Cultural learnings of Bersih 2.0…


…for make benefit glorious nation of Malaysia. These are things I learnt this past week.

– Bersih Rocks.

– The police was taken aback by the sheer numbers that turned up in the streets despite the weeklong scaremongering and arrests. They were caught unprepared. The best part of the rally was in front of Maybank building on Jalan Tun Perak, where the fearless crowd actually forced the FRU trucks to retreat.

–  It was probably thought by the authorities that the age old strategy of arresting the big names would derail the rally or send the minions running. EPIC FAIL. Read this piece by The Malaysian Insider.

–  The IGP is a pure, unadulterated, garden variety moron. He said rather sulkily yesterday on TV of the protesters,  “Dia bukan jerit Bersih. Dia jerit Refomasi.” His bosses probably didn’t tell him that the whole Bersih rally was about Electoral REFORM.

– You can ban a colour, you can ban a yellow T-shirt, you can even arrest people, demonise a cause, mount a so-call counter rally. But you CAN’T stop the passage of an idea that has taken root. The Star’s front page headline today captures the mood. I can’t bear to link it here though because the rest of the tripe that followed, including the pathetic editorial, was reeking of Stockholm Syndrome.  But yes, the people who stood up to be counted yesterday, was indeed DEFIANT. That was the people’s collective middle finger there.

–  Racism is a bogeyman of the past, that no one but the present government believes, and only it keeps alive though its various vacuous, stale rhetorics. And the people I saw that day paid scant attention to it. Unity was all around. 

 That’s Baru Bian of Ba Kelalan, folks. That’s right, the dude turned up, warrior style.

–  The so called “Patriots” came and went, their scant impact probably apparent to even themselves. Just heard that each of the “patriot” red shirts were paid RM800 each. Sheer waste of money come to think of it. It serves no purpose except to Khairy Jamaludin, who probably thought he got some street credibility by getting arrested.  Yeah man…you and more than a thousand others. Tear gassed? Tough!

7) Barking dog without a bite is Perkasa. After endless fiery rhetoric from that slimeball, all things Perkasa was no show. Apparently Braheng Ali went to attend the Putrajaya Floria. So this self appointed champion of Malay rights turned out to be a Mat Bunga. Good for him. Let him smell the roses while he still can.

8) The Silat dudes and pendekar types. They are the best of the lot. Threatening to save Malaysia from the “dangerous folks” Omar din’s boys were so effective that nobody saw them. They managed the incredible feat of being invisible. Wow! Ghaib terus!

– Polis Raja Di Malaysia. What can I say. Ismail Omar’s boys outdid themselves. Tying arrestees with rope, gassing people unprovoked,  herding the hordes into closed streets and gassing them. Chasing people down, resulting in the death of a PKR member’s husband Baharuddin Ahmad. Firing tear gas into Tung Shin Hospital. They’ve all but convinced people and journalists who recorded the footage, that they don’t give a damn about the sick.

Bersih went global – Korea

– Unit Amal PAS is a shining example of organisation and discipline. They rushed to the aid of many people and this I saw myself, and I have eyewitness accounts too.  There are many positive things going for PAS, but these boys are surely near the top of the list.

–  1Malaysia. Not Najib’s expensive PR exercise, but the reality on the ground. In the middle of the crowd, i saw the old, the young, the purdah clad women, makcik, uncle, aunties, Malaysians of all colour, singing Negaraku when facing down the full riot geared cops. My tears at that time was not because of the tear gas.

– Ruined business? Hahahaha. In the streets where the hotels were, we were hard pressed to find a room, cos they were mostly fully booked. The tau fu far seller packed up early, not because he was afraid, he just all sold out. The same refrain was heard from friends near Dang Wangi, Pudu, Hang Jebat, Petaling Street, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Ampang and Leboh Ampang.

– Tourists? They probably thought this was a nice addition to the holiday package and they too joined, some marched along and others watching the spectacle.

-This dude was my hero. All those who bitched about jams and closed roads, look at this dude,. People in crutches and wheelchairs turned up, but you losers stayed home. Shame on you.

Traffic jams? Solely the fault of the cops. The idea was to stop the vehicles coming in.  But those who slipped in, made their way via public transport, or simply walked.

– I also learnt that the police were raiding hotel rooms on the pretext of looking for “khalwat possibilities”. JAWI must be very displeased that their prerogative of catching people in dishabille was usurped by the men in blue.

TV3 live reports. A reporter on the ground was saying that a parang and other unidentified objects were thrown at the TV3 media team. Tellingly, the parang was not shown on TV, leading to questions in my mind. Oi, mana parang? If you had evidence, you missed the chance to show them on live TV. I guess TV3 is so immersed in fiction that it believes its own stories.

Finally, the Internet and Social Media RULES! This was a rally that was possible because of communications technology. Technology also made it possible to viral out live updates. Twitterjaya was all abuzz, Facebook and the blogs played a key role in dissemination of  information, pictures and raw videos.

This was probably why the strategy of arresting the lead personalities failed to stop the march. The rally dispersed peacefully after 4pm and it was of the participants own accord. Some of them even shook hands with the cops before they left. How cool is that?

In fact, perhaps in testament to the times we live in, Bersih 2.0 went global, with  solidarity gatherings in many cities around the world. I know my friend in Adelaide attended one. Another one turned up at Bersih Melbourne.

Bersih Melbourne. Bravo Malaysians!

Hooligans? Troublemakers? No, just Malaysians with real grievances who were repeatedly lied to, thwarted, and prevented from venting their frustrations. Not a single act of vandalism was carried out, no looting was heard of, no torching of cars or anything.

Just Malaysians wanting to be heard. You didn’t give them a stadium. They took over the city. The People 1 – the Govt 0.

Nuff said.

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3 thoughts on “Cultural learnings of Bersih 2.0…

  1. Pingback: Cultural learnings of Bersih 2.0… (via Euphoria in Misery) « Angels brought me here ♥

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