Jerit cycling campaign facing more problemsPosted: December 9, 2008
Earlier, some bicycles of the Jerit campaign were set on fire. Whether or not the arsonists have been identified, is still left to be seen.
Now, it seems, the problems faced by this Jerit campaign are becoming more and more by the day. According to Anil HERE, 44 people have been taken into Kuala Kangar police station.
Jerit’s nothern cyclist team, 44 cyclists in all, are being taken to the Kuala Kangar police station. The police want the ICs of the young cyclists, according to one of the organisers. Organisers, however, are not handing over the ICs as they are afraid that the parents of the youths will be harassed. The organisers have offered their own ICs instead.
I’m not sure why this is happening. Why is this campaign getting so much of this unwanted attention from the police?
According to Anil as well:
One journalist told me his story on the Jerit campaign was spiked; his senior at the newspaper had told him the paper is simply not interested in rural stories or those from the plantations. “Focus on the urban issues,” he was told, and not on rural areas or on grassroots communities.
I am of the opinion that the Jerit campaign is really not so much just a “rural” or “grassroots” campaign. It is also very much an urban problem as well. The 6-point memorandum of this Jerit campaign include:
- A minimum wage
- The repeal of oppressive laws such as the ISA
- An end to the privatisation of public utilities.
- Price controls for essential items
- The return of local council elections
- Decent, affordable homes for the people
Which part of that list is exclusively a rural issue? I’m sure urbanites are also concerned about affordable homes. I’m sure city folk also use the same essential items that rural folk use, which prices are hitting the ceiling, and going beyond.
And I fail to understand why there is so much “unease”, to be mild about it, over this campaign. These issues are not new, and neither are they exclusive. These are issues that I assume most Malaysians, if not all, would like to see improved on.
So why is there so much going on, attempting to stop this campaign?