sharing my personal experience on the bersih gathering/march and what i have learned…


Letters
by TT

“people should not be afraid of their governments, the governemts should be afraid of their people”…

precisely!…

when i got up approx 1100 hours on 10th october 2007, i know i will be part of the history in malaysia!…

just want to briefly share what i experienced in the bersih gathering/march which i attended with much enthusiasm!…

as most of you already know there are 4 meeting points for meet-up before we marched to dataran merdeka before we proceed to the palace to submit the memorandum to the king on asking for a massive reformation to the electoral roll…. i went to the sogo meeting point…

expecting the massive traffic out there… i took the public transport… i boarded the ktm komuter in kl sentral at approx 1145 hours… waited for at least 30 mins before the train actually moved an inch… apparently they have some ‘technical problems’ at the station in front… but, there was about 3 trains opposite the coach am in passed us by from the station in front of us!… ‘technical problems’ eh?!?… want to delay/deny us, say so lah… we understand the fear and uncertainties of certain people… :) …

reached sogo approx 1245 hours, not before going though tens of police personnel staring at you as if you are a criminal, took my lunch and walked around and more and more people can be seen… i knew this is gonna be huge, really huge!… police personnel were all over the place inside and outside sogo then and helicopter right above us drowning the noise of the people… a real low way of doing things eh?!?…

joined my group opposite sogo, which was only about 10 of us… had a drink with them.. changed into my xxxl yellow bersih t-shirt and voila… we marched towards the main entrance of sogo and greeted by roars and claps by hundreds of others, which was mainly pas supporters… made way for the 10 of us to be placed right in the middle of the group…. right after we arrived, one guy took over the meet-up with a prayer… at that particular time, the muhibbah thing struck me really hard… needless to say, the irritating helicopter which was flying really low ‘drown’ the prayers…

after the prayers, we started our march at approx 1400 hours with very gloomy looking sky above us!… minutes into our march just before the dbkl building on our right, it started pouring… came well prepared with plastic bags and a backpack to keep my stuffs dry…. :) … fru set-up a barricade infront of us, they practically set up barricades surrounding the whole of dataran merdeka!… we then marched towards the main entrance of royal selangor club greeted by many others who was having their lunch there and the motorists opposite us and that basically kept us moving further in the heavy downpour!… we passed the masjid negara opposite us minutes later…. thousands of them came over to join us, if am not mistaken including some heavy weights too fm that meeting point, at that time the crowd grew to easily to at least 400 meters long…

basically the ‘chanting’ of “daulat tuanku”… “hidup rakyat”… “hancur kezaliman”… hancur rasuah”… the takbir… etc…. heard even louder then…

at that particular time, i knew very much we are not heading to dataran merdeka, instead we will be marching towards the palace directly!…

as we were passing the chinese assembly hall, another group join us… as this particular time, the crowd grew to at least 600 meters long!… a sea of yellow can be seen when i looked back… at that time, the rain start slowing down…

as we were passing by public bank on our right and nearing the palace… thousands more joined the line… it was at this time i spotted a guy in crutches with a leg amputated, all soaked up, marching his way to the palace… this stunned me for a while thinking how can a person with one leg do this!.. shame one me when the first i heard about this bersih gathering/march, i was actually thinking and contemplating whether to go for it or not!… shame on me!… i have the utmost respect for that guy!… God bless him, whoever he is!…

we reached at the main entrance of the palace at approx 1500 hours… some heavy weights gave some short speeches… at approx 1530 hours or so, the memorandum were submitted to the king’s special assistant or to someone along that line… still drizzling at that time… met my eldest brother there who were also drenched in the rain, am surprised he actually came for it tho!… :) … i thought it was a joke when he told me he is coming!… my second nephew could not make it, although my eldest brother and myself very much want him to come and be exposed to all these things and to all the crap we are going through!…. he came by lrt… walked all the way fm central market.. understand fm him that particular trip he took was the last trip that the lrt goona stop in central market station… talk about ‘manipulation’ eh?!?… :) … he was stunned when he was fm the lrt he is in, looking down and saw seas of yellow marching.. as he put it… “it was a very nice sight”!… i would get goosebumps when i see that!… btw, understand from my brother that my eldest nephew’s friend stopped by police twice, when he was on his way for some frisbee competition/training, because he wore a yellow shirt!.. wtf?!?…

the whole things finished by approx 1600 hours… it was another long walk for both of us to get a cab home…

understand that there was approx 80 people arrested (probably for ‘formalities’) in masjid jamek meeting point… mainly pas supporters/unit amal people… water cannon, tear gas and chemical were sprayed/released!… until now (2245 hours on 10th november 2007) no concrete confirmation on this… we shall wait for the official reports/news in the next couple of days…

things i learnt fm this bersih gathering/march… in no particular order…

1) if you have the same vision and mission for a particular… race and religion does not matter, both this 2 issues won’t play a part in it…

