Archive for April, 2012

My Bersih 3.0 experience: The day the police became hooligans

— Christina Foo
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 29, 2012

APRIL 29 — Dear Editor,

This is the first time I am writing to you because I feel that it is very important for me to give my first-hand experience of the PDRM insanity.

I am in my early 50s and have always been a model citizen. I have never taken part in any previous rally or demonstration. However this year I decided that I needed to support Bersih by being there where it counts.

My friend Lean Bee and I drove from Petaling Jaya into the city but was blocked off at Syed Putra so we decided to drive back to Asia Jaya, parked the car there and took the LRT. The train when it arrived was packed to the brim. That was a good sign that a lot of people were coming. Had expected to be stopped by police at the stations but there were no signs of them. As such we got into the city without any other challenges.

My first question for the PDRM is:

Why block most of the roads if you are still going to let us into the city any way?

Did you ever think about the tourists who needed to get in and out of the city upon arrival and for their departure? Read the rest of this entry »


The real Bersih 3.0

— Gomen Man
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 29, 2012

APRIL 29 — A word of caution to the people who run Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider: there is an operation by paid hacks to flood your portals with seemingly “constructive” opinions about Bersih 3.0 and how this event was hijacked by Anwar Ibrahim, blah blah.

Some will even write how Malaysia’s democracy is truly alive and how Barisan Nasional is not the enemy.

Let us get some facts straight. More than 100,000 Malaysians from all walks of life turned out yesterday to call for free and fair elections. Old, young, rich, poor, the works.

Among them were supporters of political parties, and within this group were those who were probably itching for some action. The large majority of Malaysians dispersed and were shocked when tear gas canisters were aimed at them without any provocation.

Was this the strategy of hidden hands? Read the rest of this entry »


Liberation Day @ 428

— CL Tang
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 29, 2012

APRIL 29 — Malaysians who participated in yesterday’s Bersih 3.0 saw firsthand, just how superficial and farcical are the BN’s government claims of reforms to make Malaysia the best democracy in the world.

That the so-called best democracy can deny the hundred thousand strong the right to peaceful assemble at Independence Square.

That the so-called best democracy would rather employ thousands of police to surround an EMPTY square, on the whim of an UNELECTED junior official, trampling over the wishes of thousands of Malaysians.

That the so-called best democracy fired tear gas canister after tear gas canister into a crowd that was ALREADY dispersing after a largely peaceful protest. My friends and I were boxed into a car park with nowhere to go, and as the air filled with the acrid smoke and breathing became difficult, I wondered if this was the wind of change that our PM is espousing.

So much for BN’s Peaceful Assembly Act.

Today, the mainstream media has already begun the complete whitewash of the biggest national event this year. By focusing their blatant biased reporting on isolated cases of admittedly over-zealous acts, they fail to showcase the true 1 Malaysia in action, where the young and the old from all races walked hand in hand, where we began the march as total strangers but ended the walk as brothers and sisters united in a noble cause.

So much for BN’s Printing Presses and Publications Act reforms. Read the rest of this entry »


Arrogance breeds contempt

blog: a man called Nobody
Sunday April 29, 2012

I was going to go about my day as usual today. I wanted to carry out my usual weekend errands. I had some work to get done and wanted to just soak the Saturday in like most normal folk. I wanted to have a normal Saturday filled with as little activity as possible. Unfortunately, that just didn’t happen.

I was going about my day as I had planned it. Like normal dudes, I needed to take my car out to run my errands. I ran into traffic jams and unusual congestion along most roads near the Kuala Lumpur vicinity. I got into twitter and realised that the morons we have for a government had closed all roads leading into the city. Meaning they had shut down Kuala Lumpur. Meaning they had learnt nothing from the two previous editions of Bersih. They had still not learnt that people have a constitutional right to voice their opinions. How daft do you have to be to repeat the same mistake thrice?

