Asrul Wadi Ahmad, 26(right), from Kepala Batas, has been reviewed by four doctors and may be diagnosed as blind in the right eye if his condition does not improve in six months.
Asrul said he was hit by a tear gas canister directly on his face at about 3.15pm around Masjid Jamek, when he was participating in the Bersih protest on April 28.
A member of the public has uploaded a video of the incident on Youtube.
“I lost vision in my right eye, and whenever I look, there is a black spot in my vision. The doctors I consulted told me that the impact on my eye had been due to an object which hit it at high speed,” Asrul told a press conference in Penang.
Asrul said the situation was calm when he was around Masjid Jamek, but suddenly turned chaotic when the tear gas was fired into the crowd.
When the canister hit him, Asrul fell to the ground and was assisted by members of the public who took him to a nearby hospital, where he was given nine stitches below his eyes.
When asked if he regretted his decision to participate in the rally, Asrul said, “No, this is the people’s struggle.”
He added that he would join another rally if a Bersih 4.0 was organised.
“As youths of the nation, we have a responsibility to ensure that our country remains democratic,” he stressed.
Asrul is in the process of initiating legal action against the police for his condition. He has also lost his job as a mechanical engineer in a manufacturing company in Penang, where he had been offered the job before the Bersih event.
“They told me the job needs someone with good eyesight, and with my condition, I can no longer be a suitable employee,” he lamented.
The Bersih event, following the firing of tear gas, had resulted in scores injured, including journalists covering the event, who claimed they were beaten by the police while on duty.
Doc: Asrul can only see hand movements
Meanwhile, a medical doctor Dr Khim Pa, who accompanied Asrul during the press conference, said the impact of the tear gas canister on the victim’s eye was “very serious”.
“There was damage to the interior chamber of his eyes, his iris was damaged, and there is a blood clot behind his retina,” said the doctor.
“According to the eye specialist, his eyes could not be operated on as there is already scarring on his retina and his nerves there are damaged,” he added.
“If he looks at you, Asrul can only see hand movements and not fingers, he can only see a bit around the edges,” he stressed.
Dr Pa said that Asrul’s blindness may be permanent and in six months if his condition does not improve, he will be certified as “legally blind”.
Meanwhile, Suaram secretariat member Ong Jing Cheng condemned the police for their violence and the attorney-general for persecuting Bersih participants.
Ong said the police and the AG’s office have become “instruments” of the government to bully the people.
“Both these institutions have been used to instill fear in the people who participate in peaceful gatherings,” said Ong at the same press event.
Ong said after two major rallies by Bersih - on July 9 last year, and April 28 - the government and Election Commission have yet to view seriously the demands of Bersih for clean and fair elections.
Victims urged to lodge police reports.
He urged victims of police abuse during the last Bersih rally who live in the northern region to come foward and lodge police reports, if they have not done so.
“It is best that we from Suaram try to accompany the victims to lodge police reports because we have received complaints that some who go by themselves are instead abused by the police,” said Ong.
The victims are also urged to lodge reports with the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), which has pledged to conduct a public enquiry on the police violence.- malaysiakini
Peserta BERSIH mungkin buta sebelah mata...Salah seorang peserta yang cedera serius terkena kanister gas pemedih mata sewaktu berlaku kekecohan ketika perhimpunan BERSIH 3.0, tampil hari ini untuk mencerita apa yang telah menimpa dirinya.
Asrul Wadi Ahmad, 29, (dua dari kanan) dari Kepala Batas, telah diperiksa oleh empat
orang doktor dan mungkin didiagnosis buta mata kanannya jika keadaan tidak bertambah baik dalam tempoh enam bulan.
Asrul berkata dia terkena kanister gas pemedih mata tepat di mukanya pada kira-kira jam 3.15 petang di sekitar Masjid Jamek, ketika dia menyertai bantahan BERSIH pada 28 April. Saksikan video.
Katanya, dia hilang penglihatan di mata kanannya, dan setiap kali dia melihat, terdapat tompok hitam di dalam pandangannya.
Para doktor memberitahunya bahawa kesan pada matanya disebabkan oleh satu objek yang mengenainya pada kelajuan yang tinggi.
