations after Spider-man 2 and also , the villain casting in Spider-man 3 was left wanting. Otherwise, Raimi had it spot on! Tobey Maguire as the mild mannered Peter Parker and aloof at times. Being a spidey fan (and Batman fan as well) for most of my kid life and teenage life and college life even, I thought Spider-man defined comic movies!

So, So, I went to watch The Amazing Spider-man with low expectations, thinking that this formula is nothing new to me anymore. And I came out….wanting even more!

And here’s my assessment on it:-

The movie’s pacing was, to some people, slow, but I thought it was necessary to lay the foundations for the main character, Peter Parker and the more important supporting characters, Gwen Stacy, Uncle Ben and Aunt May.
Like Raimi’s version, he took an hour to introduce the characters and how Spidey came to be, before he finally dons that spandex suit and started swinging around.
This version did the same. Only this time, Parker is still a teenager, still in high school, more angsty (teenagers!) and is awkward. I believe this version takes it’s liberties from the Ultimate Spider-man franchise instead.

I have read some Ultimate Spider-man books but I wasn’t too interested in this continuity, where Parker was still a teenager. I guess I’d prefer the classic continuity instead. But anyway back to this post…..


Which brings me to the casting – Andrew Garfield is an excellent Spider-man and perhaps in my opinion better than Tobey Maguire. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Tobey Maguire version. It’s just that Andrew Garfield edges it a little. He is edgy as Peter Parker, who is always a conflicted character and has seen more share of tragedy than any other superhero in the Marvel universe but light hearted as Spider-man with his smart aleck sarcasm and quips! Just the way I’ve always wanted Spider-man to be. Like Deadpool, always saying something sarcastic. Tobey’s Spider-man just didn’t had that. Heck, he even carries a bagpack and a cell phone like a kid!

Emma Stone, has been one of my favourite actresses this generation. More so cause she was in comedies like Easy A and Superbad (One of the best comedies of all time). So, I like her spunk and her penchant for comedy. So casting her as Gwen Stacy merely enforces that. Gwen Stacy is a strong character here and is not a damsel in distress. Very much different from the Mary Jane from the last trilogy (somehow, I’ve always thought Kristen Dunst was miscast).
Sad to say, I'm quite sure Gwen Stacy will die in the next movie, if the Green Goblin has anything to do with it. She is a good character but a doomed one unfortunately. That's tragic.

Uncle Ben and Aunt May (Martin Sheen and Sally Field) – now here you have Award winning peeps taking on these roles and they do not disappoint. Uncle Ben comes across as a caring father-figure and doer of what is morally right whilst Aunt May is no longer the aloof aunt but the caring mother-figure to Peter’s conflicted character. They both come off across as people who have  been in our lives.

Rhys Irfan played Dr Curt Connors really well. Though some people may not be able to see the angle of his character, whether he has some good or is truly bad, but one thing, for sure, he is not a one dimensional character. But he is shady and his motives may left one to wonder. As for the Lizard, I was a little disappointed that he did not fit the description I envisioned. He didn’t have that classic lizard snout and comes across as a scaly faced man with a huge body and tail. I thought this character could have expanded a little bit more. I guess it’s difficult to compete with the likes and charisma of Willem Defoe (the Green Goblin) and Alfred Molina (Doc Octopus) who till this day remain as the bests villains in Spidey history.

As for Captain Stacy, played by Dennis Leary (from the Ice Age series), his character could have been explored a little more. But I suppose he had to die anyway.

The movie

Now, I’m not going to spoil the story too much for anyone who hasn’t seen it. But here’s my review of it. The story would provide a good introduction story to a whole new franchise. As I have said earlier, it is a darker story and the bigger scheme of things in this would be Peter’s parents, who they are, what happened to them, and Oscorp would have a larger role to play in all the movies this time round.
The characters of Norman and Harry Osborne are not yet introduced, but in due time I presume.

So there we start off with Peter as a kid. His parents leaving him because they have a higher duty to attend to, or perhaps escape even, and thus he is left to live with Uncle Ben and Aunt May. He grows up as an awkward kid and as always Flash Thompson will be there to be his tormentor. He then finds out a secret that his parents’ had hidden (perhaps meant for him to discover when he has come of age) which ultimately leads him to Dr Connors who is working on a miracle of regeneration. Stem cell research? Hardly. This is an entirely new method and Peter has the equation.