2) this bersih gathering/march is indeed a very loud voice to the current ruling bn/umno rotten to the core government!…

3) there are people who are actually very afraid when they read about the news saying no permit given, fear of certain things, etc… but, they want things to be changed!…

4) no matter whatever ways they may be using to stop us fm attending this bersih gathering/march.. NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING can stop us!…

5) it’s very nice and comforting to see malaysia still have hope!…

6) it’s very nice and comforting to see people march arms in arms regardless who you may be!…

7) unit amal is very professional in handling things!…

8) there are people who love malaysia to bits!…

9) my love for the country went a step deeper!…

10) it’s good to expose yr kids to all these things!…

11) my parents and my immediate family members are very supportive of all these things, as they believe in wat the current rulling bn/umno rotten to the core government is doing is very wrong and one sided!…

12) the police created the extremely massive traffic jams all over the klang valley, not the people!…

13) the irritating/annoying sound of helicopters can work better than police car siren!…

14) kyros kebab in sogo is yummilicious!… :) …

15) it was nice to walk around sogo after such a long time, sogo used to be one of my favourite places to hang out after school!…

16) always have the interest in politics since primary school… if not for monetary issues for now, i WILL take the plunge into politics full time, of course with my parents’s blessings, which i think they will give me tho!… :) …

17) every little tiny help fm everyone, do make a different!…

18) this bersih gathering/march is not a political gathering/march.. no party flags, t-shirts, logo, etc… should be seen… we see nothing political in this bersih gathering/march… people can be very well discipline if it make sense to them tho!…

19) if am aab, i better have the biggest headache now tho!…

20) the chinese and indians in particular must be pro-active in making the country a better, cleaner, fairer and colour blind to live in!… i respect the malays in being very pro-active in these kinda gathering/march… nope, am not talking about those people fm the rotten to the core umno!…

21) kj is really no one.. he is just some dude fm kuwait, some datuk and datin’s son… graduated fm a well-known university, hooked up with aab’s daughter and voila… he is ‘someone’ now… also, he can certainly get along very well with power and money now tho!…

22) nazri may say… “this is not the majority, we have 27 million rakyat, only 40,000 turned up”!…

23) it will be interesting to hear mm’s point of view on this bersih gathering/march!…

24) general election may not be so soon after all…

25) i still get goosebumps when watching this video, after countless of times… (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4ycaduE_D4 )!…

26) this is just the beginning to many more things to come, we must continue the struggle… pls do your part!…

reports fm al jazeera…

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzqSddWkxGs)

more videos in malaysiakini…

(http://www.malaysiakini.tv)…

pix galore!…

(http://www.malaysia-today.net/nuc2006/report07.php?itemid=208)

( http://www.malaysia-today.net/nuc2006/report07.php?itemid=216)

(http://malaysianunplug.blogspot.com/2007/11/damn-this-umno-led-government-for-tear.html )…

(http://picasaweb.google.com/pemudawp/BersihRally)…

( http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)…

(http://jahilgoblog.net/gambaq/main.php)…

( http://www.meshio.com/index.php/2007/11/photos-from-10th-november-bersih-rally/)..

spot the difference…

between this…

(http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/11/11/nation/19443759&sec=nation )…

and this…

(http://www.suaram.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=778&Itemid=1 )…

well, i dun blame the repoters fm the star tho… it’s perhaps another component party of barisan nasional…

34 instead of 245… bigger number to ‘create fear’ in the rakyat?!?… they must be thinking the rakyat are some stupid uneducated fellas eh!…

p/s ; any difference between detained and arrested?!?..

  1. #1 by bra888 on Sunday, 11 November 2007 - 10:50 pm

    I only can express regret that I wasn’t there to experience it. I wish I could participate.

    I am ashame of myself for not being able to sacrifice my time for this historical event. However, I am truly glad that people are sharing their experience and I am aware of such an event.

    I was a virtually part of this event even thought I am not there physically part of it. I have witness many comments displayed in malaysiatoday and can only virtually imagine the situation.

    Many of my friends here are unaware of this event and many, in what I believe, couldn’t care less as exams are next week. I’ve spread the words and hope that at least that I did made a difference and help in anyway.

    And again, forgive me for not being able to participate.

  2. #2 by rasinblood on Sunday, 11 November 2007 - 11:01 pm

    when is the next one? i think this time will get 500,000 ppl to come already. we camp there early to skip the police road block this time.

  3. #3 by a-malaysian on Sunday, 11 November 2007 - 11:18 pm

    I am from Penang and plan to go several weeks ago. As the day draw nears and with the denial of permit and the issuance of threat to arrest, I rearange my plan not to enter the city directly but by detour. I will write about my experience and what I saw later as I just got back and starting to read all the blogs which I miss for the past two days.

