A large crowd estimated at 10000 surged past police and DBKL barriers into Dataran Merdeka to usher in 2014 with a protest against a broad range of tariff, toll and price hikes.

The old cry “Reformasi!” pierced the night air, followed by chants of “Turun! Turun!” as Rafizi Ramli spoke – without a loud hailer.

The following youtube clip was uploaded by PDRMsia!

Witnessing these scenes, Umno-BN leaders (and their corporate cronies) must be feeling jittery as the disaffection over the price hikes (several of which will further contribute to corporate/GLC profits) manifests itself among among the people, or at least a sizeable segment of them.

Many of the protesters appeared to be youths who will be hard-pressed to cope with the rising cost of living. Now, imagine, this is happening before the pro-MNC Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is signed and the GST is implemented. How will the public react to these two new developments, which are likely to further squeeze the people, even as they reel from the price and tariff hikes?

But salute to the brave Malaysians who defied warnings and claimed their democratic right to assemble peacefully last night. Apart from the festive fireworks elsewhere, there were no explosives, etc, at Dataran Merdeka, were there?

If you were there at the scene of the New Year’s Eve protest, please report below on the mood of the crowd, the conduct of the police and the overall atmosphere.