The day after. The tens of thousands of Malaysians who rallied yesterday in KL have written a new chapter in the nation’s relentless path towards real democracy.
Striking images from Aljazeera.
Despite the heavy-handed police, despite attempts to divide and rule – a democratic awakening and a new consciousness that transcends barriers of race and religion. But it came at a price: a total of 1667 courageous Malaysians arrested by 6.40pm yesterday.
Kicked while sprawled on the road:
Teargassed in Pudu:
But their burning spirits remain undimmed, refusing to be doused by the stinging water from the cannons.
And a declaration from London:
A message from blog reader tunglang:
Listen BarangNaik Regime,
What you saw yesterday was not a ‘small group’ but 50K young and old brave Malaysians from all walks of life. It was truly a live demonstration of 1 Bersih Malaysia (preferred) version that we as Rakyat believe in and aspire for, and was displayed in true multiracial unity for a better future of this country. The world now knows what the majority of Malaysians are united for: a good common cause for free and fair elections.
Despite the vile threats of violence by irresponsible elements, irrational blockades and unnecessary use of blatant force by the FRU, SB and PDRM, we bravely made our point loud and clear in a peaceful, organized and civilized manner – we believe in a Bersih election for a Bersih Malaysian government. Not Kotor, not Tipu, not Kejam.
Malaysians’ Bersih 2.0 was demonstrated in good Malaysian spirit in KL streets yesterday. It also shows everyone the true living unity in multiracial diversity which was denied and manipulated as a lie all the while before 709.
Respect our rights as Rakyat Malaysia, not the show of misused force or play of deceptive words or promises.
Lastly, have due respect for our King. Daulat Tuanku. Daulat Tuanku. Daulat Tuanku.
Hidup Bersih 2.0. Hidup Rakyat. Hidup 1 Bersih Malaysia.
Finally, a message from blog reader James in Australia:
To all the brave people of Malaysia, we send our salute. In spite of all the lies, threats, and intimidation, they held their nerves and proceeded with their march with calm, dignity and, above all, stoic restraint, refraining from retaliating against the high-handed violent tactics of the police.
Although they did not reach their stated goal of rallying in Merdeka Stadium…a trade-off that was promised them by no less an authority than the Prime Minister himself in exchange for their originally planned street protests, and who subsequently dishonoured his own promise…these people have, without doubt, succeeded in awakening Malaysian voters to the blatant abuses of the BN government. I suspect the BN might have just signed its own … warrant!
In contrast to the violent reaction of the authorities to the rally in KL, ours, held at Federation Square in Melbourne was completely peaceful. No teargas, no water cannons, no police intimidation or interference. Simply DEMOCRACY IN ACTION. Many of us…Chinese, Indians and Malays…wore Yellow to show our solidarity with our long-suffering fellow citizens back home. I never realised how much I missed my homeland until we all joined in the rendition of the Negaraku. I’m sure a good many of the hundreds of Malaysians that were there this afternoon must have felt very much the same way as I did.