Peter gets bitten and suddenly he is endowed with all these powers, climbing walls and being super agile. Now, he doesn’t have his webs yet, and that’s where it gets interesting. Like the comics, he builts his own web shooters and so that’s something I liked. 

Tragic would soon befall him as Uncle Ben dies due to his negligence and arrogance. Once again, I was touched and emotions stirred during the death of Uncle Ben. And Andrew Garfield made it even more so.

And finally he learns that “with great power comes great responsibility”, though the words are not uttered, the idea and principle remains throughout the movie.

So, Dr Connors finally develops the serum to regenerate with Peter’s help but is reluctant to test it on patients when asked to do so. Upon being told that the serum will be tested on the patients anyway, he decides then to test it on himself first. It works, hand regenerates but the becomes a lizard instead. And this is when all hell breaks loose, and hence, go watch the movie to find out J

Just a summary.

But more importantly, I felt that this movie was written really well. I couldn’t find that many holes in the plot and the execution is well. Even the action sequences were more believable, perhaps thanks to recent technology and so forth.

What I loved about this movie is that not only is Parker more relatable to us in real life, the other characters too are people you see in life everyday. Even Spider-man is vulnerable and flawed. And the dynamics of how that worked out well would be the key to why this film is good, if not great.
Sure it doesn’t hit the high of Spider-man 2, but with Marc Webb, I won’t hold back on that. This film had potential to build up to greater things.

Most definitive and emotional scene :- handing the overdue eggs to Aunt May after a hard day’s work.

In conclusion, whilst I love the first franchise, I think this Spider-man presents itself as a more relatable and realistic Spider-man. And hence, Andrew Garfield’s portrayal tops Tobey Maguire’s, not by a mile but a slight edge. And because of that, I can’t wait for the next installment.

With the Avengers gone and Spider-man done with, will the Dark Knight Rise to challenge the box office as the comic-book event of the year? 2 weeks from now.

But until then, the Amazing Spider-man has appease this fan-boy. With much pleasure. Thank you Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 - An Overview

This is a reproduction of an overview by Professor Shad Faruqi, one of the leading academics in the area of Malaysian Constitutional Law. He happened to be one of my lecturers during my days in law school as well. 

And here is the brief overview for an understanding of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. 
The link to the article as published in the Star today, 27 June 2012 is here.

