Tuesday, October 16, 2012

malaysiakini's Speeding to Profits?

malaysiakini has this article entitled AES to reduce deaths, not reap profits. REALLY? If the motive is not greed and profit, the PDRM should do it themselves and enforce the speed limits - they also can use a graduated penalty and not slap a RM300 compound on ALL speeding motorists, regardless of speed or type of vehicle. For example if 15kph above limit fine RM100, if 25kph above limit, fine is RM200 etc. For buses and lorries that speed, the rates can be double those mentioned. The other action that can be taken after deducting costs is that the surplus can be used for accident research and improving bad highway stretches - even the EDL in JB is not well constructed with many poor sections; even for a highway that is hardly one year old!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Does this Represent the 2012 Education Blueprint?


(pl click on image to enlarge)
PPSMI Song

Where did we go so wrong?

Why are our hearts do down?

Dealing with schools so hard

For our children's sake

We must keep the faith

Fighting for what is right

Malaysia's going through a long dark night


Chorus:

Why not follow PPSMI

It's surely better than MBMMBI

Less confused will our children be

In the future years you see

Nothing to do with the patriot's zeal

Can't you see if you can't feel.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Genting power assets sale a 'sensible deal'? What UTTER NONSENSE!

We all know that the IPP deals were not favourable to Malaysians and especially to TENAGA, the national electricity company.
It seems the editor of the Business Times was having an off day when they labelled  Genting power assets sale a 'sensible deal'
This deal makes no sense from a logical or business perspective. After having consumers pay for the secret IPP deals, we now have to swallow this.

The most logical price to pay for this plant is book value only after a thorough plant survey and MAYBE a little for some goodwill.

Within 3 years, this plant will be almost worthless in Malaysia unless they can negotiate a new IPP deal.

Is this one way of forever keeping the agreements a secret? Or it could be the testing of the mechanism to buy out all the other IPPs at ludicrous prices too?

So how is 1MB going to manage this plant? I suppose they could create another SYABAS-type model and pay the CEO something like RM400k a month?

Most likely there will be the usual upgrading and refurbishments resulting in another RM500m in more dubious deals. The only economic transformation progression (ETP) for Malaysia in this deal is going from indebtedness to Greek-like bankruptcy.

The headline is hilarious but misleading. This is not a sensible deal for Malaysians but it is certainly one SWEETHEART deal for Genting!

photo:storms gathering over Malaysia's economy

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Malaysia's Definitely Following Greece but who will Bail Us Out?

We all know that the government has been living beyond the nation's resources, spending on mega projects that do not justify the economic returns.
The EDL is one such project that although very beneficial for motorists does not justify the high costs of construction and now even worse, the method in which the project owners will be rewarded.
The government failed to ensure proper transparency and hence the project cost is estimated to be about double what is the equivalent type of highway project in Malaysia.
Now it is pay-back time and it seems this company has an iron-clad protection against any business risks as the government is going to compensate them for the toll system they did not provide.
At the rate of 60,000 vehicles times the agreed toll of RM6.20 for one way, that's a cool RM720,000 per day!
Now some folks will call that highway robbery and we can only wonder why this EDL was shrouded in such great secrecy. Motorists have been crying FOUL over the previous secret toll deals and even in 2010, they still insist on such shadowy and shady deals.
Don't you think a collection of over RM700,000 per day is a better business deal than getting a bank licence?
I suggest the government should buy back this project after a proper audit that would probably reveal the realistic price tag for the project should be nearer RM700mil and maybe sell it to the public as an IPO and install the overhead gantry collection system; ie no collection at the CIQ.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

malaysiakini decribes Najib's Rant on the Agong's Birthday.....what an Insult on such a Happy Day

This article from malaysiakini is quite disturbing. It seems that the BN regime is threatening violence to stay in power if it loses in the next GE. It is also an insult to the Agong to deliver such a warning on the king's birthday - instead of making the event a happy one, Najib has shown his greatest fear- that he will be ousted by the rak'yatin the polls. Given his basic lack of leadership, what is so wrong about that?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