    As per TT letter I concur with what he wrote.

    50 years is ENOUGH
    Vote For A Change
    Vote For Any Opposition
    Give Them A Chance To Change For A Better Malaysia
    Remember bn Is A Useless Grouping Of Self Serving, Corrupt, Dictator, Power Crazy, Racist, Kris waving, etc, etc type of parties.

  4. #4 by alphoti on Sunday, 11 November 2007 - 11:23 pm

    Thanks, TT, for sharing.

    I too regreted I cannot join in. I’m from S’wak, a bit too far.

    I have been very anxious to keep up to date. But its real difficult. Hope for RTM for news? They are working for someone who don’t understand the word ‘truth’. Websites like Malaysiakini are unaccessible.

    A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE TO TURN UP. THANKS & BRAVO!

  5. #5 by ahpiow on Sunday, 11 November 2007 - 11:43 pm

    I also regret that I was unable to participate. I am a way past senior citizen but have been closely following all the developments. This citizens’ yellow walk has created a great political awareness among the rakyat, and has proven that when numbers are involved, the govt is paralysed from implementing drastic and high-handed crowd control measures. Partly, this was also contributed by HRH The Agong’s indirect participation by consenting to accept the people’s petition.

    From the latest feedback on powerpresent.blogspot.com website, the DPM has apparently commented that “If the opposition can muster 10,000 participants (?? not illegal demonstrators??), the BN can easily get 1,000,000 people (?? not demonstrators ??).” Brackets my comments.

    So the official govt figure is 10,000. RPK’s comment on the police helicopter number is 100,000. The media indicates 4,000. What a confusion!! Even Confucius will get confused!

    I will use the helicopter figure of 100,000. The official govt figure according to DPM is 10,000. So, if the occasion arises for Season 2 of the peaceful yellow citizens’ walk, we must ensure that the official govt estimate will be 100,000, which equates to actual of 1,000,000 participants (not “illegal demonstrators”). There is no way the police (and military) security forces can control the movment provided the premise of the rally will be of non-Opposition and non-political nature.

    Apparently Seaon 1 of the yellow walk involved only about 10% of Chinese and others. The Chinese are basically fearful of backlash and victimisation as experienced from their day to day dealings with the administration and other govt agencies. However from this eye-opening walk experience, the Chinese and others should not fear to participate in future if huge numbers are involved.

    Kudos to the rakyat. Kudos to RPK. Kudos to HRH The Agong. This walk was Rakyat Malaysia’s greatest achievement to right the wrongs of The Coalition (read as “UMNO”) govt.

    Malaysia must resort to PEOPLE POWER movement if the govt is to be brought down to their knees for change! Democracy is about fairness to the people, and transparency in all govt functions.

    Blessings to all the good people of Malaysia.

  6. #6 by Filibuster on Sunday, 11 November 2007 - 11:54 pm

    I’ve just spoken to some of my friends and it seems many of them are unaware of this campaign, or even know about the event that transpired yesterday. I believe the same applies for many of us, and I feel it’s a good contribution to the spirit of Bersih that awareness is spread among our fellow Malaysians.

    This is not a campaign to smear UMNO, or to “riot”. It is about giving the people a fair chance to elect the leaders they truly want, and with the awareness, it is giving the people a balanced opinion so that when they make their choice, it is an informed one, and it matters.

  7. #7 by bra888 on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 12:04 am

    Opps.

    I forgot.

    Thank you TT for sharing your experience.

    I hope many more will do the same.

  8. #8 by shaolin on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 12:14 am

    BRAVO Uncle Lim, Keep up the Good Work!!

    Why the BN so afraid of the people marching to Istana
    to deliver the memorandum?? Are the BN chicken out
    becoz they have done something very wrong to ALL the
    people of Malaysia??!! Power crazy, Racist, Keris Wielding,
    Race Polarization, Injustice Done to All Malaysian, NEP
    only benefits the Rich Malays by right NEP should benefit
    All Poor Malaysians of All Races…!! Zakaria and his Palace
    and Zakaria Is Above The LAW…!! Why is this so??!!
    Can our PM please explain…!!???

    We MUST all vote for Opposition Parties!! Long Live
    Opposition Parties!!!

  9. #9 by toniXe on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 12:14 am

    great beginning for starters, the main course will be mouthwatering !

    Mlaysians boleh ! We shud target 1,000,000 round 2 !