Previously, everything was prohibited unless permitted. Now everything is permitted unless prohibited. This is a significant shift in civil rights thinking.
IN early legal systems, the primary end of the law was to keep the peace. In modern legal orders, a just balance between the might of the state and the rights of the citizens is attempted. No field better exemplifies the difficulty of achieving this fair balance than Malaysia’s law relating to assembly and procession.
The recently enacted Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 has received much criticism in the media and deserves scrutiny of its high and low points.
Police permit: Previously under Sections 27 of the Police Act, citizens had to apply for a police permit for gatherings or processions of more than three people.
Under the new Act, there is no requirement for a police permit, but organisers of assemblies must notify the authorities 10 days in advance under Section 9(1). No notice is required for meetings in designated places or if the assembly is an exempted assembly.
If in response to a notification the police do nothing, then under Section 14(2) silence is deemed as consent.
Previously, everything was prohibited unless permitted. Now everything is permitted unless prohibited. This is a significant shift in civil rights thinking.
No power to ban: Under the Police Act, assemblies and processions could be prohibited outright or conditions imposed.
The new Act in Section 15 permits the OCPD to impose significant restrictions and conditions including the date, time and place of the assembly. However, there is no power to issue an outright “No” before the assembly takes place.
Time limits: Just as citizens are required to give advance notification of 10 days, the police response must also be communicated within a stated time limit of five days: Section 14(1). An appeal to the Home Minis­ter must be decided within 48 hours: Section 16(2).
Designated places: The Act permits the minister to designate places where assemblies may be held without notification to the police. Critics have charged that this is an attempt to isolate Opposition gatherings in distant and low-impact places.
This is an overly cynical view. Actually it is a good idea to designate some fields, stadiums and Speakers’ Corners for public assemblies.
What would be improper is if the owners of designated places indulged in the selective granting or refusal of permission. If this happens, judicial review is likely on the (Article 8) principle of equality or the administrative law principles of reasonableness, irrationality or abuse of power.
Exempted assemblies: This Act does not apply to election campaigns, strikes, lock-outs and pickets under the Industrial Relations Act and the Trade Union Act: Section 1(3).
It is also inapplicable to religious assemblies, funeral processions, weddings, open houses, family get-togethers, family days and meetings of societies or associations: Third Schedule Paragraph 9(2)(b).
The words “meetings of societies and associations” are very broad and permit vast possibilities.
Right to object: All persons likely to be affected by a proposed assembly have a right to be informed and to raise objections. In principle this is acceptable.
However, there is a perception that the police may pander to extremist groups; subordinate minority rights to majority concerns, and discourage lawful but unpopular assemblies. This perception needs to be proved wrong.
Judicial review: Mercifully, the Act has no ouster clauses for excluding judicial review.
Counter-assemblies: The Act takes admirable note of counter- and simultaneous assemblies, and seeks to regulate them by giving preference to the assembly first in place. It also provides for alternative sites, times and dates for the counter- or simultaneous assembly or assemblies.
Spontaneous gatherings: These are not contemplated by the law and are presumably not illegal.
Involuntary presence: The definition of “participant” leaves out anyone who is unintentionally or involuntarily present at an assembly. This will be a useful defence to a citizen who is the subject of a prosecution.
Despite the above wholesome features, the reformed law still bristles with some controversial provisions.
Street protests: These are a form of assembly in motion, a procession or a demonstration. They were permitted (within limits) subject to regulation under Section 27 of the Police Act, but are now absolutely banned.
Other ambiguous aspects of the law are that a street protest by definition involves “walking in a mass march or rally.” So if there is no walking but a motorcade of cars or bikes, that will not be caught by this law and the authorities may have to use Section 268 of the Penal Code or some provision in the Road Traffic Act 1987.
Further, although “street protests” are banned, the Act refers here and there to “processions” and “assemblies in motion.” One has to struggle to understand the distinction bet­ween a lawful procession and an unlawful street protest.
Police discretion: Under the Police Act, police discretion to grant or withhold a permit was more or less unfettered and the power to impose conditions was very wide, although subject to occasional judicial review as in Chai Choon Hon v Ketua Polis Kampar (1986) and Patto v CPO Perak (1986).
Similar to the Police Act, the new law in Section 15 still confers on the men in blue very wide discretion to impose “restrictions and conditions,” arrest without a warrant any person failing to comply with a restriction or condition, or order the assembly to disperse.
It must be acknowledged, however, that such wide discretion is known in other jurisdictions like Britain, Finland and the state of Queensland in Australia, but subject to external review.
External control: Unlike the recent Security Offences (Special Measures) Act which subjected the powers of the police and the Minister to judicial control, this Act makes no effort to subject police discretion to external, non-executive control.
An appeal lies with the minister, which basically means there is an appeal from the executive to the executive.
Fortunately, however, there is no ouster clause, and judicial review on the first principles of administrative law is a possibility.
Public places: These are defined too broadly, so they include private places open to or used by the public by the express or implied consent of the owner or on payment of money. This means that private premises, hotels and halls to which members of the public are invited or permitted are deemed public places!
Constitutionality: It remains to be seen whether the courts will review the constitutionality of some parts of this law. Issues germane for discussion are:
> The total ban of street protests without linking it to public order and national security may well fall foul of Article 10(2).
> The ban on people under 21 organising an assembly may be challenged as a violation of Article 10 (free speech) and Article 8 (equality). It is noteworthy that case law has established that parliamentary res­tric­tions on human rights must be reasonable by objective standards (Hilman Idham).
> One of the grounds on which the police may exercise the power to regulate assemblies is “the protection of the rights and freedom of other persons” (sections 2, 3 and 15). These words of limitation do not occur in Article 10(2), and may therefore be seen as an extra constitutional limitation.
In most countries including the US and Malaysia, courts have accepted implied limits on human freedoms and have often carved out common law restrictions on fundamental freedoms.
In sum, the Act has many wholesome features. But it is defective in that it imposes no objective restraints on the police and ministerial discretion.
Nevertheless, as judicial review is not excluded, courts may provide a proper balance between police powers and fundamental freedoms. Whether the courts will play such a balancing role remains to be seen.
- Shad Saleem Faruqi is Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Avenged Awesome Sevenfold

This has been a long time coming, but I finally did this concert review. 

