I didn’t turn up yellow, neither did I make a whole hulaboo on Twitter or Facebook about it. I believe in the cause, but whether there’s a need for the rally or not, is for others’ to say… it is certainly not my fight, as I have my own way to see Malaysia be where I want it to be.
BUT I wasn’t about to count on the national media nor other people’s tweets and sentiments to tell me how the rally went. I wanted, with my own eyes, to see what it is all about. So, I went in as a half-assed journalist, a passionate young man not really knowing what to expect in this supposedly illegal event and especially as an observer by the side, just like the rest of the world waiting to see how it would unfold. And so it begins…
First stop – KLCC! I wasn’t about to put myself into the crowd immediately so I thought it would be the best place to stop. This was, of course, after making a wrong stop at Kampung Baru and getting lost around the area… until another guy came to us and admitted that he followed us in order to find the “place”. I told him if he wanted to, he would have to get rid of the “evidence” in his bag, and so he did. Then we proceeded back to the station to stop at KLCC.
The few of us came out from Avenue K and spotted nobody, as if the heart of city center has stopped moving in this time-space continuum. Only traces of foreigners were here and there, going about as if nothing’s happened. As the roads were literally empty, and seeing how I thoroughly enjoyed my last #planking session, you can’t blame me for planking by the empty road facing KLCC – it was a priceless shot!
Eventually after many minutes of walking (and some through the rain!) from KLCC to KL Convention Center, through Pavilion and down Jalan Imbi (was taking an indirect route – and at the same time buying umbrella cos of the rain) we finally reached the junction to Jalan Pudu. Here we took a pit stop by the cafe due to the heavy rain, and wondered if the rain would disperse. All this while, people were just going about minding their own business, nobody made a scene and in general; peaceful. And as we turned beyond the junction, suddenly without warning, we saw them all armed.
PS- the random stranger paid for our drinks and we never got to thank him. Cheers if you’re reading this!
Surprisingly though, that was it. No chanting, no wrestling, no untowards movement. Officers were just holding ground making sure everything was okay, and the crowd was walking about, making sure they are not in each others’ way. This scene was taken looking at Jalan Pudu from the area where the police have made the blocks.
We were mostly saying hi to each other, asking about the situation and even said hello to the officers, as they look friendly enough. We were only told to avoid areas where the #bersih and #patriot might clash. Otherwise it’s mostly trying not to get wet from the rain, as this man is doing his utmost best not to.
See them over there? That’s overlooking Jalan Bukit Bintang, where the #patriots in red are. We found out that we were in the middle as they would eventually converge and make it to Jalan Hang Tuah where it will lead them to Stadium Merdeka. I supposed we could have missed the “action” and since we were already passed the polices, we thought we might as well head towards the “crime scene”.
Walking past red FRU vehicles, hundreds and soldiers with the helicopter roving around in the air is quite an experience I must say. Nevertheless we were not threatened, not by the #patriots, not by the #bersih people and definitely not the polices as we made our way towards the stadium.
Alas, they have blocked access to the stadium, and many of us from the media realized that they were never going to let us through. Barbed wires yo, definitely serious stuff! And so… we went further to find out what else we could do, since we’re here right?
And of course we couldn’t resist the ice-cream man coming over! Funniest thing happened- while purchasing the ice-cream, we were shocked with the number of vehicles that came our way. Imagine how we felt- our hearts were beating so fast thinking if we were about to be arrested!
Anyhow following the media helped us to get to where we wanted to be – to the peaceful procession without getting involved with them. Here and there were throngs of media people, and we never felt safer!
Eventually we noticed people were dispersing joyfully and figured that whatever that needs to be done, has been done. I realized that they were all following the schedule of dispersing by 4pm, and that was what’s going on. Groups of people of all walks of life were congregating and sharing stories – it was a joyful scene to watch indeed 🙂
Following the stream of people from the #bersih rally, we realized that they were all celebrating in unison. Whether it’s in groups or in solo, one thing’s for sure – they were all there for one reason, their minds united. Yes I’m pretty sure there were hijack missions done by political parties with their separate agendas, but the perception here is that they are finally doing something for the country they love. I beg to differ- success for #bersih is only achieved if everyone votes during the general elections for the party they believe in. Have you registered to vote?
Some of the more interesting shots taken are these cute couple in smiley face shirts… A scene you don’t get to see far too often…
Another funny shot while walking out towards the exiting KL… People smiling through closed bars at their shop lots. Why were they smiling, I do not know… but it certainly was a blessing to watch.
Eventually the police then led us back to the stations and a lot of us clapped and shook hands with the police. Give them a good time and they’ll be more than happy to return it! After all… we’re all humans, kan? Somehow or rather, I think I’ve received something magical by being part of this rally, whether I like it or not… and I’m glad I could see this with my own eyes.
It just reminds me of how much I love Malaysia and the reasons for doing what I’m doing becomes even more apparent. Like I’ve been told many times, the battle of which I am involved in will not be appreciated by many now, but by the generations to come… and really, that is all I ask for. I am really sorry to the people around me who expected more of me, but for those who know me well they will understand that there are some of us who are fighting for the future of our Malaysians, a long battle that requires patience, time and sometimes, sacrifices.
Renewing my hopes for Malaysians, I’m now even more determined to see through my projects through and see many youth leaders being created and cared for so that Malaysia will not only propel forward in terms of economy, but also in every other areas that we were never known, building world–renowned talents and be Malaysia’s pride and joy – because we can 🙂
This is my #bersihstory, what is yours?