My Experience At BERSIH 3.0 #bersihstory #bersih3 #bersih – BERSIH 3.0 is over and I was there. Some people wonder what is this all about that caused chaos in the city? Very simple, clean and fair election. I don’t believe that it’s clean and fair even though Pakatan Rakyat had won 5 states in the past election, there’s still many doubt behind the electoral system in Malaysia. The main one which I concern is why does not allow independent observer on the election system during General Election? Where’s the transparency? So I joined the BERSIH rally, together with the other 200,000 Malaysian on last Saturday.
Kuala Lumpur was in lockdown. The only and fastest way to get into the city was to use the public transport – LRT. I fetched my friend, parked my car at Kelana Jaya station and we took the LRT. It was very crowded at the LRT, many people were in yellow t-shirt. I was pretty afraid of being arrested, but I think and think, there’s nothing wrong wearing yellow. I too, was in yellow, but not the BERSIH t-shirt.
The train were so packed with BERSIH protestors, we alight at Pasar Seni station instead of Masjid Jamek station because it would be even crowded at Masjid Jamek as it’s nearer to Dataran Merdeka. Jalan Sultan, near to Pasar Seni is one of the meeting point. BERSIH protestors were to gather at there, only then everyone walked towards Dataran Merdeka during noon.
The city was quiet without car, but it’s filled with yellow people, roaming the street, shouting “BERSIH” occasionally. I see Malays, Indian, and all races, I felt so happy that I am not Chinese, but a Malaysian supporting the rally. Everyone was in high spirit, smiling to each other and singing “BERSIH” in the ‘ole-ole’ theme.
As expected, most of the shops are closed at there, but some open their stalls to earn some extra bucks which they had a good business on that day. Went to 7 Eleven for breakfast at about 11am. Then we waited on Jalan Sultan at 12pm. The whole stretch of street was full of people. Police were there, to ensure nothing goes wrong. Police was still friendly at that time.
Since it’s early, the leader of the meeting point asked everyone to sit down first to wait for the walk. Huge yellow colour beach ball were throw around for fun play. It’s really a peaceful rally at that time. Everyone was cheering, chatting, and smiling to each other as if a one big family. It’s like a carnival, a carnival for clean and fair election.
At about 12.30pm. The walk, started. From Jalan Sultan to Dataran Merdeka is very near only, about 10-15 minute walk. Dataran Merdeka were sealed off by the police with barricade, wire barbed and police. I wonder why the city hall does not allow Malaysian to use the venue for a peaceful assembly. If they were to allow, nothing violent would be happened at the end. Come on, it’s a public space for everyone.
The walk stopped right in front of the bridge entering Dataran Merdeka. At there, this is where the sit-in happened. People sit down, and shouted “BERSIH”, as well as “Buka Pagar (Open the gate)” and sing the national anthem Negaraku too. You can also see people from all ages, young to old. This clearly shows that many people supported the event and believes that the government is not clean!
It’s super hot at that time, about 2pm already. Luckily I brought an umbrella. Despite the hot weather, everyone was still energetically shouting for electoral reform and ‘BERSIH’. It’s really sad that the police didn’t allow the protestor to go in to Dataran Merdeka. As agreed with the decision, people just gather outside the Dataran Merdeka.
I sat for like 20 minutes, then I decided to move to else where to check out what’s going on at the other side – Masjid Jamek station. It’s even more crowded at there. My friend who was constantly checking on Facebook told me that the BERSIH rally has officially ended at 2.40pm, so it’s when we’ve decided to go home at that time.
Well, it’s about 3.20pm, we went to the nearest LRT station, planning to leave since it’s officially ended. No idea why there’s still many people on the street, but many were leaving like us too. Most of the gate at Masjid Jamek Station were shut down, only one or two were open. We went in to queue for tickets, and it’s so packed and crowded in there. Many were going back home too.
It’s a long queue at the ticketing machine and suddenly I smelled something weird, it’s like chemical burning and then my nose started feel irritating and sort of like burning in the inside, my eyes started blinking nonstop as it’s hard to open and tears sort of like coming out, it’s the TEAR GAS! At first, I thought of covering my nose with t-shirt will be alright, but later it’s getting even more irritating and uncomfortable. Then the whole LRT station become chaos. The gate that we came in were shut and people outside was banging the door crazily. How can the FRU fire tear gas so near to the LRT station?!
Running away from the station is the main solution now. I quickly poured water onto the towel I was holding and cover my nose and mouth and ran towards another exit, guided by a police, some ran directly to the underground platform of the LRT. Phewww. I felt better when I was outdoor. There’s many people in the station, it’s so chaotic. There’s even kids in there. I experienced the tear gas now, it’s not good. I did not bring salt, friend told me that consuming salt will help with the tear gas sickness.
I walked away Masjid Jamek as fast as possible as the place was getting messy. I did not understand why. I thought the rally has ended, why tear gas was fired? I didn’t bother about it anymore as getting myself safe is the most important. We walked to the next LRT station which is Dang Wangi, it’s also very crowded at there. And one stupid thing was only after we bought our tickets, the operator announced that the train heading to Kelana Jaya line were temporary interrupted. We have to take the Gombak-bound train to another station and switch to Kelana Jaya-bound train.
On the train, I keep checking on the news. It’s said that some protestors had broke into Dataran Merdeka only then the FRU fired tear gas and water canon. But then, does that necessary? Why? Where’s all the police who were standing in front of the barracade? How can the police did not see what were the frontline protestors doing? These are the question.
Luckily I went back early, police started arresting, assaulting people in yellow after 4.30pm. It’s very messy, it was supposed to be a peaceful rally. Who to blamed? I don’t think it’s the protestors as everyone was cooperating, perhaps the culprits who fake themselves as BERSIH protestors who created troubles there?