So i missed the L'arc En Ciel concert on 28 April. I mean, I was really gearing up for that. Listening to the old stuff, buying the new stuff, downloading the other stuff, looking up the lyrics, though I have absolutely no idea what they were singing (without translation of course). I mean really, I wanted to go for that. But then Bersih 3.0 came and went. 

My only saving grace was the Avenged Sevenfold concert on 29 April. I was half hearted into it. Daren gave me an entire mp3 CD worth of Avenged Sevenfold songs. I listened to some, but I was listening more to L'arc En Ciel songs just so that I'm familiar with them. 

OK. So I listened to some songs from the A7X CD and there were some that I really liked. Afterlife, Beast and the Harlot, Nightmare, Buried Alive. And then Colin introduced me to the really epic musical sounding piece titled A little Piece of Heaven. Sounded corny but when the metal bits kicked in, it was hardrockin'....and funny at the same time. But that was about it. Nothing more than that. 

So i went to the concert without knowing the names of the band members. OK, to be honest, I heard of Zacky Vengeance and M Shadows. But that was about it. And the ex-drummer was called the Rev and it was a pity he passed on. The new drummer is this dude from a band of Christians called Confide. Really awesome stuff, that Confide. Daren and Colin told me that his name was quite hard to pronounce. 

So, we queued up in Sunway Lagoon. We waited and waited and waited. And finally we were in! a good 45 minutes later, but this is standard la. Queued even longer for Muse! :)
We bought the RM98 tickets, which is the cheapest and effectively, we were at the far end from the stage. Zone B and Zone C (where we were at) was only separated by a metal barrier. Those that you see in your school canteen, ok, at least my school canteen, just to make sure the students  formed a uniformed line when buying food. That kinda metal barrier. 
Love Me Butch opened and the energy was intense. I thought their set was pretty good and I was headbanging to Generation SOS when it was played. Unfortunately, the crowd behind was not so responsive. I figured that they didnt know who Love Me Butch was. Nu metal or post metal they are deemed. But whatever their called, they knew how to rock! :)
Once they were done, then it was back to the waiting game and this time for the main event. 

Whilst waiting, I turned to look at where we were after 30 mins and suddenly Colin was in the front! Daren and I were quite puzzled cause 3 young punks were suddenly standing in front of us. But it was ok, they were cool.

And suddenly a bunch of kids were standing behind me. They probably are too young to even drive. But one of them, the skinny douchebag, was ultra irritating to say the least. He kept shouting the stupidest things like "M Shadows! I love you. I wanna suck your.................(let your imagination run wild here)..!" 
"I wanna have your babies!". HIs friends thought it was funny. And then when they played Metallica songs, he sang the Kirk Hammet's guitar solo bits, annoyingly! He started playing air drums and said to his friends, "hey man...uh uh.....look I'm a one man band...uh uh....heh heh think it's easy being a one man band? Uh Uh heh Heh..!" DUDE IF IT AINT EASY THEN SHUT THE HECK UP!! I told him to shut it when he started encroaching my space and nudged me a bit doing his stupid air drum impersonation. 
Now, I've been to many concerts, probably more than this punk right here and I know human proximity is pretty high. That's fine. What's not fine is stupid douchebag punks who think they are funny but are not. 

Even his friends eventually got tired of his antics and just asked him if he still has any energy left for A7X. That didn't stop him though. In my head, I would have loved to elbow him when the band starts playing. You know jumping in the euphoria and then Ooopps..."sorry that's your head right?" :D. Of course common sense held me back. 