Bercakap dalam satu sidang akhbar di Pulau Pinang, Asrul berkata keadaan adalah tenang ketika dia berada di sekitar Masjid Jamek, tetapi ia tiba-tiba bertukar menjadi kacau-bilau apabila gas pemedih mata ditembak ke arah orang ramai.
Apabila dia terkena kanister tersebut, Asrul rebah dan dibantu oleh orang ramai yang membawanya ke sebuah hospital berhampiran, di mana beliau menerima sembilan jahitan di bawah matanya.
Apabila ditanya sama ada dia menyesal dengan keputusannya untuk menyertai perhimpunan tersebut, Asrul berkata, "Tidak, ini adalah perjuangan rakyat."
Katanya, dia akan menyertai lagi perhimpunan jika BERSIH 4.0 dianjurkan.
Sebagai belia, kata Asrul, mereka mempunyai tanggungjawab untuk memastikan negara kekal demokratik.
Asrul dalam proses mengambil tindakan undang-undang terhadap polis ekoran apa yang menimpa dirinya.
Dia juga telah hilang pekerjaan sebagai seorang jurutera mekanikal di sebuah syarikat pembuatan di Pulau Pinang, yang ditawarkan kepadanya sebelum perhimpunan BERSIH diadakan.
"Mereka memberitahu saya bahawa pekerjaan tersebut memerlukan seseorang yang mempunyai penglihatan yang baik," katanya sambil menambah, dengan keadaannya itu, dia tidak lagi sesuai untuk pekerjaan tersebut.- malaysiakini
Ambiga a victim of race and religion, says Pak Samad...
Since the Bersih 3.0 protest on April 28 which organisers claimed saw some 250,000 participants taking to the streets of Kuala Lumpur, anti-Bersih groups have taken their counter-protest to the doorstep of Ambiga’s residence with burger stalls, butt exercises and now, a mini-market.
But for the 77-year-old A Samad, or more fondly known as Pak Samad, the situation at his residence has been anything but unusual, despite his cheeky baiting of the protesters at Ambiga’s residence.
This tale of two Bersih chiefs, Pak Samad said, is likely because Ambiga is being targeted for her race, religion and to some extent, gender; issues that are often played up by the powers-that-be.
“Ambiga should rightfully lead, she is a lawyer with vast experience, she has received various awards but unfortunately, she is an Indian, a non-Muslim, that is unfortunate.
“If Ambiga was me, these threats targeting her would not have happened,” he said in an interview with Malaysiakini on Tuesday.
Adding that race was inherently a contentious issue, he said this is being manipulated and perpetrated by the powers-that-be with claims such as the position of Malays are being threatened.
The national laureate added that he, too, has faced accusations of a similar nature, though not as severe as the harassment faced by Ambiga.
‘I’m already Malay, I want to be Malaysian’
Among the accusations, he said, was that he has betrayed his own race by participating in the Bersih movement.
“To say that I am not championing my race... There is no need to ask me to be Malay, I am already Malay, I want to be Malaysian,” he said in his usual poetic tone.
The septuagenarian added that he has also been labelled as senile, to which he said: “Then those who have invited me to speak, must be really foolish to invite a senile old man to talk.”
“I grow old not to become stupid, I grow old to become wiser,” he added.
His age, added Pak Samad, has allowed him to break free of being the “slave of power”, which he described as the mainstream media when he was a journalist and editor.
“At that time, I worked in the newspapers, a servant of the powers-that-be. That time, I thought, I had children to care for, a family to care for.
“Because of that, I swallowed whatever bitterness there was for the sake of my family... But now, I am prepared to be langgar (hit),” he said.
Pak Samad is perhaps the most prominent literati in the electoral reform movement, but not all his literary colleagues share his activism, with some frowning on his action.
“The literary community is quite divided... it is not about the label of literati, but for individuals to decide whether we want to improve our democracy,” he said.
Pak Samad added that it was not his duty to convince fellow literati to the cause, instead, it was up to them to ask their heart if they should join the movement.
“My duty is merely to explain the state of our country, whether we want this to continue or we want a change,” he said.
By opting for a ‘road not taken’ by many others of his stature, the spotlight has fallen on Pak Samad, who has since been offered bodyguard protection.
