The Power Of SMS

Grounds for dissent in a KL coffee party

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 10, 2009

THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

small_cup_of_coffeeKUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Dressed in black, the colour of protest, 200 activists sat at cafe tables quietly drinking coffee — black, of course. Bewildered, police stood outside and watched the coffee drinkers without interfering.

The protest at three cafes in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, was their way around a ban on unauthorised protests. It was the latest twist in a row over the governing National Front coalition’s seizure of power in Perak state.

“Police were coming down hard on us and so we used this unique way to protest and tell people to demand an election in Perak,” said Wong Chin Huat, a protest leader and academic at the city’s Monash University campus. “We managed to send the message across.”

However, Sunday’s protest — which the academic called a “mild form” of civil disobedience — did not last long. Within half an hour, the managers of the cafes – outlets of the popular Old Town White Coffee chain — had ushered the protesters and other customers out the door. A spokeswoman said the three were shutting temporarily for “regular maintenance and renovations”.

She said it was unfair of protesters to use the chain’s outlets for the protest. “We have loyal patrons who are unhappy with so many people suddenly appearing all wearing black, which we associate with death. This is very bad for business.”

Undeterred, pro-opposition NGOs yesterday announced they would repeat the protest tomorrow — at seven Old Town outlets in the capital and Penang. The protesters, who announced the location of the protests via the social networking website Facebook, urged the coffee company not to close the outlets.

“We are only drinking coffee and paying for it,” one protest leader said. “They make money, we get our message across.”

This time, police will be waiting for them. “We are monitoring the targeted outlets and if necessary will arrest any person wearing black as they approach the outlets,” a police spokesman said. — South China Morning Post

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One Response

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  1. Crankster said, on June 11, 2009 at 6:32 am

    I wonder if the people in black should be rotating coffee outlets so it doesn’t look like Old Town is anti-government.

    I think that’s why a few outlets have been “closing for upgrade” as was mentioned in MKini.

    Whoever is paranoid or superstitious about the colour black has got their head too deep up their arse. The country is in deep shit and they’re worried about the colour black???


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