  10. #10 by bra888 on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 12:27 am

    About the numbers of protesters, let me try to use my ‘mathematical skills’ (hohohohoho)

    Assumptions:
    1 person takes the same amount of area
    1 meter square can fit 4 standing protester
    1 two lane road is 16 meter in width

    “as we were passing the chinese assembly hall, another group join us… as this particular time, the crowd grew to at least 600 meters long!… a sea of yellow can be seen when i looked back… at that time, the rain start slowing down…”

    From here, assume the length of the crowd is 600 meters

    Considering that it is KL, and the width of the road must be more than 1 two ways. I assumed that the road is 2 lanes at least.
    Therefore, the width is 16 * 2 = 38

    Calculations:
    Number of protesters=Area of the road*number of protesters in 1 meter square

    =(38*600)*4
    =76800

    My fellow friends, from this assumptions, I assume that the number of protesters must be at least more than 76800 people from the assumed figures.

    (I would like to play around with these calculations. It is possible that I can calculate the exact amount of protesters. But first, I’ll need more data such as the length of the entire trip, place of the initial gathering, the exact width of the road, the location where the tear gas and water cannon was shot, and so on.)

  11. #11 by bra888 on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 12:30 am

    Oh ya, before I forget, I heard that there are a few places of gatherings.

    Assume that the numbers of initial gatherings is n

    Therefore, it can be assumed that the
    Numbers of protesters = 76800*n

  12. #12 by bra888 on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 12:47 am

    Correction:
    16*2=32
    =(32*600)*4
    =76800

  13. #13 by waterman on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 12:55 am

    Thank you TT for sharing your nail biting experience with us that are from a far.

    Bravo and bravo to all fellow Malaysians for you have taken the courageous & fearless step and you have braved the storm and paved the way for a better Malaysia.

    May HRH Agong reponds positively & institutes corrective measures to ensure clean & fair election.

    May God bless Malaysia & continue to hear the cry of His people.Amen!

    Waterman,
    Paris.

  14. #14 by bra888 on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 1:17 am

    What about this, to know the exact amount of protesters, I propose these several ways.

    1) Find the amount of people in the initial gathering
    1a) Find the exact location (I need more data from you or news)
    1b) Find the area (can be found from Google Earth once I know the exact location of the gathering)
    1c) Repeat 1a and 1b with other gathering locations (I need more data from you or news)

    2) (During marching) Assume the marching behavior is like a flow of water (fluid)
    2a) Using a formula based on fluid mechanics: pA1V1=pA2V2=mdot, I adjusted that mdot is equal to the amount of protesters and the area is the width of the road and is assumed constant. (V=velocity of the marchers, I’ll need data for this)
    2b) With the assumption that the number of protesters increase with each second at each length of the road (because more people participate), add this result with 2a

    3) (During tear gas) Assume that the marching behavior is like water flowing backward and it vaporized because people scatter (haha)
    3a) Minus the number of people arrested (we know 245 people based on news)
    3b) Minus the number of people who gave up using probability theory based on their personality (human behavior, need advise or estimation)

    Conclusion:
    No. protesters = [(sum of(Initial gathering area*number of people per meter square*percentage gathering area filled)) + (sum of(number of people per meter square*width of the road*marcher’s walking speed) – 245] / [1-probability of people dispersing]

    This is to calculate the numbers of protesters (or for entertainment purposes)

  15. #15 by ahpiow on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 1:26 am

    bra888

    You do not have to show your statistical analytical skills to calculate the probabilities of the numbers. Visual logic based on reports and photographs, foreign and local experienced journalists crowd estimate will suffice for this purpose.

  16. #16 by bra888 on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 1:31 am

    ahpiow
    It was for my personal fun:). Plus, I was just trying to get the exact amount to disprove the one stated by our local news with mathematics, that’s all:).

  17. #17 by ahpiow on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 1:39 am

    bra888

    No offense intended. The numbers will only be Estimated +/- with a high error margin. Suffice to say that the visual numbers are significant for the govt to take notice.

  18. #18 by bra888 on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 1:46 am

    ahpiow
    True. That’s part of estimation. There will be errors and it cannot be avoided. However, it can be minimized with more data and better assumptions.

  19. #19 by undergrad2 on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 6:09 am

    Can somebody tell me why the majority of demonstrators were from one race? Very few Indians. Is it a case of “where the wind blows??”

  20. #20 by chisinau on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 6:24 am

    We should see them as one; Malaysian who wants only a fair and clean election. The spirits of MUHIBAH and oneness could be clearly seen except from the disorders caused by the police and FRU.

    The racial tensions fanned by the exploitative BN were mere lies. Salutes to our matured fellow Malaysians who were capable of order and peace. The Yellow Walk is the begining of the end for the BN.

    How I wished I could be there? Working overseas at the moment.

  21. #21 by sotong on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 6:27 am

    With the strong environment of fear and intimidation, if only 100 people turn up it is a significant success!

