Sunday, July 10, 2011


So, everybody has an opinion about yesterday's rally in KL, right? Sadly, that's not what I'm gonna talk about today. Just saying that even our sleepy town here bubbled with unrest when our beloved 'angkasawan' (Malaysian term for astronaut'), Dato' Syeikh Muszaphar landed here for an event with the 'rakyat'.

Of course, we're excited to welcome his arrival. A friend even organized a program for kindergarten kids for a meet & greet session with him coupled with a rocket-making and colouring contests. What I don't like seeing was the lack of effectiveness of crowd control by the organizers. Other than the presence of bodyguards and men in uniforms, there weren't much barricades around the area to indicate that things could get a bit out of hands. My daughter Nunu was placed at the left-side of the group, patiently waiting for the astronaut, who was being interviewed by the press, to come out of the VIP room. I think they waited there for at least 15 minutes. The crowd surrounding them was already agitated by the heat and excitement.

When he came out led by the bodyguards, he went straight to the middle of the group of kids, picked up the boy in the middle, put him on his lap and beamed his megawatt smile. The crowd went nuts! I was ready with my camera right in front and kneeled so that people behind me were not blocked from the view. But what happened was beyond anyone's control. The photographers were ruthless, squashing the kids at the sides, and some knocked me over from behind, forcing me to inch closer to the front until I couldn't take it anymore and left the scene. My daughter was nowhere to be found! A few harrowing minutes later, she found me, crying, devastated that she couldn't get a proper photo with the astronaut.

The least the organizers could do was to put some stanchions or velvet ropes nearby, not only to protect the celebrity astronaut, but keep the kids safe to from the crowd.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...