And then the band started playing. Nightmare was the song If I was not mistaken! And what an intro it was! The skinny douchebag screamed and into my ear no less! I actually felt the pain! Dumb kid! By then everyone was jumping like crazy and the mosh had begun! We were too busy jumping and headbanging when suddenly the barriers collapsed and we all suddenly rushed into Zone B, which is the RM198 area and we were so much closer to the band!
(My utmost sympathy goes to those who bought the RM198 ticks who now had to share the space with us, the cheapskates :)too bad..) 

The songs then kept coming. Critical Acclaim was next, followed by Welcome to the Family. I didn't know the song titles so I had to keep asking Daren. Earlier he fell behind because he helped a guy to get on his feet and from being trampled by the crowd after the barriers collapsed. Such heroism :) 

Other songs were played. Things got emotional when they played So Far Away. A song for their fallen comrade. It was emotional as the crowd lighted their lighters and started swaying their hands. The continued with assault after assault of metal goodness. And when they played the Beast and the Harlot, the crowd was in a frenzy. The video below was taken by my Iphone.

It took magical powers to even hold the phone when the moshing began. And then they played the twisted musical of a love song, A Little Piece of Heaven. The crowd was alive. And the chorus was resounding, 

It was also a good thing that M Shadows was really putting effort in conversing with the crowd. It was nice of him to try to chat the crowd up, like asking if we have been to the United States. And if So, they would take us to Bat Country and the riffs started for that one :).

They did 3 encore songs; Fiction, God hates Us and Unholy Confessions.I know the crowd desired further.

I personally left the concert wanting more. Though I wished I participated in the mosh pit but I know I'm not getting any younger. And besides, I had a trip to Korea to catch so, ending up with further torn ligaments (I have a torn ACL as we speak) was the last thing in my mind. The energies of youth. How I miss thee.

From a non-believer, I probably left the concert a disciple :) Why? Because I liked their music :- heavy chugging but melodic riffs. Metalcore plus harmonies and double guitar solos are always my thing. So, I missed L'arc En Ciel but this makes up for it big time.

And so, I leave thee with pictures from the A7X Malaysian concert.

Our night was truly Avenged......Sevenfold :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bersih 3.0 - New Experiences, New faces, Same Fight, Same outcome - The fight for the country continues

 Bersih  - 10 November 2007 - 10 years after Reformasi, street rallies were still taboo. Street rallies were still deemed illegal, but we went anyway. The objective was to march to the Palace and to deliver the memorandum to the Agong for cleaner elections. Reports back then said around 30,000 - 50,000 people. Mission accomplished. This is the link to my experiences after Bersih and what happened thereafter, back in 2008. First account of teargas and water cannons. Something new.

Bersih 2.0 - 11 July 2011 - ILLEGAL! The PM, Home Minister and practically the govt had a pre-emptive strike to stop Bersih 2.0 from happening. Bersih 2.0 was ILLEGAL! Wearing yellow was a crime (ridiculously true)!! The city was at a lockdown. Stadium Merdeka (the proposed venue) was closed and barred and heavily guarded by the police and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU). But still we pressured on. Though no memorandum managed to reach the hands of the Agong this time, the presence of the people sent tremors across the country and internationally. Police violence against protestors made international news and people get to see the other side of things. I personally met new faces as well as old ones, and the motley crew of us once again experienced teargas and water cannons. Only this time, the effects were more painfully potent. 
But it became a wake up call for many Malaysians. 20,000 rallied that day and it was a beautiful event on all accounts. My accounts on that event are here

Bersih 3.0 - 28 April 2012

When Bersih 2.0 announced that the rally would be held on April 28, my heart sank. It sank because I had bought concert tickets for a really awesome band called L'arc En Ciel. Now, who are they you would ask me? They are a Japanese band who are really awesome. The video to their latest single is posted below :- 

I thought I would go for the concert this time instead. I spoke to the usual fellow rally goers, Colin and Desmond. And Colin said it right, that if I do go for the concert, I would be missing out in another piece of history taking place in Malaysia. And he said that I wouldn't go for the concert in the end. 

Indeed he was right. I didn't go for the concert cause I know I would be much too bothered about how my friends are doing and I can only read tweets from afar and only wonder that much on the state of things on 28 April 2012. Tried selling my tickets though and was desperate enough to post in Well, tickets for L'arc En Ciel are not exactly Russell Peters material and in the end, my mate Aaron (another L'arc fan) took his wife instead of me to the concert. If I can't sell it, best to bless others right? 


