Indeed it was. There was tremendous police presence, roadblocks everywhere in downtown Kuala Lumpur, and the blue-grey fatigues of the Federal Reserve Unit was a familiar sight everywhere you turn.
At the end of the day, it was just a bunch of Malaysians, who wanted to see their sovereign to raise their plight. But the executive used instruments of law and order to stop them from doing so.
Thousands of them braved the rain, the traffic jams, the tear gas, water cannon to attend the Bersih rally despite Pak Lah and IGP Musa Hassan’s threat of action.
Two Bersih rally attendee in light spirits, begging me to take their pics. : )
The police barricade at Istana Negara was matched by the marshal boys from PAS. These boys were an organised bunch who formed a matching protective barricade between the police and the marching thousands.
Look below. There were people from all walks of life, even purdah-clad sisters.
Yellow umbrella, Yellow t-shirt, yellow ribbon, yellow hat/cap, yellow bandana, you name it, they were all there.
Policemen doing their job. I must say that apart from a brief show of force at the Masjid Jamek Area, the police were generally very restrained.
As we marched from behind Central Market to the Istana, we encountered this scene where two of the marching multitude were praying, with pieces of plastic their prayer mat. I was moved.
Behind Central Market, road leading to Dataran Merdeka was blocked by police and the FRU guys.
The policemen taking shelter at the Ambank near HSBC in Lebuh Ampang. They tear-gassed the area just minutes before I passed here, and lots of commuters and other members of public were seen coughing, tearing and sneezing. The nasal burn was kinda intense.
The mainstream media quoted the IGP as saying about 4,000 people turned up. The crowd I saw could have easily filled the National Stadium. So you see dear readers, how much the story is downplayed? Now do you blame the public if they don’t believe what they see on the news ?
Now, the people have made a point. You can’t ignore the people anymore. To all the scaremongers who said that this rally conveys a bad image of Malaysia internationally, I have this to say; “It didn’t need to happen this way. It did because the authorities are deaf to the people’s needs.”