I attended the Bersih 4 Rally as well, from Sat evening till following Sun evening..and i was curious . And what i observed and encountered gave me much optimism and hope.
For what was noticed was the age grouping of the participants.. .
Almost the marjority were faces estimated to be below 40 years of age but much more significant was that, a huge proportion of the faces were youthful looking 20 plus.
.I engaged some in conversation and discovered some surprises,- like that the label the pro-goverment media and Rally detractors and some of our political leaders descriptions of the Bersih participants were not accurate at all.as they described that the rally participants were mainly from a certain pol party or ethnicity was far off the mark..
I spoke to East Malaysians , young students studying law in KL,
A Sarawakian told me his grouse about how he and many other Sarawakians felt about the fact that they were suppose to be in a Federation and according to Him, the relationship between Sabah and Sarawak and Peninsular ,was suppose to be like the type of relationship that Scotland ,Ireland and England has..
And many in his home state of his generation have become aware and feels that way. They are more informed and aware now and among the reasons He took up law was that – He plans to practice law back in Sarawak and then to be able to raise awareness among Sarawakians that they have been unfairly treated by the Federal Goverment..
I spoke to a Pa Cik,who had taken part in every Bersih Rally, And a staunch Anwar supporter.Needless to say,how he felt about things.
And then met a middle ranking civil servant from Putra Jaya whom i shared teh tarik and a general conversation. Although,what he hinted at that there was a tiny sense or murmurs of dis-content among the civil service,It isn’t anything surprising, and has been reported in alternative media.
I heard the general public voicing out their grievances on the impromptu podiums set up by the organizers,which anyone with something to say can use the platform to express their views.And the intensity of their emotions when they were expressing themselves reverberated through the crowd listening to what he had to say.
And besides the angry statements on the “donations” the 1MDB affair” . there were some genuine grievances of the people who felt screwed by this Govermental system of cronyism, discriminative policies ,blatant abuse of positions and influence fuelled by greed, corruption and unjust system that benefits only selective elite.
I just like many there – wondered ,why , i think i can put up with the discomfort of sleeping on the streets for a night,when a hot shower and comfortable bed to me was merely 20 minutes away.SInce I live quite near.
It must have been the atmosphere,it felt galvanising.
And i know I was in good company , among many who were from all strata of society.
From the decent blue collar working class earning basic wages to white collar professionals. Intellectuals to academicians. Business entrepreneurs to tertiary students. All ethnicities, class and genders represented. -and willingly lay their tired bodies to rest few hours on the hard concrete pavements or road surface..
Thousands did just that!
Without qualms, It does require a strong sense of commitment or outrage to do so.
.And guess that the commitment was to the collective sense of angry disapproval felt by all who chose to participate in the Rally -and the act represents a sign of their determination,resolve and unwavering spirit that the demonstrators want to show to those who are power intoxicated and abusing the very power the people feel was entrusted to them – that they may serve the best interests of the people but by no means help themselves to the till without ethical consideration nor remorse.
Prior to that i had wandered about in the early hours of Sun morning, 2 am and not tired enough yet to sleep.
And came across self organized groups of -Uni Students-who were discussing politics and engaging the public in a kind of open forum . A sign they put up that read ” People’s Assembly”
They were the moderators and the gathered audience from the public were free to suggest topics for discussion or debate, and some intriguing ideas were put forth.(And they were Malay Uni students-if it is of any relevance).
Then in a very civil manner, there was the back and forth like in any debate,between those present.
Topics like ” What is the Significance of the Bersih 4? What next after the Rally?
How public awareness can be generated on the state of affairs of the country?etc.
Topics open for suggestions to those present and discussed /debated.
It really was uplifting to witness and realize that the Gen-Y are not all indoctrinated and there are amongst them very well informed astute in recognizing things for what they really are in the current status quo of Governance.
Following morning,i too ,got free breakfast distributed to the overnighters ,and the hot kopi-o ,freshly brewed , with a catchy invite- Mari “minum kopi ” Tak Mahu Duit Kopi.. The coffee was without sugar still it tasted great in a humorous way
.All in all,the atmosphere throughout was electrifying and inspiring.
But again, It is a positive to reemphasize the fact that, the faces of the very significant proportion of those participating -were youth in their twenties to early thirties from across the ethnicities .
There were those from East Malaysia . And from Penang , Johor , Many bused in.
And many came on their own from outstation just to join in the Rally..Speaking to them , found out that to many,It was actually their first time demonstrating anything , many were still quite young during Bersih 3.
And most importantly -.
Many also just came of age to register as voters and they stated they will ensure that they will play their role when the next GE comes.
And that- is a clear sign for hopefulness and optimism.
2 days that painted KL Yellow
I went and hung around the Bersih Rally from Sat evening till following Sun evening,more out of curiousity than anything,spent the night slept on the road like thousands of others and spoke to many strangers..
Downtown KL was swarmed by Yellow everywhere you look.for the whole 2 days.
.Estimate is 6 out of 10 people wore the yellow t shirt.-in the vicinity of Dataran 8 to 10 ratio..
Yellow everywhere,train stations,bus stations -pedestrian walkways Eateries.
Continous stream of people coming to and going back in the thousands , those that came early and left and those that came later – so on .- every train was packed with yellow shirts -again coming and going. so the few hundred thousand claims of participants has merit.
Point being,from what i personally observed of the composition of the Bersih 4 participants ,from all strata and class and ethnicity of society and as I noted- not all were politically inclined to one particular pol party or another.
And that they were mostly from a certain pol party and non patriotic ,foolish and so on- labels by the politicians and pro-goverment media -Rubbish !
Unpatriotic will not care enough to raise their alarm and outrage at what is happening to the country.The un-patriotic doesn’t get emotional singing the Negara-Ku at the Rally.nor will they even stand at attention.
Or spend a night to sleep on hard concrete pavements and street surfaces and not budge despite getting drenched and soaking wet in the rain-in a show of solidarity of resolve and determination to the Goverment of the day that they are outraged on what is being done to the country..
These are not actions of the foolish or un-patriotic citizens of Malaysia!
WHAT AND WHY ARE MALAYSIANS PROTESTING!
Few more Pictures click link below