As I had lunch, I was feeling very uneasy. I decided then that I’m definitely going for Bersih in downtown Kuala Lumpur. While others had decided weeks ago or at the very latest the day before, I decided that I was going one hour before the official march time. I hopped onto the LRT at 1pm and got into Kuala Lumpur without too many problems. Once in there I marched in camaraderie with my fellow Malaysian brothers and sisters. I went because I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if I hadn’t, knowing how the government was reacting to the thought of people expressively voicing their opinions. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih 3.0 Perth

— Soon Yee Yap
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 29, 2012

APRIL 29 — It was amazing that despite advertising the event would commence at 2pm at Langley Park, some of our marshals who arrived early to set up saw a small crowd in yellow already at the park at 12.30pm. This was the one time when Malaysian timing did not apply.

When more of the organising team arrived at 1pm thinking that it was early enough to help with the set up and then mingle with people as they turned up, but were shocked that about a hundred were already there to greet them instead. Many sought out Jason Tong and Chom Lee, who handled the Perth Edition Bersih 3.0 T-shirts. The few left were snapped up in no time, leaving many without this limited-edition souvenir. Some made do with Stop Lynas tees which were sold as back-ups.

Topping the previous rally on July 9, 2011 of about 200, there were a little more than 500 this time around at the Swan River foreshore gathering point of Langley Park. It was a carnival-like atmosphere with young ones running around the open space, an older lady in a wheelchair listening to the chants, some taking pictures with the mascot dog, Oppa.

It was a mixed crowd of students, young families and couples, more mature long-time residents, recent migrants and some Australians. Jordan Sugunasingam was the master of ceremony and the crowd got into the mood with a guitar- and drum-led Bersih anthem adapted from the old favourite “Chan Mali Chan”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our democracy is working

— Darren Nah
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 29, 2012

APRIL 29 — There were fears that the Bersih rally would not go according to plan. Soon enough, tear gas and water cannons had beaten back the tide of yellow in the nation’s capital. Many, emotionally restive, came back from yet another Bersih rally which seemed ineffectual in holding Putrajaya accountable. As Datuk Ambiga, under the sweltering Saturday sun, failed to call for crowd dispersal, the governmental security apparatus quickly finished off the crowd of peaceful protestors, using less than savoury means.

Nevertheless, the lessons we can take from this gathering are that, amid the slander and libel floating in the air, our democracy is working. We are beginning to see a maturation of the democratic process, the incipient emergence of political awareness, and the competition of ideas. These are all crucial for the proper functioning of the Malaysian project started in 1957. But some argue that such rallies only cause disturbance, hamper stability, and create undue unrest. Let us now comfort this contentious group.

These people fail to realise that the democratic process needs the occasional take-to-the-street protest and the joyous participation of youth. Ever since the Asian financial crisis in 1997, Malaysia’s economy has suffered from a lack of innovation, and many of the young have fled to better prospects abroad. The political indifference of the young and the lack of ideas in governing has hampered our democracy. We need a jolt of innovation.

The Bersih rally must be seen as a channel of new ideas of government and economic progress. While the calls for free and fair elections are sacrosanct in any functioning democracy, let us peel back the false accusations and emotionally charged lies, and look at what the concept of free and fair elections actually means. Read the rest of this entry »


Why I had to be there on 28.4.2012

— Daniel S. Abishegam
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 29, 2012

APRIL 29 — I was there. Together with my fiancé, and a couple of friends, I made my way to Kuala Lumpur early on the morning of April 28, 2012. We were at Central Market waiting for Bersih co-chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan to give us a rousing speech and to lead the march towards Dataran Merdeka to show the government of Malaysia that we really want clean and fair elections and that the system currently in place falls woefully short.

The carnival-like atmosphere was apparent from the moment we got there. I can only speak for the group of us at Central Market but I am reliably informed that the atmosphere was similar at the other meeting points as well. Old friends exchanged stories, new friendships were forged and drinks, food and ice cream were the order of the day.

At about 1.40pm, we began our march to Dataran Merdeka. The march itself was peaceful. There was much laughter and camaraderie in the air. The atmosphere sizzled not only from the mid-day heat but from the palpable sense that we were making a difference. The size of the crowd from Central Market alone was roughly about 20,000. We were bursting into song and chants at regular intervals. Smiles and good wishes were the order of the day. There was nothing that I saw in this crowd and from the larger group we joined later that would indicate to me that any one of these protesters harboured thoughts of anything but a peaceful protest.