BERSIH3.0 - the JB Experience

I almost didn't go as I had a slight back-ache and the thought of having to run from tear gas did not appeal to me. Luckily a friend offered me a ride and in a way, that committed me to go. Earlier I read reports that MBJB had denied the use of the Dataran JB and that there was a misleading bit of into that the venue had been shifted to Larkin Stadium. Someone had posted info on what to do if detained etc and also how to reduce the effects of a tear gas attack. So I took the necessary items like some salt, extra bottled water, a wet cloth and swimming goggles. I had an early lunch and the drove to Taman Sentosa, the rendezvous place and waited for my friend to show up. There were 5 of us going for the rally and the driver dropped us at an overhead bridge near Jalan Sungei Chat, one of the side roads bordering the Dataran JB. It was quite an energetic crowd gathering, mostly younger Malaysians and the chants of "Bersih, Bersih" filled the air. Many passing motorists also hooted to show their support. There were traffic police and the normal mata-mata about, with the MBJB enforcement officers all around the planned venue; perhaps a total of 200. There was a football tournament taking place at the Dataran JB and it looked like a subtle plan by the authorities to frustrate the BERSIH gathering.The crowd was good-natured with an air of festivity that infected everyone. At about 2pm we were told to move towards DJB and it was an orderly march. The local BERSIH leaders had persuaded the authorities to allow the Dudok Bantah to be held at the left space near the clock tower....this was a good outcome as the place is nicely shaded. I moved to a spot under a large tree towards the back and made myself comfortable....sitting on the ground and then getting up was a challenge with my bad back and I usually don't sit on the floor! That is why I chose a spot near a metal pole as a prop. So from about 2:30pm to 4pm most of us sat and there were many chants of "Bersih, Bersih!" interspersed with some speeches. Please watch the video that shows the event and also a few interesting interviews of folks who came for the rally.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rushing through the Malaysian Parliament with GROSS INDECENCY.......why BERSIH3.0 is Important for ALL Malaysians!

So the Malaysian Parliament worked very hard the last few days......rubber-stamping a record number of bills that they even made use of "freeze the clock" rule so that the bills could be passed in haste.....now Malaysians have to live with the consequences.
If you don't care about politics, nothing much will happen except the 13th General Elections will be stolen even before you do your duty and just go out to cast your vote.
I have attended a few sessions about being a polling agent/counting agent and it was interesting to discover many methods of how your vote could be "stolen" via the cheating that can occur during polling day.
With the latest amendments, it seems the Elections Commission(EC) has introduced new measures that make a free and fair, TRANSPARENT Elections impossible. It is quite probable that the EC has seen fit to follow the PM's call to win BIG at all costs.
You can read the Press Statement of BERSIH3.0 on how the new laws can make cheating easier. There is also a video of the BERSIH3.0 leader Ambiga who has taken a brave role to help safeguard our democracy.
So what can you do to show your disapproval of the new laws that effectively is going to massively handicap the need to have fair and free elections? These laws will not only affect the coming elections but will forever change the face of Malaysia.
There are BERSIH rallies being organised in KL and JB on Saturday 28th April 2012 from 2pm to 4pm. If you value democracy and want a fair and free elections, please show your support for this cause.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider Readers :"Can YOU Uncover RM1.6bil the BN Regime OVERPAID for Highways?"



A picture paints a thousand words but do you know I have uncovered RM1.6bil that the government appears to have overpaid for the highway projects in this study?
Mind you all these projects were all negotiated contracts that means that the "I help you, you help me" mantra applies?
I leave you to ponder how much is the amount above and beyond the values that is available in newspapers and online portals like the Malaysian Insider and malaysiakini. Studies elsewhere indicate that dubious practices like corruption will add 30% to 35% more to the overall costs of doing business. We have the MACC in Malaysia but so far there have been no major coups in nabbing corruption kingpins.

Back to this highway cost comparisons:
(click on the table to see the spreadsheet and it's best to open 2 windows)
Table 1 is based solely on the picture at the top, except that the latest highway, the EDL is also included.

Both AKLEH(2001 with 3 interchanges)and SHAMELIN(2012 with 3 interchanges) projects provide a good yard-stick as they are mostly elevated highways, with only 2.4% of SHAMELIN's highway being grade level.
If we analyse the cost per km of these 2 highways, the results are startling.

AKLEH's cost per km is RM95mil per km whereas SHAMELIN's cost per km is RM50mil per km and SHAMELIN is 11 years later than AKLEH.
Let us assume that SHAMELIN's cost per km is reasonable at RM50mil per km and let us also assume that the Grade section of highways is less than the elevated section. For this exercise, let us assume that the cost is RM30mil per km. I know some of you will kill for such a deal but let's how reasonable is that assumption.