The momentum leading up to the rally was rather quiet this time round. The euphoria surrounding the rally wasn't as great as Bersih 2.0. I suppose the police knew that any more negativity on their part, since the last crackdown would heavily damage the ruling coalition's hopes of retaining the heart of the people it purports to serve. However, that is not to say that there is no news on this matter. In fact, the Occupy Dataran Movement served as a prelude to what was to happen on 28 April. Applications were made to DBKL and the Police for the rally to be held at Dataran Merdeka but it was rejected (no surprises eh? yeah, I had none too). 
Less than a week before the actual day itself. Bersih 3.0 insisted on going ahead with the Sitting protest in Dataran Merdeka. 

By 26 April 2012, the entire Dataran Merdeka was cordoned off. Not only with barricades, there were razor wires actually used instead of barbed wires. Such is the fear of DBKL to allow people to use it. The Police later said they would allow the rally / assembly provided no one goes into Dataran Merdeka or some other roads as stated in the Court Order obtained by the Police. However, despite all this, the numbers in our group swelled and by the end of Friday night, our group numbers at or around 60 odd or so. Old faces and new ones. Rally veterans and first timers. It was exciting to say the least.

We read of news that the police would use a new weapon, the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) as a means of crowd control this time round. Advice to bring headphones or earpolugs were then circulated.

The Morning

The few of us, consisting of my sister (miracle of miracles), Wil Liam, Alvin Cheah and Kien Mun took the LRT to the city at around 930 am. We were met by hordes of yellow shirt wearers. The atmosphere was pretty different from that of Bersih 2.0 where many had to hide their tees in their bags for fear of being arrested (orders were given out for the arrests of anyone who wears yellow - a crime only in Malaysia and in June 2011). Our spirits were uplifted. 

When we reached Pasar Seni, we rallied at the first point which is Lai Foong Coffeeshop and this time, the coffeeshop was bustling, once again unlike Bersih 2.0. We met familiar faces, but at the same time new ones.

Some of us then headed to Petaling Street to meet up with another group, my sister's church group, and we had breakfast there instead. Believe me, chicken rice was the first to go, so I ordered some rice with sotong sambal. Not good. :) 

We then rallied back to the Central Market car park, the original rally point and all the satellite groups met up to form the original group which was co-ordinated and facilitated by Colin Pal.There was a crowd gathering and more and more people gathered. 

Ambiga and perhaps, some members were giving speeches on stage. We were quite a distance away however. 

The atmosphere was carnival-like and we entertained ourselves while we wait for further directions to move towards Dataran Merdeka. People from all walks of life greeted each other and new friends were made by many I'm sure. 


The Protestors and their afternoon prayers. I truly admire their discipline in prayer :)

The March

At about 130pm, orders were finally given to the crowd to start walking from Central Market. By then, on an estimate, it could have been about 3000 here? My estimate is quite horrible I must admit. 


We took the Kota Raya route which took us to Leboh Pasar Besar. We continued to walk towards the Leboh Ampang. I had the opportunity to meet Haris Ibrahim and as usual, he always came across as a really humble chap. Haris Ibrahim, the person who coined up the Pakatan Rakyat moniker and his life is a testimony of the good fight. A true Malaysian hero! 


We arrived at Leboh Ampang finally and that’s where we met the PR convoy of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang. Ambiga was already some platform on top of a truck and speeches were given. We couldn’t hear much from behind and we proceeded to the front. At some point, orders were given for the crowd to sit and that’s where we DUDUK BANTAH (Sit In Protest). 
We arrived at Leboh Ampang finally and that’s where we met the PR convoy of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang. Ambiga was already some platform on top of a truck and speeches were given. We couldn’t hear much from behind and we proceeded to the front. At some point, orders were given for the crowd to sit and that’s where we DUDUK BANTAH.

Calm Before the Storm

Around 15 minutes into the DUDUK BANTAH we were asked to later disperse. That was the end of it. Or was it? The crowd was curious, some of us were asked to push back. Then again there were some who said to march on into Dataran Merdeka. Here is where I got a suspicious. We rallied on however. As we passed the KL Bar (Wisma Kraftangan), protestors started to chant ‘Buka Buka, Buka Pagar!” (Open up the gates). And here is where I felt that something was about to go down. We had promised not to go into Dataran and that is that. But to open the barricades, that wasn’t part of the plan.