But the question thrown at me from all angles and from all manner of people is why? Why go and join this bunch of ‘hooligans’ who have nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon than to cause a massive traffic jam? Why bother because the government will not listen? What if you were arrested? Who will take care of your dog? Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih 3.0: An awakening

— Cee Kay
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 29, 2012

APRIL 29 — After watching Bersih 2.0 from the comfort of my home, I promised myself that if ever another Bersih were to be organised, I would be there and so there I was yesterday afternoon at 1.30pm after alighting from the LRT at the Pasar Seni station. I was not disappointed as Malaysians from all races and creeds were there, from college students to aunties and mak ciks to uncles and pak ciks. It was like a carnival, with shouts of Bersih and the eight resolutions sought. The police were just standing around which was a pleasant surprise. The number of people present was beyond my expectations and strangers of different races were chatting with each other like old friends or neighbours. That gave me hope that there are better things to come.

At about 1.40pm, the crowd began to move forward led by Ambiga and other leaders of Bersih and we were joined by others along the way. From my vantage point, I could see that there were plenty of people all the way from Pudu Sentral up to the junction of Tun Perak/Tuanku Abdul Rahman Junction and there were more along the major side roads.

It was nearly 2pm and the crowd was waiting patiently along Jalan Tun Perak, as we could not move forward. Shouts of “Bersih” and “Bangun Rakyat” could be heard as well as renditions of “Negara Ku”. I was at the Masjid Jamek station when I heard a popping sound and realised that tear gas canisters had been fired. Chaos ensued. The crowd was not aware that Ambiga had given instructions for the rally to disperse as we were far away and as such, the actions of the police caught everyone by surprise!

Suddenly, my eyes began to sting and I could not breathe but it was quite impossible to move forward. There was a mak cik in front of me and she tripped. I managed to catch hold of her because I feared she would be trampled and I managed to move to a side road. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Bersih 3.0 rally

– Hussaini Abdul Karim
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 28, 2012

APRIl 28 – What caught my attention first the moment I alighted from the LRT train at Pasar Seni at about 1.45pm today was the generally young, enthusiastic and innocent looking crowd of about 100,000 people and all of them spotted a happy look and with a lot of hope in their mind, the same thing I have.

We were walking slowly towards the direction of Dataran Merdeka and I saw thousands of people mostly dressed in Bersih 3.0 T-shirts and with some dressed in green. Along the way was a young man working vigorously handing out free bottles of mineral water. Everyone shouted slogans such as, ‘REFORMASI’, ‘BERSIH’, ‘WE WANT FAIR ELECTIONS’ and so on.

Upon reaching Jalan Lekiu near the Loke Yew Building, there was a police roadblock manned by at least 100 men. That was the closest the crowd, including me, got to Dataran Merdeka. I believe, all the other entrances were similarly blocked and no one could enter Dataran Merdeka. Read the rest of this entry »


Who caused Bersih 3.0 chaos?

– Muhammad Farouk
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 28, 2012

APRIL 28 – Bersih 3.0 is over, cut short by teargas and water cannons raining on those converging at Dataran Merdeka today. Thousands of Malaysians surrounded the square patch of grass, once known for its cricket, but now garlanded by barbed wires, fencing, plastic barriers and guarded by riot police and policemen.

It was supposed to be a peaceful sit-in, and for hours, it was. Until some people apparently went through the barricades of a public square barred to the public. The riot police snapped to action and plumes of teargas wafted through the air and streams of jet from water cannons rained on the people. And mayhem ensued.

Now, who do we blame for this? The authorities for not learning the lessons of Bersih 2.0? Bersih people for being hijacked by politicians? Who else can we blame?

The authorities have made up their minds about this. From yesterday, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein briefed mainstream media editors and told them the government had done its best to have a peaceful rally. Read the rest of this entry »


A Yellow Mellow tomorrow

an instant poem to be shared quite urgently
by Azly Rahman

I told you already
of the fate of this country
that has moved so fast
and now we have another BERSIH rally
yellow mellow what will it be like tomorrow?
we all won’t know until we wear yellow

I have advised the country already
to go to the national square and treat it like a samba party
why aggravate the authorities when they too wish to join in the party?
they are all lonely and want to be clean and happy
in their hearts they powers that be want to be corrupt-free

what then must we do
for a yellow mellow hot potato tomorrow? Read the rest of this entry »


My fellow Malaysians

— Ambiga Sreenevasan
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 28, 2012

APRIL 28 — My Fellow Malaysians, my salams.

