Why I joint the BERSIH rally?

Yesterday when I published my post regarding November 10th BERSIH rally, here are the responses I’ve received:

  • “These people have nothing better to do?”
  • “Wah you were there?”
  • “What happened?”
  • “No wonder traffic so jam…”
  • “Did you hurt?”
  • “You’re brave, brother”
  • “Did you bring your son there?”

Seems like many people don’t know what are the purposes of this rally, and there are a lot of misunderstanding about this rally (One of the responses thinks this is a ‘memberontak’), it’s better for me to do some clarifications.

The purpose

This rally is organized by BERSIH, to demand for clean and fair general election. It was planned as a peace gathering then walk from Dataran Merdeka until National Palace to submit the memo to the King, demanding:

  1. The use of indelible ink
  2. A cleanup of the electoral roll
  3. The abolition of domestic postal voting
  4. Fair access to the media

The gathering

Just like what I’ve said above, this was planned as a peace gathering, there are even volunteers from PAS (Unit Amal Malaysia) to control the whole rally to make sure the gathering and the walk running smooth without any trouble. However the gathering was interfered by Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) by spraying water cannon and tear gas to the people (which consist of children and senior citizens), even before the gathering started. The police force that taking salary from us, the tax payers, are helping the Government to bully the people which has no weapon (Where are they when criminal cases happen?). However the rally still continues without gathered at Dataran Merdeka. After the memo was submitted, the people were dismissed peacefully. (More)

My thoughts

This was my second demonstration, first time was at Petronas Twin Tower for petrol price hike, and it was indeed a peace demonstration where nobody got hurt and ended perfectly. But this time was different, for the first time I suffered from the chemical reaction of the chemical-laced water shot by FRU’s water cannon. Also this time I spent longer time, the people joint also much more than last time. Majority of the demonstrators are Malay, at first I also worried I would be bullied by them (urgh, too much negative impressions from UMNO assemblies, thanks to Barisan National). Surprising they are friendly, helpful, and also high discipline. Next time if you heard Chinese complain about Government always taking care of Malay, tell them in demonstrations not more than 5% Chinese are in the rally to demand their rights while over 90% of Malay in the rally are doing it for all of us. One more thing that makes me really disappointed is the reports of newspapers. None of them give accurate news as newspaper from other countries. Most of them only put the attention of the massive traffic jam, or taking words from the ministers blindly without explaining what is happening and why this is happening. But I know this is not their fault, who wanna risk their publication licenses which controlled by the Government? (“I want to listen the truth”… sounds familiar?)

For those who were there, thanks for coming to show your support and concern to this country. For those who couldn’t make it, but supporting us, thanks for your supports, hope this rally does bring some meanings and inspirations to you. For those who think this is wasting time, I would like to share this photo with you:
Amri
Picture courtesy Haris Ibrahim. Amri from Shah Alam, walked thru the rally with his only leg.

Chinese are generally Kia Si (scared of death), but if you don’t voice out, then surely will SI (die).

BERSIH Gathering 10th Nov

At 12pm, i went to Great Eastern Mall for lunch with my wife. From Ampang until Great Eastern Mall such a short distance along Jalan Ampang , there were already 2 police road blocks ready to stop people to go for the gathering.

After having lunch, my wife sent me to Jelatak LRT station so I can reach Dataran Merdeka with LRT. When I was out from LRT station at Masjid Jamek, the road was already blocked by Federal Reserved Unit (FRU). After meeting up Luke, I started to take photos.
Road block

FRU trucks were driving towards Dataran Merdeka. The people were cooperative enough to let the trucks passed by.

However, the trucks were turned back and then the water canon truck started to shoot the chemical-laced water to the crowd. It was 2:15pm, 45 minutes from the original stated gathering time.

Then the FRU started to clearing up the crowds

We ran across the street to OCBC building, initially I was thought that the water shot from the water canon just plain water, but when I crossed the street i felt my eyes were pain and tear started to come out, then only I realized the water was not just plain water. Luckly there was 1 pakcik kind enough for giving us salt to make us feel better.
Then it started to rain, there were still a lot of people standing in the rain waiting for instructions.

After a while the FRU started to shoot tear gas to us!


After the gas was gone, we walk towards to the FRU via LRT station, the station was closed down. Since we couldn’t get near Dataran Merdeka, we started to walk to the Palace


Then we reach the Jalan Istana

At that time, the memo was passed into Palace, the volunteers of Unit Amal PAS started to direct us away from Palace



The BERSIH girls


The police’s helicopters still watching us

Approaching Dataran Merdeka

Take photos with FRU

You can’t see this everyday!

Nao

This was the end of the gathering.
Thanks Luke accompany me for whole rally.

And thanks to Rachel for supporting me, and borrowing me her Sigma 18-200mm OS lens 😀

Links:
http://www.bersih.org
http://10nov.himpunan.info/
http://tragedibatuburok.blogspot.com/
http://gelombangkuningn9.wordpress.com/

More photos

Videos:
Democracy, Malaysian style (Al-Jazeera): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q6558tY58E
FRU vs BERSIH (Al-Jazeera): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1wSQiQIhEQ
BBC news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duOuCHIcss4
Take the power back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agfpsl2QFl0
More videos