    This clearly shows a strong disapproval by Malays of how BN UMNO run the country. True Malays are not what what the greedy and unscrupulous politicians would want us to believe.

    Non Malays must join forces with the true Malays to contain the enormous damage from decades of politics of race and religion and gross mismanagement of the country.

    I was not there…..some might call me a coward for not having the courage to turn up.

  22. #22 by sotong on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 6:29 am

    Daulat Tuanku!

  23. #23 by lbn on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 7:18 am

    How insensitive and arrogant the PM and Deputy commented! What rubbish leaders we have. The Info Minister is so reactive and defensive during the interview in the Al-Jazeera 5.00pm news yesterday. They just denied everything. Let’s vote for CHANGE!

  24. #24 by Jeffrey on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 8:22 am

    “…//…Can somebody tell me why the majority of demonstrators were from one race?…//…” – Undergrad2. A very pertinent question. Per TT’s remarks : “understand that there was approx 80 people arrested (probably for ‘formalities’) in masjid jamek meeting point… mainly PAS supporters/unit amal people…”.

    PAS supporters are easier to mobilize as past demonstrations evinced, whether against American policies or the government. (This is not to say there were no significant number of demonstrators that were not PAS’s, but whose the majority?)

    Success breeds further attempts to succeed. Yesterday it was Bersih’s march for electoral reforms where 40,000 were mobilized; tomorrow might be Judicial march mobilizing hopefully 80,000 for the Judicial Commission and thereafter 500,000 for resignation of some inefficient or corrupt minister – that’s road that has been taken : street demonstrations and People Power (something not a part of Malysian political culture but now is becoming one!)

    The logic put forward is why not? The logic : the laws are controlled by ruling oligarchy, selectively applied; the system of peaceful change by constitutional electoral process via ballot box, though touted as preferred means of change, is rigged (hence the Bersih’s demands); it seems that there is a higher moral imperative, transcendental of laws, to galvanise a movement of peoples’ power to effect change, rid a moribund government failing to re-invent itself, never mind the selective adherence to the Federal Constitution relied upon to on one hand uphold Freedom of Assembly but on the other hand ignored as to the facts that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is constitutionally supposed to be above partisan politics and not embroiled on issues of electoral change and reform!

    Besides, it is the fad. Why only today Pakistan Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto is calling for a mass protest against Musharaff’s emergency rule. In neighbouring countries of Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand where Marcos, Estrada, Suharto and Thaksin respectively had been deposed by force of massive demonstrations in circumvention of their respective national Constitutions.

    One has to ask what is going to happen? Is the BN oligarchy led by UMNO going to take this emerging trend lying down? Who do they fear most? Who is the one who had “martyr” status of being incarcerated and then released and whose ambition for PM is still burning bright and clear even when he’s outside UMNO? Bersih organizers were at the front PAS vice president, Mohamad Sabu, DAP’s Ronie Liu and PKR’s R Sivarasa (representatives of the Alternative Front), and who’s the defacto leader behind? Is not Bersih, in organisation and methods, a revival or earlier Reformasi demonstrations? Isn’t it now made easier by public outrage at judicial fixing divulged by the Lingam’s video tape and who released that video clip and whose pieces of the grand plan are falling into place?

    Now that sections of rakyat disaffected and fed up with the government ensconced in impregnable position of power and its continuation are exhilarated – it felt good the government’s apparent impotence to stop mass demonstrations if successfully mobilized – and emboldened to support and try the next expression of mass people power, we flashback to the original question, what’s going to happen?

    Is the ruling oligarchy going to allow this trend of street demonstrations to gain vogue and strength? I don’t think so.

    The Powers-that-be could of course re-invent itself and address rakyat’s grievances on corruption etc but what if it either cannot do so because the system is too enmeshed in patronage/corruption or it is not willing to do so, as is most likely the case ?

    One of the first things may be to play again the old game of divide and rule by stoking racial sentiments. A good way is to say the other side is fanning racial fire and that is the headline in today’s The Sun 12th November. In the recently concluded, assembly some delegates were talking about Malays not being wimps for having given up so much but were unappreciated for it : see news reports in The Sun (same date). (Don’t know how this is relevant because the Bersih March probably had more Malay participants than others). Perhaps an attempt will be made to draw the support over from PAS by giving even more Malay privileges and tightening on others. This is risk no. 1.

    When the above fails, the next step may be to crack down ala Operation Lallang style on all ring leaders and chief dissidents on grounds of their threat to public order and breaking the law. This is risk no. 2

    This carries only but one risk for the ruling oligarchy – widespread disaffection and even greater and bigger demonstrations forcing the government to the knee. First of all this is not that likely a scenario because police and army are controlled by them which is a situation very unlike that of Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, inb which the armies took partisan sides which we never had a precedent or tradition here. Secondly unlike these countries we are very much more heterogeneous in composition. PAS supporters held together by religion are easier to mobilize to the streets but are the other races especially the middle classes no matter how disaffected they are with the government? Bread and butter wise we’re also better than these countries which raises the question whether all sections of the rakyat disaffected will be prepared for “People’s Power” in the ulimate show down if there were one? Don’t underestimate the many who may still have a stake (bread and butterwise) in the present order, if not government.