“But I rejected (the bodyguards), at my age and this point of my life, even with tens of bodyguards, if my time has come, I will still die... I do not want to be accompanied by bodyguards aside from my wife, that is fate, if it’s time for death then it is death,” he said.- malaysiakini
Ancaman sasar Ambiga kerana dia India, wanita...
Sasterawan Negara Datuk A Samad Said berkata Pengerusi Bersama BERSIH Datuk S Ambiga menjadi sasaran ancaman pelbagai pihak disebabkan beliau keturunan India dan seorang wanita.
Sebaliknya, kata A Samad (kiri), ancaman itu, antaranya 'senaman punggung' di hadapan rumah, tidak akan berlaku sekiranya beliau berada di tempat Ambiga.
"Ambiga memang sepatutnya (mengetuai). Beliau seorang peguam, beliau mempunyai pengalaman yang banyak, dia menerima pujian dan sebagainya.
"Malang, oleh kerana dia seorang India, dia bukan Islam, malang. Kalau Ambiga itu saya, tidak berlaku ancaman yang berlaku terhadapnya (seperti) menayangkan punggung," kata A Samad ketika ditanya perbezaan peranannya dalam BERSIH 2.0 dan BERSIH 3.0.
Samad, seorang lagi pengerusi bersama gabungan proreformasi sistem pilihan raya itu menegaskan bahawa "tiada perbezaan tetapi mempermudahkan" sesuatu perkara.
Ditanya sekiranya beliau dilihat lebih menonjol berbanding Ambiga, segala ancaman itu tidak akan timbul, Pak Samad menjawab:
"(Beliau) seorang wanita kerana itu mereka bersedia untuk melanggar (Ambiga). Kalau dari mula saya (pimpin), barangkali ada kewarasan-kewarasan yang lain," katanya.
Pak Samad berkata, beliau mungkin juga akan dituduh dipengaruhi fahaman komunisme disebabkan beliau membaca buku tokoh aliran itu seperti Mao Zedong dan karya-karya sasterawan kiri antaranya Fyodor Dostoyevsky dan Boris Pasternak.
'Sisa kuasa' hebohkan Melayu disanggah
Beliau bagaimanapun menegaskan membaca buku-buku jenis itu bukan untuk mengikuti fahamannya sebaliknya hanya mahu membandingkan karya pelbagai aliran.
"Jadi sebagai seorang penulis, (kita) ingin memahami. Kita membaca di pihak sana untuk mewaraskan pihak di sini. Ini (tidak), kita baca di pihak sana, tapi terus dicop (mengikuti) pihak sana (juga). Itu salah (menurut pandangan) otak orang-orang yang resah," katanya.
Tokoh yang mesra dipanggil "Pak Samad" berkata rakyat Malaysia mudah bertelagah disebabkan isu perkauman.
Malah, katanya, golongan yang disifatkannya sebagai "sisa kuasa" mula menghebohkan bahawa kuasa Melayu sedang disanggah atau kaum lain akan menyanggah ketuanan Melayu.
Pak Samad bagaimanapun mempersoalkan kewajaran perkara itu ditimbulkan dan membangkitkan apa yang dilakukan pihak yang membangkitkan perkara itu untuk melindungi ketuanan Melayu ketika berada di "takhta kuasa".
"Pada hal kita tidak mudah untuk mempercayainya.
Oleh kerana kita merdeka sudah lama, kita mempunyai perdana menteri, semuanya Melayu. Timbalan perdana menteri, semua Melayu," katanya.
Ditanya sama ada golongan sastera mengambil peduli isu dibangkitkan BERSIH, Pak Samad mengakuinya tetapi menurutnya "bukan tugasnya untuk memobilisasi" kumpulan tersebut.
"Mereka perlu bertanyakan hati mereka, adakah mereka harus menyertainya. Tugas saya untuk memperjelaskan inilah situasi siasah negara kita.
"Adakah kita mahu berlanjutan atau kita mahu mengubahnya," katanya sambil menambah kumpulan sastera tidak terpisah dengan isu politik apabila menghasilkan karya atau mengadakan sesuatu perbincangan. - malaysiakini