Now examine Table 2.
I have used the unit costs for the Elevated and Graded Sections and mulitplied by the actual highway distances for the different highway projects. Any SPM student is capable of doing such an exercise.
The column of "ReCalculated Costs" shows how much the different projects should have cost using the RM50mil and RM30mil per km values.
We can then compare that with the actual costs and determine how much we have overcharged for our highways.
The figure in red indicates that we have overpaid RM1.6bil for these highways.
I wonder what the Works Minister has to say.

What is most shocking is that the EDL project costs appears to be 3 TIMES above the estimated cost.

Monday, March 19, 2012

malaysiakini asks "Did You Receive RM500 or RM976Million?"

There is a lot of publicity generated in the media about the tens of thousands of poor Malaysians who were given hand-outs recently by the Malaysian government out of the generosity of the taxpayers' funds.
Never mind that the poor folks had to travel for miles and wait for hours before some VIP came to ensure they made the newspapers headlines.
But did you know there is another special assistance scheme that has not been given any publicity?
Apparently there is one company that received a grant for RM976mil in 2007. Using some simple maths, it is about RM195mil per year and that is significantly more than RM500; don't you think?
You can read the story in malaysiakini here.
The gist of the story is simple: The government grants the company RM976mil in order to complete the tolled highway and now the company has decided to sell the project for RM1.7bil and the takeover is going to be financed by borrowing RM1.2bil.
Some shady financial happenings going on here. First of all, surely the grant to execute the project must have some undertakings or was it another generous gesture like the RM500 to the poor?
Common sense will dictate that the government's interest in the project must still be protected and surely the original owner cannot cash in the RM976mil by selling the project outright. Also why would any bank want to grant a loan to a company that actually "owes" the government RM976mil and why does the government allow the grant to be encashed so readily? It is a good example of financial manipulation and a major burden to taxpayers...in other words, the Finance Ministry is abetting a financial crime!
It is commendable for the PKR and the DAP MPs to highlight the kind of highway robbery that the government is indulging in.
So don't feel so grateful about that RM500 award....we are being robbed blind elsewhere!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Voices for PPSMI

I managed to create my first video and loaded it to YouTube
.
First I had to learn Windows Movie Maker.
The process was quite interesting and fun.
Hope you like it too!

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Song for PPSMI

I wrote the lyrics and music was composed by Elaine Yan. As it was done in a rush, the following notes apply. 1.Omit the notes without corresponding words. 2.Substitute rests for cancelled notes. 3.The notes and words may be tweaked to suit the singers.
video

Solving the EDL CONUNDRUM?


I don't think any JB businessman or motorist agrees that the EDL tolls should be collected at the CIQ.Unless you happen to have a share in the EDL project.
It is really unthinkable that anyone could have come up with such a devilish scheme. It is similar to you going to a mamak restaurant and when your bill arrives, you find they have charged you double the billed amount in order to subsidise the swank restaurant promoted by the Tourism Board next door. In other words, you are being made to pay for services NOT rendered.

If you look at the diagram of the EDL route, it is divided into 2 sections, the 3.7km Grade Section in red and the 4.4km Elevated section in blue. It is therefore possible to install Singapore-type toll gantries in each section so that tolls can be collected from motorists who actually use the EDL.
Such a system would take perhaps 3 months to install and may even make use of existing road structures that can be reinforced to take some extra loading.

The toll for the entire stretch should be not more than RM2.60 each way that is comparable to tolls in Klang Valley. Perhaps the split should be RM1.00 for the Grade section and RM1.60 for the elevated section.
With a non-stop toll collection system, motorists will have a fast track to the CIQ from Pandan.

My only fear is that the queue at the CIQ is going to be more chaotic than at present!
It appears that our RM2bil CIQ is being used as an expensive parking lot for the staff. Cars are parked along the drive and restricting the space for travellers with problems and also easier movement of cars. I consider these parked cars of staff a security problem.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Can a Government Be Really that Incompetent or is There a More Sinister Plan for Johor Baru?