    Besides, there’s another question that no one wants to ask at this moment – facing a common enemy – what happens even in the most unlikely scenario of the government bowing to the pressure of Peoples Power?

    Will Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI)/PKR who leads it as defacto leader co-opt PAS as dominant party within BA government like UMNO is the dominant within the present to push that party’s main agenda – the Islamic theocratic state? Even if within PAS the professionals are moderate what about the hardliners: will they not argue why PAS’s agenda should not be prioritized when change of government is principally brought about by People’s Power contributed more by the easier mobilized PAS’s supporters?

    DSAI should answer : where are you taking us further down that road for all risks 1 and 2 taken? A theocratic state? As much as this is the main hurdle that obstructs the cooperation of Opposition parties to fight constitutionally via the polls.ballox box, so will this remain the main hurdle the other extrconstitutional way of People’s Power!

  25. #25 by Bigjoe on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 8:41 am

    Lets be honest about what Bersih really is. Its really an expression of Malay opposition despite the coalition and inclusion of all others. UMNO is strong with the Malay heartland going into this election and both PAS and Keadilan has no better answer going into this election than the last one.

    Do you really think AAB is moderate in his UMNO GA speeches because he does not think he got the Malay vote in his pocket?

    The issue to me is this, with a more militant Malay opposition what is non-Malay opposition reaction? The MCA/MIC and Gerakan is trying to answer this. Gerakan is in better position than the MCA or the MIC. MIC knows it will lose a lot of vote. MCA knows its still not clear how bad things are but they are very prepared. We all know their phantom voter bench is deep and they can buy more votes.

    DAP challenge is to able to translate is this -how to complement the Malay oppostion? Its a very tough issue and the fact of the matter is it may be time for the DAP to just be truthful to the Chinese and Indian – look, the Malay opposition are weak but willing to rise to the challenge. Are the Chinese and Indian willing to do match it or shrink from it and prove that they don’t deserve a real opposition?

  26. #26 by stk on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 8:43 am

    The mainstream media must be very dissappointed with the BERSIH rally,no tyre and flag burning,no stone throwing.Well done my fellow Malaysians as what Jazeera station mention Democracy Malaysian style.
    The mainstream media trying to scare us using violent scenes from Myanmar and middle East but they have forgotten that WE ARE MALAYSIAN,we are peaceful and nor violent

  27. #27 by year of snake on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 8:53 am

    Thank you TT for your most informative experience. Now come the next stage which I hope will happen, that is campaigning in the next General Election where we can meet and hear the candidates and judge for ourselves who we are going to vote for. I guess the government will disallow this as they will be having candidates who are their cronies even though some of them are morons and imbeciles and if they were to campaign I am sure they will not be voted.

  28. #28 by St0rmFury on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 8:55 am

    I was not there…..some might call me a coward for not having the courage to turn up. – sotong

    If you have a valid reason (exams, sick, overseas etc) then no one will blame you. But if you’re just simply scared, then lets hope you will take part in the next BERSIH rally.

  29. #29 by Short-sleeve on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 9:21 am

    My Timberland shoes were totally wet and soggy after the march. Was it worth it? Hell, yes!!

  30. #30 by optimuz on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 10:05 am

    undergrad, people of all races were there…but the overwhelming majority were malays…mostly from PAS…at least in the wave that I was in..

    Stop making this a race issue…you got something against indians?? In the wave that I was in there were more indians than there were Chinese…so what?? We were there together, regardless of race, religion and colour..where were you?? Comfy in your bed thousands of miles from here?

  31. #31 by megaman on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 10:18 am

    Hi Jeffrey,

    Although, it matters whether the opposition can replace the current government in proper once it is toppled by people power but a more important fact remains, if this is a reality, the rakyat will realized that people power do exists and it is possible for the common folk to change how they will be govern. This is the true people power.

    *People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.* (V For Vendetta – Alan Moore)

    Hi Bigjoe,

    Fully agree with you. What you said is so true. Political apathy is so entrenched in the non-malays especially the Chinese that it is hard to change now but change is needed.

    But the danger of political apathy is well expressed in the poem written by a pastor, Martin Niemöller in Nazi Germany.

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

    Hopefully, this doesn’t come true in Malaysia.