And before I know it, the police started firing teargas. From afar we saw the smoke and I knew, we have walked into a trap of sorts!
I opened up my salt pack and started taking some to avoid the sting of the teargas (experience helps this time round).  We offered salt to people around telling them to put it in their mouth to avoid the sting! We pushed back as more and more tear gas canisters were fired.
“B*stards!”  I thought to myself. I knew all too well that they would use their teargas canisters, cause they’d probably need to achieve a quota of how many canisters were used for the day. The more canisters, the higher their brownie points would be recorded.

Some protestors, who were falling back started shouting to the others to run for it. Together with some of the more experienced protestors, we shouted in reply “TO WALK! JALAN! JANGAN LARI. BERTENANG!”  (to walk and not to run and to keep calm) knowing full well that anything out of control would cause a stampede and that is the last thing this peaceful rally really needs.
Most of got separated here and some of us decided to rally back to Central Market since the Rally is over. We took the exit on the right off Burger King to head back. More tear gas was fired but by then we were at a safe distance (at least the remaining few). We walked back to Central Market but before that, stopped to get some water. 
I received texts of others who were separated to rally at Central Market and we all agreed and decided to head there. We were then at Central Market waiting for the rest to get back. And this is when we received news that the police had fired tear gas in these few spots, Kota Raya, The Bar Council and Central Market. This was absolutely ridiculous!! We hear that the Bar Council was also attacked with the FRU Water cannons! Believe me, chemical laced water is the last thing you want on your skin. And this is what the rally-goers at the Bar Council had to endure. 

As the group re-assembled once again, teargas was coming our way and this time the effects were more  potent than before. I had to admit, I choked. But thankfully, the tear gas formulae was not as potent as the ones used in Bersih 2.0. But it was still bad nevertheless. When I recovered, I joined Colin and the others to offer salt to some of the others.  This is when we see police personnel starting to assemble and we decided to leave for good. Those who were separated were already on their way to KL Sentral and we decided to rally at that point since the Pasar Seni, Masjid Jamek and Dang Wangi LRT Stations were now off bounds (another ridiculous decision made by the powers that be for no good reason).

We reached KL Sentral and had our really late lunch at Burger King. And this is where we found out that some protestors were knocked over by a police car in the Sogo area. Not only that, the car was subsequently overturned by angry protestors. At that point, we felt really sad for we know that this would be the talking point and the negative aspects that Bersih has been trying to steer clear off, would now be pinpointed based on this incident. 

Colin told us that Ambiga and Co would be doing a press conference at KFC in KL Sentral. We headed over to KFC once we are done only to find out that the press conference was already over.

However, we managed to have a word with Wong Chin Huat, member of the steering committee. In light of all the negativity that had happened, he requested that we help mobilize a team to clean up the streets which have been left littered. The streets were Masjid Jamek, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Raja Laut.
By now, some of us were really tired. We informed those who were realluy tired to go home first while the rest who still had the energy, to do something, start mobilizing themselves and gather people for the cleaning up exercise. We started tweeting and see if there was response. Eddy, Sean I and some of the rest who had left earlier decided to come back.  However,  we told the rest that we would go to Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman since there was news of unrest in Masjid Jamek. With the help of a very nice Burger King manager, we got ourselves black plastic bags.

Rubbish Collecting

By the time we got there, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman was empty. But the police formed barricades, and they were looking really serious. We didn’t bother and we continued our cleaning up exercise. We met another chap, Rahul who decided to help us with the exercise. Now this is 1Malaysian spirit. J