Everyone in Johor area knows about the proposed EDL toll that they want to collect at JB's CIQ.
As I predicted earlier, the LTA of Singapore has already indicated that it will match whatever toll is collected at the CIQ.
Already Malaysia made the mistake of spending the RM2bil CIQ with the crooked bridge that leads nowhere and one that hardly improves on the traffic problem during long week-ends.
So motorists using the Causeway might face a double whammy. The total tolls for both sides might add up to RM40.
During the past week, there has been a write-up about the ambitious plans to develop a new waterfront city that covers a wide swarth of land from Danga Bay to Stulang Laut with international land developers.
Such a development could take another 5 to 10 years and surely the influx of Singaporeans is vital for such a major development to be successful.
So is the Malaysian government being incompetent to propose the EDL tolls at the CIQ? Or is there a grand conspiracy to drive business and land-owners in JB area awayfrom the city so that land prices will be driven down with the tolls?
In another 3 years, after the business exodus is confirmed and property prices have dropped, there could be large land areas in JB available at cheap sale.
After enough land has been bought cheaply, the tolls at CIQ can be removed and hopefully, JB will see a revival.
That's my RM2 worth of conspiracy theory. Or the government could really be incompetent!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How Does the Government Make Decisions? The Unjust EDL TOLLS

It is a fact that highways have a major economic impact on the economy.
A strategic highway like the North-South Highway played a major role in improving the transport infrastructure in peninsular Malaysia.
There is an interesting read here on Toll roads arond the world where you will learn that Malaysia is not the first nation to impose tolls but certainly it must be the first nation that keeps on extending the toll life instead of taking back the BOT projects.
So how does the Government arrive at such a decision? More importantly, why do motorists just agree to keep on paying?
The rationale for adding on more life to a tolled highway is quite dubious. Usually there are some road enhancements like an additional lane in some stretches but surely such normal development should be considered part of the operating expenses? After all, increased traffic translates into higher revenues and also longer jams.
If you consider the inhumane traffic jams suffered by motorists during festive seasons like Raya and Chinese New Year, we should review the conditions under which tolls can be collected.
Where is the logic when you pay tolls for a nice highway and then have to wait one hour at each toll booth?
One short term solution is to stop toll collections during the 3 major holiday holidays and use it a a CSR campaign as motorists will really enjoy a nice holiday. I am sure the stress driving during the CNY jams would have shortened the lives of some Malaysians.
The longer term solution of course is to revamp the toll collection system. It is really simple to use the system used in Singapore where the toll is collected without the driver having to slow down. Why do we stick to slow and inefficient systems like Smart-tag and Touch n Go when they cannot cope with festive seasons?
Maybe during festive seasons it may be better to avoid the tolled highways and use the main trunk roads. The traffic may be slower but you won't have to queue for an hour to pay tolls. However you need to be more careful as many drivers will be newbies.
Along the NSH, many smaller towns have become deserted as motorists did not stop for a break as the detour was too long and many of the small towns became ghost towns.
A similar case can happen to Johor Baru with the opening of the EDL.All the shops and petrol stations along the Tebrau Highway will experience at least a 30% reduction in traffic flow(=business) as people head directly in the city centre.
So far no word has been mentioned of the proposed tolls to be collected at the CIQ and why the government decided on this "Everyone pays at CIQ" idea without even telling the good people of Johor Baru how they arrived at this "brilliant" concept of "Pay As You Don't Use".
In many nations, a new highway is not even CONSIDERED before the locals are consulted. But in Bolehland, they award a secret deal, build the highway and then declare "Eveyone Must Pay" and expect people to be like sheep and just bleat.
So where is the study on the economic impact of this highway? Maybe like the LYNAS project, they are still compiling the report.
So if you want to petition against this highway,please go to No Extra Tolls at JB's CIQ. The government needs to know we do not accept this kind of taxation.

photo: CNY traffic snarl on NSH(thanks to Alden Kho)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The EDL Injustice and how to Eliminate the Tolls at the CIQ

The proposed compulsory tolls proposed at the CIQ is a grave injustice. Maybe it will go into the Guiness Book of World Records as the first toll whereby motorists who do not use the highway have to pay and those who use the 8.2km highway to get to the city centre do NOT have to pay. I guess they used "fuzzy logic" to come up with this toll rationale.
I don't expect Johorians who already have to bear with the higher cost of living in the city will accept this quietly, especially those who travel to Singapore frequently.
Since toll booths were not constructed anywhere along the highway, it is still possible to construct toll gantries similar to the ERP employed on Singapore's roads. This highway could be the front-runner in Malaysia with an advanced system of toll collections. Those ERP gantries do not require reduced vehicle speeds in order to collect tolls.
Consider the hour-long plus jams during the recent Chinese New Year holidays for "balik kampong", motorists have to spend hours just to pay tolls. Why spend hours in a jam because the toll companies have such an inefficient collection system?
Erecting such ERP gantries would take about 2 months during which the software etc can be tested. Seeing that Singapore already has been using the ERP system for many years, it is definitely a proven system.