  32. #32 by Short-sleeve on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 10:42 am

    “Can somebody tell me why the majority of demonstrators were from one race? Very few Indians. Is it a case of “where the wind blows??” – Undergrad2

    Folks,

    Please look at this statement by Undergrad2. Any difference from the usual race divide and conquer rhetorics by BN??

    Are we gonna look at everything from a race perspective??
    Are we gonna be another BN, should the Opposition form the next government?

    50 years of independence, and we still got idiots going on about race.

  33. #33 by grace on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 11:07 am

    We are too far away from all of you. In fact I am just as eager to add to the number on that day.
    Anyway, rest assured that 40thousand there represent at least 75% of all of us. Millions are with you all in spirit!

  34. #34 by dawsheng on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 11:21 am

    “Can somebody tell me why the majority of demonstrators were from one race? Very few Indians. Is it a case of “where the wind blows??” – Undergrad2

    Folks,

    Please look at this statement by Undergrad2. Any difference from the usual race divide and conquer rhetorics by BN??

    It is very different. If I ask, how come there are few Chinese at the rally? Does that make me a racist and MCA? If you don’t know the answer to a question and it is not compulsory for you to answer, just ignore it.

    “Are we gonna look at everything from a race perspective?
    Are we gonna be another BN, should the Opposition form the next government?”

    Most of the time, we have to. If BA formed the next govt, most policies will still be formulated base on race, but that doesn’t BA will be racist. Yes, we don’t want BA to be BN in many other ways, for example, corrupted.

  35. #35 by ALtPJK on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 11:21 am

    Referring to Jeffrey’s comments above on “what’s going to happen next” I would like to add the following.

    I am not familiar with Constitutional Law and the likes, but I would like to throw in one possible scenario. It may turn out to be ‘naive’ and can be shot down with a one-liner or it can start some interesting discussions.

    Malaysia is a constitional monarchy akin to but perhaps not exactly like some other Commonwealth countries but its basis from Reid’s Commission surely must strike some similarities. Queen Elizabeth II, rising above politics, may have intervened in some matters in the UK. The Governor-General of Australia, who is the representative of its monarch (strangely enough the Queen of UK) had sacked the Prime Minister of Australia in 1975. The question is “Does DYMM YDP Agong have a similar role in perhaps in intervening in the affairs if this electoral reform issue comes to a stalemate and potentially sparking possible election boycott?”.

    Perhaps someone with expert knowledge can shed some light on this.

  36. #36 by lupus on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 12:19 pm

    my now regard is that I could not be there. Hopefully the next one I can come back for. Mostly likely to be arrested and not allowed to return oversea!!! But we do not raise to those who seek to suppress the people, we will always be no better than Burma

  37. #37 by Jonny on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 12:35 pm

    Sadly, I couldn’t join the procession. But I made my presence felt at Masjid Jamek LRT in Yellow T-shirt, enroute for a meeting. It doesn’t matter where we are, we just have to speak out and make our presence felt.

    Enroute, I managed to make new friend – and did allayed his fears.

    Thus far, the Bully Negara has been successful. The Chinese’ balls did shrunk. Some did say, don’t wear yellow! The Chinese has been forced to be submissive and just remain pragmatic and practical. To mind their own business, and slowly plan their way out of the country for a better future. On the grassroots, post-event, people have been talking. And I do my best to correct the wrong perceptions they getting from the tightly controlled media. This is the least I can do.

    And of course, to make my point at the ballot box, whenever it is going to be.

    I am going to stay put.

    INI ADALAH NEGARAKU. Tanah tumpahnya darahku!

  38. #38 by k1980 on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 12:55 pm

    …to make my point at the ballot box— but Jonny, I believe your urban ballot is worth the equivalent of 20% of a rural ballot, thanks to umno’s gerrymandering

  39. #39 by Jeffrey on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 1:59 pm

    ALtPJK ,

    I am no expert but from little I think I know our Yang di-Pertuan Agong is, by article 40(2) of our Federal Constitution, conferred the discretion to appoint the Prime Minister based on the important constitutional criteria of his belonging as a member to the Dewan Rakyat and by article 43(2) of the Constitution his ability as well to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives.

    He therefore theoretically can revoke appointment, appoint caretaker Prime Minister to pave the way to a general election if the Prime Minister no more commands the majority in Dewan Rakyat.

    On 11 November 1975, Australia’s Governor-General (Sir John Kerr) dismissed Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister because he no longer comanded clear majority in the lower House of Representatives and his party was a minority in the upper house of Senate in which opposition Liberal-National Country Party coalition had a majority.

    The Senate dominated by Opposition refused to vote on government’s annual budget bills necessary to meet the government’s financial comitments. The Lower House of Representatives would appear to do likewise.