I can’t even begin to express the pride that we all feel, as Malaysians join hands across time and distance, to demand what is rightfully ours- free and fair elections.

Never before have we witnessed a global and nationwide movement on this scale. At the time of writing this speech, there are 80 locations worldwide and 11 locations nationwide who are gathering. On behalf of the Steering Committee and our endorsing NGO’s , may I say how humbled we are by your support and commitment to this cause.

Today we reclaim for the rakyat their right to assemble peacefully in our public places. Today we unite in heart, soul and spirit to fight for a better Malaysia. We fight not only for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children. In short, we are fighting for the future of our beloved Malaysia.

And we fight because we have hope and we see hope all around us. We fight because we know that together we can build a Malaysia that represents all that is good in us. All that is just and noble, righteous and compassionate. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih 3, Penang

by Allan CF Goh

The morning breaks with heavy rain,
Washing out the dark clouds of dawn.
A fresh, shining morn emerges,
Radiant with strong, bright sunshine.
This reflects the hope we carry,
For a clean and fair election.
Let the sun brighten the day,
Let it bring light to the darkness
Of the Election Commission,
So that real justice and fairness
Will be reflected in the votes,
To truly express our free will. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bersih 3

by Allan CF Goh

Today dawns with dark war clouds,
Ominous and threatening,
But they don’t frighten the crowd,
In spite of vile foreboding.
People want clean elections,
To express truly their wills
Of national selections
To man all government tills,
With good, proper accounting,
Not with more meaningless shrills.
This is what we are fighting: Read the rest of this entry »

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A prayer for all taking part in Bersih 3.0

JD Lovrenciear | Apr 26, 2012


The clock is ticking away hauntingly for those who are detached from, hostile towards or indifferent about this hour of reckoning for Bersih 3.0 on April 28, 2012.

But there is no time or grace to waste on such people who are blind, deaf and without feelings of and for humanity’s struggles to realise civilisation.

So here is a prayer for all of us who will be there united together here in Malaysia and all over the planet Earth for the betterment of Malaysia for all Malaysians:

As we track the days, hours, minutes and finally the seconds of our watch for April 28, 2012, may the heavens open up and let the rays of hope, aspiration and unity ignite our hearts.

As we walk together – north, south, east and west of this country that we call home, may the heavens raise our souls to uphold the brotherhood that we all share as part of this planet’s humanity.

May our spirits not waver; may our bones not ache; may our blood not spill – for this march to sit-in and protest springs not from hatred but peace; was sowed not with divisiveness but nurtured with oneness.

Indeed as brothers and sisters of one land we have wept for far too long with hope that there will be mercy from those who stood in our ways as we pleaded for justice and fairness.

Indeed as brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends and relatives, uncles and aunts, we raised our pleas through so many channels and in so many ways and in so many times that demonstrated our peaceful ways, our tolerant spirits, our hopeful prayers.

But all was in vain. Read the rest of this entry »


To papas who worry about mamas going to Bersih 3.0 Duduk Bantah

by Angie Ng
(from Zorro-unmasked)

We all know why BERSIH 3.0 must happen. You read newspaper every day, watch the news on TV every night, you should know why. At home, your wife busy running around, taking care of everyone at home, make sure the kids are well fed, making sure the kids have enough clothing to keep them warm, battling to get rid of all the dusts in every corner of the house. She is doing everything she can to take care of her family, and give them all the love she has.

All of sudden, she began to be aware and concern about this country. All of sudden, she said she is joining the BERSIH 3.0 rally on 28th April. You probably do not understand why. Wasn’t she aware of how dangerous it could be? Wasn’t she afraid of being caught? She must be crazy! She must be brain washed by those friends she met on Facebook! She is just too naive and too impulsive!

