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Bersih Malaysia

Bersih 2.0: My Experience

By now I’m sure most Malaysians (and many people internationally) know about the Bersih 2.0 movement. Writing this took a little longer than I thought, but I’d just like to take this opportunity to share my experience of it, and hope that it offers some additional information of that day.

 

The sun rises. It’s off to the Forbidden City of Kuala Lumpur I go.

I must say that I was quite scared during the last few days before Bersih 2.0 (henceforth referred to as Bersih), with all the threats going around of violence, police crackdowns and sadly even silat groups, I was seriously questioning if it would turn into another May 13, and whether I’d be able to get home. I thought about writing a note for my parents and girlfriend just in case, but decided to stay positive and skipped it. I had prepared some items such as salt, a bottle of water, a towel, and the all-important “illegal” plain yellow shirt, and went for breakfast with my parents, a meal which somehow felt important. After that my dad dropped me off at the LRT station and at 9am I headed into the Forbidden City. Even at the Paramount LRT station there was a police presence, but fortunately they didn’t look twice at me, and I kept my eyes firmly trained on my phone while I walked past them. Despite all the brouhaha by the government, there were still plenty of people in the LRT going into town, though I wasn’t sure if they were joining the rally or not. While I was planning to go to KLCC and walk, I noticed that the Pasar Seni station looked pretty safe, and it was very near the Stadium Merdeka that we were supposed to assemble at, so I got off at that station. Police were present at the station too, but they didn’t stop anybody. I chanced upon a group of young students who were busy discussing their alibi in case they were asked where they were going (the KLCC education fair apparently), so I introduced myself and joined them, it’s pretty obvious why everybody is in the Forbidden City anyways.