How about removing the toll system altogether? My idea is that Johor state government will buy this project from MRCB after an audit of the project accounts. The price paid will be based on a reasonable cost basis for at more than RM1bil, this 8.2km highway is too expensive compared to other highway projects. With a proper tender process, the project would probably be about RM700mil. Since the highway benefits the people of Johor Baru,the state can recover the project costs with an increase in assessment for all properties within 5km of any access road to join the EDL. For example, RM150 per annum for residential properties and RM500per annum for commerical and industrial properties for the next 20 years only. The actual amounts may vary but it would be a transparent collection system to pay for the EDL.
Of course having a new highway for free would be nice but as the saying goes, "There ain't no FREE LUNCH!"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

malaysiakini and the BURDEN of TOLLS.....

Like the national car projects that never really grew up after even 30 years of government protection, the tolled highways are a major burden that motorists have to bear.
malaysiakini has this article headed aPemandu told to halt RM7bil expressway project while the Malaysian Insider has the DAP MP asking the government toSuspend and review highway deal

The EDL is another innovative tolled project that connects to the CIQ in Johor Baru. This 8.2km highway has been designed so that anyone who uses the Causeway to Singapore has to pay the toll, even though the person never drove the vehicle on the new highway.....a kind of stealth highway robbery!

One unique feature about all the highway projects is the government NEVER calls for an open tender and thus taxpayers have to absorb the exorbitant and unexplained costs for a product and service that is easy to quantify.

Even if one takes a brief look at the RM7bil highway and the RM1bil EDL, the cost difference is too significant.

I suggest the following for all highway projects costing RM200mil and above:
1.Open tender to receive at least 4 bids, otherwise retender.
2.Profit capped at 50% of project costs OR 15 years after tolls collected; whichever is earlier.
3.Rates for all highways to be fixed at tender exercise and this will be a slight variation from the NSH. Example: Highway less than 10km(NSH plus 20%),
10km to 50km(NSH plus 15%),100km to 200km(NSH plus 10%)

I have created an Open Facebook Group 1 Million Motorists say "NO" to UNFAIR Toll Charges at Johor Baru CIQ and those who protest the toll can sign an online petition that takes one minute The Minister of Works of MALAYSIA: No extra TOLLS at Johor Baru CIQ for Motorists who do not use EDL highway
They say,"GOD helps those who help themselves." So this is one simple action you can take to sign a petition and tell the PM what you think of his 1Malaysia schemes.

Monday, January 30, 2012

ETP.....Solving the Mystery of Malaysia's Economic Transformation

The PM's the grandiose plan for Malaysia to achieve "developed nation" status by 2020 with the masterplans drawn up by a minister who was recruited from a multinational company(SHELL) who had been put in charge of MAS(Mana Ada Sistem), the national airline that was going to crash financially.
So Idris Jala and his team at PEMANDU(in Malaysia the word means driver not pilot) and the team came up with a whole alphabet of acronyms for the various programs.....even today the government is still coming up with goodies to develop the 1Malaysia brand image.
I guess the idea is that if one throws enough mud at the wall, some of it will stick. The latest acronyms are BR1M(the RM200 vote-buying ang-pow) and AS1M(the Invest-Rich Scheme, where RM5000 will get a guaranteed return of RM8000 after 5 years).
All these schemes do benefit the poorer Malaysians and it certainly looks like the Elections are coming soon. Otherwise why are all the Ministers ranting against the Opposition every day and in every speech?
I thought there is no official word on when the Elections are going to be held?
But back to the ETP...the Economic Transformation Plan. It appears they should have kept that file highly confidential.
You see it is not meant for the ordinary folks like you and I.
malaysiakini has this report on the Generous Highway Project that has been awarded for a record period of 60 years.
In Johor, plans are afoot to collect tolls at the CIQ for all motorists; even those who do not use the new EDL highway, a 8km project that cost RM1billion. Why are projects in Johor more expensive than elsewhere?
I have created an online protest No Extra Tolls at CIQ for Motorists who Do NOT Use EDL Highway and if you sign the online petition, it will help a lot. If you have not signed such a petition, it's easy to do so and takes about one minute.
All these crony deals will certainly cause an Economic Transformation but it ain't for you and me.
How long more can we tolerate such crony deals?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

BR1M....Caring for POOR Malaysians or Treating Them like BEGGARS?

