Was there tear gas at Tung Shin Chinese maternity hospital in Jalan Pudu, KL, last Saturday? Umno-BN politicians have strongly backed police denials. But rally-goers and observers at Tung Shin have posted photographs and videos showing police in action there — and doctors on duty have defied their own hospital board to support the protesters’ statements.
To all that raging controversy, add this fact, from the New Sunday Times’ NST Live coverage:
Roy See Wei Zhi: FRU had taken the West End of Jalan Pudu, while Police have taken the East. They are closing down the pocket down by marching towards each other. The rally-goers have temporarily dispersed, taking refuge in the surrounding buildings, including the Chinese Maternity Hospital here.
Most of the police move towards Jln. Pudu as Patriot followers disperse. In Jln. Pudu, Bersih followers are chaotic as they run everwhere they can trying to escape the police.
Roy See Wei Zhi: Rally goers at Jalan Pudu have been trapped in the compounds of Tung Shin Hospital. police and manuevering into position to make the storm-in.
Roy See Wei Zhi: A single smoke grenade had been fired into the Hospital’s compound to flush out rally goers who have been hiding in the facilities parking lot.
RozLatiff: Police now marching towards protesters at pasar seni unleashing canisters of gas. [via Twitter]
RozLatiff: Four big booms. [via Twitter]
Information from officer in charge, 3000 personnel were deployed in Jln Pudu, 7 water cannons, 32 trucks trying to block off about 3000 Bersih followers and 300 Patriot followers.
Roy See Wei Zhi: The police have turned aggressive on the press here in Jalan Pudu. We are forced to evacuate the area.
RozLatiff: Eight arrested at Pasar Seni. [via Twitter]
Police turn aggresive at a Swiss Garden Hotel in Jalan Pudu, as some people try to seek refuge here.
That extract is from the 1pm-4pm section of the Cover-It-Live session in which the NST collated accounts from reporters all over the city, interspersed with selected Tweets, and readers’ comments.
Overall, the live coverage was disappointing, with patchy reporting (the most interesting bits were between 3pm and 4pm) interspersed with comments and conversation, self-promotion, and a strongly pro-police tone — after all, it was labelled “July 9 crackdown”. NST Live was notable mainly for:
- Faithfully providing an avenue for the Umno-BN’s desired talking points:
- The rally is illegal
- The police are doing a good job
- The rally is about politicians
- The rally results in lost business
- The public are inconvenienced
- Tourism will suffer
- Interspersed with bits of reporting were “comments” from “readers” adhering to the party line
- There was also a bit of self-promotion, with “readers” faithfully promising to ditch the Star and subscribe to the NST instead. And in between, a Roy See fan club rushed in breathlessly with a barrage of comments, no doubt from genuine concern, supporting their hero. That bit was quite amusing.
Those who had wanted a more coherent picture would have done better for themselves by picking the Twitter accounts of a few prominent Twitterers and a few media accounts: a more complete and rounded account would have emerged. After the reader had done is own gatekeeping, of course. There’s the rub.