Well, probably you ARE NOT aware of this: She IS aware of the risks; how things might turn ugly on that day. But she also knows that this country is on her way to be a failing state when election becomes dirty and highly dangerous industries make our country their radioactive waste dump site. Read the rest of this entry »

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To mamas who worry about papas going to BERSIH 3.0 Duduk Bantah

by Angie Ng
(from Zorro-unmasked)

It was one fine day. Suddenly, your loving husband who always comes home in time for dinner, a good father who always cares for the kids told you that he will be joining Bersih 3.0. You were shocked! For goodness sake! You said. “Don’t you remember how they shoot people with tear gas, and the chemical laced water? And more than 1000 people were arrested during Bersih 2.0? What if something happens to you? What about me and the kids? The rally will still go on without you; they won’t know the difference… Just don’t go and stay away from trouble!”

We know you love your husband, and you hope he understands your concern, know your thoughts. However, have you try look into his thoughts to find out what is in his mind? Last year’s BERSIH 2.0, you saw him wept in front of his computer. Why? He was touched to see how Malaysians stood up, hand-in-hand, regardless of their status and skin colour. He saw how people stood up as Malaysians to brave the tear gas, water cannon and FRUs. He got goosebumps when he heard people singing “Negaraku” that day. He has been singing “Negaraku” since he first learnt the song. But he never realizes that the lyric is so meaningful and beautiful when we sing it out loud with love for your country. That moment, he wasn’t happy at all for staying at home comfortably in front of his computer. He was sad for not standing there, fighting with fellow Malaysians for a better future!

Those who sprayed by water cannon, they have wives, parents and families too. Some even left a will for their families. If anything happens to himself, his wife or his family shall take care of his business. They were afraid too! But still, they stood proudly in front of tear gas and water cannon. That moment, did you know that your husband was so ashamed for not able to be there?

He decided to join this coming BERSIH 3.0. He did it for you, for your kids, for the place he called HOME. Read the rest of this entry »


Perth is ready for Bersih 3.0

— Soon Yee Yap
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 27, 2012

APRIL 27 — No one has shown hesitation about coming out in full force tomorrow; indeed, many are making preparing to face a wet day, not because they are expecting to be met with water cannons and tear gas but because of the forecast of rain. In stark contrast with developments in Kuala Lumpur, the police in Perth, having been notified of our intentions, gave us the go ahead in writing.

In fact, a couple of days ago, the investigative team from State Security invited a few of us out for a catch-up chat, not in a police station but a less intimidating environment of a hotel pub. They warn us of things and elements to watch out for that could tarnish our movement instead of harassing us. Apparently, we are in their good books.

The City of Perth Council has agreed to a suggestion from someone of our community to tie yellow ribbons and messages on a tree just in front of the Malaysian Consulate. In fact, it was suggested to us that it can be left until the next general election in Malaysia! Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih then and Bersih now

Patrick Lee | April 27, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

This time everyone who missed out on last year’s rally wants to be in on the action. While the usual suspects in the opposing camp are rather muted.

PETALING JAYA: Though same in demands, the Bersih rally this year will be a different ball game compared to its predecessor.

The eight demands to reform the electoral system, the yellow T-shirts, the boasts of tens of thousands coming and even all the usual suspects are still there.

But a couple of things set 2012′s Bersih apart from the 2011′s Walk of Democracy. Here’s five. Read the rest of this entry »


Their own worst enemy

— Maha Balakrishnan
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 27, 2012

APRIL 27 — Just when you think the government and police force in this country can’t possibly do anything more ridiculous than the last thing they did, they top it.

Apparently, the police have now allowed Bersih 3.0 to assemble on the perimeter of Dataran Merdeka, but just not ON Dataran Merdeka. Let us take a step back and consider this: The perimeter of Dataran Merdeka comprises public roads.

What the police are saying is that it’s OK for Malaysians, who will probably number in the thousands, to assemble on public roads on a Saturday afternoon, but NOT on a closed-off square away from traffic and built for such assemblies of people.

What was the rationale for banning Bersih’s use of Dataran Merdeka, again? Something about Bersih 3.0 now suddenly becoming a security threat? How is Bersih 3.0 a security threat on a public square but not on public roads?

I step on the square, I’m a security threat; I step off the square, I’m not. Genius. Read the rest of this entry »