Attending the first candlelight vigil on 12 October 2008, I had no pre-determined illusions about what to expect. It was a rather spur of the moment decision, only made possible because my son, Jared could accompany me. That day, as I’ve said before, I read something that Antares had written which shocked me completely.
While my first vigil was only meant to be a one-night stand, I have to admit that it didn’t end there.
I’ll explain here:
That night, no one knew me. In all fairness, I didn’t know anyone either. I scanned the faces to see if I could recognize anybody and I think the only one was possibly, Zorro. I was too timid then to even say ‘hi’. Anyway, while just standing there with our candles trying to look “cool” and like “one of the gang”, this tall guy came forward to say “hello”. Of course, when he introduced himself, I knew immediately who he was, from his name, as I had been following his blog for some time. I was pretty much bowled over by his humility. Most personalities wait to be approached, he didn’t. I noticed when I arrived that he was talking to a small group and then another and finally he came to my group. He welcomed us and told us he was happy we were there and he hoped we would continue to give our support. Such a simple and straightforward invitation to join them, made it all the more real and genuine.
Haris needs no introduction to those who have access to the internet, and he certainly has no need for lessons in PR charm. He’s a natural. He’s as ferocious about our rights as he is authentic about being a good person! (more on that, possibly in the future!)
Now why did I continue to go for the vigils? The answer is simple yet complex.
First, definitively is because the I.S.A. goes against the natural order of human rights.
Then following very closely behind would be the kind of people giving their support.
Sometimes when we have an opinion about something, a fair share of uncertainties also plagues us. After all, we are bombarded by the MSM about the ramifications of the I.S.A. and that it is for our own protection! However, when I look at the quality of the Malaysians who come together, I have to believe that these people (and I am not talking about the Mat Rempits type) know about the intricacies of this Act. As for me, I’m not a lawyer neither am I a politician and I’m just there because I shudder to think that another human being can be so callously removed from society, on a whim, for an indefinite period. Let’s let them have their day in court!
So my decision to have a full-fledged “affair” with the anti-I.S.A. vigil stems very much from the fact that the people there are cultured, educated, civilized, intelligent, and well informed. You only have to look at a cross-section of the supporters and you can get a clear idea that this vigil, although small but growing in numbers, reaches out to all classes of people.
This vigil touches the hearts of professionals, retirees, teenagers, homemakers, and the clergy – a wide spectrum of society. How can so many of us be wrong?
If you are still doubtful, check it out this Sunday! It's the school holiday, folks! Be there or be square!
Date: 30 November 2008
Time: 8.00 pm
Venue: Tarmac (next to car park)
opposite the Civic Centre, PJ New Town