The Malaysian government recently announced a financial assistance package whereby poor families were given RM500 in cash assistance.
Those who applied had to fill in a form at the Income tax office and the qualified Malaysians had to come back for the collection of cheques.
So they had to go twice in order to complete a simple transaction of collecting RM500. It seems that the government's intention was not so much helping the poor citizens but to milk the public relations angle for the General Elections campaign. At all the payment counters, some Minister proudly proclaims this is the way forward.
For me, dishing out RM500 to some poor Malaysians is going to wish away all the corrupt practices like mega-projects without proper tenders and paying through our noses for unsophisticated weapons of no destruction.
If they really cared about these poor folks who are easily manipulated, they can bank in directly into the bank accounts.
Oh I forget-no chance then for a publicity shoot!

Photo: thanks to Fung Lee Jean

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Now Everyone Can Invest! The 1Malaysia Investment Scheme....

Move over JP Morgan and other investment gurus like Warren Buffet.....this Malaysian scheme will leave you for dead.
According to the malaysiakini article 1M'sia investment scheme: Old wine in new bottle?, the Malaysian government has devised a scheme that will pay an investor back an investor RM13,000 if he invests RM5,000 in the fund for 5 years.
That is a pretty good scheme if the returns are guaranteed; quite unlke unit trusts where the manager can never guarantee the return and even your capital can decline.
So why is the government only doing this now?
Well the General Elections are due soon and the BN regme is touting this scheme as proof they are transforming the nation.
But for me, this is a blatant form of vote buying!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Anwar Ibrahim Acquitted Verdict....Was JUSTICE Served?

When a government loses credibility, even when the judge decides on "acquitted" as a verdict, many Malaysians still doubt the independence of the Judiciary.
After all, this case has dragged on for about two years and most Malaysians worry about other things like the rising cost of living and many believe it was definitely a case of executive abuse of power; with the PDRM and the AG's office pandering to the whims of the Executive to hammer down any threat to their political power.
Now if that is true, we should really investigate if indeed the PDRM and the AG have become simply tools of political leaders.
In fact, in a thriving democracy, MPs will severely question their leaders for improper conduct but so far no BN MP has voiced out about abuse of power.
But getting back to economics, the Malaysian Insider has this chilling article about National Debt Equals GDP by 2019 if Putrajaya Remains Spendthrift.
What is the meaning of "spendthrift"?
One meaning is someone who spends money wastefully or recklessly.
Do you think the PM is the nation's chief spendthrift?
What justifiable reasons did he have to fly 1Malaysia all the way to South Africa for just 2 days on taxpayers' account?
Looking at the TV footage of his appearance there, it looked like he and his wife were mere spectators at some ceremony or parade. Was it worth the RM30k bill?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

malaysiakini and the Right to Peaceful Assembly....


The planned peaceful assembly for Monday to show support for Anwar Ibrahim appears to be a recipe for a draconian crackdown if this malaysiakini report IGP: Car park can only accommodate 5,000 people is correct.
One wonders how the police gave the approval and then came up with the major restrictions that will hamper any peaceful assembly and most likely result in the usual carnage of tear gas, water cannon and broken bones.
During my recent holidays in South America, I saw peaceful demonstrations in Buenos Aires, Santiago and Lima and not once was there any violence done by the police against the demonstrators. Maybe they have had their fill of violent confrontations and during a demo in Lima, I saw cops all around the financial area; with the crowd gathering in the plaza.
Then at about noon, the march began with about 50 to 100 people and the cops merely provided a kind of security alongside the marchers and keeping a distance of a few metres.

The photo shows a demo in Buenos Aires, right in front of the Presidential palace....this has been going on for months.
We walked past the protesters and even got a free ride on the Subte as they were trying to get people away from the area.