    Since government could not function because Whitlam did not command majoity in both Houses, the Governor General replaced Whitlam with caretaker PM Malcom Fraser from the Opposition to pave the way towards general election. In the GE, the opposition Coalition led by Malcom won clear majority in both houses, resolved the constitutional impasse of the annual budget bills not being able to be passed.

    The Australian’s experience does not apply to us because Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi controls clear majority in both Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara. There is no impasse or breakdown in workings of the government machinery. The King therefore cannot constitutionally remove the PM based on just the electoral reform issue. Neither does the electoral reform demands by Bersih request the Yang di Pertuan Agong to remove or dismiss the PM.

    The memorandum to the King addresses basically two issues as far as I know:-

    1. Heed the demands of the people for widespread electoral reform, including the establishment of a Royal Commission to review and reform the electoral system;

    2. use his authority under Article 40(2) of the Federal Constitution to overrule any decision to dissolve Parliament as long as these four immediate demands are not met.

    I think that request no. 1 is legally and constitutionally sanctioned.

    This is because the establishment of Royal Commission under the Commissions Of Enquiry Act 1950 (Revised 1973), whether to review and reform the electoral system or to enquire into the judicial fixing as per the Lingam’s video tape is the King’s discretion or prerogative which is exercisable if HRH deems fit to do so with or without or even contrary to the government’s advice.

    Where the Opposition is coming from as per request 2 is that there is no point – no level level playing field – for the PM to be allowed to call an earlier election before due date in 2009 based on timing fortutious to him and ruling coalition when there is no election reform to revamp the entire system militated in favour of the BN.

    So the Opposition in Bersih march had asked the King not to agree to the PM’s request for dissolution of Parliament for General Elections based on the Agong’s prerogative under article 40(2) of the Federal Constitution.

    The Opposition has done its homework here because the discretion of the King to dissolve parliament prematurely (before its constitutionally mandated due date) (which encompasses the corollary of not agreeing to dissolution as well) is personal ie, based on interpretation of the words of 40(2), not dependent on the advice of the Executive represented by the PM.

    The trickier part of Request No. 2 is that although the King is not required by Constitution to heed the PM’s advice on dissolution of parliament, convention in most common law jurisdictions however dictates that the constitutional monarch abides by wishes of the Prime Minister on this issue even if it means the PM could cherry pick the best date to dissolve parliament for election based on circumstances calculated to benefit the incumbent ruling coalition.

    The ultimate question is whether the King will jettison convention that has been in practice since this country’s independence and as I said also practised in other common law jurisdictions.

    For the King to discard convention and the PM’s advice to dissolve parliament there will be an array of conceivable objections for examples:

    (a) The King is a constitutional (not an absolute) monarch : so why is he taking partisan role to side with opposition to disregard the wish of the PM commanding the majority oin parliament?

    (b) After all in a parliamentary democracy, the theory at least is that PM representing majority in Parliament reflects majority of rakyat wish. In contrast the monarch’s position is based on inherited power, wealth, influence and status for life – not on merit or popular public consent or past general election.

    (c) Is it consistent with at least the theoretical precepts of democracy – and sovereignty of the people through their elected representatives in Parliament – for a King not to follow convention to listen to the PM commanding majority in Parliament wishing a dissolution of Parliament just because the Opposition Parties do not want or wish so based on allegations regarding the electoral system?

    For these and other reasons I would think the King would not exercise such discretion to accede to request No. 2 even if he otherwise agrees to request no. 1 (that is by itself also not certain).

  40. #40 by YY88 on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 2:03 pm

    Congratulations to all the Brave Malaysian who have paved the road to a true Bangsa Malaysia in this peaceful march.

    Lets this be a severe warning to Bodohwi and SIL that the Rakyat is the true boss of this country.l

  41. #41 by JACK THE RIPPER on Monday, 12 November 2007 - 10:45 pm

    To all the Malaysian.

    This is our stepping stone toward a better Mother Land.

    Thanks allot for all take part on this “10 NOV 07 BERSIH Rally”.

  42. #42 by rtsegar on Tuesday, 13 November 2007 - 2:32 pm

    i was travelling from sp to kl on 10th nov 2007. i left my home at 6.15 am. At 6.25am, i endured a roadblock by PDRM just before the Sg.Petani [Selatan] Toll Gate…

    My wife and son was with me.. They checked my car. There was already a long queue before me….

    Throughout my journey to KL i saw FRU trucks and police van.

  43. #43 by rtsegar on Tuesday, 13 November 2007 - 2:33 pm

    BRAVO MALAYSIANS

  44. #44 by guessin on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 12:46 pm

    yeah it’s shame i couldn’t join the marching but i think next time we march in putrajaya where the impotent man n other stupid government people staying let them noe that we r mean business.maybe tis time 100 thousand ppl marching.coz najib such a small number of people protest only ten we should show tis how many people r not satisfied with government.

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