Anyway , I got nearer to where the police barricade was to pick up some rubbish there. It was there that one of them confronted me and asked me if I was paid for doing this. I said I wasn’t paid and that this was a voluntary exercise in good faith. A plain clothed police, Inspector, I reckon then told me “Get your friends, your family and stay out of here. If you don’t want any trouble, get out now. A police has just died!”.  I didn’t exactly believe him but he has spoken. I retreated and told the rest of this. We decided to then head to Raja Laut and continued to pick up the rubbish and see what the conditions were like over there. We perhaps heard sounds of police approaching and we got scared. The idea of being arrested now is even more so real since, now its just the ragtag group of less than 10 of us VS the PDRM. We then decided to head home, but not before throwing the bags of rubbish that we had. At least for that moment, we made the world a cleaner place.We were dead tired and we called it a day.
 Post mortem of Bersih 3.0
 It would seem that the tables have turned this time round for Bersih 3.0.
Protestors’ acts of violence would now be the main drawback of the otherwise peaceful rally by protestors (notwithstanding the acts of the police).  Especially the turning over of the police car aka the SOGO incident.  Was this action warranted?  After viewing some of the videos, I could reconcile the fact that they overturned the car because there was genuine suspicion that someone could have been trapped under the car since the car was seen ramming through a protestor before hitting the wall.

Was the police man at fault in driving at such a pace?
No. If one was to observe, he was probably in shock from the attacks carried out by some of the protestors and he could have sped for fear of further endangerment to his life. It was truly tragic then that someone was hurt in the process, an innocent bystander no less. I was informed later that the police car was attacked at traffic light junction. Now, violence by protestors cannot be condoned. What is shocking to me is that the usual group of protestors are usually very well behaved and if you can see from one of the youtube videos posted here, some of them tried to protect the policeman from being harmed by other angry protestors. Surely, there are people who still act responsibly and I’m truly proud of them.

However, there will be other questions which perhaps would be left unanswered.

Was the barricades breached by the protestors or on some accounts, was the barricades removed as part of an enticement and a trap for protestors to enter Dataran, and to give the police full reason to retaliate? I'm not sure, but from the accounts that I read such as Marcus Van Geyzel's post, it could be well possible that it was a trap. As for me, I believe that this would have been carefully planned out and hence my suspicions as earlier mentioned in this post. 

Other questions would be, was the force inflicted by the police against the protestors warranted? The excessive use of tear gas, the water cannons and finally police brutality against unarmed protestors? I read news and heard reports of reporters being harrassed by the police and having their camera equipment snatched and destroyed. Truthful reporting is dangerous and this is a proven fact with these incidents.

Below is a video of excessive force administered onto one individual.

The force of police retaliation can never been seen as equal or proportionate. As Edmund Bon tweeted, its about proportionality. You don't bring the entire house down to catch a fly. 
And it is sad, that this is prevalent in this country. 

Above is the comparison between what is reported by International media and what our mainstream media wants us to see and believe.

I was also disturbed to read that someone said that "if the someone swallowed their pride and accepted the offer to hold it at Stadium Merdeka instead of going ahead to rally at Dataran Merdeka, this won't happen". I wish it was all that simple but time and time has proven that offers from the government always end up as empty promises. If anything, it is history that has taught us that (Bersih 2 is an example). For me, I would be supportive of sticking to the plan of rallying around Dataran Merdeka and that was not a mistake. 

What I believe would be a mistake is for DBKL and the Police to cordon off Dataran Merdeka without any cogent reason or valid excuse. Clearly what they have done is unconstitutional and goes against the spirit of Article 10 of the Federal Contitution (I believe the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 is also in itself unconstitutional).
All said, I believe there will be more questions in search of answers in days to come over all this.

But please, amidst all these negativity and euphoria, remember that the people gathered at their own will to voice for one goal. That is, for clean elections. To stand for what is right and just. And to tell the powers that be, that we will never be scared of bullying tactics. T
And that is what Bersih is for. Let not all these things take the beauty of solidarity as I have seen away from Bersih. The beautiful view that I share with thousands and thousands of others. 

There may be allegations that the rally was hijacked by the Opposition. I believe even if it was true, the people know full well what goes on in this country and has chosen, with or without an opposition card, to gather at Kuala Lumpur to voice out against tyranny.

And we hope that what happens at Bersih 3.0, let us remember that the fight for this country continues. Even if there is a need for Bersih 4.0 for better governance. 

For this peeps who have been fighting alongside, it is such an honour walking with you guys. You know who you are. Of course you do, your pictures are posted here !!! ahahahaha! 

Thanks for reading.