Claims and counter-claims abound about who are the winners or losers coming out the Bersih 2.0 demos on Saturday. Here are my opinions:
The People of KL: BIGGEST LOSERS! The demo disrupted KL life such that the demonstrators, not the police, are being blamed, unlike for Bersih 1.0! I have heard from people as varied as Shiela Majid (on twitter) and my son's elderly Chinese Chess coach express their disappointment at the so called 'leaders' disrupting and disturbing people's lives. What more the brides and grooms as well as other for which the day should have been memorable for better reasons!
The People of Malaysia: Losers, but not too big me-thinks. The biggest concern would have been if this led to loss of investor confidence, etc. But considering how relatively tame the demos were and the relatively balanced coverage by the international media, such as by the BBC, as well as many people having visited Malaysia over the years, knowing much of this is just opposition political propaganda, the damage I believe has been relatively limited.
Bersih 2.0: Losers, but not too big either as they seem to be feeling good about themselves! Quote delusional this, as they were talking about getting 500,000 to demo, ended up having to claim only a 10% turnout of 50,000, whilst even independent analysts can only confirm an attendance of 10,000! Actually, quite a pathetic performance considering Dato' Ambiga's and Pakatan Rakyat's previous claims.
Perkasa (& known Allied NGOs): BIG WINNERS! They did not turn up in the end, hence will be taking the credit for being respectful to the Agong, to the police, the authorities, as well as concerned with the impact on the city's people! And sure enough, Dato' Ibrahim Ali has wasted no time seizing the moral high ground by criticising Bersih 2.0, especially Dato' Ambiga!
Patriot (or KJ's gang cum 'Pemuda UMNO'): Indifferent. No one really knows what they were trying to do, maybe just piggy-back ride on Perkasa's crowd? In the end, their smaller numbers were quite insignificant, and still had to suffer being water-cannoned by the police! KJ was lauded by some UMNO reps at the gathering at PWTC yesterday, but they were following a cue, and Patriot remains an organisation in a limbo legally that has achieved... nothing!
DS Anwar Ibrahim: Loser. This was probably going to be DS Anwar's swansong as demos go, as he is likely to spend a long time in prison due to Saiful. Surely he must be disappointed that he did not manage to lead a massive enough procession, so much so that news of him falling and needing the hospital was about the best coverage he could achieve... pathetic! At least no one pointed out Bersih 2.0's poor turnout is proof the DS Anwar did nothing but Hijack Bersih 1.0!
The Police: Indifferent. Actually, the police managed the situation quite well. However, I find it hard to see people agreeing to the use of any force such as water-cannons etc on demonstrators. However, the people are so annoyed by Bersih 2.0, they would probably have some respect towards the Police for doing their job that day and keeping their peace.
DS Najib: Marginal Winner. I actually had DS Najib down as Loser or Indifferent until I saw photos of his Walkabout around KL on Sunday. That was EXCELLENT! May not have addressed all the questions of the management of Bersih 2.0 over the weeks or indeed the stadium alternative debacle, for which he cannot shoulder all the blame, but the Walkabout was in welcome contrast to the life-disrupting Bersih 2.0 activity.
So, what was the point of the Bersih 2.0 demo on Saturday? That is a rhetorical question which answer is... IT WAS FOR NOTHING! There is much that the people of KL has suffered from Dr Ambiga and her Pakatan friends, but enough for many KL-ites to return to BN if PRU-13 was tomorrow? Maybe not, but DS Anwar and his allies did not gain much, but lost some on Saturday, 9 July, 2011.
On the Hidden Hand... many conspiracy stories have been flying around about 'foreign influence' upon Ambiga and her Bersih 2.0 leadership. However, it may be of interest to many that by far the biggest contributor to Dato' Ambiga's Bersih 2.0's so called 'success', with advice, influence though perhaps less money, is a LOCAL! A PROMINENT LOCAL! ONE WHO IS CLOSE TO BN's LEADERSHIP AND CAN SEE THE AGONG! But who is this 'Dalang'...